Could Donald Trump Change the Stakes in 2012?

No, not seriously. But The Donald is, at least, considering running for President of the United States on the GOP ticket in 2012.

News broke Monday of a New Hampshire poll asking residents about a possible presidential run by Donald Trump. And although Trump denies having anything to do with the poll, he admitted Tuesday morning that
he’s intrigued.

“I’ve had so many people over the years ask me to do that,” Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “And for the first time in my life I am absolutely thinking about it. I don’t know that I’ll do it. It’s probable that I won’t do it, but I can tell you, I’m thinking about it. Somebody has to do something. We are losing this country.

His qualifications are similar to Christine O’Donnell’s in that he suspicious of natural hair color and the Chinese, with whom he has frequent dealings according to, well, him. Otherwise, we know he has an excellent tailor, has enough success in real estate to have his own line of men’s accessories, golf paraphernalia and Serta mattresses, has little respect for private property, made Bill Rancic famous and is married to a supermodel who is at least third in a string of similar supermodels. Also, a friend of mine who waited on him once in Florida says he’s really nice and has a limited understanding of sunscreen.

All of these qualify him not just to run for office, but to be John Boehner (except for the supermodel part. John Boehner doesn’t actually breathe, move or interact with anyone in real life). The problem of course, is that this all probably a joke to drum up publicity for the current incarnation of The Apprentice whose marketing has a distinctly political edge to it, making reference to the unemployment rate, the recession and Trump’s ability to “create jobs.” I mean, if you believe his name just randomly snuck into the New Hampshire poll I’ve got an unfinished building in New Orleans to sell you. If you were just picking celebrities at random, Martha Stewart, in the grand scheme of Apprentice hosts, is clearly more qualified to hold office, especially here in Illinois.

In all seriousness, Trump’s expertise in business and suggestion of a third-party run, exposes a real vulnerability in the Republican field in 2012. Like 1996, we’re stuck with a bevy of characters who are “owed” a seat at the table – everyone from Guy Smiley’s real life equivalent Mitt Romney to Sarah Palin to Mike Huckabee – all of which are lacking a single key element to make them a viable contender against Obama, whether that’s a public persona that isn’t molded out of plastic, a thorough understanding of our economic conditions and the ability to articulate a comprehensive recovery plan while maintaining credibility, or appeal to anyone who doesn’t dine on squirrel regularly. A third party candidate with charisma, business experience and a loose grip on reality could really do some damage to the GOP nominee. As Ed Morrissey points out, it’s the Coons/Castle/O’Donnell scenario all over again, without the Bewitched theme music.

It is kind of fun thinking about Trump’s inauguration speech, though.

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