Too much Trump? Not for the other GOP candidates

Donald Trump is doing Republicans a big favor right now.

Right now, GOP presidential contenders could be engaging in a too-early brawl with one another, sullying everyone and causing intramural divisions that would require a too-long period of making up after the nominee is chosen. (Don’t think the divisions would last long in a race against Barack Obama? Consider the sour GOP grapes that persisted in last year’s Senate races in Delaware and Alaska, costing the Republicans one potential pickup of a seat and nearly a safe one as they were struggling to gain a majority in that chamber.)

Instead, The Donald is taking up all the oxygen– dominating the 2012 storyline with a hint that he could run as a Ross Perot-like independent if he doesn’t get the nomination, just a day after presumed front-runner Mitt Romney took his first official step toward getting in the race.

And my guess is that’s just fine with the other Republican candidates. Or at least, it should be.

Sure, contenders like Tim Pawlenty are expending a lot of energy right now to boost their name recognition, and might like to get in on the exposure Trump is receiving.

But Trump is getting attention right now for one of the same reasons he’s perhaps the best-known businessman in America: He’s willing to make the big splash, even if it’s risky. Bringing up the issue of Obama’s birth certificate; talking about running as an independent, when in all likelihood the most he could do is match Perot’s vote totals in 1992 (and, as in that case, throw the race to the Democrat) — these are the positions Trump is using to get attention. Neither Pawlenty nor Romney nor anyone else wants to make that kind of splash.

If a little less TV time means fewer chances for the rest of the field to say things they end up regretting, or having to take back or flip-flop on, so much the better for them.

There is still plenty to time to take back the spotlight from Trump. Were Trump a more traditional or respectable candidate — Perot was quirky, but at least he hadn’t steered multiple businesses into bankruptcy — it might be dangerous to let him get too comfortable in the limelight. But I just can’t imagine many voters going to the ballot box and thinking, I’m voting for Donald “Ivana/Marla/Casinos/Reality TV/Hair” Trump to be president of the United States. I really am. So, I don’t think they have to worry too much about that.

And because Trump is such a persona of his own, and only recently affiliated with Republicans, I don’t think the attention he’s getting will reflect poorly on the party as a whole or its eventual nominee — the way Sarah Palin, for instance, can have a polarizing effect for the Republican brand in some quarters.

“Trump 2012″ may or may not be good for the national political discourse, but I don’t think it’s bad for the rest of the GOP field.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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79 comments Add your comment

jconservative

April 12th, 2011
11:23 am

Trump obviously considers the Republican voter to be a fool.

So if he has a nomination it will need to be one he creates.

ByteMe

April 12th, 2011
11:25 am

The problem is he’s trying to out-crazy the crazier candidates and who knows where that could lead them? When you’re not getting enough attention for being crazy — yes, I’m talking to you Michele Bachmann! — then you’re liable to start taking hostages.

Jefferson

April 12th, 2011
11:27 am

He fits the mold as he says things that sound great, just can’t be done.

that's goofy

April 12th, 2011
11:29 am

I take Trump’s run at President as seriously as I did Hulk Hogan’s. Trump and Palin huge distractions to real GOP contenders. The GOP will be forced to wow the base and it will hurt them in the general election. The same way Dole and Kerry were embraced by the base – but not by America.

Boehner Tears

April 12th, 2011
11:40 am

Nothing could make me more proud.

Sean Smith

April 12th, 2011
11:47 am

Trumps interest in running will disappear as soon as Celebrity apprentice airs the finally this year.

He is only out there running his mouth for all the free publicity.

Tall

April 12th, 2011
12:19 pm

How about a Trump vs Obama debate? Now that would be interesting!!

Rockerbabe

April 12th, 2011
12:20 pm

I demand that Donald Trump prove “proof” that is hair is really born in America! And, what about all of those kids he has with all of his wives? Except for Marla Maples, are any of the rest of them Americans?

Can’t have foreign born anchor babies living in the WH can we?

Whacks Eloquent

April 12th, 2011
12:20 pm

I think you may have a very valid point there, Kyle. My first choice for GOP candidate is Herman Cain, and I know he is trying to get noticed too, but if he gets there it will have to be through grass roots anyway. It may be that whoever catches the Tea Party groups’ attention will be the eventual favorite, and that is not likely to be the Don…

Whacks Eloquent

April 12th, 2011
12:21 pm

“How about a Trump vs Obama debate? Now that would be interesting!!”

