I love a circus side show as much as the next person. Watching circus style train wrecks is becoming as American as Apple Pie and Baseball.
But the circus act known as Donald Trump and his supposed interest in running for President, and more importantly, the support he received in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, is a sign that the GOP has much bigger problems if they wish to make Barack Obama a one term president.
It’s not that Donald Trump is likely to make a serious run for the presidency. Besides the fact that he’s Donald Trump, his entire platform so far is the birther movement, and his announcement of the press conference of his intentions will just happen to coincide with the finale of his reality show.
No one is taking this idea of a run seriously, no one except the 19% of the poll participants, tying Trump for first place with Mike Huckabee.
With the 2012 presidential election less than nineteen months away, the fact that a guy looking for publicity for his reality show can win a poll, even a poll that doesn’t mean anything, is not a good sign for the GOP.
The polls results mean that the GOP is still looking to rally around someone, anyone, and no current candidate is inspiring many Republicans at this point.
You might be thinking, “Hey, there’s almost two years until the election, there’s no way we should know the frontrunner at this point.”
That would be a cogent argument to make. However, I would counter with another cogent argument.
Pundits on both sides of the aisle believe that it will take one billion dollars to mount a successful presidential campaign in 2012. That’s just one of the reasons that President Obama began his re-election campaign just a few days ago.
If it will take a billion dollars, or at least close to it, for a Republican is to tear the Oval Office from Obama’s grip, the Republican candidate will need extreme popularity and as much time as possible to raise that billion dollars.
So, if Donald Trump is even sucking up a small percentage of the oxygen in the GOP presidential room, it cannot be a good sign for the eventual Republican nominee.
There are some who believe that Trump might actually be serious. If that’s true, then the GOP has even more to worry about.
If Trump is serious about running, the fact that he’s an entertainer doesn’t preclude him from the job. What rules him out as a serious candidate is the fact that he’s potentially starting his campaign while his TV show is on the air.
The United States has had entertainers run for President and win before. However, Ronald Reagan didn’t run while he was on a promotional junket for “Bedtime for Bonzo.”
That’s the difference. And that difference means everything when it comes to credibility.
Whether he decides to run or not, the GOP needs to realize that the popularity of the potential of a Trump campaign all but guarantees a second term of Barack Obama.
If Trump is quickly marginalized and forgotten, and someone else in the GOP pack rises with enough vigor and popularity to motivate voters and raise money, then the GOP has at least a fighting chance.
If not, the 2012 Republican Presidential hopes will need far more than a Celebrity Apprentice to be saved.
About The Blogger
– Dominic Dezzutti, producer of the Colorado Decides debate series, a co-production of CBS4 and Colorado Public Television, looks at the local and national political scene in his CBSDenver.com blog. Read new entries here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Dezzutti writes about federal, state and local matters and how our elected leaders are handling the issues important to Colorado. Dezzutti also produces the Emmy winning Colorado Inside Out, hosted by Raj Chohan, on Colorado Public Television.