"People who think he's a joke and fool need to be careful because by the end of the campaign, the joke may be on them." That's how Joe Scarborough summed up the surprisingly respectful analysis of Donald Trump candidacy on today's Morning Joe.
Introducing the segment, Joe Scarborough suggested that if Trump sticks to a Perot-like populist message, he could get 15% of the primary vote. When Joe turned to Steve Schmidt, this NewsBuster expected the former McCain campaign manager and establishment Republican to dump on Trump. But to the contrary, Schmidt agreed heartily with Joe and went on to make the case that Trump is channeling widespread popular resentment, is the man people would want to see in a debate, and could be "very impactful" in the race. John Heilemann was similarly respectful of Trump's potential, saying he "doesn't play by the rules and is fearless," and receives serious, generally favorable local coverage in places like Iowa and New Hampshire.