Now that Trump and his followers are doing the laughing, this summer's question reads something like this: Can Trump win the election?
Of course, the answer is: Yes.
Once you're on the ballot as the nominee of one of the two major parties, quite simply, you are one of the two most likely people to win the election. Anything might happen to suddenly cut the legs out from under a candidate. Still, speaking of likelihood, at this point the smart money has to be on Hillary Clinton. Yet, to be fair, that assessment is being made before Trump does his best to turn the upcoming campaign into a contest centered around which of them is the more entertaining celebrity.
That same basic strategy served Trump well enough during the primaries. Cast in the role he was born to play, that of a geezer version of a playground bully, Trump made the cluttered field of Republican hopefuls look like a bunch of befuddled sissies. Millions of Trump's fans became virtual newshounds, in order to catch his every campaign utterance on live television.
It turned out that whatever Trump didn't know about politics could be more than made up for with what he knew about being a television celebrity. Now the laughs are on the losers: Lyin' Ted, Little Marco, Low-Energy Jeb and the rest of the clumsy stiffs Trump rather easily dispatched from the campaign trail.
So, how sure can we be about what will matter most to 2016's voters, once they have endured the withering campaign that is coming? Put another way, which celebrity will America decide it wants to see and hear every damn day, speaking from the White House?