early and often

Donald Trump Will Maybe Run For President, Maybe

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

New Hampshire ABC affiliate WMUR is reporting that perpetual attention seeker Donald Trump will make a “major announcement” on June 16th, followed by a trip to the Live-Free-Or-Die state, possibly signaling that despite many previous fake-outs, Trump will indeed be running for president this time. Maybe. After all, he already formed an exploratory committee in March, has poked around some primary states, and last week named a 17-person New Hampshire leadership team. Also, a new Quinnipiac poll released yesterday places the real estate and reality TV mogul in eighth place (5% support) among the Republican presidential field, a threshold which would seem to suggest Trump has a good shot a getting into the first GOP debate, which will be limited to 10 participants. Then again, the poll also notes that Trump leads the “no way” pack, with 21% of likely Republican voters indicating there is no chance they would ever support him. But perhaps the most compelling logic in favor of a Trump bid is that the upcoming debates and overall media circus would present an irresistible opportunity for Donald Trump to get some free publicity for Donald Trump.

Pretending for a second that he believes Trump will run, Hot Air blogger Allahpundit evaluates the possible rationale:

[I]f ever there was a year when even Trump might be inclined to take the plunge, this is it. With the base potentially splitting among 15 or so(!) different candidates, a guy who’s universally known to the electorate, has money to burn on advertising, and is sure to get tons of free press might as well jump in and see what happens.

But he goes on to point out that it’s hard to believe that Trump would risk any real blows to his considerable ego, i.e. running and then ending up with less votes than other fringe candidates and thus potentially losing his Republican change-maker mystique. However, not everybody is taking the Trump bait, and as Slate’s Josh Voorhees insists, neither should you:

A quick trip down memory lane: Trump first flirted with a presidential run in the 1988 cycle, when he capitalized on a “Draft Trump” campaign launched by a local GOP official, which laid the groundwork for all the head fakes and political self-hype that has followed. Trump used a similar trick during the 2000 campaign, suggesting that he would run on the Reform Party ticket, and again in the lead-up to 2012, when he spent months teasing an official run before finally pulling the plug so he wouldn’t have to give up telling people they were fired on his NBC show, The Apprentice. (His long-overdue departure from the unofficial horse race came in classic Trump-form: “I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and, ultimately, the general election.”)

The bait-and-switching hasn’t stopped since. He promised a “big surprise” at the Republican National Convention in 2012 and then an “October surprise” that would dramatically change the election, neither of which are worth fully rehashing here (or anywhere else, for that matter). In case it’s not yet clear exactly what we’re dealing with, consider Trump’s recent claim that he has figured out a “foolproof” way to defeat ISIS but that he can’t tell anyone what it is for it to work. “If I run and if I win,”he told Fox News, “I don’t want the enemy to know what I am doing.”

And lest we forget, Donald is already the de facto Birther in Chief, as recently as last February bringing up his continued suspicions regarding whether or not Obama was really born in the U.S. But on the bright side, Jon Stewart announced last night that if Trump really is running, it might force him to postpone his much-lamented retirement, adding that “[the other long shot GOP candidates] are all very colorful characters, but for me — for me — there can be only one Fuckface von Clownstick.”

Donald Trump Will Maybe Run For President