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