Do we really need to take Donald Trump seriously as a presidential candidate?
—Early V., Wisconsin, via the inbox
Well, there's one celebrity who is definitely taking the whole Trump-for-president freak show seriously:
And that's Donald Trump.
If 10 minutes went by without someone turning a camera on him, Donald's coif would implode. The force of the catastrophe would create an unholy singularity lined unto infinity with photos of Donald Trump.
And no one wants that.
The latest bluster comes via the New York Times. During an interview, Trump teases, "On May 22, we have our live finale. That will be a two-hour live finale, from either Lincoln Center or at Skirball hall at New York University. They both want it. I think it will be at N.Y.U. Sometime prior to the firing, I may say, that on such and such a date, on such and such a time, probably at Trump Tower, on 56th to 57th street on Fifth Avenue, I will make my decision as to whether I run for president, by the end of the show."
In other words, he plans to announce that he aims to discuss perhaps one day talking about running for president—so tune in to The Apprentice finale to witness the first step of this historical miracle!
Sure, Americans have a history of sending already-famous people to the White House, so the idea isn't that crazy. Plus, remember he's run twice before.
"Americans have long elected celebrities as president," points out Jamie Miller, a political consultant with Florida-based Battleground Group. "Probably 20 percent of our presidents have had level of celebrity; really, just about every generation has elected a celebrity."
And early polling does seem to indicate some respect for Trump, if not adoration.
"Trump is a distant second to Mitt Romney in New Hampshire right now," notes Andrew Smith, professor of political science and director of the survey center at the University of New Hampshire.
But let's dig deeper than that. Let's suppose that Trump does eventually announce a win.
Don't expect his ego to get much further than that—and certainly not all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
"It's going to be more of a flash in the pan, largely because businessmen without any political experience do poorly in national elections," Smith says.
"Trump right now is not being held to the same standards of accuracy that all political candidates are. We're putting up with him now because it's fun and games, but in terms of him being a serious candidate, he will fade as soon as he gets into the heat of a regular election season. And in the end, he won't be treated seriously."
Let's hope the good professor is right.