Liz Smith: Shuddering at a Possible Trump Presidency (Remember, This Is America — Anything Is Possible!)

Donald Trump: presidential hopeful?

And more from our Liz: the Bill Cunningham documentary all New York is talking about

“A CIVILIZED SOCIETY is one which tolerates eccentricity to the point of doubtful sanity,” said Robert Frost.

Too bad Mr. Frost isn’t around to watch Donald Trump these days.

I understand that Donald seems to be fulfilling some sort of perpetual American political myth that a big-boasting, plain-talking guy is gonna come along and “just say what everybody is thinking.” And that guy will become our Big Leader.

Despite making the occasional trenchant point, I shudder to think of the United States of America under his control, should he become president. We’d be at war — a lot.  And despite his financial acumen, he has declared bankruptcy three times. Comforting?

I also find his Birther talk downright dangerous. And I do not think for one second he actually believes that President Obama — and the entire corps of the FBI and Secret Service and all U.S. Intelligence agencies — has conspired to place a non-American in the White House. (What? Like Obama wasn’t vetted from head to toe?)

Many people say they are amused by Trump. I say NBC should put “Celebrity Apprentice” on hold until June when Donald “makes up his mind” about running. After all, if this is not simply a publicity stunt, it shouldn’t matter all that much.

* * *

BILL CUNNINGHAM of The New York Times may just be the most important reporter-photographer-culture maven in all of modern day journalism .

And he is desperately important at the Times itself. I say this even though the Times editorial and Op Ed pages are necessities in a great and threatened democracy like ours. But Bill fills society’s cultural void.

Bill is the heart and soul of what goes on in New York and environs when it comes to high fashion, street fashion, and low and middle-class fashion, charity parties, balls, and benefits by the rich, famous or infamous. He shoots around the city on his bike (he has had 28 of them stolen,) covering whatever strikes his fancy and he keeps reiterating his mantra: “If you don’t take their money, they can’t tell you what to write and do. You then have the most important thing – freedom.”

So Bill, who is no spring chicken, reiterates for the Times the supreme idea of freedom of the press, of reporters not “taking the King’s shilling,” of a life and profession not beholden to anyone or anything, photographing and writing about whatever strikes his fancy. And he says and knows more about high fashion and low, dressing trends, the elite and the sub-elite than anyone else still extant in the international world. Bill believes if we stopped covering “fashion” we would miss quite a lot culture-wise — and it just might be the end of civilization as we know it. He says we can’t dispense with that frivolity in our culture. (Not to mention that business – the beloved “retail” business – is so important to New York and to the body politic. It helps keep big cities going and little towns hoping.)

They have made a documentary about Bill Cunningham, and it is the talk of towns from here to Paris and Milan. It is titled “Bill Cunningham New York,” directed by Richard Press. It is showing at Manhattan’s Museum of Fine Arts. Everybody who is anybody is talking about it.

This same unassuming creature who eschews publicity was somehow convinced that his life and times should be noticed. He has already refused to be honored by almost everything although back in the Princess Diana years, I did convince him to accept the Fashion Institute of Technology award and he rode out on the stage at Lincoln Center to take the prize from my hand, still astride his bike. Then I convinced him that he should become a “Living Landmark” for the New York Landmarks Conservancy. Bill kicked, demurred, and refused, saying: “No, no way and never!” But finally I got him to accept although he refused to be at a table honoring him and instead worked through the evening photographing others.

But when he finally came up to accept his investiture, he gave the Conservancy one of the best speeches about saving New York buildings and monuments and other aspects of culture that we’d ever heard. I see in his documentary that Bill also accepted a great big important award in Paris and he made his modest comments in French.

One of the most entertaining aspects of the Cunningham documentary is that it offers us three of fashion’s most fashionable and cultured ladies speaking of “their” Bill and how they love him and how important he is. Well, that is two of these women spoke eloquently about Bill and what he means as a reporter and a kind-hearted friend.

They are Anna Wintour of Vogue and the philanthropist and usually shy, retiring wife of designer Oscar de la Renta, one Annette. Both women appear to advantage and come off just great.

Then Bill himself selects his own third icon. He says that Mercedes Bass is the sine qua non of high fashion these days and he compares her to a Sargent painting. (So, no question, Mrs.Bass — who has helped save the Metropolitan Opera — must love Bill too.)

I’ve never met anyone who met him who didn’t.

 


100 comments so far.

  1. avatar Harriet Shoebridge says:

    I’m blaming this post on Grey’s Anatomy, which I have just discovered, having long ago restricted my television to the running of DVD’s and, recently, completed a marathon session of said series … that said … maybe that … what to call ‘it’ … thing on Mr. Trump’s forehead is hiding a tumour, impairing judgment, explaining inappropriate responses … like I said, I’m laying these words at the feet of McDreamy. 

  2. avatar Jeff Michaels says:

    I did not pay attention to the birth certificate issue until Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercombie, a friend of Obama’s parents, assured us he was going to show everyone that it existed. For certain, the president would give the governor the right to have access to his birth certificate so all doubters could be made to look like fools. Then Abercombie quickly shut up about the issue. That silence increased my journalistic curiosity as it should for all members of the establishment media. There is one easy solution. Just show EVERYONE the birth certificate and then we can go on to other issues. This is an easy solution to an easy problem — if an easy solution exists.

  3. avatar Belinda Joy says:

    You took the words right out of my mouth Liz. Barack Obama was vetted to the nth degree. 200 years of only White males occupying the White House, does anyone really believe the first truly viable candidate that came along that was of color wouldn’t have his life turned inside out and upside down for the slightest skeleton? Of course he was vetted. Every time Trump opens his mouth he sounds more and more like a make version of Palin and Bachmann. I say let him keep talking.

  4. avatar Mary says:

    Trump president?   I think it is all very silly.  But I do have a great idea for
    Apprentice……………Have Palin and Trump on different teams with all of the other crazy candidates and fire each other.   Each week they would have to demonstrate knowledge of Foreign affairs, the Constitution, Treasury, Congress, Supreme Court rulings , etc.  Lastly they would have to demonstrate their platform and what would they do to solve the problems we face today.

