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I have to admit being endlessly entertained by Donald Trump's recent foray into the political world. He isn't one that the media can easily dismiss or disregard. And he's saying things that most conservative Republicans would have been scared to death to say - because when they do, they're immediately branded idiots, fools, or radical right-wingers.
Any one of those dismissive labels is going to be tough to brand on Donald Trump. He's already well known and established enough for the media to create and shape what they want the people to perceive him to be.
But because of his flirting with a run for the presidency, many on the right have started asking if he would be a decent candidate. My early take? A couple things: I know the man has claimed to be pro-life, but if there's going to be any weakness with Trump as a candidate, I'm assuming (perhaps unfairly) that it will be on the so-called social issues. Time will tell.
Secondly, I think he's perhaps one of the most well-positioned of any of the would-be candidates that have emerged to this point. So if he does make a run, he will have to be taken seriously. If that wasn't evident before his interview with Meredith Vieira on the Today Show, it certainly is now. Passing Trump off as nothing but a reality-TV star who is a publicity hound isn't going to work. In fact, his TV presence could actually be a benefit to a potential run.
James Travis explains why:
Trump can make a decision. The Donald's main function on the shows is to whittle down the field of contestants until only the winner remains. But what's important to observe is how he goes about making his decision each week. Watching Trump choose whom to fire is a study in decision-making. Trump is measured and patient. Trump consults with experts. Trump seeks opinions from everyone involved: teammates, the opposition, his own trusted advisers, and customers. He withholds judgment until he has all the facts, but once he has the information he needs, he renders his decision swiftly and confidently. Trump's trademark phrase -- "You're fired!" -- is now iconic in the American lexicon. When it's too close to call, Trump isn't afraid to go with his gut.
Above all, Trump is fair. As he sits in his boardroom, flanked by his executives and facing the contestants, Trump is a judge. Watching him deliberate, it's evident that he values fairness. It's clear from his words and his actions that he understands the impact his judgment has on the lives of others and his own responsibility to render a decision equitably.
Trump commands respect. The Apprentice shows center around Donald Trump. He is the commander-in-chief of his enterprises, and he carries himself with authority. There's never any doubt about who is in charge. Everyone, no matter how old or young, famous or not, wealthy peer or average Joe, calls him "Mr. Trump." When Trump announces his decision, there is never a debate. Everyone fired in the boardroom accepts the decision as final, thanks Trump for the opportunity, and leaves immediately.
And for those who dismiss this by suggesting it's all scripted, might I direct your attention the current president and his teleprompters? Honestly, point to a presidency in the last 50 years that hasn't been heavily scripted. The truth is that they all are because of the nature of the job.what's important is the man behind the script. Travis writes,
[A]nyone who watched the Today interview would have to come away with a clear sense that Trump is his own man. Most likely, the Donald Trump we see on The Apprentice is as close to the real Donald as anyone gets to see. With Trump, what you see is what you get; there are no holds barred and no punches pulled. Sure, the ego is on full display sometimes, but the man has also clearly matured with age.
The Donald recently proclaimed himself to be Barack Obama's worst nightmare. He may be right.