Is Donald Trump running for president?

If he could get a hat to fit over his unusual tonsorial arrangement, The Donald would be tossing it into the ring for the 2012 Presidential race. A masterful public relations manipulator, Donald Trump brings enormous business experience to the table, including significant expertise in the art of recovering from dire economic straits.

In an interview with Lloyd Grove of the Daily Beast, covered more extensively at Business Insider Trump assesses his own qualifications for the job while sharing his disgust with the pitiful job Barack Obama has done as POTUS, particularly the way he presents himself:

What are those sandals he wore the other day?...I wouldn't be wearing flip-flops. I don't like it. I don't think that is what the president is supposed to be representing. You will not see me wearing flip-flops.

Like many another of us on the right, Trump has great disdain for the manner in which the B.O. Administration conducts our currently "self-defeating" relationships with China, North and South Korea and OPEC:

I think it's a failure of toughness, and it's a failure of common sense...I love this country and I hate to see what's happening to it. And I see nobody on the horizon that's gonna stop it from eroding away.

Trump wants to get tough on China, suggesting that we tax their imports to this country, and that we demand they drop a dime on North Korea:

They can solve the North Korean problem with a phone call.

The commercial real estate, entertainment and casino magnate seems fully intent on announcing a run for the Republican presidential nomination after his reality show, The Celebrity Apprentice, finishes the current season. While it seems likely that Trump's positions on social or moral issues may be less appealing to conservatives, his strong views on foreign policy, crime and the economy should serve to provide backbone to the wobblier Republican candidates, particularly the neo-cons.

Trump's celebrity status and willingness to shoot-from-the-lip should be problematical as well, but would be engaging and a breath of fresh air after listening to candidates whose response to most questions is to dissemble. Consider his comments on the Tuscon shootings for instance:

Anyone who would commit an act as heinous as this clearly has deep rooted emotional problems....While this crime was an insane act, it demonstrates a deep lack of respect for law and order by a segment of society in this country. I would be in favor of the death penalty for this type of senseless and violent act (as well as others like espionage, treason, actions of terrorism) committed against innocent citizens. The trial should be expeditious and not drag on for years, as so many of these trials do.

Read the entire interview to consider Donald Trump's refreshingly direct conservative views. Let the 2012 primary games begin!

Ralph Alter is a regular contributor to American Thinker