Only if the winner has to shave their head! Now that would be worth watching! (Vince McMahon, what are your thoughts?)

Jimmy62

April 12th, 2011
12:27 pm

I wish there were some good GOP candidates I could get excited about, but at this point the only thing I can think about any of them is, “Well, probably can’t be worse than Obama.”

carlosgvv

April 12th, 2011
12:49 pm

Big Business dominates politics already. Since they will eventually not only rule America but the rest of the world, why not just give the presidency to Trump and be done with it. The alternative is a long and hopeless battle against the inevitable. Money wins every time.

Intown

April 12th, 2011
1:06 pm

Trump is making a mockery of an already weak and fractured Republican presidential candidate field. The most extreme scenario that is within the realm of possiblity I could see is the Republicans ending up with a three way split and not coming together. You could have Trump and Bachmann running protest campaigns with Romney holding the actual Repub nomination. Even if you only have Romney winning, right-wing turnout will be dampened by his religious affiliation and inconsistent policy positions.

I have a hard time seeing how Obama loses this thing in 2012.

jm

April 12th, 2011
1:06 pm

CJ

April 12th, 2011
1:15 pm

According to a last week’s NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, among those who identify themselves as Tea Party supporters, Trump was first. Repeating outrageous lies to undermine support for President Obama is a big winner in Tea Party circles.

freda

April 12th, 2011
1:33 pm

jm,

Take a look at Ayn Rand on youtube sometime. There are plenty of clips of interviews she did. Most of them would disqualify her from GOP party membership. She was, above all, a rationalist. She reasoned that once someone accepted something on “faith” (i.e. accepting that God exists, without proof) it made them vulnerable to accepting other non-rational concepts (like giving tax breaks to oil companies, agribusiness and billionaires would create jobs and eliminate the national debt.).

Freedom from Insanity

April 12th, 2011
1:35 pm

Donald Trump, Herman Cain, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee – have any of these people said anything sensible so far? Trump is fixated with the Obama birth certificate, Herman Cain is claiming that Planned Parenthood was established to kill black babies, Sarah Palin is just plain nuts and Huckabee needs a lesson in geography in Africa. Let them all drive each other crazy and it will be the continued slow-death of the GOP. If there is a OP candidate, I have not yet seen he/she!

Brett Favre was once a Falcon

April 12th, 2011
1:43 pm

So, Kyle, I see that you agree with President Obama’s White House senior adviser David Plouffe when he said, “There’s zero chance that Donald Trump would ever be hired by the American people to do this job.”

Interesting.

Chris Matthews

April 12th, 2011
1:48 pm

Trump is not afraid to confront Obama on all issues..unlike the sissy Republicans and the worshiping Obama lovers! anyone would be better than the clueless and spineless Obama!

MM

April 12th, 2011
1:56 pm

I’ll vote Republican!!!

Obama has made such a mess of this country, and what does he to do fix it? Goes on vacation. He is the Invisible president, and THE ONLY way he got voted in, was the color of his skin, and his bretheren. Blacks vote for blacks, or they don’t vote. It’s as simple as that. Put a black man on the ticket, they don’t care what he stands for, but because he is black, they will vote for him.

ANYONE Else for president 2012!!!!

Kyle Wingfield

April 12th, 2011
1:57 pm

Brett: Not familiar with that line from Plouffe, but I’ll take your word for it. That said: Do you think anyone not named Donald Trump disagrees with Plouffe about Trump?

Joe Mama

April 12th, 2011
1:57 pm

Okay, MM. Let’s test your theory.

Nominate Herman Cain and see what happens.

USMc dawg

April 12th, 2011
1:59 pm

I would vote for Trump over Obama ANY day of the week.

Show me a wise man, and I will show you a man who has learned VALUABLE lessons from failures in life and moved on to be successful.—-Robert Tindall

Obama is a LACKEY compared to Trump.

Who will be better for the economy?