    Now that would be entertaining.

  5. avatar Maggie W says:

    I watched George Stephanopolous hold his own and keep his cool with The Donald, no easy feat because Trump uses “Excuse Me,” to constantly interrupt anyone and then rag on for minutes.  His ego was really on display when George asked him how he would handle certain Mid Eastern players ( oil cartels).  Without blinking an eye, he answered, ” I would just look them in the eye and say, Look, this has gone on long enough’….”

    There it is.  Why didn’t Bill Clinton, GWB, and now Barack Obama think of this?  Just look them in the eye and tell them to stop whatever it is they are up to. 

    Sarah Palin has temporarily stepped out of the Republican crazy house, and  Donald Trump has stepped in to fill the void.

  6. avatar Bonnie O says:

    Hi Liz -  I was waiting for an article from you regarding the possible Donald Trump candidacy.  You do not disappoint.   As a Republichan, I, too, have a creepy feeling about his candidacy.  He is smart, well educated, altruistic to the nth degree, successful to an even greather degree and is definitely not wishy-washy  Why does the possible candidacy of such a person fill so many Repbulicans with trepidation?   Is he Presidential?  No, but then many former and historical Presidents were not either.  Is Trump truthful?  As much as any other candidate.   Can he win?  Now that is the problem.  A Trump candidacy could spoil the chance of another and more electable GOP candidate …. Trump could be a spoiler, a la Ross Perot.   Notice I do not ask if the man is likeable …. to some he is and to others he definitely is not!

    As for the birth certificate issue.  The President, as mentioned above, would kill all speculation as to the issue if he simply presented it.  It is curious that he has not.  Then one is almost forced to ask, why not?  President Obama gets to slide on many issues whereas other candidates have not.  His college records?  His writings for the Harvard Review?  All un-disclosed.  Very strange.  I hesitate to mention that the birth certificate question was first raised by then Senator Clinton and other democratic candidates during the last election.  This
    subject is not a concoction of the Tea Party.

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Bonnie…exactly.  It has been brought up before.  Do you think if there was the slightest chance that Obama, his family and the various agencies cited above were trying to put one over, that HILLARY AND BILL CLINTON couldn’t have gotten to the bottom of it?!  I repeat–the Clintons.

      Obama has presented his Hawaiian birth certifcate–a certificate of live birth.  It is what they have in Hawaii, where he was born.  It is considered as valid as any other “kind” of birth certificate. 

      Criticize him on any other level–and you will find Mr. Wow not disagreeing with you on more than a few issues.  But not this, please. 

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        I shall play devil’s advocate here.   The Hawaiian Live Birth Certiicate is not the same thing as a birth certificate.  There is supposedly a birth certificate, an actual document signed by a physician.  Where is it?   I do agree with you that the Clintons would probably have uncovered any shennagians …. if there were any.  However, the subject will not disappear but it could disappear forever and completely if the President would only be more forthcoming.  Why does he persist in allowing the subject to be bandied about?  If, perhaps, the President allowed the release of his Harvard writings, his grades etc …. then the doubt expressed by so many as to the existence of a birth certificate would not have gained so much momentum.

        I am fairly certain the President was born in Hawaii.  Do I have any doubts?  I would have to admit that with his history of undisclosures, there is a smidgen of doubt. 

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Enough already with this. Bonnie, where is your original birth certificate,? All you have is all everyone else, including Barack Obama, has. A certified copy.

        His birth was also announced in the Honolulu newspaper. Twice I belive,. I know, I know, someone went into the microfilm archives and “planted” the announcements.

        Back to your certificate. A certifiied copy is not acceptable. The original, please.  Put up or shut up.

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        Snooks you are still as rude as you were before the website discontinued the Elizabeth Peak articles.  Who do you think you are to tell anyone what they can write at wowowow?

        FYI, a ”living birth certificate”, from what I have read,  is a certification that the preparer has seen the original record and copied some of the info found there onto a “living birth certificate”.  The original record/document would have the name of the physican, his signature, the hospital etc.  None of that information is provided on the Living Birth Certificate.    The announcement of Obama’s birth was published in the Honolulu Advertizer (I believe that is the newspaper) but it was not published in a timely manner.  Does that make a difference?  Some people believe it does.

        And some folks, including Hillary Clinton, have raised the question of the orginal record where the name and signature of the doctor appears.  Where the name of the hospital, if any, is listed.  The Governor of Hawaii said he saw the document and would make it available.  Then he changed his mind.  Curious.

        When the President’s grandmother said to a reporter that Obama was born in Kenya, was that too a mistake?  Probably.  She was immediately corrected by someone in the room.  Who was that person, I wonder?

        I will retain my smidgen of doubt, no matter what you say or how loud you say it.

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        postscript.  I do have my original birth certificate.  In addition, I have a certified copy of my birth record as provided by the State.  Your info is faulty.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Well hold on tit becuase if you lose it, well, there won’t be a way to get a copy, now will there? Maybe some states stamp the little feet twice. All states retain the original birth ceritficate. Whatever it’s called. Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to provide a certified copy.    Barack Obama is a citizen of the United States. Born in Honoluly. Do you all drink the tea or smoke it?

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        You can write anything you want.  As for rude, well,  to me rude is this continued “controversy” about Barack Obama.  There is no controversy. Or conspiracy.

        If he wasn’t born in Honolulu you can make bet the Clintons would have found out just exactly where he was born and made sure everyone knew. Lord knows they tried everything else to keep him from wining the nomination. Although it seems they landed in The White House anyway. And that is why I will not vote for him again. Ever. For anything. 

      • avatar O E says:

        Oh…You’d like to see President Obama’s Harvard grades?  That’s a good one.  I would have a laughing party for my friends just to enjoy seeing George W. Bush’s grades! 

        As for  “the doubt expressed by so many as to the existence of a birth certificate would not have gained so much momentum.” Might you be referring to the “so many” who also deny evolution has the origin of homo sapiens?

