Now that the Texas primary is set to make Willard Mitt Romney the Republican Party’s official presidential nominee, the Obama reelection team is shifting attention away from Bain Capital to focus on real state developer, reality television star, and infamous “birther” Donald Trump.
Trump, who toyed with a presidential run of his own, endorsed the former governor of Massachusetts last February in what Democrats are trying to paint as a controversial association, given Trump’s outspoken doubts that the current president is indeed a natural born American.
This endorsement has prompted the Obama campaign to release the video “Two Republican Nominees,” in which they contrast 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain’s defense of Obama’s patriotism with footage of Trump questioning the president’s citizenship and asking why Mitt Romney won’t disavow “The Donald”.
While this strategy may be good red meat for liberals who will try to use it as yet another distraction from the president’s less-than-stellar performance in the key issue of the economy, Donald Trump’s endorsement is actually an asset (not a liability) for the likely Republican nominee.
Here are 4 reasons why:
1. Business Credentials: Though Trump’s business “cred” and actual fortune have been questioned and debated by the press and other intellectual circles, he also symbolizes the belief that America is a place worth investing and building in (literally, since he has made his fortune in real estate development by getting things done and managing complex projects not only in New York City but also in cities around the U.S. and all over the world).
2. Media Credentials: Trump has been smart enough to broaden his brand using the national media through reality television shows such as The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice. And while these productions can be frowned upon by the country’s intellectual elites, they are actually a clever way of connecting with millions of Middle America viewers, consumers (and potential voters) from across geographical regions and income levels who live beyond the upper echelon of New York and California’s societies.
3. Tea Party Credentials: Donald Trump’s “birtherism” can actually help Romney by galvanizing the more conservative segment of the Republican Party, including the Tea Party, which so far has been lukewarm to what they perceive (and his opponents have painted as) a Massachusetts moderate. Romney could win by having The Donald focus on throwing red meat to conservatives around the country, while Romney laser-focuses himself on the economic issues that he believes are going to be the determinants of this election’s outcome.
4. Fundraising: In what looms as the country’s most expensive presidential election to date, with both Republican and Democratic-leaning Super PACs making unlimited and undisclosed amounts of political donations, Trump’s fundraising could help Romney better compete with President Obama as his business connections and star power would counteract the president’s lavish fundrasing dinners with the likes of George Clooney, Sarah Jessica Parker, and other Hollywood and New York royalty.