Let’s face it: Donald Trump’s presidential announcement (otherwise known as throwing his hairpiece, or clown-nose, into the ring) was the gift that keeps on giving (in premium gold
lettering, with signature molding, lit-up-in-neon and then set on fire.)
From its very first moment of optical pompitude, the launch achieved heights of comedy platinum that defied even
Candidate Trump’s newly silver (but still differently abled) signature combover-whirligig hair-chitecture. That’s when, rather than choosing to deliver his address from on high, the Donald
instead rode the Trump Tower’s escalator down into the bowels of his announcement pit, while waving to his fans Kim Jong Il-style. An unwitting reference to an Austin-Powers joke; all
he needed to do after that was arrive by the pretend power of canoe-paddling.
Some theorized that the rambling announcement/45-minute speech/pre-made "Saturday Night Live"
skit was so stupendously over-the-top, even by the Donald’s super-mogul standards, that it might actually be enough to keep Jon Stewart in his job at "The Daily Show."
that night, Stewart did admit that Trump’s sudden run for office might make his “last six weeks the best six weeks.” But I have to say I was disappointed in "The Daily Show" coverage
afterwards. Perhaps the writers didn’t have enough time to come up with a better bit, but having two male correspondents plus Jon fake orgasm through the segment -- by writhing and dramatically
moaning instead of speaking -- seemed to come off as unoriginal, and even objectionable, adolescent-boy filler. (Call it jejeune, a word I’ve waited my whole life to use.) Certainly, Meg
Ryan’s fake-moaning and screaming her way through that indelible delicatessen scene in "When Harry Met Sally," lo those 26 years ago, was funnier.
More importantly, it
squandered an opportunity to lob the kind of intense attack that Trump, seemingly speaking from the top of his bird-nesty head, so richly deserves. His point was that the U.S. is now
“dead,” and that the rest of the world is “laughing at us.” Certainly his speech will go a very long way toward making that notion a reality.
Take one tiny example. Given that Trump’s adopted party (he has at one time or another been both an independent and a Democrat) lost 71% of the Hispanic vote in 2012, it might behoove
him to try to clean up his statement about Mexican immigrants. He said that they are “bringing drugs, bringing crime, they're rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.” Of course, he
will prevent any such border hombres from achieving their suenos de Americanos in the first place by building a “great, great wall — and I know how to build walls” —
that the Mexicans who are “not our friends” are “going to pay for.”
For serious thinking on the Middle East, how about the idea that Trump knows how to beat
ISIS because they are both in the super-luxury hospitality business? Seems the radical insurgents built a hotel in Beirut, seriously overstepping their bounds into his turf. And here’s the
topper, the real cosmic unfairness — ISIS doesn’t have to pay any interest, he said, since they took the oil that was rightly his. His line, “I beat China all the time” would
seem to be the next “I can see Russia from my house!” in popularity. (And yes, Sarah Palin never actually said that. Tina Fey did, based on what Palin had said about Russia being a
neighbor in her “air space.” )
Not surprisingly, Palin is a big fan of the Trumpster. They share certain anti-Obama, birther outlooks, and also some issues with grammar: “Iran is
taking over Iraq, and they’re taking over bigly,” he said.
Golden nuggets in the speech aside, "The Daily Show" will no doubt have time to polish its material: a few
hours later on “Good Morning America,” the “short-fingered vulgarian” (as Spy magazine famously referred to the real estate mogul/casino owner during the 1980s) was
asked by host George Stephanopolous who would be his running mate. With a straight face, Trump said he’d like his vice-president to be Oprah.
That brings to mind two other
one-named (or whittled down further, to one initial) contenders: “Jeb!” the just-announced Republican whose logo seems like a leftover from a Big Lots! promotion. (He had the bad luck in
timing to announce his formal run the day before Mr. “You’re Fired.”) And the leading Democrat, "H" or Hillary, whose single-letter-plus-right-leaning-arrow logo I dissed as a
hospital sign when it was first released. It certainly looked modern, sleek, and worked well around the grounds of her re-re-introductory rally at Roosevelt Island.
campaigns eschew the use of a family name, since that conjures up the dynasty issues. And neither of them wants particularly to get into the subject of money, either, for obvious dynastic reasons.
Whereas for Trump, the cornerstone of his campaign is his statement, “I’m really, really rich.”
And actually, as legacy brands, Jeb and Hill share a lot of the same
problems. Perhaps Trump’s Mexican catastrophe will help Jeb, whose fluent Spanish sounds much more human and poetic than his normal robo-speak. And Hillary got points at her Roosevelt Island
rally by being charmingly out and proud about her age and the difference that her gender makes: “I might not be the youngest president, but I will be the youngest woman president in the history
of the United States,” she said. (At 67, she is two years younger than Trump.)
“You won’t see my hair turn white in the White House,” she added, while talking
about the toll the job has taken on past presidents. “I’ve been coloring my hair for years.”
The latter statement will be hard to top -- even though, with the
declaration of his candidacy, Trump might have provided comedy writers with a skyscraper-full of Top Ten List material, the subject of his crowning glory will no doubt remain a no-fly zone.