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Inside the Beltway
Donald Trump has a burgeoning new “grass-roots army” who pine for him to run for president in 2012. Who knew? There are numbers to back it up, reflected in a star-spangled website (www.shouldtrumprun.com) for Trumpaphiles convinced the billionaire has the business acumen, political calling and inner mettle to join the campaign fray.
“He’s a populist. As close to Ronald Reagan as I’ve seen in any candidate. When you watch his media appearances, he’s talking right to you. Reagan had that and so does Trump,” says Michael Cohen, a special counsel and executive vice president within the Trump Organization, who launched the effort on his own.
“When Trump talks, he’s fresh, he’s honest and he shares the same concerns as the common man,” Mr. Cohen continues. “Our current president and leaders have taken us off track and have sold out our future to foreign interests. Our economy is a disaster with staggering unemployment numbers and a deficit that is unsustainable. Trump is unafraid to tell Americans the honest truth on where we stand today as a nation, on issues they care about, including unemployment, gas prices, China, Libya, Mexico, India.”
Mr. Cohen created the site with the help of billionaire pharmaceutical entrepreneur and philanthropist Stewart Rahr to “develop a grass-roots army of Americans who want to put this country back in the right direction,” Mr. Cohen says.
“As of Wednesday, we’ve had over 425,000 visitors to the site, all asking the trillion dollar question: Will Trump run in 2012? My hope and the hope of these people is a resounding ‘yes.’ We need a new leader who will stop apologizing to foreign dignitaries for our superpower status, bring jobs back to America and ensure that this country becomes respected again,” Mr. Cohen adds.
Oh, the testy, pesky rigors of the presidential trail. Insiders say rumors of Newt Gingrich’s imminent transformation from “former House speaker” to “presidential candidate” prompted Fox News to finally silence critics who claimed that the network’s habit of employing politicians as on-camera contributors was a violation of media ethics. Mr. Gingrich’s contract with Fox has been suspended for 60 days, along with that of fellow White House hopeful Rick Santorum.
Other cuts could follow. Fox contributors John Bolton, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee are all potential 2012 candidates
“Think of it this way,” says one source. “There are a dozen Republican hopefuls in the mix. This is like a reality check that separates the viable few from those who make a career out of hinting they’re going to run.”
Aw, Jay, we hardly knew ye.
Behold, the terse e-mail sent to slavering press from busy White House at 12:03 p.m. Wednesday:
“Updated Briefing Schedule: 1:00 p.m. Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
And behold the terse e-mail sent to slavering press from busy White House at 12:07 p.m. Wednesday:
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