By Paul Gable
Donald Trump finally took the plunge.
“The Donald”, as former wife Ivana dubbed him, is officially a presidential candidate.
His candidacy is a first in American politics – a super-rich populist who, virtually all on his own, will “Make America Great Again.”
And it should be fun while it lasts.
During his rambling, nearly 47 minute campaign announcement, Donald Trump told us he wasn’t bragging because he didn’t have to brag. Then, he went on to make 257 self-references.
”I’m really rich.”
“I’m proud of my net worth. I’ve done an amazing job.”
“I have the best golf courses in the world.”
“I have the greatest assets.”
“I beat China all the time, all the time.”
“The Donald” can’t help it. He is his own favorite subject.
There was no real policy agenda in Trump’s speech other than maybe building a high wall on the southern border (he builds better walls than anyone else), slapping high tariffs on the goods of other countries whose trade policies he doesn’t like and threatening American CEO’s to keep jobs in the U.S.
Mostly Trump’s message was ‘I’m great, the others aren’t and I’m here to save you.’
Trump referred to his Republican opponents as “fools,” “clowns,” “stupid people” and “losers” who are “morally corrupt” and “selling this country down the drain.”
That message will reverberate among the group of Americans who are turned off by career politicians. Remember Ross Perot collected nearly 19% of the popular vote as a third party candidate in 1992.
Though a political neophyte, Trump won’t have name recognition problems. His participation in debates will automatically raise the number of viewers.
He probably won’t need advance men. Any campaign appearances he makes will draw crowds.
If Trump ultimately finds a message other than himself, he will have the audience to spread that message.
And, I predict, he will have an interesting effect on primary voting, especially in the early states.
But, in the end it won’t matter.
“The Donald” is correct, he is really rich with almost $9 billion in net assets.
Unfortunately for him, the Koch Brothers are really, really rich with their approximately $88 billion in assets. They will spend whatever is necessary to get a Republican nominee they can control.