      • avatar Mahulda Fite says:

        Bush’s grades are available. Obama’s are not.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Of all the things that should have been covered up his grades at Yale should have been at the top of the list. George W Bush is not the brightest light bulb as they say.

      • avatar Mahulda Fite says:

        Bush’s undergraduate grades at Yale were better than Gore’s or Kerry’s undergraduate grades.

        Looks like Bush’s bulb is brighter than theirs.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        I know the Bushes and so I have a little better perspective shall we say and trust me when I say the George W Bush’s is a walking, and unfortunately talking, advertisement for his mother’s literacy advocacy.  

        He probably managed the C average by carefully watching which little dot the classmmate sitting next to him had filled in.  And of course always managed to sit next to the next-dumbest student in class.

      • avatar Mahulda Fite says:

        Baby Snooks,
        Interesting how you never respond to the actual comments or rufute the facts. You always seem to have a sarcastic, arrogant response that has nothing to do with the orignal thought.

        What does you “knowing the Bushes” have to do with whether or not Bush’s grades were higher than Gore’s or Kerry’s?

        And what does your opinion of Bush’s intelligence have to with the fact that Bush’s grades are out there for everyone to see while Obama’s are not. I believe the original question is why Obama has hidden all of his transcripts and other various documents.

        Your opinion of Bush is duly noted. By the way, do you have a BS from Yale or an MBA from Harvard?

      • avatar crystalclear says:

        Mahulda, why can’t we have the same visibility into Barack and Michelle’s college transcripts?  I read somewhere that Obama hired a team of attornies to remove everything about his background (and Michelle’s).   What’s up with that?   I also read where his grades at Occidental and Columbia weren’t the greatest either but hell who really knows?   Personally, I don’t give a flip or a flop.   I just want him to be a one term President.

        His campaigning this week was pitiful.   He went right for GWB’s neck again.   I hope he falls way way short of his $1 billion goal in campaign funds.   

        I’m so ready for the moving van to pull up to the White House.   I feel like we have a black cloud over our country with no sun in sight until 2012. 

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        You  originally commented that Bush’s grades were available and Obama’s I commented  in my usual sarcastic and arrogant wy that th greades should have been at the top of the lits of things not to made available. So maybe Obama’s just a little smarter than Bush by making sure his grades were not available?

        I have a PhD in life from the Chateau Marmont. Summa cum laude.

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        Hi Mahulda -   You are quite correct.  George W. Bush’s received his highest grades from Yale in the subjects of philosophy and anthropology, a B+ average.  He was, otherwise, a solid “C” student;  president of his fraternity and a member of Skull & Bones. His grade point was higher than was the grade point of Al Gore.  Earlier, Bush attended Andover.

        Some folks around this website assume negative allegations about the former President or anyone else they do not favor …. simply for political reasons.  And that is a sad commentary about wowowow.  Too bad.

      • avatar crystalclear says:

        I’ve always liked George W. Bush cocky SOB that he is!  I loved that about him.  Cocky, confident, and decisive.   What we have now is cocky, confident, and not a clue.

      • avatar Mahulda Fite says:

        Bonnie,
        Unfortunately, this site had deteriorated.
        The same people with the same political tilt giving the same snarky remarks.
        Always great to see your intelligent thoughts.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Mine’s not a political tilt but a personal tilt and have little patience for those who call themselves a “conservative” and seem to think that anyone who disagrees with them is a “liberal” and that seems to have always been a problem on wowOwow.

        For the record I was born a Republican and will die a Republican. But I vote for who decide to vote for. And I do not vote solely on the basis of the (D) or the (R) beside the name.  Never have. Never will.  As for the Republican Party, I remember what it once was. And am disgusted by what it has become.

      • avatar Mahulda Fite says:

        Baby Snooks,
        I have no idea what your political tilt is–you are all over the map with your opinions.

        what I do notice is that only respond negatively to those of us who are conservative, which incidentally, is not the same as “republican”.

        You often criticize Obama for the same reasons some of us criticize him yet you still feel the need to argue with us even under those circumstances.  I find this puzzling and feel the only explanation is that you do not like conservatives, even when they agree with you.

        Of course this makes no sense but with you it does since most of what you say is contradictory.  For example, constantly railing against (nonexistent) racism,  yet admitting that you would vote for someone solely on the basis of their skin color.

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        O E -  You should reread my comments.  You cannot deny there is a group of Indpendents, members of the GOP and just plain folks who have doubts as to the President’s birthplace.  I simply added that I believe that their doubts might have gained a greater creditbility with these folks  because of all the other personal details of Obama’s life that continue to remain secret.   It is a logical conclusion.

        As I wrote earlier …. I am fairly certain the President was born in Hawaii.  If this were a trial and I had to use the scale of “reasonable doubt”, I would conclude that there is not enough doubt to assert the President may have been  born in Kenya or anywhere else except Hawaii.    But I don’t like the fact that Obama has been able to avoid disclosures that all other candidates have made.  Why is he so special?   It does create pause … and to some doubt.  And until more information is provided, I fear that doubt will remain.

        Your sarcasm is a wasted exercise..  I care not for your opinion of me.

      • avatar crystalclear says:

        Your last two sentences were well written and were appropo.   Stating that you care not for another’s opinion of you is well stated.   There seems to be a bit of tension here when the liberals face off with the conservatives.   Being an independent is interesting because I flip flop back and forth trying to find equal footing.   I try.   However, the conservatives need to blast through this mountainous debt President Obama has built and will continue to build if someone doesn’t stop him.  

        I am not certain what actually motivates Obama…ego…wealth….the fact that his father rejected him, or his mother’s edgy 1970′s personna dating a man from Africa and becoming pregnant by him.   It’s a puzzle at this point what really motivates Barack Obama.    He has a patchwork upbringing and an element of rejection laced with communist leaning grandparents.   I would have hoped that being educated in the United States would have leveled him in some way to find a clear path.   I honestly do not know who he is at this point.   I wonder if he knows who he is and what the future holds for him beyond Washington, DC.  

        I find it very sad.

