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Trump’s Candidacy a Gift . . . to reporters

April 19, 2011

Donald Trump’s interest in moving to the White House in 2012 is a journalist’s dream. Apparently his interest is also a Republican nightmare. The camera hog come entrepreneur brings encyclopedia sized history of past foibles and faux pas, and the promise of many more to come.

His interest in President Obama’s birth certificate is supposed to align him with budget conscious Tea Partiers, as does his switch from pro-choice to wanting to restrict a woman’s right to choose. He seems to be competing with Sarah Palin as the reality TV candidate.

The only competition where he’s leading, however, is in stories published about him. A Google news search on Trump for the last month returned over 7,000 mentions, with just over 6 thousand for Palin and 5 thousand for Romney.

The GOP leadership in the House has been critical of Trump, as have local leadership in New Hampshire and Iowa. In opinion poll snapshots, Trump is beaten by more serious candidates in his chosen party and President Obama.

So why does Trump merit all the attention? His hair. His ex-wives. His ego. He enjoys the media attention as much as the media enjoys entertaining him, especially the TV journalists. I imagine they’re all looking for their Couric/Palin moment, where they ask the tough question that gets replayed over and over.

I don’t think the press will be able to forge Trump into a serious candidate. His influence on the outcome of the Presidential election will only go as far as his wallet and attention span can carry him, and when he doesn’t see a positive outcome for him (which will mean people are no longer hanging on his every word) he’ll bow out and offer a grandstanding hand of support to the front runner.

Until then, if journalists have anything to do with it, he’s here to stay.

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