The Donald has been in the limelight even more than usual lately.
Late last week, Newsmax announced that it will host a presidential debate Dec. 27 — and that Donald Trump will moderate it. That announcement made AP want to give up political writing — and sparked an equally impassioned reaction from countless other conservative pundits who couldn’t believe the 2012 Republican presidential candidates would agree to the debate — and so allow the primary to be made even more ridiculous than it has been up to this point.
Then, today, Regnery Publishing released the business magnate’s latest book, “Time to Get Tough: Making America No. 1 Again,” and Trump himself promoted it with a tweet betraying all the soft bigotry of low expectations.
“First there was the Declaration of Independence, then there was the Constitution,” Trump tweeted. “Now there is #TimeToGetTough. Available today.”
It’d be easy to think Trump kinda sorta enjoys the attention, but, as it turns out, he personally gets “nothing” out of putting himself in the limelight.
“I would say, Tina, that I get nothing out of it. Who cares if I sell a few more books?” Trump said to me today on a conference call with reporters. “If I can endorse a person who turns out to be a super president, that would be great — and that is what I get out of it. I get nothing else out of it, believe me. It’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of time, a lot of effort, and I really get nothing out of it. I don’t care about book sales because the book is going to do very well anyway. All of my books have done very well. What I get out of it is the satisfaction of trying to recommend somebody who’s going to be a great president.”
So there you have it — Trump didn’t offer to be circusmaster because he wanted to be at the center of the greatest show on earth. He offered because he wanted to be in a position to closely observe the candidates and bestow his endorsement in accordance with his observation.
Nor should his reality TV stardom disqualify him from being seen as “a serious person” who, as moderator, will ensure a substantive debate, he said. After all, he became a reality TV star because he first proved himself to be a successful businessman — and, to be a successful businessman, he had to be “serious.”
Trump won’t have the chance to moderate and observe all the candidates closely, though. Both Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul have said they’ll not participate in the Newsmax debate. No matter. Neither ever stood a chance of actually receiving the nomination in the first place, Trump said. He is particularly harsh on Huntsman.
“He could use a little show business to get his ratings up because his poll numbers are terrible,” Trump said. “It’s actually a good thing if he’s not there.”
In general, Trump looks forward to the debate, which he says will surely enjoy high ratings.
“Actually, I think it’s been very well-received,” he said. “It’s been very popular.”
Truthfully, from the minute I heard the Newsmax announcement, I haven’t understood the outrage at Trump’s involvement in the debate. Most of the debates so far have seemed to be designed with the express purpose of making the Republican candidates look as unprepared and unpresidential as possible — in no small part because they’ve been primarily moderated by MSM journos who, in all probability, want to ensure Obama’s reelection any way possible. What’s wrong with this change of pace? The Donald might not be believable when he says all he gets out of this (and other similar attention-seeking moves) is the satisfaction of nominating an able candidate — but he does seem believable when he says he thinks an Obama second term would be a disaster. (If he decides to run as a third party candidate, I’ll begin to doubt that, though.) And he does know how to bring the ratings.
Who knows? This might be just what we need to shake us out of the winter doldrums.