Finally! The Trump/Newsmax presidential debate; Update: "Lol" from Team Huntsman; Update: Trump to endorse immediately after debate?

We talk to a lot of people here who are keenly interested in politics, both in the comments, on other blogs and on Twitter. And if there’s one common complaint that we hear time after time it’s, “You know what we really need? More debates.”

Well, put your minds at ease. Not only will we finally get another debate added to the schedule, but we can finally get away from the horrible moderation of all these journalists and turn the controls over to the one person everyone wants to hear from. The Donald.

It’s officially a reality television Republican primary now.

Donald Trump is pairing up with Newsmax, the conservative magazine and news Web site, to moderate a presidential debate in Des Moines on Dec. 27.

“Our readers and the grass roots really love Trump,” said Christopher Ruddy, chief executive of Newsmax Media. “They may not agree with
him on everything, but they don’t see him as owned by the Washington establishment, the media establishment.”

Mr. Trump’s role in the debate, which will be broadcast on the cable network Ion Television, is sure to be one of the more memorable moments in a primary season that has already delivered its fair share of circus-like spectacle.

There are some stories where you simply can’t add any more. This isn’t one of them.

OK… Donald Trump was, at one time, a leader in the polls for the GOP nomination. He gets meetings with every candidate, seemingly at will. He continues to tease about a possible third party run. He clearly has television experience and a proven ability to… well… talk. So if he wants to host a debate I suppose he can.

But on Dec. 27th? It’s hard enough to get anyone to watch football at that point. I don’t know.. maybe it’s genius and I’m simply too media challenged to recognize it. The guy is a lot richer than me, after all. But I know I’ll be tuning in, because, well… I have no life.

For those of you who have trouble keeping track of all these things, if you happen to use Google Calendar, you can subscribe to a debate and election calendar we maintain. (Click on the Google icon in the lower right hand corner to add it to your own default calendars.) You’ll be reminded of all the upcoming debates each week (including this one) and you can get a daily e-mail of upcoming election events in the options.

Update (Allahpundit): One candidate’s already decided to pass on this sideshow. Second look at…

Update (Allahpundit): Actually, there’s one way to redeem this idea: Embrace the absurdity. Have a viewer vote at the end; whoever finishes last has to drop out.

Update (Allahpundit): Oh my:

Tim Miller, a spokesman for Jon Huntsman’s presidential campaign, had this response when asked if his candidate would participate in the Dec. 27 Newsmax debate moderated by Donald Trump:

“Lol. We look forward to watching Mitt and Newt suck-up to The Donald with a big bowl of popcorn,” he said in an email to Business Insider.

Update: So it turns out this really is a game show:

TRUMP: “I will be probably endorsing somebody right after the debates.”

He said “debates” — plural — not “debate,” so he’s not necessarily saying that the Newsmax event alone will decide his endorsement. But check the calendar. The Newsmax debate is the very last one before Iowa; by endorsing soon afterward, it’ll look as if the candidates’ performance at that event was determinative to him. All of which is to say that Jim Geraghty’s right — this is basically a very special episode of “The Apprentice” and our Republican field, sans Huntsman, is apparently willing to participate in it. Wonderful.