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'The Donald' is trumped by Tropical Storm Isaac's force


He was in Sarasota, just south of Tampa, on Sunday night to pick up a "Statesman of the Year" award from local Republican bigwigs. But now Donald Trump won't be coming to the Republican convention – though it took one of nature's mightiest phenomena, to keep him away.

If indeed Isaac has seen him off (and it is a very big ‘if’), Republicans will doubtless be quietly but vastly relieved. This convention was supposed to present the party as a sane and responsible government-in-waiting. Mr Trump, to put it mildly, would not have reinforced that image. Indeed, a minor mystery of Mitt Romney has been his indulgence of Mr Trump and his antics. The candidate claims to detest self-promoters; there is no self-promoter more relentless than The Donald.

For a fleeting moment in mid-2011, Mr Trump actually led the Republican race for the nomination, though he was never a candidate. His politics consist mainly of an obsession with Barack Obama’s birth certificate and, failing that, with supposed mysterious omissions in the president’s studies at Columbia University in New York – obsessions that have led Mr Obama to describe him as a “carnival barker.”

Such insults however bounce off Mr Trump like peas off an Abrams battletank. In Sarasota he was still barking away. He had been given “a big role” in Monday night’s proceedings, he told reporters, “but you know what happened [the cancellation of Monday’s session in its entirety].”

He was now “probably going back to New York,” but continued to dangle the prospect of an unspecified Trump-related “big surprise” at the convention. It was a “very big thing,” he confided. But “it’s totally up to them,” he said, referring to the convention’s organisers. Then he was off again about the Obama birth certificate, saying a “huge group of people” were concerned – even though for any sane person, the issue is as real as the Loch Ness Monster.