To many, Donald Trump still cuts a striking presidential figure across the political landscape. No matter how much his critics squawk, Mr. Trump’s fans remain convinced that the billionaire would still make a swell president. Witness the Republican Party of Sarasota, which has named Mr. Trump “Statesman of the Year” and will fete him Sunday night at a swank, sold-out soiree for 950 fans at the local Ritz-Carlton.
“There’s no doubt people still think Trump is presidential,” party chairman Joe Gruters tells Inside the Beltway. “The amazing excitement and buzz of this event is like nothing I’ve ever dealt with. People still believe in him, and they still hear his conservative message.”
Mr. Gruters adds, “Think about Chris Christie, Ron Paul, Sarah Palin. Voters love these politicians because they are champions of the people. They can cut through political rhetoric and tell it like it is. Donald Trump is like that. Those who support him know he remains someone who can still stand up and say, ‘Hey, you’re fired.’ “
Gay and conservative: The combination infuriates some factions within the Republican Party, and amuses and/or confuses others. But one thing’s for sure: The group will be more than just a polite whisper at the Republican National Convention. Among the confirmed guests at “Homocon 2012,” a splashy event for gay conservatives and those who support them: former American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene, CNN contributor Mary Matalin, Tea Party Express chairman Amy Kremer, pundit S.E. Cupp, Pajamas Media CEO Roger L. Simon, HotAir’s Jazz Shaw, “The Blaze” analyst Will Cain, plus Dana Loesch and Larry O’Connor, both analysts for Breitbart.com. GOProud, the sponsoring organization, expects 1,000 guests for the Tuesday night event at the Honey Pot nightclub, located in the chichi Ybor City neighborhood of Tampa, Fla. They also say their group stands for free markets, tax reform, limited government and respect for individual rights, among other things. On their board of advisers: author Ann Coulter and Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist.
“The left would like America to believe that it has a monopoly on gay people, and that only big government policies are good for gay Americans. Worse, the left wants America to believe that all conservatives are anti-gay. Nothing could be further from the truth, the truth is that conservative policies and limited government are better for all Americans — especially gay Americans,” insists Christopher Barron, co-founder of the Washington-based interest group. “Further, gay conservatives are an important part of the conservative movement and this event will highlight that.”
“This is our moment. And we are ready for the mission ahead: sending America’s comeback team to Washington to get this country working again. We are at a turning point. Will we fight to remain the greatest nation in the world? Will we defend the vision of our Founders? Our Founders did not bravely declare our independence to see us become dependent on the borrowed money of foreign nations.”
(Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus to the inaugural meeting of convention officials on Thursday.)
THE HISTORIC PRESIDENCY
“The presidency is an institution over which you have temporary custody.”
(Ronald Reagan, to Time Magazine on April 7, 1986.)
‘2016’ IN HIGH GEAR
The documentary film that articulates the future sorry state of America should President Obama be re-elected is in high gear. “2016: Obama’s America” is a surprise box-office hit, earning millions and expanding Friday into 1,075 theaters nationwide. “I’ve got a strong desire to defend against the changes in our culture, our life, our laws, our freedom. We now have someone in office who has professed a desire for change, and this has disturbed me,” producer Gerald R. Molen recently told Inside the Beltway; he is the Oscar-winning force behind “Schindler’s List,” and among many other blockbusters. Mr. Molen is not keen on Mr. Obama’s management style, either.
“We don’t have an imperial presidency. He’s not the king,” Mr. Molen said.