Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The new political plaything: the U.S. presidency


By PAT MURPHY

To qualify for the planet's most powerful job, which includes authority to launch nuclear missiles, candidates can have a police record, need not pass any physical or mental exam and aren't required to meet IQ standards or get through a series of lie detector questions.

Applicants for president of the United States must only be at least 35 years old, native-born U.S. citizens and a resident for 14 years.

With winds of the 2012 election blowing hot, potential presidential hopefuls (mostly Republican) are beginning to strut like barnyard peacocks, claiming special skills to save America, apparently, in some cases, blissfully ignorant of their utter incompetence to understand much less manage the Oval Office's killer demands.

Sarah Palin speaks in Twitter code at the intellectual level of a California valley girl. Michele Bachmann talks like a classroom dunce—she says the nation's founders abolished U.S. slavery in the 1700s. She must've slept through the chapter on Civil War history.

Then there's this lineup—Herman Cain, a black former fast-food CEO; Fred Karger, a California gay political activist; and Jimmy McMillan, the black, pork-chop-bearded "Rent Is Too Damn High" politician. Oh, my.

In time, after demanding equal time in debates, they'll go the way of others with big egos and scant skills.

Meanwhile, traditional party candidates—Huckabee, Pawlenty, Barbour, Romney—are burning old résumés of past positions and switching to more acceptable tea party "principles." This is the flip before they flop.

To me, the most intriguing of the GOP's potential wannabes, however, is "The Donald" Trump, who said he thought it would be "fun" to be president.

No doubt. "Fun" has been the mainstay in Trump's very public, exhibitionist life as a billionaire—three marriages, bankruptcies, a casino empire, ownership of beauty pageants and more business properties than Warren Buffet's investment portfolio.

Trump also notoriously slaps his name on everything he owns—Trump Towers, Trump Restaurants, Trump Sales and Leasing, Trump Vodka, Trump Golf, Trump Magazine, Trump Steaks. And on and on.

Folks, how about a president stenciling his name far and wide?

The White House would become Trump House. Trump One for the presidential jet. Would he be announced by the congressional sergeant-at-arms at State of the Union speeches as, "Mr. Speaker, the president of the United States, The Donald"? Maybe Washington's famed address would become 1600 Trump Ave.

If Palin claims foreign affairs experience by seeing Russia from her Alaskan home, Trump could claim far more "foreign affairs" expertise by once being married to a Czechoslovakian model (Ivana) and owning the Miss Universe pageant.






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