Thursday, June 23, 2016

Can Donald Trump buy the White House on a bargain basement budget?

Much has been made in recent weeks about the fact that the presidential campaign apparatus of Donald Trump is miniscule.
TRUMP: Wealthy man buying White House on the cheap?
Not quite $1.3 million – which would be extravagant if he were seeking a state Legislature post or low-budget if he were running for Congress.

BUT CONSIDERING THE absurd costs of presidential campaigns these days that have to get voters to turn out all across the United States? It’s pitiful, particularly when one considers that likely opponent Hillary Clinton has reported to the Federal Elections Commission that she had nearly $42.5 million available to her campaign back on May 31.

By comparison, Trump is a campaign pauper, even though in terms of personal wealth Trump makes Hillary look like the peasant he probably thinks of her as being.

The fact is that because the Republican establishment is ashamed of the fact that their party members actually picked a rube like Trump to have a presidential nomination, they’re not going to do much of anything to help him.

The usual big-money people who kick in the millions that usually make Republican candidates better funded than Democrats aren’t doing so this time.

ALL OF THAT $1.3 million for Trump likely is his own money. It’s likely that his entire presidential campaign is going to put a dent in his personal wealth. Which when you consider how he has flaunted it throughout the years, it’s no wonder that no one feels a need to give Trump a dime towards his presidential fantasies.

Trump himself is trying to turn this into an asset – claiming he’s not leeching off anyone else to pay for his presidential campaign. He thinks we ought to regard it as a plus that he’s incapable of raising any kind of political funds – largely because his personal behavior is so gauche that it turns off respectable people everywhere.

There also are those who argue that the Trump persona is different from the traditional political candidate to the point where the usual rules don’t apply.

There are going to be people who will pay attention to anything the rube has to say to the point where he doesn’t need to indulge in all the paid media buys that many candidates resort to in order to get their message out.

WHICH STRIKES ME as being pathetic – the rich guy can get attention just by flaunting his absurd persona. Are we, the people, really that lame and desperate for our political entertainment?

It would be quite a statement about our electorate if a candidate who can run so cheap because when he does open his mouth he spews nonsense that some voters find amusing can actually gain enough voter support to run a credible campaign.

Let alone actually win!

That is, unless the money is merely evidence of how Hillary Clinton will be capable of standing up to any of the nonsense talk that Trump will resort to during the coming months of the general election cycle.

IT ACTUALLY REMINDS me of a conversation I once heard between a broadcaster and a political operative back in the days when I worked at the Statehouse in Springfield.

One of them actually liked the idea of a candidate who could supposedly say or do whatever he wanted because he didn’t have campaign donors to answer to. While the other asked the question that still pops into my mind from time to time:

“Do you really want the rich to be the only ones who can run for office?”

Particularly if it’s someone whose wealth has clearly gone to his head to the point that I’d fear he’d try to put his name on the executive mansion (“The Trump House?”) just like he has all those garish hotels and office buildings he has erected around the world.


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