It's all true. Newsmax, the magazine whose Ron Kessler more or less magicked the Donald Trump presidential boomlet out of thin air, has booked Trump to moderate a debate in Iowa on December 27, to be "broadcast on the cable network Ion Television."
Who's going to kiss the ring of a guy best known in national politics for telling lies about Barack Obama's citizenship? Not clear yet. Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy tells me there'll be "news next week" about the attendees. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul is diplomatic but non-committal: "We just received the invitation, and we're taking a look at it." But two high-minded candidates who have struggled for traction have already said they're out. Tim Miller, spokesman for Jon Huntsman, typed out "LOL" when I asked about the debate.
"We look forward to watching Mitt and Newt suck-up to The Donald with a big bowl of popcorn," said Miller. (Huntsman, on Twitter on elsewhere, has tweaked the other candidates for traveling to New York for secretive meetings with the celebrity TV host/builder of ugly hotels.)
I asked Buddy Roemer, the former governor of Louisiana who's unexpectedly become a gadfly candidate, whether he'd show up for the debate. It would be his first.
"Yes," he said, "driving a clown car with a bumper sticker that reads, 'Really people? Is this what the debates have come to!?'"