      • avatar Elizabeth Newman says:

        Where on Earth are getting that his grandparents had communist leanings? There are parts of Communism that I might agree with, but that certainly doesn’t mean that advocate it as a overall valid idea.

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        CrystalClear - 

        I have never understood the President’s motives.  I certainly have an understanding of the Obama followers but that is an easy observation.  He is a dynamic, handsome, eloquent liberal and many of his supporters have a fondness for him …as if he were a member of the family.  The reasons why a youngish man with young children  would want to be President in this day and age, as opposed to 1960 with the JFK inaugration, is a mystery to me.  I think it extremely selfish and, sadly, keeping in mind the violence in our own country, very dangerous.

        In addition, it is more and more my opinion that the President is a strong believer in a socialistic model for America a/k/a a ”Nanny State”.   If a person who is able to work but chooses not to work … is in Obama’s world entitled to be supported with food, shelter and money by other Americans who do work.  And that entitlement is from cradle to grave.  It is a philosophy that is the exact opposite of the tradtional American goal of allowing any person to work, with the fewest obstacles, so that each Amercan will have an opportunity to achieve his goals …. no matter his status at birth or his/her ethnicity.

        President Obama has spent trillions of dollars in less than two years.  Due to his mismanagement of the financial situation, the US Dollar is under attack and is shrinking in value almost daily.  The debt is unsustainable and the President proposed a budget that would spend more next year than he did this year.  Unbelievable.

        During the last campaign, he lamented  America’s military intervention overseas, the POW camp at Quantanamo and the reputation America had acquired overseas, especially Europe.   In 2011, he has tripled the armed forces in Afghanistan, started a war in Libya and is engaged in military actions inside Packistan.  Quantanamo remains open and  America’s reputation overseas has dropped even lower.

        For all of his likability, the President is a dismal failure.   He has ruined any change of political finance reform with his expressed goal of raising one billion dollars for the next campaign.  Holy smokes!

        If the 2012 choice is between Obama and Trump, I think I will be making martinis that evening and hoping to goodness that the Republicans will take control of the Senate while holding onto the leadership in the House …. in that case no matter who wins, the Congress and the nation’s money will be in secure hands. 

      • avatar crystalclear says:

        BonnieO, having voted for his “Hope and Change” I’ll admit I had high expectations of Obama.   Those expectations quickly went south after he was inaugurated.   I kept waiting for him to actually “do something” that would be good for stimulating the economy.   Each inexperienced decision of his soon proved to be a road block to recovery.   I stopped waiting for him to keep his campaign promises.  

        2012′s election will be historical in my opinion.   I cannot believe the American people will re-elect someone who keeps making excuses for why he failed.   How I hope that a strong, confident, experienced person with an economic background and perhaps a governership behind them will move to the center ring and prove to us through viable plans that he/she will put America back on the road to prosperity.   That’s exciting to me because I believe in miracles!   Looking at successful governors across our country (with the exception of Palin) gives me hope that we will find our leader among them.

        BonnieO, your post is a true overview of the past two years.   Why would this country re-elect someone who has failed on so many levels? 

        Regarding a comment above about Trump not having any experience, I will disagree.   The fact that he does not have political experience is a plus for him.   He won’t play the games with his party.   He’ll stand up for what is right economically.   Where he will need guidance (as did Obama) is in foreign affairs. 

        I would like to say what a pleasure it is to discuss politics on this thread with intelligent, well researched comments even though we don’t agree.  I like that.   No one is wrong and no one is absolutely right in their opinions.   I wish healthy discussion could take place in the Congress and with the POTUS as we are exhibiting here.   It does get tense at times but it is respectful for the most part.

        To Elizabeth Newman:   re:  communist leanings.    I have read that his grandparents belonged to the communist party movement as did Obama’s mother.   She was always edgy and out there showing a radical side during college and in her personal life.   I don’t know if all I’ve read is true.    I cannot relate to the communist party in any way as I believe in the American way of life that a person should begin their adult life with a life plan to provide for themselves and their family.  Seems we’ve morphed into a “nanny state” in many respects.   I agree with Bonnie O on many of her comments.

        I want to see a real leader emerge in early 2012.   So far, we haven’t seen that person.    President Obama does not deserve a second term.  God help our country if he is re-elected in 2012.

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        Crystal -  very well said.  I, too, enjoy political conversation when personal attacks are left out of the commentary.  Welcome to wowowow even though there is very little political discussion here nowadays … it got way too rowdy and the folks in charge reduced the number of articles relating to politics, the economy and foreign affairs.  However, Liz Smith still gives us an occasional article with her point of view … she is left of center and reasonable in her point of view.

      • avatar crystalclear says:

        Thanks, Bonnie.   This site should offer more political discussion but, hey, we can stay on one thread until it is archived can’t we?  Political discussions touch every part of our lives especially in these trying times.  I find exchanging opinions somehow makes me understand that we are all in the same boat on high seas. 

        We need to ask Mr. Wow to put up an occasional political topic or at least something on the economy.   There are smart members here who appear to have varied backgrounds all of whom can bring interesting conversation to the topic.   I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the responses on this topic.   Learned a few things, too!

        Liz Smith seems reasonable in her point of view but I haven’t been here long enough to get to know everyone.

        Thanks so much for taking the time to post to me!

      • avatar Jon T says:

        I’ve been thinking the same thing, Mr. Wow. Does anyone honestly believe that Hillary Clinton (or any of the other Democratic hopefuls) is sitting around muttering, “I should have played the birth certificate card! Why didn’t I jump on that one when I had the chance???” What about John McCain for that matter? Do you think he would have missed an opportunity to knock Obama out of the running? All those opportunities to conclusively stop him in his tracks, and no one took it? It defies logic.

        As far as why he doesn’t show the public his birth certificate, why should he? He ran for the office of President and won. Anyone who still believes this silliness will never be satisfied anyway. I’m not entirely thrilled with Obama as president, but it’s just as ludicrous as the rumors that Sarah Palin didn’t give birth to Trig.

