Questions for Candidate Trump

James Travis's recent AT article about Donald Trump captures perfectly the appeal of the star of The Apprentice.  I agree that brains, judgment, experience, tact, compassion and the sense of how to convey authority are all genuinely on display Sunday nights at 9:00, even if you discount for the normal contrivance of a reality TV series.

The article's title, however, "Everything I Need to Know about President Donald Trump, I Learned Watching the Apprentice," implies that policy positions are not relevant, at least not in 2012. I start with the assumption that even a great business leader like Trump can make terrible public policy decisions as president.

Here is what I need to know about President Donald Trump that I can't learn from watching The Apprentice:

Is the exercise of political power more than deal-making? Are there certain principles involved in   Trump's politics, or is the goal always to secure an agreement? Trump praises his own record as a deal-maker.  Is this an end in itself? What about this quote?

You know in theory, I shouldn't be able to win because they've always said somebody with great accomplishment, somebody who's done many, many deals -- I've done hundreds and hundreds of deals and I've beaten a lot of people. I mean I'm not saying it braggingly, I beat a lot of people.

Would he push for the immediate repeal of ObamaCare? Did he favor Michele Bachmann's proposal to de-fund the $105 billion in appropriations imbedded in ObamaCare?

Did he support the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform legislation? Does he think that the largest banks should be supported by the government, or allowed to fail? Does he agree with the widely-held conservative thesis that the 2007-08 financial collapse was caused by a combination of a loose monetary policy, Community Reinvestment Act pressure, and a crony capitalist approach toward banks by the federal government?

What are the ramifications of imposing a 25% tariff on goods from China? How might the Chinese retaliate? How might European countries react?

Do you believe that climate temperature change is cause by carbon-based energy?

Do you believe that Israel participates in a cycle of violence, or do you see Israel as a target of worldwide jihad? What should I make of this Q and A with Sean Hannity?

Hannity: If the Israelis, if you're president, the Israelis see the need that they, for their national security, gotta take (Iran's nuclear facilities) out, would you support them, and do you think it's in our best, geographical, political interest to do so?

Trump: Well, first of all, I was the Grand Marshal of the Israeli Day Parade 10 years ago when, believe me, it was dangerous, because there was a little war going on and a lot of problems and I walked down Fifth Avenue. And Jewish friends of mine still remember that day. I have a park named after me in Israel that I donated. And I'm a big fan of Israel.

I think The Donald might make a good president. I want to believe that he has always been a closet conservative, and this is his coming out. But it's possible that he blows with the wind. Who will ask these questions?