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Is Blagojevich Trump’s role model?

Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM



Maybe he got the idea from Rod Blagojevich.

Why not, given the common bond of hubris and inanity that Donald Trump shares with Illinois’ impeached and convicted governor?

The millionaire majordomo of TV’s “Celebrity Apprentice” is exploring a run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. Perhaps Trump thought: “If he got that far in politics, just think where I could go!”

America’s television ringmaster is considering jumping into the ultimate circus — presidential politics. For weeks, Trump has been railing at everything Obama — the president’s China trade policy, his moves in Libya, even his birthright. It’s working for him so far. Trump is not even a declared candidate, but he’s coming on strong in recent polls.

Imagine Blago as a role model. In 2010, before his first corruption trial, Blagojevich hung out with “The Donald” as a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice. His performance was short-lived and ignominious and he washed out of the competition after four episodes.

Blago’s wacky TV “appearances” were thinly veiled ploys to win sympathy from the jury pool. Given how his first federal corruption trial worked out, it may have worked.

It worked for Trump. The “Apprentice” boss man seemed uncharacteristically wistful when he “fired” the former governor. Trump said he felt “sorry” for him, and that Blagojevich had “a lot of courage.”

Blagojevich and Trump are brothers in limelight, both accomplished at mugging, preening and dissembling for the cameras. Each has a deep affection for spending other people’s money — for Blago, it was custom Oxxford suits. The Donald favors casinos and opulent office towers. Both have never met a tall tale they couldn’t top.

It’s the hair that seals the tightest bond. Blagojevich is legendary for leaving no hairbrush untouched. This is a guy who assigned an Illinois State Police detail the perilous duty of carrying the governor’s hair brushes.

Trump’s orange-highlighted, preternatural hairdo is a favorite subject of speculation: Is it a toupee, comb-over, weave, implant or everything rolled into one?

Like Blago, Trump is unparalleled at sucking up the spotlight. As long as Trump is talking 2012, the serious Republican presidential aspirants are dead in the water. Trump’s net worth has always been a mystery, but right now, he doesn’t need the millions the other candidates crave. From CNN to TMZ, the media are scrambling to give him all the free exposure he wants.

This month alone, Trump starred in 40 percent of the coverage of the Republican presidential primary in newspapers and on blogs, television and radio, according to an April 22 report by Nate Silver, a statistical analyst and political blogger for the New York Times. Silver counted the media hits received by 23 possible GOP contenders in April. Trump’s closest runner-up was former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, with just
11 percent of the coverage.

Meanwhile, a new Gallup Poll of the Republican sweepstakes puts Trump at in a first-place tie with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — at 16 percent.

The wise men at the Republican National Committee won’t say it out loud, but they want The Donald to disappear. Trump has no chance at the presidential nomination, yet he’s leaving the real competition gasping for air.

Not to worry, says Bill Webster, my neighborhood political pundit. The mayor of Waveland and Broadway prognosticates daily from his perch at the corner 7-Eleven.

“Forget Trump,” Webster declared the other day. “He’s just another Blagojevich. The people can see right through his ‘bleep.’ ”



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