(January 23, 2024)  Is Donald Trump man enough?

Is Trump man enough to stand toe to toe on a debate stage with an engaging and feisty woman?

Is Trump man enough to stand on a stage, mano-y-woman-o, with the daughter of Asian immigrants?

After former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley made a respectable race against the former president in New Hampshire, after she survived all the other candidates falling by the wayside, after most of her former opponents all went running to endorse Trump after spending months saying how dangerous he would be, she made a winsome, upbeat, attractive, firm, and gracious speech conceding defeat in the Granite State while promising to continue the fight.

It was an effective speech. For the most part, despite a few notable gaffes and hiccups, Haley has run an effective race. The key line, though, one we all will hear numerous times in the month between now and the South Carolina primary, came when Haley challenged Trump to come out of hiding and take the debate stage with her.

Can she goad him into a debate? Can she tweak his massive ego enough to make him try to outshout her in person rather than from behind his Twitter handle?

Here’s why this is important: Trump has lost his fastball. Trump is beginning to sound like President Joe Biden. He is slurring his speeches, getting confused, blaming Haley for not providing security for the Capitol against the hordes he sent there to block election results when Haley wasn’t even in Washington, D.C. The other day, he said the United States is an institute of the death penalty, whatever that means. Almost every day, he says something out of touch with reality or else rambles in ways that make one wonder about his mental acuity…. [The full column is at this link.]


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