Why The Apprentice Candidate Shouldn't Quit

This may already be a done deal.

In a few hours, Randal Pinkett -- Season Four winner of Donald Trump's The Apprentice -- will make "an official statement regarding the speculative reports on the [New Jersey] lieutenant governor position." That doesn't sound like a campaign kickoff to me.

Governor Jon Corzine was allegedly pushing hard for Pinkett to be his 2009 running mate. Only thing is, state Democratic leaders could push back harder. Pinkett sounded like a gimmick to them and, well, everybody. So he's expected to drop out of the race.

But take a step back, and you might be able to see the allure this reality TV star could have over the next three and a half months of the campaign.

1) Smarts.
Pinkett has them. If he weren't a reality television star, he would just be a young(-ish), charismatic Rhodes Scholar/MIT Ph.D.

2) Ooh, Shiny Object.
As a reality TV star, he would generate loads of stories. No LG candidate is going to overshadow the top of the ticket for the length of time that Pinkett would. That's a good thing in this instance -- getting the focus off of Corzine for a while might do more to help the Democrats' poll numbers than hurt them.

3) Smarts, Again.
This is why the attention he could draw would help: Pinkett ain't Palin. Take Cory Booker's word for it and believe the guy would "wow" people.

4) Outsider.
Pinkett is not an elected official and not a traditional pol. That counts for a lot, and there's no one else on Corzine's short-list who can claim the same.

UPDATE: Pinkett announced Wednesday morning that he's not withdrawing.