GOP frontrunner: Krauthammer’s a “sad fool”

posted at 4:26 pm on April 28, 2011 by Allahpundit

Via Breitbart. Another silver lining of a Trump candidacy: The better he does, the more nervous big-name conservative pundits will get and the more likely it is that we’ll see amusing feuds like this erupt in the media. Even Rush, who’s otherwise been well disposed to him, has now started nudging listeners that the new tea-party favorite isn’t much of a conservative. And pretty soon it won’t be just the punditocracy who’s after him. Rand Paul goofed on him this morning by demanding to see his Republican registration certificate. How long before bigger fish start biting?

Maybe not long:

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters finds Trump with 19% support, just ahead of the former governors, Massachusetts’ Romney at 17% and Arkansas’ Huckabee with 15%.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich are tied for fourth place with nine percent (9%) each, closely followed by Texas Congressman Ron Paul at eight percent (8%). Rounding out the list are former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (5%) and Mitch Daniels, the current governor of Indiana, at three percent (3%). Five percent (5%) like some other candidate, and 11% are undecided when presented with this list of candidates.

In January, before Trump began making noises about seeking the GOP nomination, Romney led the pack among likely primary voters with 24% support, followed by Palin (19%), Huckabee (17%) and Gingrich (11%).

Trump leads among tea partiers, who are supposed to be ideological puritans but for the moment seem to prize confrontation above all else. That may help explain why his surge has coincided with a drop for Palin, not just in Rasmussen’s poll here but in the new Nevada numbers from PPP. Normally she’s the person most identified with taking it to Obama; he’s momentarily filled that niche, but she’ll reclaim it once his bubble inevitably pops.

Now, a question: My theory yesterday was that O finally released the birth certificate to hand Trump a victory that would further boost him among the Republican base. Is that true — or was their intent actually the opposite? From the Wall Street Journal:

Democratic officials said the White House wouldn’t have released the president’s long-form birth certificate if Mr. Obama’s job-approval ratings were strong and his personal favorability ratings were high enough to counter negative innuendos. But, they said, with so many economic factors souring the public mood, especially soaring gas prices, there was growing fear in the West Wing that angry Americans were more open to believing the conspiracy theories surrounding Mr. Obama’s eligibility for the presidency.

By releasing the fuller birth certificate, White House and Obama campaign officials were also hoping to take away—or at least tone down—Mr. Trump’s megaphone. One Democratic official said the attention showered on Mr. Trump was making likelier candidates for the GOP nomination, such as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, look more acceptable by comparison. That, in turn, would make it harder to portray the eventual GOP nominee as catering to the conservative fringe.

The left will, as always, try to kookify the GOP nominee next year and Trump potentially makes that more difficult for them by raising the bar for kookery dramatically. In which case, by releasing the birth certificate, they’re not trying to inflate his candidacy but to deflate it by exposing his big talking point as nonsense and keeping the kook bar low. But why do that now instead of letting him hang around a bit longer? Maybe more viable candidates like Pawlenty will panic that he’s sucking up media oxygen and, in desperation, resort to some kookier stuff themselves, which Democrats could then use against them later. The only explanation I can come up with for trying to take Trump down now is the AP’s, namely, that the Birther stuff was catching on more in the mainstream and had the potential to do Obama some damage with undecideds.

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