      • avatar crystalclear says:

        Jon, you make an excellent point.  The whole issue is mind boggling.  You would think the democrats would’ve stepped forward with whatever would’ve satisfied the curiosity of the birthers.   Hillary was the first to mention Obama’s birth certificate.   Then she went quiet.  Makes you wonder if they have an unspoken “oath” among them.   My questions don’t revolve around his birth certificate.   My curiosity is more about Obama being a foreign student when he applied to Occidental.   Now, that would seem logical although someone stated here that you could live in Indonesia and not be a citizen there.   I have read that you must become a citizen of Indonesia in order to live, work and go to school there.   That being said, my next curiosity is why President Obama was the first President in modern times to feel the need to have all of his records sealed.   To me, that was odd.  Poor ole George Bush had the good and the bad splattered all over the place and so did others.   This available information has been a source of negativity against these politicians.   Personally, I don’t believe grades mean anything.   I read a study where “C” students were the most successful in their careers as they tended to be more well rounded in the important area of strong people skills.   I’ve known a few Harvard graduates who didn’t have a lick of common sense and personalities like a stick.   I know because I was married to one of them!   Dumb as a brick when it came to dealing with everyday situations.   What businessmen and women need to know  is that besides presenting their projections on whatever is HOW to sell it to other people.   If one can’t sell it it is as good as non-existent.   I’ve also met a few A students who actually had it all but I believe that is rare.   Back to President Obama….I don’t believe he had the grades at Occidental, Columbia and maybe Harvard…and he wanted them sealed…which explains why to some  he is considered  a good salesman. 

        I could be wrong.   Wouldn’t be the first time.

  7. avatar Baby Snooks says:

    Filing for bankruptcy three times is not reflective of  financial acumen or financial conservatism but then Donald Trump isn’t really running on that basis. His attacks on Barack Obama are reflective of the basis he is running on. Suffice it to say he is very appeailng to the Tea Party.

    Someone made a comment once that Donald Trump in fact owns nothing. The banks own it all. They just give him a nice “allowance” to live on. Probably true. And probably reflective of who is really behind Donald Trump running for president. A scary thought. But then most in this country are not capable of a thought it seems. Just rabid reaction to the rabid rhetoric.  In both parties. Neither party serves the people any more.

    I doubt seriously that he will win the nomination. But as with Sarah Palin the fact that anyone seriously considered  him as a candidate is a reflection of how dangerous this country has become.

    • avatar Elizabeth Newman says:

      Donald Trump is just playing to the ideas that will get him the most airtime. Right now, the “birther” movement is a very vocal minority, fueled by a general lack of knowledge over state documents. I think the vast majority of people saying that a certification of live birth either haven’t had to get a copy of theirs in the recent future, or operate solely on the knowledge they possess. Some states still issue a photocopy of the original birth record. Many state don’t, or you have to request it specially.

      What “amuses” me about the enthusiasim for Trump is that these same people will talk about Obama’s lack of experience prior to being president, but seem to overlook the fact that Trump has ZERO political experience. Running a corporation and running a country are two vastly different things. They also seem to forget that every election Trump flirts with running, usually because he has something else to promote…himself. I’m about 99% sure that Trump has zero intention of actually running….but if he does, great. Just means that Obama and the Democrats have a better chance of winning.

  8. avatar Barbara says:

    I agree on the crazy house that is the Republican party these days. Not one viable candidate seems to emerge, just a whole bunch of looneys. Where someone was born is the most important issue they can come up with? Really?

  9. avatar Richard Bassett says:


    First, the President does not run the country. He does have clout but congress and senate do control day to day issues so, if by some oblique miracle, he is ever elected President…he will be kept on a very short leash. And he knows that. He knows that he has no experience with intricate US and global governmental matters, and sadly, will realize that he is in way over his head once he is in the thick of it. But I doubt that he will ever get that far. In California, Zsa Zsa Gabor’s 9th husband, Frédéric Prinz von Anhalt announced his plans to run for governor of California…and people humored him until it all drifted away. Trump may experience the same humorous tolerance, though up a few notches. He is a ‘personality’ not qualified to be an elected official. This subject remains on the back burners of my mind, putting appropriate issues in front. Can you honestly believe that the host of the rehearsed, “Apprentice” can use THOSE skills in the White House? Where is Leona Helmsley? She should get in on this too. And the mystery birth certificate plays on, ready for episode #2.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Leona’s in her mausoleium the last time I checked. Along with Harry.  But I’ll pull out the Ouija board.  I suspect the message will be “This surprises you? You?”  Doesn’t surprise me at all. Nothing of late surprises me.  Particulary in Washington. Like Pamela Harriman said, some things are Democratic things, some things are Republican things, and some things are just money things. And 30 years later it’s all just the money things.  Our democracy is history at this point. The only Democrats and Republicans left in this country are the fools who believe there are Democrats and Republicans on the ballot.

  10. avatar Maggie W says:

    We have fundamental questions about how to balance our budgets, fund our schools, improve our decaying infrastructure, and reduce our deficits.  Most Americans show little if any interest in those problems. So,   certain politicians pander to the uniformed and flame their misapprehensions.  Include the hyper media and it is ongoing chaos.

    The State Department recognizes a certificate of live birth .  Thousands of Americans acquire a passport with that certificate. The State Department also holds Obama’s passport ( like all Presidents), and the state of Hawaii has also validated Obama’s birth so many times it now refuses to address the question.  I find it both interesting and amusing that Republicans in Arizona do not recognize a certificate of live birth but would accept a certificate of circumcision. It would be hard to make this sort of nonsense up.   I wonder what Hillary would need if she decides to make another run but only has a certificate of live birth.  Would it be an issue?  What did those 43 Presidents prior to Obama present as proof of citizenship?  Does anyone remember?  Why didn’t anyone care?

  11. avatar Bonnie O says:

    During the Today Show interview, Donald Trump repeatedly tried to turn the questioning to the economy and the rising debt.  Mr. Lauer kept returning to the issue of the Presdient’s birth certificate.   Why is that I wonder?

    • avatar Maggie W says:

      Trump has said he has investigators in Hawaii and they are “on to something” .  However, he refuses to say what that is.  When questioned by media hosts about those findings, Trump doesn’t want to discuss that.  When pressed, he told Stephanopolis to “mind his own business”. 

