From the 2012 election:
November 27, 2011:
I will say this much for the parade of Republican front runners. I prefer Gingrich to Cain. I prefer Cain to Bachman. I prefer even Bachman to Donald Trump. So I guess the Republicans are trending in the right direction.December 5, 2011, commenting on a Paul Krugman column that to believe the Republican party line one has to be either completely clueless or completely cynical, and deciding which candidate was which:
After a couple of hundred more that way, they might come up with a decent candidate.
Krugman, like most people, has dropped Donald Trump's short-lived front runner status down memory hole. Trump, I have no doubt, was cynical, even more cynical than Romney. (He may also be pulling a two-fer by being clueless too). He played the birther card because he thought it would be a winning one with the base. However, it quickly transpired that Trump was seeking to play the base for suckers and really didn't understand them at all. The base abandoned him as soon as that became apparent.October 27, 2012:
I understand the unanimous, trans-partisan and trans-ideological desire to forget that Donald Trump ever sought to be President. The mere thought of such a thing is enough to make me want to wash out my brain with bleach. Fortunately, there was no actual danger of such a thing ever coming to pass. I will make one comment on Donald Trump's brief candidacy. To many of the Republican base, obnoxiousness is the most important quality in a leader. They equate obnoxiousness with firm and unyielding principle. So I guess is that if you regard obnoxiousness as the prime qualification in a leader, then Trump is perfect. Otherwise, I can't think of a single good thing to say about him.
. . . . . . . .
[Ranking my preference of CEO's for President]
Distantly trailing Romney and Hoover is Herman Cain who, although unqualified and prone to disastrous policies, is sane and appears to respect democratic norms. Distantly behind him is mad autocrat Perot. And bringing up the rear is Donald Trump, who we will all pretend is not there.And, finally, in a most supremely arrogant miscalculation, July 31, 2015:
A quick note to everyone panicking over the prospect of Donald Trump as the Republican nominee. Chill! You seem to forget that Trump was Republican front runner at this stage in the last election as well. And yes, I understand why everyone has managed to drop that down memory hole, but it remains the case. Trump surged ahead by being the only Republican contender to seriously entertain the birthers. The Tea Party embraced him. However, he was not a member and did not speak their language, and it soon became apparent that he was merely pandering to them. So the Republicans moved on to semi-serious candidates like Michelle Bachman, Herman Caine, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum. They were an appalling bunch, but at least they had one thing going for them -- none of them were Donald Trump.Instead, Trump has proven an unstoppable juggernaut in the primaries who has never faltered and is well on his way to the nomination. We even have to take seriously the possibility that he may win the general!
This time instead of birtherism, the issue is illegal immigration, which has the advantage of being at least a real issue. Still, there is every reason to believe that sooner or later Trump will commit some faux pas that makes clear to Tea Partiers that is is not one of them and is just pandering (again). The Iowa caucus is still over five months away, for Pete's sake! That will give plenty of time for the novelty to wear off and Trump to self-destruct over something.
I try to make it my rule not to comment on the election until the actual primaries begin. This counts as a failure but occasionally a bit of madness has to be tamped down. Panic over Trump is one such occasion.
To my credit, I did eventually start taking Trump seriously. But obviously I seriously underestimated him at the start. As did many others.