Why does Donald Trump think he could be president? Because, he says, "I'm a really smart guy"; "Part of the beauty of me is that I'm very rich"; and, "I have a little doubt--just a little" that President Obama was born in the United States. It's only been 48 hours since our last edition of Trumpdate 2012, and so much has happened in this
publicity stunt very serious campaign. The Wire's chronicle of a hairpiece and a dream continues.
- First up, just a hint of birther. The Hill's Michael O'Brien watched Trump's Good Morning America:
"Everybody who gives even a hint of being a birther ... even a little bit of a hint ... they label them as an idiot... "Let me tell you, I'm a really smart guy. The reason I have a little doubt--just a little--is because he grew up, and nobody knew him. If ever I got the nomination, if I ever decide to run, you may go back and interview people from my kindergarten. They’ll remember me. Nobody ever comes forward. Nobody knows who he is until later in his life. It’s very strange. The whole thing is very strange.”
Meanwhile Salon's Alex Pareene hints that Trump may have a lurking birther scandal of his own: A 1990 Spy magazine profile visited his boyhood Queens neighborhood and turned a candy store owner who said, "I've been running this store for 28 years, and I don't remember him."
- Next, we have a credentials fight: On GMA, Trump went on to explain why much of the presumptive Republican field for 2012 is defective. Sarah Palin quit as governor too soon. Jon Huntsman, who was Obama's ambassador to China, shouldn't run against his old boss because that would be "disloyal." Mitt Romney "doesn't seem to resonate." And, for good measure, Trump took a shot at famously emotional House Speaker John Boehner.
"I don't like the crying. I do not like it. I don't understand it. I really like him as a person... I think the crying is an emotional thing that, frankly, probably makes him a very nice man. But, you know, I don't like to see it in a leader."
- The assertion that could have the most impact on the presidential race is Trump's claim that he could dump as much as $600 million into a presidential race--a pretty hefty sum, given that President Obama shattered campaign spending records in 2008 by dropping $740.6 million on his campaign. But, Ben Smith wonders, does Trump really have $600 million to blow? In 2005, Timothy O'Brien claimed in his book TrumpNation that The Donald was worth as little as $150 million--a far cry from the $7 billion Trump said he's worth this week. Trump sued, but it was thrown out of court. (Interestingly, in a deposition for the O'Brien suit, Trump said, "I'm not different from a politician running for office.") In fact, Smith writes, one reason he might not run is that, "he'd actually be required to disclose his assets -- something he's spent his entire career trying not to do."