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PERSPECTIVE: President Trump? Time for 2012 handicapping

PERSPECTIVE: President Trump? Time for 2012 handicapping

October 8th, 2010 in News

WASHINGTON - Have you heard the one about President Donald Trump?

How about the notion that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will replace Vice President Joe Biden on the Democrats' 2012 ticket?

More than a year before the Iowa caucuses, political speculation ranges from the serious to the silly as pundits and prognosticators look ahead to the next presidential election. The open Republican field and the likelihood of President Barack Obama seeking a second term has led to rampant handicapping.

For instance, some strategists are talking about a scenario that has Obama dumping Biden as a running mate in favor of Clinton. That move would set her up as his successor in 2016 if Obama wins a second term and the front-runner if he doesn't.

Another scenario is that liberals field a candidate - perhaps Clinton - to run in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, forcing Obama to govern from the left. Another sends Obama's top spokesman, Robert Gibbs, to run the Democratic National Committee.

Oh, and the headline-hungry Trump - he of the perfect hair - is in the mix, suggesting he might make a White House run.

To be sure, no one in positions of power are taking these suggestions seriously. But that doesn't mean the players aren't getting questions. Clinton shrugged off speculation on a Clinton-Biden switch at a women's conference this week.

"I have absolutely no interest and no reason for doing anything other than just dismissing these stories and moving on because we have no time," Clinton said. "There is so much to do and I think both of us are very happy doing what we're doing."

And Gibbs dismissed the talk he would leave the White House to be the DNC's top official.

"I haven't had any conversations about it," Gibbs said Monday. He also brushed off the vice presidential switch.

Trump, though? He's stoking the chatter he might mount a White House run, despite eye rolling from some political veterans. To anyone who would listen, he's giving interviews fanning the rumor.

"You know, for the first time in my life, I'm actually thinking about it," the real estate mogul and reality television star told Fox News.

It's not the first time Trump has promoted himself as a potential president. He talked about running on the GOP ticket in 1988 and as a Reform Party candidate in 2000. He went so far as to float a ticket in 2008, with television personality Oprah Winfrey as his running mate.

Oprah, by the way, is wrapping up her 25th and final season of "The Oprah Winfrey Show."