Grover Gaddis

April 12th, 2011
2:08 pm

NO FREAKNIK! Thank You Mayor!!! This is truly an answered prayer to many,many people. We all appreciate you shutting down the wicked debauchery called freaknk. Good riddance.

IndependentGeorgian

April 12th, 2011
2:09 pm

I’d like to know more about Donald Trump before I suppot him. He has been a very successful businessman, but where does he stand on the issues. I know that he talks a tough talk against China and OPEC, but where does he stand on other issues.
I think that he’d match up pretty well against President Obama in a debate. After Celebrety Apprentce has finished this season, I would think that Trump would announce an exploritory committe to run for President. He would definately be a fresh-faced outsider who doesn’t care about tackling issues in a leadership role – unlike the present administration!

wRENN

April 12th, 2011
2:09 pm

@ MM: Before making silly and outlandish comments, please get your facts straight…In case you have been living under a rock, BLACKS ARE STILL A MINIORITY IN THIS COUNTRY. It was the white vote that pushed OBAMA into the White House. Also, Obama’s skin make look that of a man of color but did you forget he is a mulatto?! Please get your facts straight before making such racist comments, oh i forgot, it is an AJC Blog and racism always comes into play on these blogs.

IndependentGeorgian

April 12th, 2011
2:11 pm

Cain doesn’t have a snowball’s chance against Obama, and quite frankly, most of the conventional Republicans don’t either. It would take a Christy or Trump to defeat Obama.

Gm

April 12th, 2011
2:11 pm

MM: Another idiot, Obama has to get permission from you good slave masters to go on vacation: Bush destroyed this country and stayed on vacation and you bigots never said a word, while we had 2 wars, and the worst enonomy.
Stupid people think you can run people like you run a business: Thanks Obama going on 3 years and America has not been attacked, the only enemy and terrorist are these sick bigots who will not give you credit for pulling this country out of the worst shape in 50 years. Donald Trump is a joke, this man has never ran for any political office.

Skeptic

April 12th, 2011
2:16 pm

MM please go take your meds!!!

Gm

April 12th, 2011
2:17 pm

MM: Thanks for showing why people around the world think Georgia is hick ville: Blacks voted Dem in the last 50yeas so I guess idiots like you dont account the last 50 candidates were white:
Please dont come out your trailer till dark””

that's goofy

April 12th, 2011
2:29 pm

All I need to know about Trump: He owned the NJ Generals in the USFL. He wanted to take on the NFL and then sue in court so he could merge the NFL and USFL. Trump won in court… $1. The USFL died. Trump’s greed cost a lot of people their jobs.

MM

April 12th, 2011
2:32 pm

Gm – 1/3 of the black population votes regularly. The overwhelming vote to get Obama into the white house was ONLY because he was black. This man HAS no background in politics, other than a 1/2 term senator from Illinois.. Blacks who had NEVER voted before, voted for him……where were they in November, 2010?

My other question is, if he was so poor growing up, bouncing around Africa, who funded his Harvard education? Where did he get his milliions? There was not one article about his past anywhere to be seen. I also believe his birth certificate is fake. I do not believe he was born in this country. His actions prove that to me.

JustMe

April 12th, 2011
2:33 pm

but at this point the only thing I can think about any of them is, “Well, probably can’t be worse than Obama.”

Unfortunately most of them are. I would never vote for Trump, Palin, Bachmann, Barbour, Santorum or Gingrich and there are a few others I am on the fence about (Huckabee (like him, but he’s too concerned with social issues), etc …). I am open however to Romney, Pawlenty and Daniels though. That being said, I’m not sure how much of a chance any of them really have (Romney because of healthcare and being a Mormon (those things don’t necessarily bother me though) and Pawlenty and Daniels because they’re just not known enough).

Furious Styles

April 12th, 2011
2:35 pm

“Donald Trump is doing Republicans a big favor right now.”….We’ll see about that, we’ll see.

JustMe

April 12th, 2011
2:36 pm

or Trump

The guy is a crazy, lunatic reality tv show host who has had to file for bankruptcy on his businesses 4 times in 20 years and only has most of the money he has because he inherited it from his father. Not to mention he is a egotistical, maniacal freak of a sideshow and you think Independents would vote for him?

Not this Independent!

