In a campaign-style appearance in Boca Raton Saturday, Donald Trump told the Tea Party crowd that he's a real conservative--he's anti-tax, pro-life, pro-gun, and will "fight to get rid of Obamacare." Three elderly people fainted at the rally. We hope they swooned for the April sun, not at Trump's convictions. It shouldn't be a surprise that Trump has latched onto the far-right's birtherism. As he enters his fourth decade as a professional attention seeker, Trump has a long record of saying just about anything that will win him headlines. Especially when it strikes a cultural or political nerve.
It's not even the first time that Trump has flirted with running for office as part of his brand: Way back in 1987, for example, he started buying full-page ads in newspapers in which he opined on national issues. Two weeks after a jogger in Central Park was brutally raped and left in a coma, he took out full-page ads in several newspapers calling for the death penalty for the "savages." (Contrary to Trump's assertion that he's always been cool with "the blacks," some said the ad was race-baiting.) There was another set that ran in the New York Times, Boston Globe and Washington Post (at a personal cost of $95,000) which proclaimed, "There's nothing wrong with America that a little backbone can't cure," according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. His flack tried to stoke a little political speculation by denying any plan to run for mayor, governor or Senator but added that Trump "will not comment about the presidency." In 2000, Trump wrote a faux presidential campaign book, The America We Deserve, which Slate's Dave Weigel actually bothered to read, in which Trump claimed that he was ready to lead America towards socialism (or at least single payer health care, just like they have up in Canada).