Donald Trump rode the Obama "birther" conspiracy to the top of Republican presidential polls, and then claimed he'd been instrumental in getting the president to release his original birth certificate. But now that birtherism has been relegated (again) to the conservative fringe, has The Donald lost his one ticket to the GOP nomination? Or does the self-proclaimed presidential prospect have another card up his sleeve?
He'll find another conspiracy theory: Trump's already latched on to a "somewhat newfound interest in getting the college records of the young Barack Obama," says David Weigel in Slate. And this "grades" obsession is catching on. But if that conspiracy theory fizzles, perhaps due to its pretty obvious racism, there are plenty of other rabbit holes out there for Trump to jump down. And there are plenty of Republicans willing to follow him.
"Trump and 'the Grades'"
Trump's fame will carry him far: Trump obviously has the momentum in the GOP race, says Bryan Preston in Pajamas Media. And he has some advantages that will keep that going for a while: He is on TV all the time, he doesn't have any difficult votes or policies to defend, and he's no longer fazed by tabloid scandals. In fact, "Trump is living by the rule that all publicity is good publicity, and so far, it’s working for him."
"Rasmussen: Trump now leads the GOP presidential field"
He's riding the mad-as-hell vote, for now: It's illustrative that Trump is winning the Tea Party vote, says Allahpundit in Hot Air. They're "supposed to be ideological puritans but for the moment seem to prize confrontation above all else." Smacking Obama is Sarah Palin's niche, and sure enough she's dropping as Trump is surging. But Republicans are starting to smack at Trump now, so maybe Palin will "reclaim it once his bubble inevitably pops."
"GOP frontrunner: Krauthammer's a 'sad fool'"
If he can top Romney, he's in: Trump has already weakened the beatable Obama with the birther punch, says Patrick Roberts in Irish Central. And let's face it, with the exception of Mitt Romney, his GOP rivals "are a sad lot." If Trump can pull an upset win over Romney in the New Hampshire primary, his "incredible antenna for media attention" and messaging will take him to the nomination, and maybe the White House.
"Trump can become president if he can defeat Mitt Romney..."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- Why the poor can't catch a break on Thanksgiving
- How to adopt the perfect rescue dog
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- This judge is the reason we're still fighting over net neutrality
- Don't blame Chuck Hagel: Obama's foreign policy has been a disaster from end to end
- The lessons of Japan's latest recession
Subscribe to the Week