The Homer Simpson rule and Donald Trump

The Trump Organization "Show me someone without an ego, and I'll show you a loser." ÑDonald Trump "All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with meÑconsciously or unconsciously. That's to be expected." ÑThe Daily News, March 24, 2004 The thrice-married Donald has never been shy about being in front of the camera. At times, his nose for publicity outshines his business sense. Why does Trump make the list? ¥ That hair. ¥ The germaphobic Trump considers shaking hands a dirty, "barbaric" ritual. ¥ Lowered the height of the boxing ring for a 1988 title fight between Mike Tyson and Michael Spinks so those in the front rows wouldn't get stiff necks. ¥ Wrote Surviving at the Top just before his company plunged into bankruptcy. ¥ Engaged in a nasty, name-calling feud with Rosie O'Donnell in the media. Rosie had criticized Trump for presenting himself as a moral authority when he allowed the underage Miss USA, Tara Conner, to retain her crown after she was filmed drinking.

Hello everyone. You might have seen news last week that TV personality and real-estate mogul Donald Trump has formed an exploratory committee to investigate a presidential run. This is further than he got in 2012, when he stoked a lot of speculation about a run, but did not undertake any of the necessary administrative steps to becoming a declared candidate.

Now that Trump is more formally running in 2016, this is a good opportunity to remind you of the Homer Simpson rule of American politics:

There’s an episode from season six of “The Simpsons” in which a young Homer sees Jack Kennedy on TV. Homer’s mother suggests to her husband that their son might grow up to be President. Grampa, however, scoffs at the idea. “You, President?” he sneers. “This is the greatest country in the world. We’ve got a whole system set up to prevent people like you from becoming President.”

I think Grampa Simpson had it right. As much as the American system is designed to give members of a party base the power to choose its nominees, there is so much vetting involved that if the party insiders in Fairfax genuinely don’t want someone to be a nominee, they won’t be.

In other news, the Houston Chronicle is reporting that Senator Ted Cruz of Texas will announce a bid today. Senator Cruz is in a different league to Trump, if only by dint of being an elected politician rather than a joke, but the Homer Simpson rule applies to him, too. There are a lot of people in the Republican Party who don’t want Cruz to be their nominee, and that will make it very difficult for him to get the nod.

Finally, when Jeb Bush first announced his interest in running, I said I was skeptical of his chances. Three months later, and my prediction seems to still be up in the air. Bush hasn’t crashed and burned, but he hasn’t cleared the field either.