Donald Trump

Trump Talk

Watching Donald Trump’s interview the other week with CNN’s John King about the release of President Obama’s long-form birth certificate, one couldn’t help but notice something novel about the way he spoke: Trump’s talk was almost pathologically first-person-focused, with his “I’m proud of myself” and “I’ve done a great job” a near constant refrain. What kind of person speaks like that?

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I should preface this item by noting that all my writing about pure horse race politics, and presidential primary politics especially, is highly speculative. Public policy is something that can be analyzed with some precision. Elections are highly unpredictable. It can be (hopefully) interesting and fun to speculate, but the speculation should be taken with a grain of salt.

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The Long Shot

The Republican presidential race is fast resembling World War II baseball, when 4-Fs roamed the outfield, the ball lost its bounce because of the rubber shortage, and sportswriters found it hard to imagine that any team could win the World Series.

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Unless you live under a rock, you know Donald Trump is thinking about running for president. His sensational public endeavors—pushing the White House to release President Obama’s long-form birth certificate and, most recently, questioning the authenticity of the president’s academic record—have met with astonishment, outrage, and dismay.

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I've been saying, without any data to back this up, that Donald Trump is filling a huge void by promising to stand up to China on economic issues. Now, courtesy of Pew Research, I have some data to back this up: Trump's position on China is moderately unpopular with the electorate as a whole, but wildly popular among the most loyal elements of the GOP base. No other Republican candidate is giving the people what they want here.

Above and Beyond

Sean Wilentz wonders if bin Laden’s death will bring a close to the era of paranoid politics in America.

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Leon Wieseltier makes the case for jubilation at the death of Osama bin Laden.

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Anna Holmes has an excellent column detailing the ways in which Donald Trump's sexism is even more vile than you would have suspected. After amassing ample evidence, she tosses in this: These ideas about women have explicitly political implications as well, echoing the ideology at the core of the antiabortion movement’s recently heightened assault on women’s reproductive rights, which found expression in the near-shutdown of the government over contraception, STD testing and the specter of pregnancy termination.

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&c

-- The editors on the catastrophe that is Donald Trump. -- Oil speculators aren't the problem. -- A good account of Donald Trump's wildly demagogic, xenophobic stump speech.

Donald Trump insists "there's nobody less of a racist" than him.

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