It finally happened. For numerous presidential cycles, Donald Trump hinted at a run but ultimately pulled back. On Tuesday, the billionaire officially threw his hair in the ring for the Republican nomination.
The media was less than thrilled. Nearly every broadcast, article and mention of The Donald’s announcement has come with the reminder that he has no chance of winning — obviously hinting that the media doesn’t like the thought of a Trump campaign.
Now it is true that Trump’s chances don’t look too good in the Republican primary. Nearly 60 percent of potential voters say they would never cast their ballot for the wealthy businessman. Exactly 57 percent of Republicans have an unfavorable view of The Donald. Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight created a chart that shows Trump as the most disliked candidate — of any party — since 1980.
The Donald has his flaws including the very large hurdle of voter unfavorability, but he’s not the awful, hopeless candidate so many media types make him out to be — especially in a field that includes George Pataki. (RELATED: Pataki 2016: A Tree Falls In The Forest)
Here are the qualities that makes the mogul worthy of attention.
He Can’t Be Anybody But The Donald
Candidates love to portray themselves as average joes. Whether politicians are millionaires or genuine working stiffs, they all want to seem just like you and me. But they usually aren’t, and the result is often unbearable phoniness.
Hillary Clinton is currently the queen of this phony trope as she raises hundreds of millions of dollars but campaigns around America in a van. No one will ever mistake Hillary for a normal, everyday American. So why does she try so hard to convince voters that she’s something she’s not? For votes, yes, but it makes her look worse in the process.
Americans love authenticity and people being themselves. Donald Trump is about as true to himself as a person can be. He doesn’t act like he’s humble or that’s he’s just like you. He’s Donald f***ing Trump and he just a built the greatest hotel in the world that you should totally visit. Right now. And check out the new Trump golf course while you’re enjoying the beauty of his immaculate resort.
He may go bankrupt again. So what? He’s still Donald f***ing Trump. And you’re not.
Trump definitely has an ego and he might as well own the copyright for self-esteem. While Americans probably aren’t down with narcissism in everyday life, there’s a certain charm that resides with Trump’s over-the-top, self-aggrandizement. He can’t help but be himself.
Speaking of charm…
He Has Charisma
In a primary field where Jeb Bush and Scott Walker are leading the pack, Trump’s flamboyant personality will stand out. The current frontrunners aren’t known for their magnetic personas. Jeb — the “Jeb!” slogan aside — doesn’t inspire exclamation marks. Walker exemplifies Midwestern nice and has even admitted many people find him uncharismatic and bland.
You will be hard pressed to find someone who genuinely believes Trump is uncharismatic and bland. His cockiness and love of all things Trump make him easy to hate, but draw your attention. He will have no trouble commanding an audience and his announcement speech was full of ready-made quotes for today’s world of bite-sized journalism.
Conservatives like charisma. Everybody likes charisma. They still fondly remember Ronald Reagan 26 years after he departed from the White House. Trump is no Reagan, but he does have a flair for drama and a peculiar charm that will set him apart from the GOP pack.
He’s Focused On Overlooked Issues
Out of all the Republican candidates, there is no one else more likely to bring up the issues of immigration and Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) than Trump. Both are issues GOP leaders would like to avoid but the tycoon seems intent to campaign on them.
Trump’s hawkish opposition to both immigration and TPA align with the conservative base, offering red-meat issues to promote his candidacy and draw support among Republican voters. By championing these issues, Trump will force his opponents to address them and will create lively debate.
It will also let voters know where the candidates stand on these issues that most would prefer to dance around.
He’ll Make The Debates Must-Watch TV
Imagine this scenario. Jeb Bush outlines his immigration reform plan on stage during the upcoming primary debate in August. Trump gives a strong rebuttal, dresses down the former governor and possibly calls for his deportation.
While that doesn’t meet the definition of civil discourse, it does make for television programming that would draw in millions of Americans who would otherwise watch reruns of “NCIS.”
Not only would Trump force the other candidates to discuss immigration, trade and other hot topics, he would ensure that the debate was entertaining — which is what would make ordinary Americans want to tune in. The RNC seems deadset on having controversy-free, humdrum discussions. Trump will throw a wrench in that plan and draw in the masses.
Which is a good thing. More voters would be able to make informed decisions about which candidate to choose if they just tuned into the debates. They are not going to watch a wonk-off between Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio on corporate tax subsidies. “NCIS: Topeka” sounds like a more appealing option. But they will watch Trump go toe-to-toe with his opponents on immigration.
Many in the media and the beltway may laugh at The Donald’s candidacy, but it could end up doing quite a bit of good. At the very least, it will make for must-see TV — something both parties currently lack.