I’m not kidding. That hat is dynamite no matter if you’re wearing it earnestly or ironically. It’s the only fashion accessory in American politics right now, I’d bet, that left-wing reporters and grassroots conservatives would feel equally comfortable wearing.
Nothing newsy happened in his first two pressers in Laredo today — there was, I think, a third held shortly after 4 p.m. ET — but judging from the comment threads lately, the blogosphere’s Trumpmania is insatiable. If it’s Trump “news” you guys want, it’s Trump news you shall have. In fairness, this is no more or less newsy than when any other GOP candidate heads to the border for a check-the-box photo op. By the standards of some of his competitors, it’s remarkably (and uncharacteristically) restrained, frankly. If there’s any news here, I’d say it’s the fact that for all the heavy breathing lately over his Mexican-rapist comments, Trump is singing from the same immigration hymnal as everyone else in the field. He’s not against legal immigration. He supports building a wall — on some parts of the border, a.k.a. strategic fencing, just like his pal Rick Perry recommends. He’s not even firmly opposed to an amnesty of some kind. At the end of the second clip, a reporter asks what he’d do with the 11 million illegals already here, which should be his cue to give a Romney-esque answer about self-deportation or a massive expansion of ICE to forcibly remove people. All he says is that we’ll talk about it once the border’s secured. That’s what Marco Rubio says too — security first. Would Trump agree to a path to citizenship for some illegals after that, as Rubio wants? Does he prefer Jeb Bush’s position of limiting illegals to permanent residency? Or does he side with Ted Cruz in supporting a path to legal status only? It doesn’t much matter since all of those roads lead to citizenship eventually, but it’d be nice to know up front.
Anyway, all of this is beside the point since Trump’s popularity is one part border hawkishness and three parts RINO-stomping. He’s smart at least to grab a photo op on immigration in between goofing on McCain and Lindsey Graham.