Poll: Donald Trump Now Leads Republican Primary Field By Nine Points

According to a new poll released Friday morning by Public Policy Polling, Celebrity Apprentice host and undeclared candidate for president Donald Trump now leads his nearest GOP primary opponent by nine percentage points. The man that Lawrence O’Donnell calls “NBC’s Charlie Sheen” is showing the political world that a Birther-fueled publicity tour + a weak Republican field equals “Winning!”

Trump polled at 26% in the survey, trailed by Mau-mauer Mike Huckabee with 17%, and recently-announced mainstream darling Mitt Romney with 15%. In a few short weeks, Trump has managed to completely eclipse former media fulcrum Sarah Palin, who is polling at just 8%, still better than Minnesotans Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty, who got 4% each.

A voracious political media isn’t Trump’s only ally. As TPM points out, Trump greatly benefits from name recognition, and from a Republican field that lacks it. Of the candidates in this poll, Romney and Pawlenty are probably the only two with a shot at success in a general election, but Romney will never make it through the primaries with his health care plan around his neck, and Pawlenty’s number is so low, he would currently lose to darkhorse candidate “Margin O. Error.”

In fact, the Republican candidates with the best chances for 2012 are the ones who have said they won’t run, like New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

The bad news for Republicans is that Trump has also been making noise about a possible independent run, if he doesn’t get the GOP nod. Such a run, if it materialized, would alost certainly pull votes away from the Republican candidate, and make it virtually certain that Barack Obama would be re-elected.

On the other hand, it is still very early in the campaign. At this point in the 2008 campaign, former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani had the nomination locked up, and we all know how that ended up. There is still time for a credible GOP candidate to emerge.

Still, it’s becoming harder to see how the presence of Trump’s hat in the ring helps Republicans in any way. Sure, he makes other candidates look sane by comparison, but judging from this poll, that’s not such an asset these days.

Lawrence O’Donnell Attacks ‘Terrible’ NBC For Keeping ‘Curse of Donald Trump’ Alive

Lawrence O’Donnell continued his intra-NBC warfare against potential presidential something-or-other Donald Trump tonight, responding to the news that Trump, in fact, watches that MSNBC show “with some guy, O’Donnell” and couldn’t believe that O’Donnell would defend President Obama. O’Donnell took the opportunity to explain why he won’t have Trump on the show: “it takes a certain amount of sucking up” that he just won’t do.

O’Donnell began the segment with a Palinesque attack on Trump: “When asked the number of members of the House of Representatives, he had absolutely no idea. He couldn’t even venture a guess.” So it’s no wonder, he continued, that he wouldn’t know who O’Donnell was and would dismiss his show as “some show that gets no ratings.” “That’s the closest I can get to getting Donald on my show,” O’Donnell confessed, because “it takes a certain amount to sucking up to Donald… pretending he is some kind of adult who deserves to sit in an adult chair.” This, clearly, was something O’Donnell was not particularly up to doing.

O’Donnell then tried to explain why Trump was doing the presidential thing anyway: “because he desperately needs the income from the only paying job we know he has,” which he later described as Trump’s hosting gig on Celebrity Apprentice. He concluded his monologue by playing today’s novelty clip from Trump, about his great relationship with “the blacks,” after which he introduced Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart (who, as a “black,” was shocked to find out his relationship with Trump was so good, or existed at all).

With Capehart, O’Donnell redirected his ire towards NBC, to which MSNBC is, of course, related. Noting that Trump is likely to have his show canceled because “the ratings they have and everything is so terrible,” the show was “much to NBC’s disgrace,” concluding that “the NBC standard for crazy people in their primetime schedule saying mean hateful things… apparently you can do that at NBC.”

The segment via MSNBC below:

Trump Ups The Ante, Tells Hannity Obama Is ‘The Worst President In History’

The last time a public figure uttered this sentence, the nation had a hearty guffaw at Ben Quayle’s expense– until he became Congressman Ben Quayle of Arizona, one of the 535 most powerful people in America. This time, it’s Donald Trump who is pulling out the “Barack Obama is the worst president ever” card with Sean Hannity, amid claims that he also has a “big heart” and “gets along with everybody.”

Unlike most of the combative Trump personal appearances that have made him, somehow, the top potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate on some polls, Trump’s sit-down on Hannity (lavishly overlooking Central Park) was more about what was good about Trump than what was bad about President Obama. This may be, however, because he began the interview with the harshest critique of President Obama yet:

“I always said the worst president was Jimmy Carter. Guess what? Jimmy Carter goes to second place. Barack Obama has been the worst president ever. In the history of this country, Barack Obama is number one.”

Moving right along, Trump had nothing but good things to say– about himself, that is. And of his most threatening opposition, Mike Huckabee. “I do much better when I don’t like the people,” he joked, worrying that the fact that Huckabee was a “terrific guy” would weaken his attack. He once again confirmed that he was not making the media rounds to promote Celebrity Apprentice, and then took some time to explain why he may run. “I think I’m know as a really good businessman,” he noted, adding later that “I’ve made a lot of great decisions” and, what’s more, “I’m a very conservative person with a big heart.” This meant that he gets along “with everybody”– hence his campaign donations to Democrats– and he hoped the rest of the nation could grow to get along, too.

