Donald Trump: The 10 paths his presidential run could take

The Donald Does POTUS

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Donald Trump has gone and done it again. His new target: Lindsey Graham, a.k.a. the BFF of last week's big-bad, John McCain. His latest stunt: Giving out Sen. Graham's personal cell phone number.

The news, of course, was greeted with shock, condemnation, contempt, and more than a few spit takes. Then again, nothing that Trump does should really shock anyone, at least not anymore.

I wouldn't be surprised if at the first GOP debate, The Donald walks out on stage and gives his nearest opponent the Shocker and a Donkey Punch and a Dirty Sanchez ... all at the same time. Why? Because that mop on his head, well, it isn't hair. They're tentacles, and those tentacles are trained to attack and, um, engage in rather unsavory sexual practices, most of which are only known to the most craven fan of anime and a few users of Ambien. 

The point is Trump is a walking, talking improbability machine, a double-decker bus of bad form and even worse behavior, a bucking, rodeo-ridden bull that pulls at the strap around his own  balls with nothing more than his own clenched teeth and spite. And because we are a nation that is addicted to the lulz, we are enamored with The Donald's curiously intoxicating brew of telling-it-like-it-is trash talking and scat slinging. And that Trump does this all with a shit-eating jack-o-lantern grin is just further proof that the race for president is little more than a Jell-O wrestling match in a septic tank filled with the rank effluent leaking out of the bowels of the decaying body politic.

Of course, there is a chance that Trump could not only win the GOP nominee but eventually emerge as the next president of the United States. It's a long shot that I'm sure the average American voter and El Chapo would never let happen. 

Here is a list of the most likely outcomes of Donald Trump's bid for power, each one typified by a former politician. Some are contemporaries, some are long gone, but all have a lesson to share. 

1. Ross Perot. Like this other billionaire spit-fire, Trump could continue to woo American voters who prize a candidate who speaks his mind, but if he's anything like Perot, he'll drop out of the race for reasons that are never actually specified — boredom, alien abduction, his wife forgot his safeword was "Brian Kilmeade" — only to jump back in at the 11th hour and get trounced.

2. Herman Cain. Remember when Herman Cain was leading the GOP pack by offering a 9-9-9 deal on pan pizza from Godfather's Pizza as a cure-all for what ails America's tax code? Of course, you do. But as tasty as that deal was, Americans quickly saw that the offer didn't mean shit when no one was able to find a Godfather's Pizza. The point is, Trump's offering the same kind of simple solutions to complex problems that Cain trafficked in, and like Cain, he'll eventually learn that even in our sound-bite obsessed world, catchy slogans without any substance will only get you so far.

3. Barack Obama. In the event that Trump is elected president, he'll discover, much like President Barack Obama did, that you can't bring "change" or "hope" to a hopelessly unchanging town, where the two sides of the aisle can never agree with the policy positions of the other even if it is against their own self-interest, much less the American people. 

4. Dick Nixon '60. Trump is normally a pro under the lights, but given the right set of circumstances, like say a hot August night in Charleston, S.C., he could turn into a sweaty mess. But that seems unlikely. The more likely scenario is that Trump loses the presidential election and returns years later to win the presidency, with a rather sizable enemies list in his hands. Watch out, Penn Jillette. The Donald doesn't need to be a magician to make you disappear.

5. Jim DeMint. Former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint was a Tea Party darling who fell out of favor with a GOP establishment that had grown tired of his near-constant attacks on his Republican brothers. Sensing that he had become persona non grata on Capital Hill, DeMint resigned half-way through his term and took a cushy job with the Heritage Foundation. If elected president, Trump could jump ship before his term ends. The most likely reason: He'll belatedly realize that in the American system of government, you can't rule solely by presidential fiat. Faced with the slow machinations of Washington, Trump will grow tired of not getting his way and simply go back home to Trump Tower and count his millions.

6. Adolf Hitler. Make no mistake, the prospect of a Trump presidency is truly frightening, if for no other reason than it would be a sign that Americans truly want a loud-mouthed, single-minded, bigoted dictator for their commander-and-chief. And if that happens, the rest of us might as well pack our bigs and see if Vladimir Putin is still collecting U.S. expats.

7. Rick Perry. Buddy Holly glasses are no match for painkillers, especially painkillers at a debate. Trump would be wise to leave the pills behind.

8. Julius Caesar. Et tu, George?

9. Ron Paul. Like Paul, Trump just might stay in this thing until the bitter, bitter end, at least in part to make the GOP pay for not picking him in the first place. Either way Trump wins. He's a Hillary guy after all.

10. Donald Trump. When the votes are cast on Super Tuesday and Trump's nascent career in politics has come to an end, very little will have changed. He'll still be a billionaire real estate developer who thinks he's the king of New York. He'll still be married to a gorgeous trophy wife, if he hasn't upgraded to a new one. "Celebrity Apprentice" will be back on the air, this time on Fox. In the end, his failed presidential run will have only increased the recognition of the Trump brand, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is what this is really about. In the immortal words of the O'Jays, "Money, money, money."




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