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Merriam-Webster defines “statesman” as “one versed in the principles or art of government,” or “a wise, skillfull, and respected political leader.”

If the first name that pops into your head when you read that definition is noted racist, sexist, mafia-friendly birther Donald Trump, then you may want to take a trip down to Sarasota, Florida this August 26.

That’s when the Sarasota Republican Party is honoring Trump as its 2012 “Statesman of the Year.”

Seriously.

The party plans to present Trump with the award just 24 hours before the Republican National Convention begins 60 miles up the road in Tampa.

“He’s a sage, skillful and respected leader” who is doing “all he can to take our country back,” Sarasota GOP Chair Joe Gruters told Talking Points Memo. “At the end of the day, he’s one of the few people in the country who can command respect from people of all walks of life.”

According to Trump’s spokesman, Michael Cohen, the “statesman” won’t use the award to overshadow the convention — because he’s still hoping be an active participant.

“It would seem obvious that Donald Trump will play a role in the Tampa convention, as his massive popularity, reflected in this recent award, shows what an asset he would be in making the convention into an even greater success,” Cohen told NBC.

It’s unclear how Cohen came to the conclusion that his boss is “massively popular.” After all, the last poll to bother checking showed that just 33 percent viewed Trump favorably, compared to 55 percent who viewed him unfavorably.

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