By BOB BILLETER
The Donald Is Running Second
Donald Trump, the real estate magnate and reality TV star, is shaking up the race to select the Republican nominee for president. Last week the Donald jumped to second place among New Hampshire Republicans, trailing only former Florida governor Jeb Bush in a new poll. Bush was supported by 14 percent, Trump by ll percent. A dozen other contenders followed, scoring single digits.
Does Trump have a chance to win this thing? He is personable, has an excellent education, is intelligent and he is filthy rich. Is all that enough to gain him the nomination if he has a little luck? Most of the political experts say that he won't get the nomination.
Still he is saying things that appeal to a lot of Americans and he has tons of money. That's a very powerful combination. He is not mincing words. If he doesn't win the nomination he may shake up the race or change the focus of the race.
One thing is sure — people are fed up with politics as usual. There is a lot of pessimism in the country and many people in both parties are looking for dramatic change in the direction the country is headed. Trump appeals to many, many of those people.
One of Trump's big handicaps is that he has no political background. Almost all the candidates for president in our history have held some office before they ran or they were heroes in one of our wars. Furthermore, I believe most people realize that a president can accomplish very little unless he has big support in Congress. Trump knows nothing about politics, the way Congress works or the ways of Washington. These things are huge handicaps.
Still, strange things happen sometimes. You can't rule Trump out completely. And he has gobs of money and money talks — and big money talks very loudly. So his entry into the race brings a great deal of excitement to the contest.
One thing is sure: if he were to run against Mrs. Clinton the sparks would fly. He certainly would make the battle an extremely heated one. He would, in my opinion, attack Mrs. Clinton viciously. Who knows what the outcome of such a battle would be.
Remember that Mrs. Clinton is not popular with liberals and the extreme left wing of the Democratic Party. When we get into the heat of this race who can predict what will happen. This is one of the things that makes politics so interesting to so many people. Trump has a beautiful wife. She could be a tremendous asset to him in the race.
Maybe I'm daffy but I believe if he is in the top ten on national polls and gets into the debates he is capable of dramatically shaking up those events. And if this happens the public's attitude toward him could change.
I sometimes think that the Republican powers that be are not brave enough. Like their politics, their presidential campaigns are too conservative. The Democratic Party has a big advantage in presidential races. They are supported by most of the African-American voters, the majority of the Mexican-Americans, the members of the labor unions, the gays and traditional Democrats. The Republicans need to challenge the Democrats more.
Our growing national debt is a huge worry for millions of people and the inflation it is causing is a nagging problem. Throngs of young people today are having great difficulty in finding a good job. If Trump is aggressive enough in lashing out at the many serious problems that are confronting Americans today he probably will gain huge support across the country.
One thing you have to give Trump credit for is that he is not timid. He isn't afraid to tell you what he thinks. That is a quality that many of the other Republican candidates seem to lack. Trump also has a history of success in the tough world of business. Don't sell him short.