It's an announcement that feels perfectly appropriate for this election cycle: Donald Trump has agreed to moderate a debate sponsored by Newsmax right before the Iowa caucuses. On December 27th, as The New York Times reports, we just might get the chance to watch the host of The Apprentice bellow at candidates, grill everyone about Obama's birth certificate or maybe just give his best "I'm a neutral moderator" performance on cable television while the GOP contenders nervously smile and try to get through their talking points. There is one drawback to the debate, to be held in Des Moines, The Times informs: the GOP contenders apparently haven't signed on yet. But, considering it's location, proximity to the caucuses and perhaps with some cajoling by Trump, "they may ultimately see it as an invitation they can’t refuse," the newspaper's Jeremy W. Peters writes.
But if they do show up! Just think about how much Trump has already influenced the candidates: Mitt Romney once tried to be Trump's opposite in every single way. Rick Perry took a different tack, one dinner with Trump seemed to convince the Texas governor there was something to this whole birther thing. Michele Bachmann may be prepared for a Trump-moderated debate, she hosted a cordial tele-town hall with him already. And nearly all of them have had a photo-op dinner with the performative mogul. The best way to get a sense of what Trump might be like as a moderator is probably spending some time on his personal "From the Desk of Donald Trump" YouTube channel.