Donald Trump’s prominence in the GOP presidential race has owed more to his domination of the media coverage over the past few weeks than to his seriousness as a candidate. His monopoly of the news cycle peaked late last week when Obama released his birth certificate. After that, the real estate tycoon latched onto the “college transcript” controversy to keep the back-and-forth going with the president.
But Trump’s petty, baseless, and highly-personal attacks on Obama’s legitimacy to hold office seem especially tasteless in light of the president’s role in the execution of Osama bin Laden yesterday. The reality show star tried to backtrack today, calling for a halt in the “party politics” debate:
I am so proud to see Americans standing shoulder to shoulder, waving the American flag in celebration of this great victory,” [said Trump]. “We should spend the next several days not debating party politics, but in remembrance of those who lost their lives on 9/11 and those currently fighting for our freedom. God Bless America!”
There’s nothing wrong with engaging in party politics or debate, but that has no resemblance to what Trump has been doing. Instead he chooses his criticism of the president based on what’s likely to get him the most media attention. With the world focused on bin Laden’s death, we seem to have a bit of a reprieve from Trump’s constant interviews and self-promotion today. The bin Laden coverage will wane soon enough, but let’s hope that Trump’s absence continues.