Celebrities Covet White House

New York real estate developer Donald Trump has his eyes on a property in Washington - at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Trump said Thursday that he's formed an exploratory committee to decide whether to run for the Reform Party presidential nomination. CBS News Correspondent Richard Schlesinger reports that though the field is getting crowded, so far, no one's actually in the game.

Donald Trump is now the latest to say maybe. "I'm not happy with what's happening in the country. Nobody else is either. The spirit, the whole thing, it's gone, it's just terrible," he said.

Trump joins the line of wannabes who might or might not be running. Ross Perot - the party's founder - won't say no, nor will Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura or Pat Buchanan or former Connecticut Gov. Lowell Weicker.

Trump now may have found a way to stand out in a growing field on the fringe of American politics. His choice of running mate? Oprah Winfrey. But he admits to a tak-show host that he has not discussed the idea with party leaders.

"If she'd do it, she'd be fantastic," Trump said. "I mean, she's popular, she's brilliant, she's a wonderful woman."

Trump also said that, unlike traditional exploratory committees, his would not raise money. Instead, it will provide political advice.

Everyone called Ventura a fringe candidate when he ran. They call him governor now, and as the party's only elected official, he'll try to referee the fight for the nomination.

But Ventura may have a battle of his own to win after his appearance on Thursday's Late Show With David Letterman.

Letterman brought up the controversy Ventura stirred in his February appearance at the beginning of the interview, saying "Last time you were here, we were kidding around with you, and we said, 'Well which do you like better St. Paul or Minneapolis 'and there was some trouble there wasn't there?"

Letterman tossed Ventura the same question again on Thursday.

This time, Ventura said, "You're not getting me on that one again."

He has since been heavily criticized for remarks he made in Playboy magazine criticizing organized religion as a "crutch for weak-minded people," and calling the Navy's Tailhook scandal "much ado about nothing."

Letterman asked, "Why is it that all hell breaks loose whenever you say something?"

Ventura responded, "I don't know. I mean two years ago, no one cared."

Trump and Ventura and actor Woody Harrelson had dinner Thursday night. Ventura joked to reporters that he and Trump "did a lot of discussing" and joked that Harrelson would be the next president.

Trump said he planned to decide whether to seek the nomination by January or February.

The casino owner said he would not run just to be a spoiler, "The only thing that could interest me is if I could win. I'm not tlking about the nomination, I'm talking about the whole megillah," he said.

Where does he stand on the issues? Trump says he's socially liberal and fiscally conservative, supports major tax cuts, abortion rights and health care for all, but opposes gun control.
  • CBSNews.com staff CBSNews.com staff

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