Donald Trump is confounding everyone who observes politics for a living … or for a hobby.
The most profound impact might be on the media and how they seek to cover this guy.
The New York Times has published an interesting analysis of the media coverage of this individual’s amazing rise to the top of the political heap.
It notes that his wealth and poll numbers are giving the media fits as they try to make sense of what this person means to the 2016 race for the presidency. Is he for real? Is he a showman who is seeking to elevate his real brand, which is as a reality-TV huckster? Or is this guy really in it for the long haul, seeking to change the course of American history?
Trump recently filed the financial disclosure forms needed to cement his run for the Republican presidential nomination. Some folks — me, included — thought that perhaps he wouldn’t file those forms, and that his campaign would go away after a suitable amount of fanfare and rhetorical fireworks.
So, he’s taken the next step.
Trump is getting a lot of ink and air time. Some pundits on the right think the media hate this guy. I disagree.
I believe the media love him, not because he’s Donald Trump and he’s going to single-handedly “make America great again,” as he proclaims. They love him because he sells newspapers and brings viewers to TV screens.
And yes, there’s a certain entertainment value associated with this Trump’s pronouncements, not to mention the angry response he evokes from his fellow Republican presidential candidates — and from those who’ve run for the office previously; Democratic candidates and “strategists,” of course, are loving every minute of this traveling carnival.
I’m going to keep believing, though, that Trump is a flash in the pan. His comments about Sen. John McCain’s war record, I believe, were too much for many serious Americans and I’ll keep insisting that his statement making light of McCain’s five-year captivity in a North Vietnamese prison cell will become the single event that dooms his candidacy for the White House.
However, until he exits the arena, the media will keep covering him — and will keep struggling with trying to decide just how to do so.