The sad return of Donald Trump's freak show

Inexplicably, Republican candidates are once again bowing at the altar of a desperate, publicity-hungry game-show host

Edward Morrissey

Last February at the Conservative Political Action Conference, few people were already taking the Republican primary campaign seriously, so the supposed candidacy of Donald Trump provided nothing more than an amusing distraction, at best. The billionaire self-promoter and reality-show host continued to insist that he was serious about considering a run for the White House through March, when he adopted the Birther conspiracy as the main plank in his platform. Thanks to his name recognition, Trump garnered some polling support while the rest of the would-be candidates waited to start their campaigns. At one point in April, Trump even threatened to run as an independent if he didn't win the Republican nomination.

By the end of that month, however, the White House tired of the freak show and released Barack Obama's certificate of live birth. Two weeks later, Trump's polling support collapsed, and three weeks after that, Trump bowed out of the race. The focus then shifted to the more serious Republican candidates — in other words, those who didn't have reality shows to promote.

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Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.