I honestly don’t know yet how seriously to take all the Trump for president talk. For one thing, he’s an obvious self promoter with all the subtlety of a hand grenade. For another, he has repeatedly flirted with the presidency in the past so there’s no reason yet to think this go-round is any different from all the previous ones.
Behind all the headlines, though, a few things add up to making Trump a formidable candidate if he jumps in. Setting aside his personal life for a minute, Donald Trump the businessman would bring several tangible things to the campaign. He can build and run a potent national organization without breaking a sweat. He can self-finance or attract huge money, and with Obama threatening to raise $1 billion for his re-run, huge money will be necessary. He can also leverage his celebrity to command the airwaves without having to spend a cent. He’s doing that now, pretty much at will.
Over here he’s talking about his faith — a subject on which, to my knowledge, we’ve never heard from Donald Trump before.
Over here, he’s talking about gas prices and pinning the blame for them squarely on Obama.
And over here, he’s claiming that he’s the White House’s “worst nightmare.” That, incidentally, is as true at RNC HQ as it may be at the White House. Trump is such a wild card he would make any seasoned political pro very queasy.
And then there’s the Hawaii stuff, which is so off the wall that the White House seems flummoxed in responding to it. But Trump is making them respond to it, if only to laugh it off. Nervously. And yet even in talking about this, Trump isn’t yet coming off as a crank — yet.
Like I said, I don’t know what to make of Trump yet. But he’s not being boring, which is more than we can say for just about everyone else who appears to be pondering or threatening to run. And can you imagine the Trump-Obama presidential debates?