He’s dabbled in beauty pageants, real estate and reality television — but now, real estate mogul and Penn alumnus Donald Trump may be looking toward 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Trump, who graduated from the Wharton School in 1968, has been making news lately with his rumored aspirations to run for president of the United States.
Despite saying that he plans to wait until June to announce whether he will run for president or not, Trump has a high amount of support, according to a recent CNN poll of Republicans’ preference of potential candidates.
In the poll, 19 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents responded that they would support Trump as the GOP’s nominee next year.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee was tied with Trump at 19 percent. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin received 12-percent support, while former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney each received 11 percent.
“The Republican primary itself is going to be interesting, because you have a lot of candidates who all have a lot of different ideas ... you have a lot of chances for unique candidates like that who can make waves,” incoming College Republicans President and Wharton and College junior Charles Gray said.
Gray, a Daily Pennsylvanian columnist, added that “anyone who wants to should enter the primary … and he’s invited to join that debate … and let the American people decide.”
Trump’s recent surge in visibility, however, might not translate into higher chances at becoming president.
In the current Republican field of potential candidates, “some of the supposed rising stars are not ‘grabbers,’ and it’s a matter of personality as much as anything else,” political analyst and St. Joseph’s University history professor Randall Miller said.
“When you get someone like [Trump], with no reason to be running, who doesn’t have a solid policy platform — he does have a personality, a kind of pizazz that derives from his ego, and a lot of people find that attractive,” Miller continued.
Trump “has a very low appreciation for any social policy,” Penn Democrats President and College sophomore Isabel Friedman said.
“I think he’s a smart guy, but he’s also a celebrity with celebrity tactics,” Friedman added.
The media’s role in playing up Trump’s supposed aspirations should be criticized, Annenberg School for Communication professor Alvin Felzenberg said.
“If people do not think he’s serious, they shouldn’t cover him this much, but if he’s a serious candidate then we have no media scrutiny on his man, which is very irresponsible of the media,” Felzenberg said.
A study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center indicates that Trump’s visibility trumps that of other GOP contenders — 26 percent of Americans say they have heard of Trump more than any other Republican candidate. Romney came in a distant second with 9 percent.
However, “no one has ever made it into the White House without being asked serious questions” or on name recognition alone, Felzenberg said.Comments powered by Disqus
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