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Editorial: Political contenders and pretenders

Barack Obama’s successor will be announced in 564 days’ time, and candidates looking to claim the White House are beginning to make their way onto the political scene.

Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and Hillary Clinton are familiar names that are already making waves in the 2016 election scene. And along with the serious contenders come the pretenders.

These pretenders can at times be humorous. Vermin Supreme, who visited UNH a few weeks back, wears a boot on his head at his rallies and uses humorous metaphors to outline his political ideologies. Hip-hop artist Waka Flocka Flame announced his candidacy Monday releasing a full-length video in which he declares his first act as president would be to legalize marijuana. Perhaps Flame is unaware the age minimum to hold office in this country is 35.

But there is one candidate somewhere between contender and pretender that certainly has the economic means and credentials to make a legitimate run for office: Mr. Donald Trump. Though he has not officially declared his candidacy, Trump has gone on record stating he is seriously considering running.

Building name recognition and credibility while gathering a base of support are among things that successful candidates have done in the past, and a strong campaign starts in political battlegrounds like New Hampshire. Trump has already visited the Granite State twice, and is set to make his way back on Monday, April 27.

Paul Steinhauser of NH1 News in Concord reported that Trump’s agenda includes a luncheon in Salem, stopping by New England College in Henniker and wrapping up the day at ‘Politics and Pies’ in Concord.

Steinhauser reported that Trump stated at the New Hampshire GOP’s First-in-the-Nation Leadership Summit held in Nashua on April 17 and 18, “I will make this country great again, believe me. And no politician’s going to do it, that I can tell you with assuredly. So with all the people you are listening to, you can forget it, because politicians are all talk and no action.”    

Those don’t sound like the words of a pretender.

Trump has the name recognition and track record of success, no doubt. But in order to eliminate any seeds of doubt that Trump is for real, he needs to start appealing to America’s youth. And what better place to start than UNH? 

New Hampshire is a state of roughly 1 million inhabitants. UNH has roughly 13,000 students enrolled. With same-day voter registration, Trump could conceivably earn an entire percentage of the vote if he is able to accumulate a large enough support on campus.

Though college campuses tend to lean towards the left, Trump has the advantage of not being a politician by trade. Students on campus are likely to recognize him as the successful real-estate entrepreneur from “The Apprentice” and not just another old guy in a suit glossing over tuition and job creation.

Students here on campus and across the country should pay close attention to Trump. As a businessman, he understands economics and what it takes to make a business thrive. When businesses do well, they expand. When they expand, they hire. If more businesses are hiring, it will mean more jobs will be available for graduates.

He may not have declared for president yet, but with his past successes, name recognition and billions of dollars, he’s certainly worth our attention.

What do you say Mr. Trump? If you’re serious about running, come to Durham and tell us.

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