Stop pretending Donald Trump is a real presidential candidate

Donald Trump spent today in central Iowa, hanging out with Iowa House and Senate members at the state Capitol and speaking to college students in Indianola. I don't care how many "advisers" Trump hires here, and I don't care how many hints he drops about running for president (see video from his press conference). This guy is a publicity hound, not a serious candidate. His name recognition is sky-high, yet he drew support from only 1 percent of respondents in the last Des Moines Register poll of Iowa Republicans by Selzer & Co.

Reading Brianne Pfannenstiel's Des Moines Register story on Trump's event at Simpson College, it's clear the would-be candidate can't answer basic policy questions without turning the conversation back to himself. According to WHO-TV's report, Trump provided few policy details in Indianola. Anyone can promise to "end ObamaCare and replace it with something terrific," and promise to end America's debt crisis while increasing military spending. Show us the money.

The most interesting thing about Trump's pseudo-campaign is that the billionaire was able to hire Chuck Laudner. A legend on the Iowa GOP's social conservative wing, Laudner used to work for Representative Steve King, was active in the 2010 campaign against retaining three Iowa Supreme Court justices, ran Rick Santorum's 2012 Iowa caucuses effort, then led the unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign of Sam Clovis. I wouldn't have pegged him for a Trump guy.

Speaking of Santorum, he's in Iowa again this week. But Laudner's decision to join Trump of all people is another sign that Santorum has little chance to repeat his strong Iowa caucus showing.  

  • Trump

    I once thought that Trump had the resources and ability to do a Ross Perot kind of thing, and get like 12-15% in a general election, Rattle the cages of both Ds & Rs. He went birther and could no longer be taken seriously with his criticism of any public official.  

    I don't think he has an ideological bone in his body.  I assume the only way he gets into these events is to cut checks to BVP's groups and his cronies.  

    • he's a clown

      I agree--would not come near Ross Perot's vote total in an election.

      Anyway, isn't Trump a germaphobe? Hard to imagine him working the room at any grassroots event.

  • my cyncism says . . .

    Working for Trump would seem to insure a paycheck at least.  Plus it keeps Laudner from alienating more likely winners.  Is this a way of sitting it out while still getting paid?

    • possibly

      Hard for me to imagine what working for Trump could offer any political consultant except for money. Not being a mind-reader, I hate to accuse anyone of selling out, but going from Santorum to Clovis to Trump doesn't look like an ideological decision.

  • Free publicity

    He likes the sound of his own voice and this is free marketing for the Trump brand, whatever that is.  Give him the Doonsbury treatment and let's forget his name.

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