There’s lots of ways to calculate who will actually be the Republican nominee for president next year. But if the question is who, among 15 different candidates, so far stands out, the answer is obvious:
Donald Trump, you’re hired.
By jumping up and down on the hot-button issue of immigration, by loudly declaring his superiority to other candidates, by declaring that to a man of his vast capacities the country’s problems are laughably simple, Trump is sucking up the oxygen in the race.
Also, as he’s always ready to tell you, he’s really rich.
That gets him headlines and attention, and he’s been shooting up in the polls.
Not a lot of people can imagine Trump as the Republican nominee; this is someone whose idea of a running mate is Oprah. It’s also not easy to imagine Trump putting out a series of detailed position papers on infrastructure or entitlements.
His greatest interest seems to be Trump.
But with 15 people running, there’s a lot to be said for just standing out.
And if Trump doesn’t exactly know the issues, he knows how to get attention, which may be the key skill of a presidential candidate.
Maybe Trump will get stale; maybe he’ll get bored. Maybe his sneering dismissal of John McCain’s military service will be fatal.
But right now, the GOP is getting Trumped.
NOTE: This commentary appeared on KGW-TV, 7/18/15.