After years of threatening to run for president, billionaire and familiar face of NBC's The Apprentice, Donald Trump has added his name to the ever expanding list of GOP hopefuls joining Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, and Rick Santorum. But Trump for President supporters still have to hold their collective breaths as he is, according to Politico, "not in-in." The Donald has fifteen days to complete the necessary paperwork to legitimize his candidacy. Until then, he's still all talk.
On Tuesday, Trump used the home court advantage, making his official announcement at NYC's Trump Tower, during which he landed on certain hot button issues in a most politically incorrect manner. This could be to his advantage, as he seeks to distinguish himself from career politicians. Trump not only vowed to be "the best jobs president God ever created" during his speech, he also addressed Mexico in the context of immigration reform.
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're bringing rapists. They're sending us not the right people."If Trump is to be believed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor's stated number of 5.4 percent as the U.S.' current unemployment rate is a lie. His personal data show the number is closer to 18 percent.
While Trump has been called, among other things, the "car accident candidate," throughout his announcement, he seriously attempted to distinguish himself as the anti-politician. Of course, Trump is not a politician, he's a billionaire, a well-branded billionaire who is positioning himself to steal the spotlight from politicians he claims do not get the job done.
"… politicians are all talk and no action. Nothing's gonna get done. They will not bring us – believe me – to the Promised Land."Trump, who is not Twitter-shy, has also taken his fair share of shots at fellow Republicans Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Mike Huckabee.
Trump also seeks to leverage his $8 billion dollar net worth to circumvent political impediments like special interest groups, further distancing himself from the average politician. Forbes put Trump's wealth at an estimated $4 billion for their March billionaire issue.
Trump's larger than life demeanor may be great political theater, but the more serious and lesser known candidates are in jeopardy of getting eclipsed by the real estate mogul's public persona. The presidency is about politics, and Trump is going up against well-known career politicians. Polls show slight gains over some other candidates, which will earn him a chance in the debate spotlight, but connecting with voters on political issues remains to be seen. The National Journal posts that 74 percent of Republican voters "could never see themselves voting for Trump," and suggest perhaps Trump is running for fun, making the politicians who really want the job have to work that much harder to get airtime and attention.
Trump, who has already preselected Oprah as his running mate, is entertaining, but winning the presidency requires more than popularity. It requires an affirmative answer, not to the question, "can he 'Make America Great Again?' " as his campaign slogan suggests he can, but, "can he win the nomination and can he beat Hillary in 2016?"
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