      If Trump truly had investigators “on to something”, we would never hear the end of it.   

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        It was Lauer who said Trump had investigators in Hawaii.  It was Lauer who claimed that if Trump had uncovered anyting substantial, that it should be disclosed.  Trump wanted to discuss the economy, Stephanopolis wanted to discuss the birther question.

  12. avatar crystalclear says:

    I believe the issue of Obama’s citizenship originates from his known citizenship in Indonesia.  He returned to Hawaii and some feel he was more than likely a foreign student when he applied to Occidental.   Perhaps later he cleaned up the paperwork.   Some people in Kenya insist he was born there.    Personally, I don’t give a flip where he was born.   I care more about him being a one term president.

    Donald Trump had a few companies who did file bankruptcy when the real estate market tanked. He wasn’t the only one!    He recovered and moved on.    At least he has experience in all phases of running a business whereas Obama has none.

    I have not closed my mind to Donald Trump’s presidential run.   He appears serious and he is extremely confident.   Confidence is what our country has been lacking hence our economic situation.   Businesses  know their taxes will go up so here we go again…..with a direct hit to smaller businesses who will not grow their businesses and might shed more jobs.   The future is dark for these Americans.  And we need to ask ourselves why. 

    Why is President Obama out campaigning?    Can anyone give me a reasonable answer to that question?   The election is 18 months away and  S & P has given us a severe warning of a downgrade.   What the hell is the matter with Obama?   Oh, how I wish I had never voted for him!   He is detached and incompetent….forget about his skin color….he gets judged no different than any other president.   

    The republicans gave us an econimic plan for our future which is a hell of a lot more than Obama has done.   I am  disgusted with this lackidaisical administration.    They’ve compounded every issue with inexperience and STILL think we should continue spending.   Our current path is unsustainable…un   sus   tain    able  
    What do all of us do when we don’t have enough money?   We stop spending by cutting back.
    Someone please tell that to Obama.

    I believe I’ll vote for the Libertarian in 2012.   No More Obama for me.  

  13. avatar crystalclear says:

    Hi Bonnie.   My answer to your question would be:   Because Matt Lauer is a liberal and was doing his best to contain Trump’s vision for our country.    It reminded me of the Katie Couric interview with Mrs. Palin.    Did you hear what Obama said in an interview yesterday to a reporter?   I hate it that Obama is out campaigning this early.   For that reason alone he needs to be a one term president.

    • avatar Bonnie O says:

      Crystalclear -  Yes, I do agree that many in the media will try to button-hole Mr. Trump to only the one issue of the President’s birthplace.  In that way, Trump will be categorized as a one-issue candidate and sidelined as a fringe-candidate.  Donald Trump, for all his faults, is not a stupid man.  He does bring some expertise to the discussion of the nation’s lagging recovery.  His remarks as to the real estate investment to the recovery and to job creation are spot-on.

      Donald Trump, from what I’ve recently read, does switch sides … often.  He has one opinion one year and then a few years later, he will change his opinion.  That is the sign of a good businessman who can read trends, analysises of the market …. but not necessarily the qualities of a politican.  He is suspect, in my opinion, as to his motives for seeking the office of President (nothing like starting at the top …. hmm?) and I do not believe he can relate to the electorate.  Of course, I may be wrong.

      • avatar Mahulda Fite says:

        Bonnie,
        I agree with you. That is Trump’s problem–he has switched sides on too many issues. He is really not that conservative. He would have to convince voters of his current stance–and prove that his positons are sincere.

        I love watching him shake it up though.
        He has the guts to challenge Obama and he comes across more truthful than most politicians.

      • avatar crystalclear says:

        Mahulda, Trump can shake ‘em up can’t he?   He is an interesting man.   Trump called Charles Krauthammer yesterday…had a nice chat with him.

      • avatar Bonnie O says:

        CrystalClear -  Trump called Charles Krauthammer?  Now that was a smart move because the noted Conservative has been vocal about his displeasure with a possible Trump candidacy.

        I agree that Trump does add some interest to these early moments of the 2012 campaign.  His outspokenness is sometimes refreshing but when he suggests that America should take one-quarter of the oil fields in Iraq for ourselves …. I do not find such outspokenness either refreshing or smart.  Those comments are dangerous.

      • avatar crystalclear says:

        BonnieO, yes, he called Krauthammer!  I didn’t like the oil comment either but what it shows is that is not afraid to take a leap like that.   He would never get it through the Congress but he is one spunky son of a gun, isn’t he?    If his poll numbers continue to stay high I believe Trump will come out in his best tuxedo, swoop his hair way back and look the American people in the eye and ask, “Ready for some long overdue changes in Washington because no one owns me!”

        Trump is a wild card no doubt about it.

  14. avatar crystalclear says:

    Maybe Trump will hold any information he has until he is certain he has the presidential nomination then he’ll aim the cannons at the democrats.    He is a  savvy businessman and if he has something he knows it is better to hold on to it….until he needs it.

  15. avatar crystalclear says:

    Bonnie, he is rogue that’s for sure!   You brought up a good point about him realigning himself from time to time.

    Another angle for him running is that he KNOWS he’s smarter than anyone in the White House and he has a proven track record.   Maybe he is bored and is outraged by what he sees going on here and around the world.   Can’t blame the guy for trying.   It will be interesting!

    • avatar Mr. Wow says:

      Dear Crystal…he’s smarter than anybody in the White House?  He’s not even as smart as most of the people I passed on the street going to work today.  Look at his face, listen to the way he talks. Frankly, I find him ignorant.  Full of himself and a great big egomaniac.  One can be those things and intelligent.  Donald is not.   

      Trump is only outraged when his name is not on our lips.  So he is purring with pleasure now.  Thoughts of doing good deeds for the US of A are far from his mind. 

      I’d be semi-amused  by all this if he wasn’t wallowing in the Birther crap. 

  16. avatar Richard Bassett says:

    Oh please, everyone give me a break. We are saying everything but the obvious: Donald Trump wants to run for President to satisfy his own self importance and his exaggerated narcissistic ego. His reasons are purely selfish. And part of his problem is his own conceited sense of belief that because he is Donald Trump, he can do anything. If he did run for the good of the American people, we wouldn’t find this entire hoax so amusing. He does build pretty hotels.
     

  17. avatar Michelle Cook says:

    The birth certificate is irrelevant. Obama’s mother was a US Citizen. He could have been born in Timbuktu and still be a US Citizen, just like the children of military personnel and diplomats who give birth overseas and may or may not have an American spouse. Obama had dual citizenship until age 23. The Kenyan constitution, ratified in 1963, does not allow its citizens to maintain dual citizenship upon reaching the age of majority and people in this situation must formerly denounce other citizenships and apply for Kenyan citizenship by age 21 (you are given two years to get the paperwork in, if you are living abroad).  Don’t believe me – go to FactCheck.org or any other non-partisan website.  

  18. avatar crystalclear says:

    Richard, ALL Presidents have a huge ego!   We have our own opinions about Donald Trump but until he  steps into the ring and debates the issues we won’t know what lies beneath the ego. 

    I find him to be  interesting in this new role and I want to hear more from him. 

  19. avatar crystalclear says:

    Michelle, I don’t believe you can have a dual citizenship in Indonesia.   To live there, you must become a citizen.   The question is “when” did Obama change his citizenship back?

    Anyone know the answer that question?  

    • avatar Elizabeth Newman says:

      You DON’T have to be a citizen to live in any foreign country, much less Indonesia. Not to mention, it’s US federal law that NO ONE but the actual person can renounce their U.S. citizenship, and even then they can’t do that until they are no longer a minor. There is ZERO evidence that Obama renounced his U.S. citizenship, so there was never any need to change it back.

  20. avatar crystalclear says:

    Baby Snooks, I have my original birth certificate complete with raised seal and my baby foot prints.    Now, I’m not the only one or am I?   Is it possible that I am the only person to have an original birth certificate?

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Well hope you don’t lose it. You wouldn’t be ale to get a certififed copy. Really tired of this. Obviously Barack Obama is part of some conspriacy to turn our country into a socialist Islamic fundamentalist republic.  Be sure and let  me know when he does.

    • avatar Bonnie O says:

      Hey Cryatal -  I’ve got mine, too.   Baby footprint  and raised seal placed thereto.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Wow. I have five. Complete with the seal. And the footprints. Amazing what a Xerox machine can duplicate.  Again, do you alll drink the tea or smoke it? 

    • avatar O E says:

      I have my ORIGINAL birth certificate, not only with seals, but with the HANDWRITTEN signatures of my father, mother, and the doctor who delivered me. 

      I’ve been wondering: Is Bonnie O a new pseudonim for that blogger who kept pushing the GOP’s  email garbage on this site last year until the monitor drop her off the site because she was so obnoxious she came close to inciting violence? She sure sounds very much like her.  They seem to be drinking the same Kool-Aid.  If she is, she’s succeeding at wasting people’s time on non-issues. 

      • avatar Mahulda Fite says:

        Just because she has a different opinion than you, she is “obnoxious”.
        I find it amazing how intolerant the libs on this site are–they dominate the conversation and still can’t take it when someone from the other side states their view.

      • avatar crystalclear says:

        Anyone else on here who voted for President Obama who won’t vote for him in 2012?   I’d vote for Scooby Doo on a GOP ticket before I’d vote for Obama again.

      • avatar Mr. Wow says:

        Dear Crystal…well, so far the GOP has produced nobody nearly as rational as Scooby-Doo, so you might get your wish.  Ruff!

        I did vote for Obama, as Mrs. Clinton was out of the race.  I am not surprised at the troubles he has had, or his weakness in certain areas. 

        I will vote for him again, with an even more reluctant heart.  But I see nothing else out there.   I hope, if he wins a second term, he’ll find his footing.  Or he will be allowed to find his footing. 

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Or just head for Kennebunkport and learn how to ride the magic cash camel…

      • avatar crystalclear says:

        Mr. Wow, finally you respond!  : )   I thought you were ignoring me!  Isn’t Scooby Doo the cutest?

        I was never a Clinton fan so voting for Hillary was right up there with a root canal for me.   I was actually hesitate to vote for Obama but I did.   I’ve made presidential voting mistakes before.   True, there IS nothing else out there at the moment but if one of our successful governors were to step out in the fall with great numbers from cutting costs across the board in their state and he said all of the right things (he or she) that would benefit America and render her glorious and devine once again, my vote would follow the successful proven governor.  I expect Pence, Huckabee, O’Donnell and Pawlenty will be on the list of possible governors with Chris Christy in the wings.   I may have forgotten one but I’m exhausted after planting all of my red geraniums and begonias in my flower boxes this afternoon.

        I’m an optimist and I believe in miracles.   I believe America needs a miracle in 2012 especially one that can bring both parties together.   As an independent, I know our numbers are  important to the potential candidates.   They won’t be leaning towards Obama for a second term based on the polls.  

        I don’t want President Obama to win another term.   It would be wrong on many levels.   He isn’t credible.   He has not brought transparency to the White House and he usually doesn’t understand what he is talking about.   I can’t tolerate four more years of President Obama.   He is all over the road.  Campaigning 18 months before the election when he should be in Washington DC making the hard choices is his worst move yet.   Obama is a loser as a President in my opinion and the best thing he can do for “his” country right now is be a one term president.   I’m afraid his ego won’t allow that.   With his legacy healthcare bill on shaky ground he feels he must stay on to make sure it has legs.  Beyond that I don’t think he cares about anything else. 

        Thanks for responding, Mr. Wow!  We aren’t too far off on where we stand but we do have one enormous difference….I will not vote for him in 2012 even if he is running against Scooby Doo!

    • avatar D C says:

      That original certificate is not “official” and is not accepted as such by any entity that matters — at least not where I live. I was at the Bureau of Vital Statistics yesterday getting a certified copy of my 18 year old son’s birth certificate that he needed to present — and the one I’ve had since 6 weeks after he was born has been lost somewhere in my house. We’ll find it eventually… But meanwhile, if I had the “official” birth certificate, how would vital statistics have provided me with a copy? Everyone has the little certificate with the footprints. It’s for your scrapbook — not for official business.

      • avatar Baby Snooks says:

        Apparently some don’t catch the “certified copy” part. In all 50 states. And for a passport.

      • avatar Richard Bassett says:


        I have two. One with the raised seal (that LOOKS like the original) and another that is a copy of what looks like the original. I’ve used both throughout the years (what ever one I could find first) without an ounce of difficulty but I do not believe neither of them is the actual original just for the reasons DC says: How would I ever be able to provided a copy of the original if the original was lost in space somewhere in my house? When I went to get a passport, I was sent to the Bureau of Vital Statistics for a copy of something that looked original for 5 dollars. I’ve always used the copy, with no trouble whatsoever. So, I have two different types of birth certificates. One looking more professional than the other but neither is the original. I think the difference had to do with where I received them. One, in the city where I was born and two, at the Bureau of Vital Statistics (in the same state but nowhere near the city where I was born.) In my opinion, that is the only difference.

    • avatar Elizabeth Newman says:

      Crystal, I have both. I have a copy of my original birth record that my mother got…in 1981. When I needed to get a new passport (my old one had long expired), and couldn’t find that one, I applied for a new one….and was sent a certification of live birth. (I live in Kansas). In fact, that’s the ONLY option available in the state of Kansas. My husband was born in Idaho, and has a certification of live birth. Both of them have a raised seal and stamp. It’s a valid birth record. Deal with it.

      • avatar crystalclear says:

        Elizabeth, deal with what?   I’m not concerned about Obama’s birth certificate.   I was responding to what I have held on to for all these years (my own birth certificate).

        Seems tense in here.

  21. avatar crystalclear says:

    I have it in a safe place.    I don’t believe Obama is part of some conspiracy theory.   I was reponding the the questions about his citizenship and your birth certificate comment.      I just want him to go away in 2012.    I don’t believe in conspiracy theories of any kind.   Do you?

  22. avatar crystalclear says:

    Seems we have more than a few in the room with their original raised seal birth certificates.    Sorry, Baby Snooks, but you were busted!   Now, back to Mr. Trump.   Mr. Trump is a billionaire and not owned by the banks.   Being a real estate mogul why sure he would be affected by any recession!   He’s not bubble man.   The point is he recovered.   He always recovered.   Think of the many lessons and experiences he has under his belt.   Never underestimate The Donald.

    He has a way of proving people wrong.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      Only thing I know is he’s proven Leona Helmsley right.  She was right about about Rudy Guiliani also. Now she was smart.  A bitch pehrpas at times. But smart.  Except when it came to picking pr people.  

  23. avatar crystalclear says:

    Ouch, Mr. Wow!!  Soo, you don’t like Donald Trump?   How ever would I have known?   Your statements about him seem personal in nature.    He is larger than life a man’s man who gets out there and tells it like it is. He fears no one!  Guess his type is not for everyone.  Polls will let us know. who is for him and who is against him.

    Please don’t underestimate this guy.   If I had to bet between Barack Obama and Donald Trump on a business deal outcome I’d have to go with The Donald.    Seems our Harvard Law School President needs a calculator but is more interested in raising $1 billion for his re-election than the devaluing of the dollar.   Let’s see….I’ll go with The Donald the proven icon.   President Obama keeps letting me down because he  enjoys spinning his wheels and getting nowhere…but  yes….it is NOW TIME to campaign.   Standard & Poor can take a hike!   Meanwhile, foreign countries are meeting specifically to discuss the demise of the American dollar.    Donald Trump looks better every day.   Meanwhile, we sit on pins and needles waiting….waiting….and waiting….for Obama to do something relevant.   First it was golf and now it’s 18 months of campaigning.   No wonder Standard and Poor chose this time to deliver the bad news…..and it is bad news.   Think it will keep President Obama off the campaign trail?   Think again.

    I’m thinking Ron Paul this afternoon.

  24. avatar Diane Shaw says:

    I was vetted just to work for the FBI, I can’t IMAGINE what the leader of the free-frickin’ world would have had to endure.  I’ve always thought that once, just once, I’d like to see a smart, bazillionaire businessman/woman (not a politician) lead the country.  While I like that idea with Trump as POTUS, he’s behaving more like Charlie Sheen and that scares me.  That’s a good point about his having filed bankruptcy three times.  And while he’s got plenty of the tough that I like on dealing with the world’s ills, like pirates, I  don’t think there’s much he can really do if they’re in international waters.  If he’s serious about running then he needs to reign it in and get serious. If not, get off the pot and let someone else in.

    • avatar crystalclear says:

      Diane,  what you said about his seriousness is interesting.   We’ll have to wait and see how Mr. Trump develops over the summer months.    Your last sentence says it all.

  25. avatar Richard Bassett says:


    Just the fact that he is referred to as The Donald should give some clue about the seriousness of his intentions. He’s called Rosie O’Donnell a fat pig, he has/ had two reality shows (rehearsed, of course) where intimidating people by saying, “You’re fired” does nothing to improve his heartless character. He, along with other fading celebrities, is getting his 15 minutes of fame and then some. He shouldn’t be so greedy. The White House will bore him and he’ll soon be back to being a judge or an official spokesman for the Miss USA Beauty Contest (or some such thing). But he forgives these role models for posing in lesbian pictures, being nude or taking cocaine…and with him as President of the USA; there may be another wedding to look forward to. His 4th. Of course, this will only take place after blatantly cheating on wife number 3 and producing even more lost (but rich) children. And won’t this be a joyous time for December’s Playboy bunny to suddenly find herself the first Lady of The United States. I hope that she will be old enough to vote. That would be a definite plus.

    • avatar Elizabeth Newman says:

      Don’t forget that Donald usually pipes up in this way when he something to promote. The last election it was a book, I think. My personal belief is this is yet another publicity stunt.