Is Donald Trump a political figure or an entertainment celebrity? It's not a question we expected to have to answer when we first divided up The Atlantic Wire by category (look over there up and to the right.) On the one hand, Trump is a reality TV star. On the other he, for a while at least, was polling well as a presidential candidate. Who are we to disagree with Republican primary voters? Trump news was Politics. He still has a couple weeks to go before Celebrity Apprentice's season finale frees him to declare whether he's running for president. But after President Obama showed everyone the original version of his birth certificate, Trump's run out of political stuff (and that's an extremely generous definition of his birther conspiracy rants) to talk about. Sure, the press is still covering him. But given the sort of items they're coming up with, today we're making a decision to bump Trump back to the Entertainment channel. This is Trumpdate.
- 'It's Not Really a Comb-Over' Trump says, but "I do use a comb." Trump explained his many tricks for getting his signature hairdo featuring a fluffy mop hanging low over his forehead to Rolling Stone. "Okay, what I do is wash it with Head and Shoulders. ... I don't dry it, though. I let it dry by itself. It takes about an hour. ... I mean, I get a lot of credit for comb-overs. But it's not really a comb-over... Do I comb it forward? No, I don't comb it forward. ... It's sort of a little bit forward and back. I've combed it the same way for years. Same thing, every time. ... I actually don't have a bad hairline. ... When you think about it, it's not bad."
- Rove: He Was Done In By the F-Bomb On the Today show, Karl Rove explained Trumps rapid plunge in the polls as not entirely the result of the birther issue. "He made his campaign all about an issue which was not at the center of the political debate; namely, the allegation that Barack Obama was somehow not born in the United States. That got blown up, but I also think observers have made the point--and I agree with it--that his swearing epitaph-laden speech in Las Vegas turned off a lot of voters."
- With Palin, It's Complicated Sarah Palin gave Trump her seal of approval when she said "More power to him!" in reference to his birther antics. The Hill's Christian Heinze explains that "Palin has attached her seal of approval more clearly to the Trump phenomenon than any other potential presidential candidate." Will it help or hurt her? Experts are divided. On the one hand, associating with Trump benefits him, not her, one politico told Heinze, and Palin is diminished when she pals around with birthers. On the other hand, with Trump around, Palin's resume looks more impressive. Trump's candidacy, one GOP consultant told Heinze, "positions Sarah Palin closer to the establishment intelligentsia than otherwise possible."
- On the Dole Trump has benefited greatly from government largesse, the Los Angeles Times' Geraldine Baum, Tom Hamburger, and Michael J. Mishak report. Trump has showed a "consistent pattern" of courting public officials to get tax breaks "under extraordinarily beneficial terms" since his career kicked off in the 70s.
He has boasted of manipulating government agencies, misleading officials in one case into believing he had an exclusive agreement to develop a property and then retroactively changing the development's accounting practices to shrink his tax bill. ... Referring to how he managed to win a 40-year tax abatement for rebuilding a crumbling hotel at Grand Central Station--a deal that in the first decade cost taxpayers $60 million--Trump said, "Someone said, 'How come you got 40 years.' I said, 'Because I didn't ask for 50.' "
- Meeting with Christian Leaders Clearly Trump hasn't given up courting the Republican base, even as his support has dropped off: Trump and Pastor Paula White will host a private meeting billed as "time of dialogue & leadership with Mr. Trump" with other Christian leaders at Trump Tower Thursday, Lillian Kwon reports for The Christian Post. however, one of the invitees, Christian author Brian McLaren, declined the invite because, "I can think of few people with the means to be president who would be worse for the country and the world than Donald Trump."
- Drink to Trump with Trump Brand Wine! Trump has purchased Klude Estate Winery and Vinyard, The Anniston Star's Pat Kettles reports. Kluge was served at Chelsea Clinton's wedding, and has been praised by Kathie Lee on the Today show. But the business has faltered recently, and Trump scooped it up. He plans to rename the wine after himself.
- Comic Book Hero Trump will star in his very own comic book this fall. Political Power: Donald Trump, by Jerome Maida with a cover by Joe Phillips, comes out in October from Bluewater Comics."We’re trying to portray him less as a caricature and more as potential leader of the free world," the publisher told MTV. "Whether you agree with his political posturing or find him completely self-interested and insincere, he’s pulling up a chair at 2012 Republican presidential nomination table." The cover features a quite fantastical image. For one thing, he has a full head of hair.