He was in Sarasota, Florida, just south of Tampa, on Sunday night to pick up a "Statesman of the Year" award from local Republican bigwigs. But now Donald Trump won't be coming to the Republican convention -- though it took one of nature's mightiest phenomena to keep him away.
Republicans will doubtless be quietly but vastly relieved. This convention was supposed to present the party as a sane and responsible government-in-waiting.
Mr Trump, to put it mildly, would not have reinforced that image. Indeed, a minor mystery of Mitt Romney has been his indulgence of Mr Trump and his antics.
The candidate claims to detest self-promoters; there is no self-promoter more relentless than The Donald.
For a fleeting moment in mid-2011, Mr Trump actually led the Republican race for the nomination, though he was never a candidate.
His politics consist mainly of an obsession with Barack Obama's birth certificate and, failing that, with supposed mysterious omissions in the President's studies at Columbia University in New York -- obsessions that have led Mr Obama to describe him as a "carnival barker".
Such insults bounce off Trump like peas off a battle tank. In Sarasota, he was still barking away. He had been given "a big role" in last night's proceedings, he told reporters. "But you know what happened."
(© Independent News Service)