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Donald Trump Gets “Surprise” Convention Role

For some inconceivable reason, the Republican Party is giving Donald Trump a role at this year’s convention:

The Donald is gearing up for Tampa.

When the Republican National Convention kicks off next Monday, Donald Trump will have a “surprise” role on its first day, people familiar with the matter said Sunday evening.

Convention organizers won’t say what he’ll be doing in Tampa or whether he’ll address the delegates there. But they promise the controversial billionaire and prominent anti-President Barack Obama provocateur will be part of their opening day schedule.

The move will undoubtedly generate headlines given the real estate mogul’s star power and his flair for the unconventional.

But it will also give Democrats an avenue to pound the GOP for giving a platform to a man who has relentlessly questioned Obama’s citizenship.

(…)

Trump’s appearance will come on a day with a theme titled, “We Can Do Better,” which appears likely to amount to a coordinated attack on Obama’s time in office.

“We are going after Obama,” said Kyle Downey, a convention spokesman. “If he doesn’t want to talk about his failed record, we will. The American people expect and deserve better.”

A fair topic, of course, but I don’t understand why they need to associate themselves with an arrogant, self-promoting, egomaniac who has spent the better part of a year promoting insane and discredited conspiracy theories about the President of the United States.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Andy says:

    A fair topic, of course, but I don’t understand why they need to associate themselves with an arrogant, self-promoting, egomaniac who has spent the better part of a year promoting insane and discredited conspiracy theories about the President of the United States.

    No doubt. A convention should showcase a party’s best and brightest and this move ends up saying a lot about the current state of the GoP, none of it good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  2. mattb says:

    Someone already posted this, but the chances are that it will be him saying his trademark “You’re Fired!” line — either to an image of Obama (part of a montage) or to an impersonator.

    And we all remember how well things went with the last Obama Impersonator comic at one of these things… http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/19/us/politics/19impersonator.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  3. James H says:

    He could provide the Official Convention Hair Care Team.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I don’t understand why they need to associate themselves with an arrogant, self-promoting, egomaniac

    C’mon Doug, that describes the current GOP core to a tee. They think being an arrogant, self-promoting, egomaniac is a good thing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  5. James Joyner says:

    I don’t understand the Trump phenomenon at all. Then again, I don’t understand much of American pop culture, from “Fear Factor” to “Dancing with the Stars” to “Jersey Shore” and “Real Housewives.” I see Trump as a part of that, rather than American politics.

    Are people really going to tune in to the convention to hear, say, Paul Ryan, only because they tuned in to see what Trump was up to and were too lazy to change the channel? And are more people going to do that than tuned in to learn about Romney and Ryan but got turned off by this moronic blowhard?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  6. Tano says:

    Trump’s appearance will come on a day with a theme titled, “We Can Do Better,”

    Heh…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. A fair topic, of course, but I don’t understand why they need to associate themselves with an arrogant, self-promoting, egomaniac who has spent the better part of a year promoting insane and discredited conspiracy theories about the President of the United States.

    Well if they stopped hanging around Limbaugh, they’d lose one of their main methods of contacting their voting base.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  8. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    The (not very) disturbing thing to me is that one week into the “team” effort with the announced veep pick, they are still predominantly preaching to the choir. If they don’t have the choir on their side with Ryan as their pick, they are in trouble. If, conversely, they believe that the current message resonates with the undecided, they are Bithead. Neither situation is good.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  9. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I was thinking Gingrich, myself.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  10. Jeremy R says:

    Doug: “A fair topic, of course, but I don’t understand why they need to associate themselves with an arrogant, self-promoting, egomaniac who has spent the better part of a year promoting insane and discredited conspiracy theories about the President of the United States.”

    I don’t think it’s particularly confusing. In the afternoon, preceding the joint Trump/Romney fundraiser, Trump used the event’s publicity to book interviews on a number of news shows where he doubled down on birtherism, Ayer’s ghost-writer-ism (also claiming the President was too much of a simpleton to have written one of his books) and belittling the President’s academic achievements (claiming they all resulted from racial preference & how unfair to “regular” folks that would have been).

    At the time, Romney was bizarrely candid as to exactly why he was doing it: “I need to get 50.1 percent or more. And I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.” He apparently desperately needs the votes of parts of the base that are most easily animated by Trump’s bigoted appeals, and he’s happily willing to help promote Trump and consequently give a larger national platform to his racist conspiracy theories in order to win the election.

    As to why Romney continues to embrace him despite the potential political liabilities? Perhaps it’s because Romney’s learned there isn’t really much cost, where commentators & the media, you included, mostly just write about how they don’t get it, instead of condemning the Romney camp for themselves embracing the slimiest sort of racial politics. Perhaps they’ve also been heartened by the massive double-standard involved in the week-long freakout over Biden’s fumbled, somewhat racially awkward five words, where the media had no trouble attributing dark motivations and labeling it a “new low” when it wasn’t even in the same ballpark as drumming up cash and votes in the Trump fever swamp.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  11. stonetools says:

    Why is Trump at the Republican convention ? Simple-a large part of the Republican base are birthers, and Romney is pandering to them.
    Doug and James are uncomfortable with the realityt that the Republican Party has largely become the party of birthers, science deniers, and Know Nothings, but there it is.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  12. al-Ameda says:

    Maybe he’s going to appear at the podium with Snooki, and announce that he’s the father of her baby to be, and that he’s leaving his latest wife to move into a new new Trump Palace on the Jersey Shore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  13. swbarnes2 says:

    If you take every time Doug or James says “I don’t understand why Republicans do X”, and replace it with “This shows why Republicans are horrible people, who want to enact horrible policies, but I just can’t honestly face that, so I’ll play dumb”, these posts are more comprehensible.

    If so much of Republican behavior is truly so utterly opaque to you, that you are saying you “don’t understand” things every single day, you need to stop talking, and start listening. Because it’s honestly not all that hard to understand at all, if you are not willfully blind.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  14. grumpy realist says:

    For giggles, you can also follow Orly Taitz’s outpourings of high dudgeon that SHE hasn’t been invited to give a speech at the convention…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0