Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Trump Campaign

Trump is out of the 2012 race. In fact, he was never really in it but he managed to get a lot of publicity by pretending that he was. There is relief from the Right and anger from the Left. The Washington Posts's Jonathan Capehart says

Nothing in American politics has made me angrier than Donald Trump's faux campaign for the Republican nomination for president.

The Post's E. J. Dionne wonders

Why, exactly, was Trump allowed to revive the nonsensical stories about President Obama's birth certificate? Why did so many media people fall all over themselves (okay, ourselves) to "cover" him?

There was no reason to take Trump seriously. He has flirted with running and backed off twice before. More recently he sounded like a Democrat, praising Obamacare and President Obama in general. So what happened to make anyone take him seriously? I can think of two things.

The first was that he came in at the top of some early polls. It should have been obvious that this had more to do with name recognition than actual support but it was treated as a real indication of his chances. I think that this was caused by the second factor - the media wanted him to run.

Say what you will about him, Trump is interesting. He creates controversy. He sells newspapers. For the media he is the ideal candidate.

Since reporters tend to lean to the left, I suspect that Trump validates their view of the right. He talks without thinking. He blusters, suggesting that he use military force to take foreign oil. He is a birther. They can project every negative quality that Trump has on the Republicans.

That's why the press spends so much time covering marginal Republican and Tea Party candidates. They love to repeat anything questionable those people say. It isn't that conservatives are the only ones who misspeak. But when President Obama makes a misstatement it is only the conservative media that covers it. Capehart, who was so angry over Trump's departure, spends a lot of time obsessing on Sarah Palin even though she is not running. Why do you think that is?

With Trump's departure the Republican candidate pool became more serious and more likely to defeat Obama. And that really angers the Left.

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