VINCENT

April 12th, 2011
2:41 pm

gm please get a ged

Joe Mama

April 12th, 2011
2:42 pm

MM — “I do not believe he was born in this country. His actions prove that to me.”

You’ve got a funny notion of what constitutes proof, sir/madam.

joe

April 12th, 2011
2:43 pm

Headline should read “too much Obama” which fits nicely in politics, media coverage and in general. Darn that Ross Perot…if it weren’t for him Clinton would have never been President…not that he was so horrible, like our current Marxist is…Anyone but Obama in 2012.

MM

April 12th, 2011
2:50 pm

Actions speak louder than words Joe Mama.

Mike

April 12th, 2011
2:52 pm

Let’s see…we’re $14 trillion in debt. we just borrowed $400 billion to run the government for the past TWO months. Our three major social programs are all cash flow negative.

Nah…let’s just keep doing the same old thing. Keep moving folks, nothing bold needed here.

Fidel

April 12th, 2011
2:58 pm

I wish Chris Christie would run, I really do. America needs a straight shooter, take no nonsense, tell it like it is leader. Someone who isn’t afraid to say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done. Someone who isn’t owned by special interest groups. And more importantly someone who doesn’t want the job simply for the power and prestige it bestows upon the electee. He says he isn’t ready until he accomplishes all his goals in NJ. I just hope he runs soon – this country needs a strong leader like him.

chef pierre

April 12th, 2011
3:00 pm

We know what the GOP will do for the middle class ,don’t vote against your own best interest .

What Goes Around Comes Around

April 12th, 2011
3:05 pm

@MM April 12th, 2011 1:56 pm

You say – “blacks vote for blacks.”

Are you serious or just an idiot? Obama is the first black president. Who do you think blacks voted for in the past? A white man!!!!

Where was the outrage when Bush put us in this economic mess and a war?

Ed

April 12th, 2011
3:07 pm

Long campaigns give the American people a chance to evaluate candidates and the Press enough time to really dig into their history. Kyle, don’t you think any of the party’s candidates can withstand a long campaign and win the 2012 Presidency?

Apparently, those who genuinely might win the party’s nomination and later have a good a chance to win the presidency, (Bush, Pence and Drier), have determined the odds are with Obama, next time around.

Had McCain taken the time to select a better VP candidate (say, Kay Bailey Hutchinson), things might have been different. Good people, great leaders, earn respect of others over time.

reebok

April 12th, 2011
3:08 pm

Actually, blacks and latinos pretty much vote overwhelmingly Democratic, irrespective of whether a candidiate is black or white, male or female.

joe

April 12th, 2011
3:10 pm

@ Chef…no, it is un-American to put your own best interest in front of the needs of our country. Just like JFK said, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. The GOP and more specifically, the Tea Party are the ones who are trying to do what is best for our country’s survival and our capitalistic system/way of life…CUT THE SPENDING! Anyone but Obama in ‘12.

justin

April 12th, 2011
3:14 pm

@ What Goes Around Comes Around

April 12th, 2011
3:05 pm

I couldn’t agree with you more. I find it hilarious how some people love to play the race game by saying that blacks and latinoss “overwhelmingly” will vote democratic. Well that Barack Obama is the first black president, so who have blacks and latinos voted for in the past? A WHITE DEMOCRAT!

Gm

April 12th, 2011
3:15 pm

MM: So when blacks voted for white candidates it was ok, so when they vote for a black dem candidate then there is a problem, this is the kind of sick thinking Americans we have in our country, this is why the rest of the world see most whites in America as bigots.

Who care what you believe about his birth certificate , Obama dont have to show you bigot hicks a copy of his certificate, he has proven he is more American then the Gov of Ws, who is denying union rights, please turn off the high school drop out Rush Limbaugh,

Gm

April 12th, 2011
3:18 pm

Fidel: If he is so great, why do 50% of the people in Jersey hate him? , especially teachers and policemen.

Get on with it

April 12th, 2011
3:19 pm

Trump should run as a democrate against Obama. The fact that Trump will run against a republican is telling you he does not care if he emplodes this country or not. Because if Trump gets the nomination from Republicans, Obama WILL win another term. To many republicans and Independents cant stand that man.