One can’t help but wonder if Billionaire Donald Trump’s stated ambitions toward the White House in 2012 are in earnest, or is the gentleman “putting us on”? Trump is one of the richest men in America; there is a feeling among voters that this alone may qualify him for the Presidency. Trump enjoys his outspoken style; sometimes it is wiser, though, to keep a low profile.
Trumps recent claim to fame has been much founded on his questions about the current American President, Democrat Barack Obama. Trump has chosen to harp, and harp some more on President Barack Obama’s birthplace. Early in the election for the 2008 Presidency, some accused Obama of having been born in Jakarta, Indonesia. Trump lately has been insistent that Obama was born in Kenya. To serve as President, one must have been born in these United States. Trump was unrelenting in his demand for a “Long Form Birth Certificate” registering Obama’s birth.
Early the week of April 26, 2011, Barack Obama received his requested Certificate of Birth from the State of Hawaii, and forthwith released it to the press, proving his citizenship and qualification to be President. Undaunted, Trump made the resounding and general statement to interviewer Larry King that “Our President is Incompetent!” Trump got even more derisive after that. In an interview with Bill O’reilly, at Fox News, he pontificated, “People have birth certificates. He doesn’t have a birth certificate. He may have one but there’s something on that –maybe religion. Maybe it says he is a Muslim! I don’t know… maybe he doesn’t want that. Or — he may not have one!”
Trump seems slow in addressing political issues; issues of domestic or global import; those issues that fill the lives of ordinary politicians, and pundits. Trump responds to the beat of another drum. He moved swiftly to questions he had about Obama’s education. In an interview in late April, Trump made the accusation that Obama was a poor student – clearly not Ivy League material. Trump, still the ultimate CEO, completed his tirade saying, “I have friends who have smart sons with great marks, great boards, great everything and they can’t get into Harvard!” Trump said, “We don’t know a thing about this guy! There are a lot of questions that are unanswered about our president.”
Let’s take a quick look at what we Americans do know about President Obama. Our President, Barack Obama is indeed Christian, a member of the United Church of Christ. President Obama is named after his father who grew up in Kenya herding goats, but gained a scholarship to study in Hawaii. In Hawaii the Presidential father met and married Barack Obama’s mother, originally from Kansas, who had moved to Honolulu with her parents. Barack Obama’s parents later divorced. When now President Obama was six, his mother, Ann, re-married, this time to an Indonesian oil manager and the family moved to Jakarta. The boy lived there for four years, but then moved back to Hawaii to live with his grandparents and attend school. Both his parents are now dead.
Obama went on to study political science at Columbia University in New York in 1983 earning a degree in political science. In 1988 he attended Harvard Law School, where he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated magna cum laude 1991. After Harvard, Obama returned to Chicago to practice civil rights law, rejecting the big corporate law firms to represent victims of housing and employment discrimination. He is married to Michelle Obama, herself a lawyer, and they have two young daughters. Prior to winning the Presidency, Senator Obama still practiced law, and did some teaching at the University of Chicago Law School which he said “kept him sharp” when it came to issues like abortion, civil rights and affirmative action.
Like many other candidates for high office in the United States, Obama’s 2008 campaign did not release his college transcripts. Obama, in his best-selling memoir, Dreams From My Father mentioned that he had not always been “an academic star”. Trump characterized the decision by Obama not to automatically release grades and transcripts a “pattern of concealing information.”
Trump has himself had an interesting and colorful life. He says he may run for President. He feels his blustery manner and calculated brusqueness may be a positive asset. Let’s delve:
Donald Trump is the fourth of five children of Fred Trump, a German immigrant, and real estate mogul. Trump began working in the field of Real Estate while attending the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to attending the University of Pennsylvania, Donald Trump, as did his brothers, attended The Kew-Forest School in Forest Hills, New York, where he had, at the age of thirteen, some difficulties. These difficulties resulted in the teenaged Trump being sent to the New York Military Academy, in upstate New York, where he earned academic honors, played varsity football, soccer, and baseball. He was captain of the varsity baseball team in 1964. He graduated from the New York Military Academy in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science in economics, and with a concentration in finance.
Donald Trump proudly acknowledges his Presbyterian faith; “a Presbyterian within the Protestant group.” He considers, he proclaims, religion to be a “wonderful thing”, and that his is “a wonderful religion”. Trump married his third wife, Melania, at the Episcopal church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea.
Trump is an avid golfer, and has participated in auto-racing events, notably the Indianapolis 500 races.
Donald Trump is known for his great wealth. He has had, as have many, some trying times. Trump built the billion dollar Taj Mahal Casino, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, with the help of high-interest junk bonds. His business associates in that venture were forced into near-bankruptcy, and Trump himself was rumored close to personal bankruptcy. Banks and shareholders lost millions of dollars. He gave up about 50% of the casino, but remained solvent.
In a similar chain of events, Trump gave up 49% of the Trump Plaza Hotel to retain the chief executive role, although that was in name only; he was not paid, and did not participate in day-to-day business. Then, in 2008, Trump was accused by lender Deutsche Bank, in relation to the Chicago Trump Tower, at one time the tallest building in the United States, of being “No stranger to overdue debt.” Trump cited the financial crises of 2008, calling his indebtedness “beyond his control”, and made a legal effort not to repay the loan. Trump sued Deutsche Bank for damage to his “image.” Since then both have dropped their suits and the Trump Tower has been sold.
Trump has, of course, been watched weekly as the host and starring figure of his The Apprentice, now in its sixth season on the NBC television Network. Trump portrays himself in this “reality series” and enjoys the weekly firing of the least effective of the guests, to whom he earlier gave status and power, than watched as they rose or fell, to the delight of the viewing audience.
Now that we know something about likely candidate Trump, we might consider other outstanding aspects of the man’s character. It would be difficult not to notice Trump’s maligning and demonization of the rising economic dominance of China. Generally, Trump appears to be seeking to be the strongest and most open, most virile, of those who seek corporate dominance in U.S. Government. Trump calls Obama, the “worst president we have ever had!” while Obama works to improve the economy in America and the world, and to make the world a safer place. Of course Trump sees Obama as “the worst!” — Obama sees wisdom in taxing the rich!
Sometimes a low profile is a key to success; but Donald Trump threatens to vanquish his personal hopes for government participation with his outbursts, and insinuations.