PASADENA, Calif.–Are there nights Dan Rather thanks his lucky stars he’s not hosting the CBS Evening News anymore? Especially because there’s no way he could keep a straight face reporting on Donald Trump?
The 84-year-old newsman, who has been hosting The Big Interview on AXS TV for four seasons, took my cheeky question with his usual good grace Friday night during this winter TCA press tour.
I explained to him that I am from Canada, and Trump the presidential candidate often seems dangerously ridiculous from outside America.
Rather looked me in the eye and said, “Well, didn’t you have a mayor up in Toronto…”
That’s why Trump scares me, I said. I know he could get elected.
Rather figures Trump’s chances will falter as more Republicans fall out of the race. He noted Trump’s base of support never grows beyond the 30% of angry, frustrated, scared voters he’s tapped into during this election campaign. In a three-way race, says Rather, 30% isn’t going to win.
That scenario is much like what happened recently in Canadian federal politics. What if the other two candidates, however, are even less palatable than Trump?
Then Trump wins, conceded Rather–but not the presidency. He feels the Manhattan tycoon’s goal is simply to be in the final televised presidential debates, that he wants to stand opposite Hillary Clinton in prime time.
Why is that his goal, I asked Rather, whose answer can be boiled down to one word: ego.