In case you missed it, real estate mogul and Hawaiian private dick sugar daddy Donald Trump is finally really running for president, much to the delight of Democrats and people who produce political content for a living. His announcement at New York’s Trump Tower Tuesday morning was a masterpiece of Trump patter that included a joke comparing ISIS to inadequate air conditioning, and an assessment of Mexican immigrants that could deliver the presidency to the Democrats all by its lonesome:
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. And they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.“
Now, depending on how you read that, Trump is either saying that Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals by default, with some good people as exceptions, or that he assumes that Mexican rapists are good people. Given that Trump’s adopted party lost 71% of the Hispanic vote in 2012, the latter interpretation might actually be preferable.
Trump’s entry into the race has been greeted with glee by liberals, but the real winners here are political reporters, who will now get to shop every crazy thing he says to the other 19 candidates, who all have about a three day window before Trumpmentum forces them to hedge their answers, at best.
Everyone is going to underestimate Trump’s influence, but he was an early and significant frontrunner in 2012, leading eventual nominee Mitt Romney by double digits at one point. With a more crowded, tightly-bunched field this time, Trump’s standout racist performance could quickly set him apart, and atop the GOP field. It only takes a chunk of undecideds to do the trick, and no other candidate has distinguished himself yet to the nativists.
By next week, Donald Trump will be polling at 33%, and the rest of the Republicans will be bidding up how many volts they want to send through their new border fence. And that’s before the debates.