The Donald Trump for President boomlet is in full swing. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough is excited about a Trump run. The orange-haired real estate developer is making a transparent effort to appeal to Republican primary voters by questioning President Obama's birth certificate and disavowing moderate views on social issues. The strategy seems to be working: A CNN poll shows Trump tied with the lead in the Republican primary alongside the former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.
The USA Today reports that Trump is willing to invest $600 million of his own money in a run and would invite Americans to invest alongside him. (Lets hope this investment works out better than Trump Casinos and Resorts. The publicly held vehicle that housed Trump's Atlantic City properties has made so many trips to Chapter 11 it now gets comped at the restaurant.)
In the accompanying video, veteran political consultant Hank Scheinkopf says we shouldn't dismiss Trump's potential candidacy. "Trump is doing a service for Republicans," he said.
While Trump is a brilliant marketer, I'm skeptical. Still, stranger things have happened. So in that spirit, here are six reasons a Trump presidency would be good for America.
1. National Re-Branding. Trump is great at conveying sunny optimism about anything he's associated with. We could look forward to his re-branding of our country from the tarnished and no-longer appropriate "United States of America," to: "World-Class Nation," or "Greatest Nation in the World."
2. Yes We Can. . .Defy The Aging Process. America is beset by a debilitating can't do spirit. Many feel as if we are at the mercy of powerful natural forces, like the rise of China and global warming. But Trump has shown a steadfast unwillingness to give in to the natural forces of decline. Let other candidates go bald...or gray...or both. The persistence of his rust-colored coiffe and the bold comb-over shows a defiant spirit that American manufacturers and schoolkids would be wise to adopt.
3. I.O.U.S.A. Speaking of haircuts, Trump's business expertise could come in handy in dealing with America's woeful fiscal situation. The nation's paramount problem is how to deal with monstrous short- and long-term debts. States, cities, and the federal government are all learning that it is very difficult to meet existing financial obligations without raising taxes or cutting spending sharply. Trump, however, has a long experience, dating back to the early 1990s, of convincing creditors to settle for less than full payments of debts his businesses incurred. And the restructurings didn't stop him from being a viable financial force in the future. Just imagine if President Trump could do to the Chinese central bank next year what he did with New York banks 20 years ago?
4. Real Estate Strategy. Trump has the rare ability to enhance the value of properties simply by putting his name on them. The White House and Camp David are clearly too down-scale for his gilded tastes, and President Trump probably wouldn't want to take up residence in them. Solution? Rename them Trump Pennsylvania Avenue, and the Trump Catoctin Mountain Resort & Spa, and help reduce the deficit through successful hotel/condo operations.
5. Foreign Affairs. Trump is a bit of a loose cannon when it comes to foreign policy. But he could use his wives' connections to their home countries to establish improved relations. He could dispatch current wife Melania to her native Slovenia as a special ambassador to boost trade with the country. (Last year, the U.S. exported $328 million to Sovenia and imported $465 million from the country.) Think of the potential for growth. First wife Ivana, a native of the Czech republic, could be dispatched to her homeland to work on boosting the U.S.-Czech bi-lateral trade, currently valued at $3.9 billion. Second wife Marla Maples is from Georgia (the state, alas, not the country). But the struggling republic in the Caucasus is celebrity-starved and would probably welcome a visit.
6. Better Catch-Phrases. Over the past decade, the U.S. has suffered from terrible, easily-mockable presidential catch-phrases, from "Mission Accomplished" and "Heckuva Job, Brownie" in the Bush years, to "Yes We Can" and "The Audacity of Hope" in the Obama regime. Trump, armed with a ready arsenal of quips, would do much better.
To underperforming cabinet secretaries: "You're Fired!"
To legions of unemployed seeking work: "You're Hired!"
To military leaders stuck in three intractable conflicts: "You're Mired!"
To workers on federal payrolls who need to be downsized: "You're Retired!"
To rural residents waiting on high-speed internet: "You're Wired!"
While there's plenty to be said about a Trump presidency, don't get your hopes too high. After all, in 2008, Rudy Giuliani showed that blunt, thrice-married, media-savvy New Yorkers known primarily by their first names don't do particularly well in Republican primaries. In 1992, H. Ross Perot proved that charisma and business success only get you so far in electoral politics. Perhaps most devastating, in an endeavor that requires constant flesh-pressing, Trump has a well-documented aversion to shaking hands with strangers.
Daniel Gross is economics editor of Yahoo! Finance
Email him at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @grossdm