Trump could be president -- of Georgia

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 11 2011 10:20 AM | Updated as of Mar 11 2011 06:20 PM

NEW YORK, United States - Donald Trump can set aside any lingering doubts about his chances of becoming president -- at least if it's the presidency of ex-Soviet Georgia he wants.

In the midst of flirting with a 2012 White House run, the developer and brash reality TV star won an unexpected vote of confidence Thursday during a New York meeting with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

"If he decides to run for president in Georgia, he might win," Saakashvili joked in answer to a reporter's question to Trump about his will he/won't he US presidential plans.

Trump, sitting next to Saakashvili in Manhattan's Trump Tower, was more coy, saying that he is seriously considering a bid to unseat President Barack Obama, but that there will be no decision before June.

"I'm seriously considering it because of what's happened to our country that I love," he told reporters.

Trump even touted his meeting with Saakashvili, where the developer signed an investment deal for Georgia's Black Sea resort of Batumi, as proof of his made-for-the-presidency foreign policy credentials.

"Of course. I am dealing with one of the great leaders of the world," Trump said, looking over at Saakashvili.

He added that his investment dealings in other countries also served as foreign policy education. "I have a lot of relations with many of the leaders of the world. We are doing a lot of projects."

Trump has seen mixed polls and analysts are hesitant about his chances of winning the Republican nomination. "The Donald," as he is widely dubbed, is best known for his business acumen, loud-mouth persona, spectacularly maintained hair-do, and colorful married life.

But with his enormous personal wealth and forceful, populist attacks on OPEC, China and what he called Thursday a lack of "proper leadership" in Washington, he has his fans.

Saakashvili, himself a larger-than-life kind of leader, may be the most ardent.

The Georgian leader gushed about meeting Trump in a New York elevator while working as a young lawyer and described his latest encounter -- along with the development deal for Batumi -- as one of life's "benchmarks."

"What really moves the world is personality and this is one of the greatest personalities in the world," Saakashvili said.

This is "the moment you understand you made it," he said about their meeting.