The Donald has stated he will not attend the Republican debate Thursday night because he believes he was treated unfairly by Fox in the network’s previous handling of the Conservative sparring session. Let’s determine if Trump’s absence will skew any of the Republican presidential odds.
Trump Taking a Walk
While many feel refreshed by the message, it is in fact the messenger who so many dislike. Even those who will hold their nose and pull the lever for The Donald don’t necessarily like the individual. He is akin to a petulant, self-absorbed rich kid who takes his ball and goes home when he doesn’t get his way. Case in point, tomorrow night’s Republican debate held on the Fox network and co-hosted by bella donna Megyn Kelly who, in Trump’s mind, asked the Donald an unfair question which degenerated into Trump name calling and personally attacking the conservative network’s leading lady.
To be fair there is a bit more to this story. In addition to fellow billionaire and FOX CEO Roger Ailes backing his popular flaxen-haired journalist and putting her right back in the driver’s seat for the network’s encore performance the network released a cheeky though patently Trump statement after the leading Republican candidate tweeted “Should I do the GOP debate?” (on Fox with Kelly). The network trolled the comment and issued the following,
“We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president — a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”
Trump called the statement nasty and tut-tutted his way out of the debate. But ironically deploying over-the-top remarks/insults is the sine qua non of his entire candidacy, the tools of his trade. But dishing it out comes easy for Trump while taking one to the chops causes outrage and indignation of the highest order. Pot meet kettle.
Trump has backed himself into a corner here and if he does relent he will have gone against his word and cowed to the impudent Roger Ailes’ coterie of, in his mind, “yellow journalists.” His ego won’t allow him to do it and it could be a turning point, the one gaffe among many that won’t mystifyingly translate into even higher polling numbers. He has given his opponents an opening. If he can’t take the heat from a hot blonde how will he deal with heads-of-state who defy and criticize him? Will he literally go nuclear or will he ratchet it down several notches and merely invoke some oppressive tax against said nation that will hinder trade and do nothing positive except assuage his prodigious ego?
The Republican betting odds may indeed tilt after Trump’s hissy fit but we won’t know that until after the debate. Every candidate now gets to take a free shot at his Yugeness and Trump will have no immediate rejoinder. Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush now hold center stage while Rand Paul gets re-invited to the party. I see this as being nothing but a win-win for all involved except Trump. He walked away when faced with a set of adverse circumstances instead of manning up and demonstrating the power and leadership he so boldly proclaims at every given turn.
As the Republican candidates enter the debate tomorrow night here is a quick look at the leading presidential odds to capture the White House including their Democrat rivals. Odds courtesy of PaddyPower.
Hillary Clinton (-110)
Donald Trump (+300)
Marco Rubio (+600)
Bernie Sanders (+700)
Ted Cruz (+1800)
Jeb Bush (+2000)
Chris Christie (+4000)
John Kasich (+10,000)
Ben Carson (+20,000)
Carly Fiorina (+25,000)
Rand Paul (+25,000)
Nature abhors a vacuum and if you feel Trump will stumble because of his disappearing act tomorrow night, someone will have to fill that void and it may just be the time to get down on one of these long shots with your presidential pick before the odds start to drop…courtesy of The Donald.