Collins, solo

In “Trump’s Celebrity Shortage” Ms. Collins has a question:  Could Donald make a deal with a spaceship?  Here she is:

One thing Donald Trump ought to be good at is throwing a celebrity-packed convention, right?

Right?

It’s just about the only thing we should be able to count on. He’s never been in government. His business career includes a string of bankrupt casinos, unpaid bills from small businesses, a smarmy “university” and a rather troubled Scottish golf course. But Donald Trump has always been a guy who knew how to slather on some glitz.

“It’s very important to put some showbiz into a convention, otherwise people are going to fall asleep,” the man himself told The Washington Post.

The list is in, and the celebrities include pro golfer Natalie Gulbis, currently 484th in women’s world rankings, and Dana White, head of a big mixed martial arts organization. Plus Antonio Sabato Jr., former underwear model turned reality TV show regular. And a ton of members of the Trump family.

Trump said he was planning a “winners’ evening” with supporters like New England Patriot quarterback Tom Brady, who promptly said he wasn’t coming. (Although Brady, who has been banned from playing the first part of the next season would seem to have a lot of time on his hands.) Trump made a similar announcement about the Steelers’ quarterback, with similar results.

Even Tim Tebow, former college star turned failed professional football player turned inspirational speaker, is going to be a no-show. The Trump campaign said he was on the program. Then Tebow, who now runs a charitable foundation, posted an Instagram video bemoaning “rumors.”

Of course, none of us actually cares there aren’t going to be any quarterbacks at the Republican convention. But if Trump can’t negotiate some cheesy diversions, what makes anybody think he can negotiate a new trade deal with China?

And by the way, were you curious about why Sarah Palin wasn’t coming to the convention? Easy answer. The Republican Party’s presumed presidential nominee says it’s because Alaska is too far from Cleveland.

Honest to gosh. “She was asked. It’s a little bit difficult because of where she is. We love Sarah. Little bit difficult because of, you know, it’s a long ways away,” Trump told The Washington Examiner this week.

Saying made-up things is a Trump stock in trade. Many of his fans defend his crazy statements about Muslims or Mexican walls or trade wars with a wave of the hand and a “you know he doesn’t mean it.” But we are getting into Twilight Zone territory here. There’s really no real.

The convention comes after a week in which we watched the drama of Trump’s vice-presidential selection. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was the lucky winner. Pence is a social conservative who hews to the Paul Ryan vision of government — low taxes on the rich, free trade and a trimming of the Social Security safety net.

Big relief to the powers that be. But what about all those underemployed, alienated white workers who are expecting an anti-establishment, populist savior?

I dunno. Go ask Tom Brady.

The process by which Trump got to Pence was sort of stunning — several days of familial gatherings, muddied decision-making and an overweening sense that the Big Guy himself just couldn’t nail the decision down.

Tons of Trumps flew to Indiana. An announcement was scheduled. Then canceled. Pence was getting embarrassed. The runners-up, Newt Gingrich and Chris Christie, looked pathetic. Time passed. Eventually, Trump gave the rose to Pence via tweet. (“News conference tomorrow at 11:00 A.M.”)

It should have been simple, and it was a monumental screw-up. Obviously, Trump’s not the only candidate who makes mistakes. We’ll be hearing a lot about Hillary and her emails. The difference is that Clinton, like most people at the highest level in the American political system, can balance her disasters with a history of achievements. Trump has, um, Mar-a-Lago.

Based on the evidence we’ve seen so far, try to envision President Trump handling a crisis of major proportions. Pretend Wyoming is lifted into a giant spaceship by aliens who demand to speak with our leader.

1. Trump, who is off inspecting a new golf course in Sri Lanka, tweets that he’s sending his top celebrity endorser, Wayne Newton.

2. Newton says no via Facebook.

3. Cabinet meets and votes to send Mike Pence.

4. The president’s inner circle — Trump’s oldest daughter, two oldest sons, a son-in-law and 10-year-old Barron, who knows the most about the construction of spacecraft — hold an emergency meeting. The White House chief of staff is summoned from the basement and dispatched to fire the cabinet

5. Space aliens take Montana, too.

6. After several days of conflicting reports, a new cabinet is formed with a mandate to build a dome over the remaining Plains states. President goes on TV and promises “a really, really big dome.”

7. Flags are reconfigured with the new national motto: “Forty-eight is great.”

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