Dump Trump movement building momentum

May 4, 2011
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Back in early April, I was looking forward to this year's Indy 500 and surrounding festivities.

Then it was announced that Donald Trump was to be the honorary pace car driver and my enthusiasm got hit with a bucket of cold reality.

Writing on this blog on April 6, I noted that the choice of pace car drivers hasn't always been inspired (Elaine Irwin Mellencamp?), but that a better choice for the 100th anniversary race would have been, well, just about anybody. And, since then, Trump's words and actions have made him an even less appealing candidate for this Hoosier honor.

Well, apparently I wasn't alone. And even more people by the day seem to be taking note of how bad of a choice he was.

A Facebook movement (with more than 7,000 "likes" as I write this) has spawned media interest locally and nationally. Polls are popping up all over. And I suspect the pressure is making for some difficult and awkward meetings on 16th Street.

I'm not convinced that anything is going to change. It's difficult to imagine someone approaching Trump to withdraw the offer. It's also difficult to imagine someone with an ego the size of Manhattan and a love of publicity that puts "Chicago" character Roxie Hart to shame voluntarily bowing to the "Dump Trump" groundswell.

The controversy is, of course, pulling more attention to this year's 500. But is it the kind of attention we want? And is anyone surprised?

Your thoughts?

  • Better options
    Like many, I was dumbfounded with this selection. His questionable comments aside, selecting Trump never made any sense. The 100th anniversary of the 500 should have the likes of an A.J. Foyt, Rick Mears, Mario Andretti or other notable 500 figure pacing the field. Politics should have no role in this amazing accomplishment. I am sure his fragile ego would survive being replaced by someone more deserving of this honor and the Speedway Board should be pressured strongly to do so. The publicity garnered by Trump pacing the field is not the publicity worthy of 100 years of the Indy 500.
    • And what else is involved?
      I'm sure that others share my concern that "The Donald" will use the occasion to further his personal ambitions, perhaps even officially announcing his otherwise improbable candidacy for the White House at the Speedway. Let's keep the 500 a racing venue and let politicians of all viewpoints conduct their campaigns elsewhere.
    • Is he paying us?
      I agree with the comment that this was a puzzling selection before Trump attempted his political foray. It's a major D List pick if you ask me. I know Randy Quaid wasn't available and Gary Coleman passed away, but I think there still might be better alternatives than Donald Trump.
    • Especially not for THIS race
      When I first heard about Donald driving the pace car, my immediate reaction was that I thought this sort of thinking had left with Tony. During his tenure, having Steven Tyler sing the National Anthem, Elaine Mellencamp drive the pace car and Gene Simmons handling advertising and marketing was usually traceable directly to Tony's office. Why anyone would think that Donald is a good choice to drive the pace car, especially at THIS 100th anniversary race, is nothing short of baffling. There are so many much, much better choices. If they wanted someone controversial, Tony George would have been a great choice!
    • Choose Someone More Appropriate
      Considering the historic importance of this year's race, the driver should be someone universally admired from either the racing world or military. Trump should gracefully step aside. We don't want to risk tarnishing the event with fans booing him.
      • Join the Movement!
        Join the Bump Trump movement by visiting http://www.facebook.com/BumpTrump.
      • What were they thinking?
        Seriously, do these people not have any sense. I am mystified as to why, on the 100th Anniversary, they would do this. This is Indiana - Hoosiers and all that. We are not really Trump-type people.
      • AJ!
        AJ! Let's start a Draft AJ Movement! Maybe w/ Robin Miller as Navigator. ;-)
      • Choose Someone More Appropriate
        Sadly for all of us "Race Fan", Donald Trump has never "gracefully" done anything.
      • 100 Years
        No politicos please, especially at 100 years...Tony George has to be back at the controls, or Randy Bernard was channeling him when the decision was made. The Donald will use it as a photo op for the Apprentice even if he does not run. Get one of the racing legends to drive or...if you want someone controversial, but not political, get Charlie Sheen...he does something interesting, I guarantee...crashes on the backstretch, or in the unlikely event he makes a whole lap, you arrest him for DUI, or tweeting while driving. The idea to let Robin Miller ride shotgun for someone else is great, by the way...love that guy...
      • Trump
        Please, everyone, get the word out to Dump this Lump called Trump, through Facebook, Twitter, your email list, letters to the editor, etc. We need a groundswell of opposition. Thanks.
      • Insult To The Indy 500
        Why would such a prestigious race during it's Centennial event pick such a poor and controversial figure?

        The usually well thought out direction of the Indy 500 leadership REALLY struck out on this one.

        Brad Stevens, Daniels, one of the Navy Seals, Capt. Sully, Letterman, anybody but Trump.

        The % of people that actually like and respect Donald Trump has to be quite small.

        A very poor choice.
      • Dump him
        The 100th anniversary of the first running of the Indianapolis 500 is too important to have someone so polarizing. Trump relishes publicity--even bad pub--but the Indianapolis Motor Speedway doesn't need the controversy.
      • Dump Trump!!
        At minimum for the 100 year anniversary it should be a driving force in the IRL industry. Were any of the legendary drivers even considered?
      • I Love Tim
        Maybe the Speedway should get someone local who we all love and respect like Tim Durham.
      • NO TRUMP
        Just proves that IMS Management should have worn crash helmets!
      • Dump Trump
        Why not choose a real hero or icon, like someone who has fought for our country. Why does it have to be a "celebrity"? why not a true hero!
      • IMS executives to be featured on tomorrow's "No Limits"
        If you want to ask questions of, or make comments to, Speedway officials, Thursday at noon is the time to do it. WFYI Public Media airs "No Limits" each Thursday from 12 to 1 p.m. on 90.1FM, and the guests tomorrow include veteran racing announcer Bob Jenkins, 1998 Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever Jr., and Mark Dill - VP of Marketing and Communications with the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Call (866) 476-3881 or write nolimits@wfyi.org and make your views known!
      • Dump the Trump
        Bad choice for Pace Car Driver. No room for his chauffer. Mr. Obnoxious Windbag! Please tell him he's FIRED!!!
      • Trump
        Hopefully, he paid big for the privilege.
      • Bump Trump
        There is not a single valid reason that Trump should be honored at the 100th Anniversary of the the Race by driving the pace car. Now with the potential political agenda, it's just wrong for the IMS to promote a candidate. I'd love to see just about any racing legend drive the pace car. Or if a celebrity is in the running, they should consider Rob Lowe. He's got one of the bests characters on TV, who tells the world that "Indianapolis is literally the best place in the world" (or something like that) Gotta love that wonderful press!
      • Trump An Insult
        Each year I drive 850 miles from coastal NC to Indy to be in Turn 4 at the 500, and I was particularly looking forward to the 100th anniversary. Having a self-absorbed flake like Trump lead the pace field is an insult to the effort we make in getting there and to everyone else associated with the centennial celebration.
      • The problem with The Donald
        Please sign my petition and ask all of your friends to sign it too. http://www.change.org/petitions/dump-trump-2 The Donald is brash, rude, arrogant, and interested only in himself. This is not the role model I want for America's young. Thank you, Mark Brennaman

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