The big question facing Donald Trump is just what exactly is his exit strategy? How does he intend to conclude this wild incursion into Republican presidential politics?
There are just three possible exits, he quits, he loses or he wins.
The first option is the only one he controls himself. Anybody can quit. That only takes one person, whatever the contest. So, between now and the Iowa caucuses next year, one man will decide whether Donald Trump remains a prospective Republican nominee or ceases to remain one, and that is Trump himself.
The second and third options are for the voters. Donald Trump could do well in Iowa and consequently decide to push on to the convention in Tampa. He has the money to pay for the ticket and fame to sit at the table. Only Trump can quit. Only Trump can say you're fired.
This is what he has gotten himself into from here on out and the only three ways this ends for him is if he quits, he loses or wins the presidency. So, what's it going to be? Will Trump risk the rough stuff or pull out before it gets serious? What's he got in mind here? I don't know the answer; I don't know if even Trump does. What I know is he has taken on this potential campaign of his to a new level.
I don't like what he said about the president. It's a fact that President's Obama's birth certificate is there. The original certificate, right where it's supposed to be is in the state files in Honolulu. But Trump's obviously taking this to a higher level; he has proven that the established Republican Party is no match for him, at least in the short run. So, what's he going to do with his early win? Is he going to invest and go for it or will he walk away from the table?
Obviously, I'm challenging him here. I think we shake up an otherwise desultory Republican fight. There is something missing in the Republican field if Donald Trump has a potential of winning the candidacy.
I also think the Republicans may be on the verge of reliving that exciting convention they had in Philadelphia in the months right before World War II. They may well be on the verge of ignoring the usual Senate candidates and picking someone they think actually could win. Back then it was Wendell Willkie in 1940; he won the Republican nomination and ended up giving Franklin Roosevelt a great fight.
Next summer, the Republican candidate for president could be -- and let's be honest, at this point -- just about anyone. So who is going to be the surprise presidential nominee of the Republican Party in 2012? At the very least, Donald Trump would shake up an otherwise unremarkable Republican fight, if he ran for president.
Only time will tell what will happen.