Green Room

Trump’s Potential to Hurt Obama: Bigger than Both of Them

posted at 6:16 pm on April 11, 2011 by

As President Obama begins week two of his campaign for re-election, he finds his poll numbers listing once again into the danger zone. His Gallup job approval rating today is at 45 percent, a telling number since no president ever won re-election with a Gallup approval rating under 47 percent going into Election Day.

Of course, Election Day is still a year and a half off. Much can happen between now and then. Besides, Obama has a not-so-secret weapon working in his favor—the Republicans’ chronic inability to find a serious contender among their ranks.

Even seemingly better news for the incumbent, at least at first blush, is the identity of the GOP candidate currently tied for second place among would-be nominees. He is an unpolished and graceless blowhard with garish tastes and an ego even bigger than Obama’s. He is real estate mogul Donald Trump. And these qualities—his boorishness and in-your-face attitude—are precisely what makes him a force to be reckoned with.

A more reserved and seasoned candidate would know better than to touch, let alone fully embrace, a hot potato like the subject of Obama’s birthplace. But not Trump. He has been all over the airwaves, most recently on CNN on Sunday, asking:

Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate? The fact is, if he wasn’t born in this country, he shouldn’t be the president of the United States. The Constitution requires that the president be a ‘natural-born citizen.’

The first inclination of news junkies and pundits is to laugh—to ask whether Trump has even heard of the “birther” controversy. The surprising answer is that he has not only heard of it but is in the process of reinventing it. As he iterated yesterday:

It’s a very sad thing, because the people—the birthers—they got labeled and they got labeled so negatively and even the word ‘birther’ is a negative word. If you come out and … even question, the press goes wild. They get angry at the question.

The Obama campaign so far has tried to deflect the criticism by calling Trump’s comments a “sideshow” and asserting—quite correctly, in my view—that “there’s zero chance that Donald Trump would ever be hired by the American people.”

But Trump’s chances of winning even the Republican nomination, which are equally slim, are not what the Obama team needs to worry about. Rather it the mere fact of his ongoing presence in the campaign. The longer Trump harps on the subject of Obama’s birth certificate, the more doubt he raises in the minds of impressionable voters.

The question of whether the president was born in America is not and never was a serious one. It doesn’t have to be as long as enough voters are curious about it.

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It is serious and until the document is presented, verified and analyzed, he will slide deeper into infamy. The weeping and wailing has fallen into the ‘methinks he doth protest to much’ venue. It is a self inflicted wound that is festering. The more salt ‘The Donald’ pours in it, the better.

frizzbee on April 11, 2011 at 6:33 PM

I’ve never really cared either way, simply because I’m convinced the media will cover it up to save their Messiah. But you’ve got to admit: why would the O and his people spend so much to keep it hidden if there were no problems? Or is there a strategy in play to keep the “distraction” alive and divert attention from something else?
Heh.

n0doz on April 11, 2011 at 6:52 PM

How about the possibility that Obama might be hiding something else, totally unrelated to his citizenship status? Just saying…

gryphon202 on April 11, 2011 at 7:10 PM

The citizenship issue goes far beyond whether Obama was born in Hawaii. The lack of any verifiable information about him up to his being sworn into the Illinois Senate is just as disturbing as any birth questions.

I’m happy to see Donald Trump make this an issue the media can’t scoff at and ignore. The longer he’s able to keep asking those questions, the better chance we have at them being taken seriously at some point.

OldManC on April 11, 2011 at 7:13 PM

The question of whether the president was born in America is not and never was a serious one.

Another arbiter of the “serious.” I so enjoy being instructed what I may consider “serious” or not serious.

rrpjr on April 11, 2011 at 7:21 PM

Trump is hitting Obama on everything, birth cert, energy policy, foreign policy and so on. And he has a very loud mouth, and he will not stop. While I don’t think Trump has a chance in Hades to win, he can be the “mouthpiece” for the GOP. I say keep on hitting and hitting and hitting.

kringeesmom on April 11, 2011 at 8:50 PM

I don’t know what Trumps end game is… but so far he has scored some of the only points against Obama.

Whoever finally wins will not likely be this bombastic but hey anyone is better than Obama at this point.

petunia on April 12, 2011 at 12:01 AM

I just love to watch Trump beat Obama over the head, the media will try and depict Trump as a load mouth blowhard egotist (that he is) not to be taken seriously. I think once Obama is taken down a notch, Trump will announce he will not run but leave a bruised and battered Obama for the next serious candidate to step in looking like a man of reason. Now to find that serious man of reason among the less than stellar group of candidates available.

MJZZZ on April 12, 2011 at 10:10 AM

Trump has been good theater, for sure. I remain convinced that he can’t get elected because of The Hair. His look is so set in stone now, he couldn’t change it without it becoming a big story and detracting from any wisps of political gravitas he may lay claim to. But it’s fun to watch him say things no one else will touch with a 10-foot pole.

J.E. Dyer on April 12, 2011 at 12:54 PM

Trump is not going to win the GOP nomination, plain and simple. However, he serves a useful purpose in creating doubt in the minds of millions of voters over the birth certificate issue. Since the LSM didn’t bother doing their job in 2008, Trump is doing it for them.

And when the day comes that Obama can’t make it onto the ballot in one of the states that has a BC requirement, this whole thing will finally blow up.

If I were a betting man, I would say Obama will face impeachment before the 2012 election.

Dominion on April 12, 2011 at 2:46 PM

If I were a betting man, I would say Obama will face impeachment before the 2012 election.

Dominion on April 12, 2011 at 2:46 PM

I wish. Our republic doesn’t have the spine for it.

gryphon202 on April 12, 2011 at 3:44 PM

More power to him.

Kissmygrits on April 12, 2011 at 5:42 PM

If I were a betting man, I would say Obama will face impeachment before the 2012 election.

Dominion on April 12, 2011 at 2:46 PM

This.

I have said from the beginning I didn’t think his presidency would last his first term. I might be wrong, and I’ll take my lumps if I am. But I don’t think I am.

I think the day of reckoning is coming sooner rather than later.

Grace_is_sufficient on April 13, 2011 at 7:39 AM

Honestly, I think it’s a matter of ALL of Obama’s documents that are going to take him down. Somewhere in his documentation it will show that he is a citizen of another country, thereby making him ineligible to be POTUS. Whether it’s the BC, college transcipts and applications, financial aid applications, SSN documentation, or something else I can’t say. But it’s in there. He wouldn’t have spent millions of dollars covering it up if it didn’t.

Trump raising a stink about the BC will lead others to start making a stink about all the rest of Bozo’s documents. He’ll be under fire from all directions.

Dominion on April 13, 2011 at 9:41 AM

Of course, Election Day is still a year and a half off. Much can happen between now and then.

Obama’s determination to starve America of abundant cheap energy will doom his reelection. If the economy is still a mess, which expensive energy will exacerbate, that will trigger a landslide.

RJL on April 13, 2011 at 4:35 PM

“You are as sick as your secrets.” This principle has validity in religion, in Alcoholics Anonymous, other spiritual systems.

Øbama cover-up costs estimated around $2 million, right?

Must be a pretty sick secret.

jodetoad on April 14, 2011 at 1:33 AM