Because the Republican presidential primary has been too stodgy and dignified lately–what with all the sex-harassment eruptions, memory-lapse gaffes and “SexyBack” parodies—Donald Trump will host a GOP debate in Iowa on Dec. 27, announced conservative news outlet Newsmax. The New York Times has the details:
Mr. Trump’s role in the debate, which will be broadcast on the cable network Ion Television, is sure to be one of the more memorable moments in a primary season that has already delivered its fair share of circus-like spectacle…. Newsmax sent candidates the invitation on Friday afternoon. It began, “We are pleased to cordially invite you to “The Newsmax Ion Television 2012 Presidential Debate,” moderated by a truly great American, Mr. Donald J. Trump.” Spokesmen for several candidates did not immediately respond to questions from The New York Times about whether they would accept.
How can they not? Sure, if they accept, they run the risk of having America see them begging for the approval of a reality-TV host and birth-certificate-conspiracy pusher. But if they refuse, they run the risk of having the Republican base see them spurning the approval of their favorite reality-TV host and birth-certificate-conspiracy pusher. A visit to Trump has already become something of a ritual pilgrimage for GOP hopefuls; the Newsmax debate basically dares them to take the courting public. (Update: Jon Huntsman, who made a point of not going to visit Trump earlier in the campaign, refused the invite with the response, “LOL.”)
Well, there’s usually precious little on TV the week before New Year’s, so I’m up for it. Let’s just hope that, if this event goes through, they take it all the way. I want the candidates seated around a long table in the boardroom, while Trump invites them to argue why their opponents should be fired. And I want it preceded by a team challenge, where Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich lead two groups of primary rivals in running an Iowa diner for the day. I hear Rick Perry grills a mean burger!