The interview via Fox News below:

Chris Matthews: ‘Working At Fox’ Turned Out To Be A ‘Roach Motel’ For GOP Candidates

Chris Matthews continued to be fascinated with Donald Trump’s rise in Republican polls of potential presidential candidates. What Matthews seemed to enjoy the most though was how Trump was able to completely crowd out some of the other candidates, especially the Fox News affiliated-ones like Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin.

Matthews concluded:

“By the way, working at Fox has turned out to be kind of the roach motel. I mean anybody who has gone over there to work seems like they haven’t been able to get the sticky stuff on the floor over there. They haven’t been able to come back from it. I’m going through these people. Gingrich is not doing well, Palin has seemed to vague out into the sunset. The people who work over there don’t seem to be doing too well as presidential candidates.”

Then Matthews began giving campaign advice to Trump, the “NBC guy,” but stopped himself short, saying he didn’t actually want to help Trump too much.

Watch the clip from MSNBC below:

Birthers, Rejoice! Arizona Senate Passes Bill That May Keep Obama Off Its Ballot

Well, now: The Arizona Senate has passed a bill that would very likely keep President Obama off the state’s ballot for the 2012 election. The bill still awaits the Arizona House’s approval and the state Governor, but, if passed, would require that each and every presidential candidate have a certified copy of his or her long form birth certificate, including that names of the candidate’s father and mother and enough information to “determine the citizenship of both parents.” Also required: The name of the hospital in which the candidate was born, the name of the attending physician (if there was one) and the signatures of any others who witnessed the birth.

The bill echoes the desires of the “birther” movement – which calls for President Obama to show proof that he was born on U.S. soil – and potential candidate Donald Trump, who has repeatedly called on the President to produce a birth certificate.

In fact, so far Trump is the only potential candidate who would qualify to appear on Arizona’s ballot. Trump recently met with the bill’s author, Representative Carl Seel to discuss this very “HB 2177″ bill.

h/t Slate via Alan Colmes’ Liberaland

This Exists: Birther Porn

The recent emergence of Donald Trump as a possible presidential candidate and ringmaster of the Magical Birth Certificate Mystery Tour® has thrust the Birther movement into the national spotlight once again. Beyond Trump, though, there’s a teeming Birther subculture with its own cast of characters, including Lucas Daniel Smith, whose nude painting of Orly Taitz just sold for $350 on eBay.

Beneath the Birther movement’s surface lurks a dizzying array of shared delusions, competing claims, and intramural debunkage that you could scarcely keep track of with a stack of scorecards. Blogger Patrick McKinnion has been doing a great job of chronicling the drama since the movement’s early days, and he uncovered a gem from minor Birther celebrity Lucas Daniel Smith, in an affidavit on behalf of Congressional disturber of the peace Theresa Cao.

In describing his quest for the Kenyan birth certificate that even World Net Daily dismisses, Smith describes an encounter that, as McKinnion notes, reads like a bad Penthouse Letters submission:

We left the restaurant and walked to her home which was nearby. I was looking forward to hearing all about Barack Hussein Obama‟s birth in Kenya.

As we entered her home she asked me to please take a seat. She walked into the bathroom, left the door open, and to my astonishment she began to disrobe. She then called me into the bathroom. I entered and started telling her that I was a married man and that I was only interested in hearing more about Barack Hussein Obama’s birthplace in Kenya. She then striped herself of her under garments, told me to wait for her, and gracefully stepped into the shower. I then stepped out of the bathroom and took my seat in the other room again. I really didn’t know what to do. I wanted to get her story but I wasn’t prepared to trade my body for her account of Barack Hussein Obama’s nativity story.

You can find out if the story has a happy ending here.

Smith is also the artist behind “Orly Taitz and Her Exhibits,” a tasteful nude that depicts Birther crusader Orly Taitz, topless, holding a pair of Kenyan birth certificates. In a bizarre accompanying document (which also covers the urinating and defecating habits of pigs), Smith admits the painting “may be a little comical,” but insists that “no aspect of this proud painting can be construed as grotesque or defaming, slanderous or libelous.”

It’s truly difficult to tell if Smith is trying to satirize Taitz, whom he accused of suborning perjury a few years back, because the rest of his writing is so earnestly loopy.

The painting sold Tuesday for $350, to an eBay user who really ought to consider a quick turnaround to Donald Trump. “Orly Taitz and Her Exhibits” would make a great backdrop for his Celebrity Apprentice boardroom.

With Trump’s Birther assault showing no sign of a letup, despite his self-professed reluctance to discuss the subject, expect the media, and the public, to become better acquainted with this subculture, and its colorful characters.

Jon Stewart Calls Trump A Fu*kwad, Warns Romney ‘You’re Competing With Crazy’

Jon Stewart sized up some of the “crazy” Republican candidates, quickly taking down Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann before setting his comedic crosshairs on the “odd-headed reality show star” Donald Trump. After playing a clip of Trump questioning President Obama’s birth certificate, Stewart yelled in response, “his mother was American you fu*kwad!”

Stewart realized the Republicans have at least one plausible candidate in Mitt Romney, or as Stewart referred to him, “Captain Buzzkill.” Romney received some light comedic jabs from Stewart, but also a warning. Stewart advised, “you’re competing with crazy people Mitt. I’m a competent businessman is not going to cut through.” Instead, Stewart suggested that Trump’s “crazy” talk is just the type of “candy” that Romney might have to utilize so that he doesn’t fade from the media spotlight.

Watch the clip from Comedy Central below: