Hamill: I doubted Don­ald Trump, guess I’m the clown

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT - By

IDe­nis Hamill - New York Daily News watched the re­cent Repub­li­can Party de­bate with four teenagers, one of whom is 18 and will vote next year in his first pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. These kids were as juiced as fans on Su­per Bowl Sun­day.

“If Don­ald Trump wasn’t in the de­bate I wouldn’t be watch­ing,” said Sam, the new voter who grad­u­ated from Townsend Harris High School in Queens.

He’s now a sopho­more at Ge­orge Washington Univer­sity.

“I can’t make up my mind be­tween Bernie San­ders and Trump. But I love Trump. He’s just im­mensely en­ter­tain­ing, ballsy and un­scripted.”

Right out of the box, all four kids cheered and high-fived when Trump was the only guy on stage who wouldn’t prom­ise to back the GOP can­di­date — if it’s not him. They laughed at Megyn Kelly’s ques­tion about Trump’s pre­vi­ous in­sult­ing char­ac­ter­i­za­tions of women. They ad­mired Trump com­ing right back at Kelly like a Rot­tweiler. They ap­plauded Trump shoo­ing away Rand Paul like a house­fly and that he ad­mit­ted to buy­ing fa­vors from cheap politi­cians, many on the same stage.

No other can­di­date this year could have glued four Queens teens to a po­lit­i­cal de­bate on a sum­mer night. Sud­denly be­cause of Trump my kid and his pals are fol­low­ing the pres­i­den­tial race as closely as they fol­low the Mets and Yan­kees pen­nant races. They love that Trump is po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect. That he can’t be bought. That his idea of a fo­cus group is the guy he shaves in the mir­ror.

And grownups I meet wher­ever I go tell me they love that Trump isn’t afraid of any­one, man or woman, media star or el­derly white war hero, un­doc­u­mented im­mi­grant, or mi­nor­ity ac­tivist or fel­low Repub­li­cans.

Most polls and pun­dits keep in­sist­ing Trump is an en­ter­tainer who will soon fiz­zle. He might. But this is a coun­try where Arnold Sch­warzeneg­ger went from body­builder to ac­tion star to gover­nor of Cal­i­for­nia. Where Sonny Bono be­came a con­gress­man and Al Franken laughed all the way from “Satur­day Night Live” to the bank and the U.S. Se­nate. And where B-ac­tor Ron­ald Rea­gan went from “Bed­time for Bonzo,” to bed­time at 1600 Penn­syl­va­nia Ave. for eight years.

When I wrote last year about a sup­posed na­tional clown short­age, I sug­gested that with peo­ple like Chris Christie, Michael Grimm, Curtis Sliwa, A-Rod, Trump and I around, there was ac­tu­ally an abun­dance of clowns. The photo depart­ment af­fixed clown noses to all men­tioned. The only one I heard from was Trump, who ac­cused me of “ha­tred” to­ward him.

As a New York char­ac­ter and an en­ter­tainer, Trump is some­one I ad­mire. He makes me laugh out loud.

But when he goes on CNN and tells Chris Cuomo that Iran is fund­ing ISIS when in fact Iran is at war with ISIS then you worry he might think Tehran is also fund­ing the Bloods and Crips. His for­eign pol­icy skills are as bank­rupt as his casi­nos. His Birther rampage against Pres­i­dent Obama was ir­ra­tional. La­bel­ing Mex­i­cans as “drug deal­ers” and “rapists” cost him huge busi­ness deals.

But since Trump an­nounced for Pres­i­dent, I’ve met par­ents of all walks of life at Lit­tle League games in Queens, Brook­lyn, and the Bronx and I’ve met media friends in Man­hat­tan restau­rants, and no mat­ter where I go Trump bub­bles to the top of the con­ver­sa­tion.

Lis­ten, here in lib­eral New York, we elected Mike Bloomberg three times de­spite a media sat­u­ra­tion of sex­ist jokes at­trib­uted to him about women. Bloomberg also de­flected a dis­parag­ing re­mark about Ir­ish drunks.

If Bloomberg can get elected three times in New York City with that po­lit­i­cal­in­cor­rect bag­gage, how do you think Trump’s com­ments about women are play­ing across the fruited plain?

Look at the polls: He’s win­ning ev­ery­where.

Last year I called Don­ald Trump a clown for even con­sid­er­ing run­ning for gover­nor at the time.

Put the red nose on me be­cause ev­ery­where I go, com­mon vot­ers, young and old, men and women, work­ing class and wealthy, are tak­ing Don­ald Trump se­ri­ously.

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