Donald Trump, whether people like him or not, may be the Kingmaker (or the Queenmaker) for the 2016 US Presidential elections.
Gruff, confident, and obnoxiously persistent Trump has been the thorn at the side of the Republican establishment and its favored son Jeb Bush’s ambitions to capture the presidency. Because of his business success or his infamyy, Mr. Trump is leading among conservative, likely voters, a constituency whose blessing is needed by anyone wishing to be anointed as the party’s candidate.
Trump has threatened the establishment that if they don’t play nice with him, the GOP front-runner will likely go it alone as a third party candidate who will likely play spoiler for conservative votes in 2016, which threatens to squash the GOP’s hopes of an eventual return to the presidency. Trump isn’t a chump either: he has the money to self-finance and the gall to run it alone with or without RNC political network or financial support.
Trump, the unlikely president candidate hopes to square it off with Hilary in 2016 as the embodiment of the Tea Party – a Washington outsider who, at least rhetorically, fights against everything that is wrong with today’s Washingtonian politics. If his platform is to believed he is marketing himself as extremely right wing – a populist champion of the people.
It’s the opinion of Nationsmith that despite all of Trump’s political showmanship and leadership at the polls, Trump may be his own Political Icarus.
Recently, he leveled an embarrassing claim that challenged Senator John McCain’s heroism during the Vietnam War. While John McCain was tortured and stoically fought against his communist captors at the Hanoi Hilton, Trump was evading the war through educational deferments and family connections.
Another move which has played badly is Trump’s release of Senator Lindsay Graham’s personal phone number. Instead of causing the Senator’s political assassination, it was labeled by Washington circles as a embarrassing political calculation gone awry.
Lastly, the source of Trump’s greatest short-term gain has a been a surge of support by conservative voters through rhetorical assault against Mexican Americans – a key demographic the RNC has been trying to court since the candidacy of George W. Bush.
Without a doubt, Donald Trump is the center of the presidential election cycle’s conversation – out-staging both Hilary Clinton and Jeb Bush in the realm of the political talking head (although he leads against Bush, but by any estimate he will get slammed by Clinton in 2016).
Although he is leading the polls and riding the coat-tails of being a famous, rich person, Trump should be careful of his political conduct. Next year if he does square against Hilary Clinton, the people he has to court – which include Hispanic Americans, establishment politicos, and political moderates or independents – will remember the bridges he has burned to reach this point as they are the key to his success. If he continues to banter against and disrupt his long-term benefactors, what’s the point of running for President?
The Donald believes he can fly so close to the sun, but his hubris may be the key to his fall.