Donald Trump — real estate mogul, reality TV star, golf course impresario, casino owner, and boss of the Miss Universe pageant — tossed his hat into the crowded GOP primaruy race Tuesday.
His entrance was flamboyant and blustery, like everything else he does — and it was done at Trump Tower, the symbol of the billionaire’s excess, on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.
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Metro is going to break this down for you and explain why the GOP presidential brawl just got a hell of a lot more interesting,
1. TRUMP WANTS TO REBRAND AMERICA
No one knows branding better than Trump, whose name is on everything he touches. America, he says, has a branding problem.“We need somebody that can take the brand of the United States and make it great again,” he said, vowing to be “the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” Prediction: If he becomes president, we will suddenly be living in the United States of Trump.
2 HEADLINE POTENTIAL
Trump will generate headlines in ways that Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, two others in the now even dozen of Republicans running, could only dream about getting. The problem is that sometimes the headlines are not two flattering. Witness The Daily News headline in 2011 when after bashing President Barack Obama one too many times, the White House labeled Trump a sideshow with no chance of winning. The News put him in clownface.
3. INCOME INEQUALITY ISSUE
Bill de Blasio has wanted to make his signature issue front and center in the 2016 campaign. Trump will only emphasize what the Republicans want to try and step a little back from — that the party is very pro-rich. Trump is a prinme example of the corporate welfare thrown at the very rich. He has tax abatements up the wazoo, and has received government subsidies to build his golf courses — including a brand new one in Queens. Yep. Golf courses.
4, POOR JEB
Jeb Bush, who many think has a decent shot at becoming his party’s standard bearer, will now have a professional ass-kicker going after him. Trump thinks Bush is wobbly, and in trying to not generate controversey, is mushy on the issues.“The last thing we need is another Bush,” Trump has said. On Tuesday, he piled on:“I don’t see how he can possibly get the nomination,” he said of Mr. Bush. “He’s weak on immigration. He’s in favor of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy?”
5. THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT
We will give him this: Trump is indeed a showman, and not just a side show. His name recognition far outstrips the other 11 Republicans. When Trump toyed with running in the 2000 and 2012 elections, he often got more attention than the actual candidates. Ahead of Tuesday’s announcement, Fox newsman Geraldo Rivera said this on Monday:“Right now, Jeb Bush is announcing, Who would you rather watch, him or Trump?”
He makes a very good point.
John A. Oswald is editor-at-large of Metro.US.