One of the folks who are reportedly helping fan the flames of the Donald Trump for President talk is longtime GOP consultant Roger Stone. His latest assessment can be found here:
The Networks have created TWO contests — one in 2011 and another in 2012. This takes national focus off current government efforts to solve the nations problems. It’s a disservice to the voters and will de-value the early state caucuses and primaries. Putting that aside, the process must be played as it is — and the new schedule could be a lay-up for a media savvy candidate like Donald J. Trump.
No one understands the power of television like Trump. Millions tune in the Apprentice to see the most successful and best known businessman in America. Trump’s sharp criticism of trade policy with China, OPEC and the war in Afghanistan could find a large, even commanding segment in the GOP. Trump showed at the CPAC gathering that his star quality plus his pro-gun, pro-life views combined with his pro-business stance can be a winner in the GOP. Trump literally has nothing to lose — and everything to gain by entering the 2011 debates. While Trump says he will decide if he is running by June, I would advise him to wait until the Florida GOP straw-poll in October to decide. After all, Trump doesn’t require time to build his name ID . . .
There can be little doubt that more straw-poll and debates will be sprinkled in. What this does is create a faux race for nomination which precede the real legal nomination. It takes public interest out of the real nomination process by winnowing out losers in 2011 without ever counting real votes. Three boring debate performances and your money and credibility will dry up. A dark horse like Trump could run the tables in the debates and lead in the polls by years end, making a late formal entry. News events will still dominate the days before the Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina and Florida primaries.
The danger of entering too soon and wearing out one’s welcome is a danger for all of the aspiring candidates, really.
Since his fame of the 1980s, Donald Trump has proven an almost unparallelled self-promoter. His name, synonymous with gargantuan, hyped, and expensive endeavors, has been plastered on casinos and towers and books and ties and board games, popping up in Oreo commericals, cameos in movies and television shows, in the worlds of boxing and professional wrestling; king of the tabloid pages, a larger-than-life personality who has lingered on the national stage so long he’s been impersonated by Phil Hartman and Darrell Hammond on Saturday Night Live. He licenses his name to real-estate properties that he doesn’t actually own.
In light of his history, the idea of Trump attempting to seriously make a run for president is . . . hard to get one’s head around.
If there is a behavior and style that is “presidential,” Donald Trump isn’t it.
Picture “the President.” Hopefully, you think of dignity. A certain formality that fits the decorum of the office. An appreciation of the history and men, some great and some greatly flawed, who have filled that role before. Despite the large ego necessary to fuel the ambition to run for president, presidential style requires a bit of humility in the face of the awesome responsibilities and extraordinarily difficult, life-and-death decisions every commander-in-chief faces.
And then . . . there’s this: