Trump Probably Couldn’t Afford To Self-Fund A General Election Campaign

Donald Trump has announced that he would not be self-funding the General Election campaign. That's probably because he really couldn't afford to do so.

Donald Trump Shrug

Ever since he entered the Presidential race last June, Donald Trump has boasted to crowds that he was ‘self-funding’ his Presidential campaign and that he would not be beholden to Wall Street and other interests like opponents who were raising millions of dollars from fundraisers and donors whose primary motivation for giving money to a candidate typically boil down to the desire for access. In the end, Trump did set up fundraising for his primary campaign, but it only brought in a small amount of money compared to the other candidates. Meanwhile, Trump himself ended up spending only a small amount of his own money over the course of the campaign, especially on television ads and other traditional campaign accouterments, a fact which makes his win all the more impressive when you compare it to candidates like Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz who raised tens of millions of dollars only to see it all go to naught as Trump rolled over all of them.

With the General Election campaign set to begin, though, Trump has made it clear that he doesn’t intend to self-fund a campaign that could end up costing a billion dollars before its over and that he will engage in fundraising along with the Republican National Committee and the national GOP organizations in charge of electing Senators and Members of the House of Representatives. In a piece today in The Wall Street Journal Peter Grant and Brody Mullins examine Trump’s finances as he’s reported them publicly and make it clear why Trump won’t be self-funding the General Election, and it’s because he couldn’t afford to do so:

It might seem a strange reason for a man who says he is worth $10 billion. But a close analysis of Mr. Trump’s finances shows that in terms of ready cash, he would be ill-equipped to foot the bill himself.

When his campaign began last summer, a financial disclosure Mr. Trump filed said he had between about $78 million and $232 million in cash and relatively liquid assets such as stocks and bonds.

That would go fast if Mr. Trump spent an amount close to the $721 million President Barack Obama spent in 2012 up to Election Day, or the $449 million Mitt Romney spent in the same stretch.

This would leave hundreds of millions to be made up. And Mr. Trump’s businesses don’t produce that much in a year, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows. His 2016 pretax income, according to the analysis, is likely to be about $160 million.

The result is if Mr. Trump stuck with self-financing, he likely would have faced difficult decisions over whether to sell some of his properties or borrow more money against them.

The Journal analysis is based on 170 items of “employment assets and income,” such as real estate, golf courses, management companies and licensing deals, listed in the financial disclosure form Mr. Trump filed last July. The Journal estimated how much pretax income each item should yield this year, relying on public documents and interviews with dozens of former and current Trump Organization executives and people who are familiar with his businesses.

In the absence of Mr. Trump’s tax returns, which he has declined to release, the analysis helps answer a question many wonder about: just how much the candidate earns.

Asked about the analysis, Trump aides didn’t comment in detail. Campaign spokeswomanHope Hicks said, “The income number is wrong by a lot, but Mr. Trump said, ‘Who cares—it doesn’t matter.’ ”

Earlier, in a March interview, Mr. Trump said he could raise “billions” by putting additional debt on his assets but wasn’t eager to because he had grown more conservative about debt in recent years.

“I don’t want to do that,” he said. “But after the primary season, I’ll say, ‘What will it take? What will I need if I want to do it that way?’ ”

The cash issue looms now because the political season is growing more expensive. The Trump campaign spent about 50% more in March than in February, facing higher expenses for field workers, telemarketing and voter-data operations.

Even before he ran for President, Donald Trump has long been accused of making exaggerated claims about his personal wealth as part of his overall strategy of how he presents himself to the media as a huge financial success. During both the 2012 Presidential cycle and again prior to the time he entered the race in June of last year, there were many observers who believed that Trump would never actually run for President due to the fact that doing so would require him to file financial disclosure reports that would show that he was not, in fact, worth as much as he had claimed to be for decades. As it turned out, Trump did file his disclosure form within a month after entering the race, claiming that he was worth $10 billion and had annual income in excess of $350 million. Much of that wealth, however, was assigned to the value of real estate which Trump owned either in whole or in part, licensing deals for real estate ventures in which he was not involved at all but to whom he had licensed his name for marketing purposes, and some $3 billion assigned to the alleged value of Trump’s “brand.” At the time, many observers and experts were skeptical of the Trump campaign’s valuations, not the least because real estate is, in the end, only worth what someone is willing to pay for it if it is put up for sale and that estimating the value of something as ephemeral as the value of a “brand” is really nothing but guesswork and is also obviously the kind of number that can fluctuate wildly depending on events that nobody can predict. Keeping that in mind, Forbes has estimated that Trump is worth a far more conservative $4 .5 billion, number that still makes him a fairly wealthy man but not nearly to the extent to which he has claimed over the years.

Whatever the number is, it’s clear from Trump’s own financial disclosures, and from the far more detailed look at his financial situation conducted by Forbes and in today’s Journal, that Trump is hardly in a position to self-fund a General Election campaign. Theoretically, one supposes he could come up with the cash to pay for a campaign out of pocket by selling some of his real estate assets, but that’s a process that could take as much as a year to go to closing and would only garner cash after any debt on the property is paid off and any partners paid their share of the profits. He could also attempt to borrow money against some of these properties but it’s unclear just how much equity there might be in any of these properties at this point and what terms Trump could get for a loan for cash that would be spent on a political campaign. Trump would be in a far different position, of course, if his wealth were tied up in stocks and bonds, which can be easily sold in a relatively short period of time, but that’s not the case here. Trump is a wealthy man, but the extent of his wealth is far more ephemeral than the wealth of someone like Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, or Mike Bloomberg, and a close examination is likely to reveal that he’s not nearly as rich as he claims to be. Perhaps that’s why he continues to refuse to release his tax returns.

 

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Campaign 2016, Donald Trump, Economics and Business, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Mark Ivey says:

    Pump the RNC cash&credit till it’s maxed out, then declare bankruptcy and dump it.

    :))

  2. CSK says:

    Republican National Committee? Nope: Now it’s the Republican National Casino.

  3. motopilot says:

    Josh Marshall has an interesting piece about Trump’s income over TPM this morning.

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/wait-what–8

  4. C. Clavin says:

    I am shocked – shocked – to find that Trump is lying about his wealth.

  5. Jc says:

    Can’t wait to see what he says when “losers” are not donating enough to keep his campaign rolling.

  6. Scott says:

    Bet the first thing Trump does is pay himself back for the money spent during the primaries.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Theoretically,

    There is a theory that Trump is a con man. I would say it is a theory the way that evolution is a theory, the that gravity is a theory.

  8. al-Ameda says:

    I continue to believe that Trump is misrepresenting the magnitude of his wealth.

    I also believe that this is the reason he’s reluctant to make his tax returns available. While it’s true that a tax return won’t tell you what a person’s wealth is, there is, however, a lot of other information in a tax return from which one may draw inferences from. Given Trump’s love of bankruptcy and debt it would not surprise me if his net worth was significantly less than the billions he talks about.

  9. Andre Kenji says:

    David Cay Johnston wrote about Trump´s tax returns:

    http://www.nationalmemo.com/9-key-points-about-trumps-income-taxes-and-many-more-questions/

    Compounding these errors, some journalists have reported nonsense as egregious as Trump’s, concerning what his tax returns would tell us. Many seem certain that they will reveal his actual wealth even though tax returns measure income, not net worth, as I will explain.

    He makes important points.

  10. gVOR08 says:

    Trump Probably Couldn’t Afford To Self-Fund A General Election Campaign

    F the headline FY

  11. Pch101 says:

    Trump could probably finance the campaign on his own if he was willing to borrow the money. But without fundraising that could be used to repay him, that would force him to eventually liquidate assets in order to repay his lenders, so that wouldn’t be a wise idea.

    I suspect that Trump doesn’t have much of a ground game in place, which makes him vulnerable. He may not get that much support from the party, either. It’s one thing to tweet and hold Nuremberg rallies for the faithful, it’s quite another to win over swing voters and the segment of Republicans that is less inspired by his style of bombast.

  12. MarkedMan says:

    I’m not sure if there is anything that can hurt Trump with his true believers. After all, his is a “Marion Barry” candidacy, in that sticking a finger in the eye of the people you resent is the primary motivation of his supporters. But if there IS anything that can hurt him, this may be it. It seems that the fact that Trump was self funding was a pretty big point of pride for his supporters. Perhaps they can forgive his lies but reneging on this might have traction. And he can’t really reverse course on it. Even by his estimates 30% of his net worth is intangible. Not hard to believe that his true worth is south of $5B, maybe far, far south. Trying to pull $1B cash out of that means either massive debt or fire sale. And Trump has made it very clear over the years that he considers loan money his, and immediately starts to see how much he can avoid paying back. It seem logical that his present day reluctance to assume debt has to do with how difficult it is for him to do so.

  13. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Andre Kenji:

    Many seem certain that they will reveal his actual wealth even though tax returns measure income, not net worth, as I will explain.

    This is true, BUT…. It will give a very large indication of true wealth in that income from property is shown. It can be difficult to measure the value of say a block of Manhattan Island, but the block of Manhattan will show up in the return.

  14. MarkedMan says:

    FWIW, an anecdote that may indicate how difficult it would be for him to get debt, or indeed make any deal that required him to owe someone money: a number of years ago there was a substantial building going up in a major US city that had the Trump name on it. I asked a friend that worked for a major supplier of certain systems used in skyscrapers all over the world if it was actually Trump’s deal or he had just rented out his name. While my friend didn’t have any insider info on this, he said it was common knowledge among the big building firms that if The Donald had any say over payment they would decline the contract. In previous decades he had the reputation for never making the last payment and needing to be sued to get any relief. His people would spec the cheapest “contractor grade” possible for every component, then use the general crappiness to justify not paying. His people would also disparage their work to the tenants saying that it was an installation problem and not cheap components.

    My friend’s bottom line: if reputable firms took the business then the “Trump” part of the deal was just the name. If Trump was really involved look to small firms trying to make it big to take the work on.

  15. Facebones says:

    I was always convinced that he would never actually run for president because he’d have to release his tax returns and it would show that he had exaggerated his wealth for years. His entire “brand” is built on him being the yuuugest, most successful, richest tycoon in the world. (And even if his was actually as wealthy as he claims, that would still not be true.)

    I honestly think that if his lies about his wealth were revealed, that could actually hurt him with his fans. That’s part of his appeal to them. He got rich and powerful by talking tough! Maybe not quite so rich after all…

  16. grumpy realist says:

    This reminds me of Japan’s commercial property during the collapse of the bubble, for some reason.

    Noticed how Trump’s spokesperson immediately stated that the WSJ income levels were “wrong”, but never bothered to give basis for why?

    Standard Trump. If you don’t go along with his grandiose opinion of himself, you’re obviously “wrong”, even if you had data to back it up. Because he is right and the most important thing in the world is his ego.

  17. gVOR08 says:

    @Pch101:

    Trump could probably finance the campaign on his own if he was willing to borrow the money.

    And if someone were willing to loan the money to a guy who has as much as said he’d declare bankruptcy.

  18. Jenos Idanian says:

    Let’s get pedantic: Trump could easily afford to self-fund a general election campaign.

    The question is, could he afford to self-fund a successful general election campaign?

    He could always just avail himself of the public funding option, like Obama promised to back in 2008. Or he could forego it and fund-raise for it himself, like Obama actually did in 2008.

    The money’s there for the GOP nominee, and Trump has never evinced any principled opposition to it, nor has he made any pledges about it. So what’s the point of this story?

  19. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    So what’s the point of this story?

    Trump having made self-funding and therefore avoiding being beholden to eeeevil “super PACs” and other outside donors (because he’s SOOOOO wealthy, don’tchaknow) a major point in his campaign so far, but actually being unable to afford carrying it through the general election campaign, because maybe he’s not quite so wealthy as he’s tried to lead us all to believe (but refuses to actually disclose).

    Gee, I don’t know what could be noteworthy about that…bahahahahahahahaha…

  20. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08:

    And if someone were willing to loan the money to a guy who has as much as said he’d declare bankruptcy

    Your point is valid, and the more I think about this, the more I think Trump may be worth much less than even $5B. He has repeatedly stated in a half dozen different ways that he only considers the loan repayment terms that he has signed to be a starting point. He’s always talking about how he doesn’t pay people if he doesn’t like their work, or that if times are bad you can renegotiate debt. That is his public and widely available viewpoint. Who would lend money to someone like that? And in this day and age, what kind of business can he engage in if he can’t get loans? I would think that it must be either very transactional i.e. he buys something and the terms are payment in full immediately or is guarnanteed by someone other than Trump. Or the payments only flow into him. So he gets paid to host TV shows, or gets paid for his name on the side of a building. In the first case, he has very little leverage and must pay 100% up front, which is not the way big business is normally conducted. Essentially, instead of being able to do 10 deals, he can only do 1. Or instead of a large deal he can only do one a tenth that size. In the second case, well, how much income can that really generate? Sure, maybe it is millions of dollars a year, maybe even a few tens of millions, but how much is it worth to stick the name Trump on the side of a building?

    The only flaw in this logic is the airplanes and helicopter. They are old, and he bought them at a steep discount, but I understand airplanes are very, very expensive to keep going. They must cost millions per year, maybe tens of millions. Of course, I’m sure he is deducting them as a business expense 100% of the time, but they still cost a lot of money. And as he acknowledges, he doesn’t pay much taxes so the benefit of the tax deduction is limited.

  21. Jen says:

    Trump has already (mostly) ruled out the public funding option. As is ever the case, he equivocated when attempting to make a statement, since he told the AP “I think I’ve ruled it out.” He then followed that by saying he felt it was inappropriate to take taxpayer money for a campaign.

    The fact that his True Believers (TM) think he’s self funded the primary goes to show how easily people can be misinformed.

    If he got into the race to pump up his “brand” as the majority of thinking people realize/understand, it should be no surprise to anyone at all that he likely doesn’t have the cash to “self-fund” a general election campaign.

    Of course he’s been exaggerating his wealth. The question is by how much, and whether this will be disclosed to voters before the election–and then, whether or not they will care that they’ve been misled.

  22. MarkedMan says:

    @Jenos Idanian: I don’t think public funding is a practical option any longer, the amount has not kept up with the cost of elections. Per the the FEC website:

    In 2012…the parties’ general election nominees are eligible to receive $91.2 million in public funds.

    Less than $100M avaialble and for the past few elections the candidates have felt the restrictions cost more than that.

  23. Jenos Idanian says:

    @MarkedMan: Damn, I thought it was more than that. I was thinking it was around $700 million. Thanks for the correction.

    But if Trump is the GOP nominee, then the GOP should be backing him. That’s kind of the point of their running the primary process — play their game, win it, get their support.

    But then again, the GOP has been pissing off their base for some time, so they could do that again…

  24. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:

    His supporters already have an answer to the funding promise, which is that Trump said only that he would self-fund the primary campaign, not the general.

    If you’re a true Trumpkin, you can find an excuse/rationalization/justification for anything he says or does.

  25. Jen says:

    @CSK: Of course, that is the excuse/rationalization/etc.

    The question is whether donors, who have spent months being characterized as evil people who are part of the problem (if not THE problem) in a “rigged” system, will feel at all inclined to write checks out to this train wreck of a deeply flawed candidate, who has no demonstrable filter between his brain and his mouth.

    I guess we’ll see. A few have committed to helping him out, but he’ll need a lot of these terrible, awful, no-good, very-bad, big money donors to make a difference.

  26. gVOR08 says:

    @Jen: Completely predictable. I’m waiting to see how they rationalize the bit about not owing anybody favors once he takes money from Adelson and his ilk.

    I tend to think of conservatives as not terribly imaginative, but they sure are when it comes to this sort of thing.

  27. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen:

    The question is whether donors… will feel at all inclined to write checks

    Maybe a better question is “what will The Donald have to agree to in order to get those checks?”

  28. MBunge says:

    Outside of a Saudi prince, who could self-fund a U.S. general election campaign for President? Do even Bill Gates or Warren Buffer have $700 million just sitting around?

    Mike

  29. Tony W says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Maybe a better question is “what will The Donald have to agree to in order to get those checks?”

    And, to what degree does anybody believe he’ll follow through on something he agrees to? The man has admitted fleecing people who loaned him money in good faith, on many occasions.

    I wouldn’t lend him a screwdriver.

  30. MarkedMan says:

    @Tony W: Oddly enough, I actually think that Trump would follow through with these promises. Let Sheldon Adelson pick the next head of the IRS? The Koch brothers pick the head of the EPA? Sure, why not. It’s not like Trump understands or cares about any of this stuff.

  31. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    So what’s the point of this story?

    Donald Trump:

    By self-funding my campaign, I am not controlled by my donors, special interests or lobbyists. I am only working for the people of the U.S.!

    He was never actually self-funding…so the point of the story is that he is a mendacious m’fer. Which explains your support.

  32. KM says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Oddly enough, I actually think that Trump would follow through with these promises. Let Sheldon Adelson pick the next head of the IRS? The Koch brothers pick the head of the EPA? Sure, why not. It’s not like Trump understands or cares about any of this stuff.

    Who’s to say he won’t double-book? After all, what are they going to do about it if he doesn’t deliver – complain the chair they bought is already occupied? A serial cheater, con artist and two-timer isn’t going to think twice about promising the same impossible promise to multiple suckers…. err, donors.

  33. Tyrell says:

    Is Big Don playing the poverty card on us ?

    “Trailer for sale or rent,
    Rooms to let 50 cent,
    I’m a man of means by no means
    King of the road” (Roger Miller)

  34. Neil Hudelson says:

    @KM:

    Who’s to say he won’t double-book?

    I’ve actually had a sneaking suspicion that he’ll announce multiple VP’s, either on purpose or because flip-flopping daily hasn’t hurt him yet. In Alabama he’ll announce Sessions is the VP, in North Carolina it will be Palin, in Florida, Rubio. It sounds crazy, but do you really think the media would call him out?

  35. Grumpy Realist says:

    @Jen: don’t we have Mr. “Hello I get all my money from my casinos in Macau” stating he’s willing to throw in a ridiculous amount?

  36. Jen says:

    @Grumpy Realist: If you’re referring to Shel Adelson, yes, he’s stated he’s in. He threw $20 mill. at Gingrich–I wonder how much he’d spend on Donald.

    Still a bit shy of the $1 bill. this race is expected to cost though…

  37. CSK says:

    @Jen:

    According to the NY Times, Adelson could donate in excess of $100 million to the Trump campaign.

  38. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @CSK: That would mean that he’d only have, what–about $8-900 million to raise?

  39. Jenos Idanian says:

    My completely unsolicited advice to Trump would be to say this, publicly:

    “Folks, I said I’d self-finance my primary campaign, and I did that. Now it’s time for the general, and I want to invite you to get some skin in the game. I’m opening my campaign for any and all donations, whatever the law will allow.

    “And you want to know what you’ll get for your money? I give you one promise, exactly one promise and no more. And that promise is this: I will use every penny you give me to beat Hillary. And that’s all the promises anyone will get, public or private.

    “You know what Hillary will do for her donors. She’ll do exactly what she’s been doing ever since she left the White House — taking people’s money, laundering it through her crooked foundation, and making sure her donors get special favors and special treatment. Take a look at what this guy Charles Ortel is saying. He’s the one who first saw that GE was cooking the books back in 2008, and he’s the one who figured out what AIG was pulling back in 2009. Anyway, he’s looked at Crooked Hillary’s foundation, and it’s even more crooked than she is.

    And remember all her talk about how bad people hedge fund managers are? I think we know why she says that. Her son-in-law is a hedge fund manager, and he just shut down his hedge fund that lost over 90 percent of its value before he shut it down. He bet other people’s money on Greece, and they all got wiped out. She figures that they’re all as incompetent as he is.

    So that’s Crooked Hillary, folks. You want to keep her from getting back into the White House? So do I, and I will do it. And I’m inviting you to come along with me.”

    That’s how I’d recommend Trump swing it.

  40. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:
    Washington Examiner??? Seriously? That’s who you copy and paste your opinions from?

  41. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: (click)

    Boy, I love this new MUTE button.

  42. Jen says:

    Let’s just call him “Donald, Ducking.”

    He seems to duck from every single legitimate question posed to him about anything. He’s a ridiculous farce of a candidate. While he needs to be taken seriously–there is nothing more serious than the office of President–I hope he gets absolutely crushed in the general election.

    He can keep playing to the tune of his fanbois, but come ON.

    – Refuses to release any tax returns, even those not under audit, for a series of ever-changing reasons

    – Posed as his own publicist, admitted to it back when it mattered and then lied about it when it didn’t

    – Claims to have “self-funded” the primary when he did nothing of the sort

    – Insults vast swaths of the American public–women, minorities, you name it.

    – Constantly suggests the press needs to be brought to heel, when it is precisely the freedom of the press that keeps “America Great”

    – Reads the National Enquirer and apparently believes what is written in it

    – Etc., etc., ad nauseum.

  43. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Jen: I really love all your talking points. Because each and every one of them can be turned right back against Hillary.

    Tax returns: opens up the Clinton Foundation and its scams.

    The publicist thing: dates to 1991, which makes Hillary’s entire First Lady tenure fair game, AND opens up her own history of self-serving lies (“sniper fire in Tuzla,” anyone?)

    The insults: brings up how Trump says mean things to EVERYONE, he doesn’t discriminate, but treats his employees pretty well; Hillary says the right things, but treats people like crap.

    The press: keeps them in line, cutting into how much they dare boost for Hillary. (Can’t be eliminated, but can be limited.)

    The Enquirer thing: shows how he can totally dominate the press and control the news cycle any time he likes.

    The New York Times today tried to play the “he’s a womanizer” card, and I’ve been waiting for that one. Who better to stand up to a womanizer than a woman who’s spent pretty much her entire adult life as a doormat to another womanizer?

    Funny how none of the women Trump womanized with ever ended up with a whole political machine out to destroy their lives. That’s reserved for the ladies who end up the objects of affection of good liberal Democrats.

  44. Jen says:

    @Jenos Idanian: You’ve missed the point.

    He can’t use any of those lines against Clinton without drawing attention to his own deficiencies–not to mention the fact that *he’s* the one currently involved in not one, but two fraud trials. I guess we can throw in the mob stuff too, because why not–I’m sure everything was above board?

    You say “doormat” I say “couple who stayed married.” Because of course the candidate of the Family Values (TM) party is the one who is on his third marriage, ’cause sanctity of vows, etc., am I right?

    Republicans have managed to nominate the one person who has absolutely no ground whatsoever to stand on when attacking Clinton. None. Is he immune from criticism among his supporters? Sure. But they aren’t the entire electorate–they are a pretty small portion of it. Yes, they are noisy as heck but that’s expected.

  45. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Jen: He can’t use any of those lines against Clinton without drawing attention to his own deficiencies–not to mention the fact that *he’s* the one currently involved in not one, but two fraud trials.

    Here’s the problem, Jen. When it comes to Trump’s “deficiencies,” the only people who care are those who wouldn’t vote for him anyway. And Trump just takes the hits and rolls with them. Nothing sticks.

    Hillary “stayed married” by playing her part in destroying the women who dared dawdle with her husband. None of his ex dalliances have anything nice to say anything about him. On the other hand, Trump’s exes say nice things about him.

    You attack Trump on grounds that you think are important, or you think will drive a wedge between him and his supporters. You don’t recognize that those same talking points are far more damaging to Hillary.

    Trump’s involved in two fraud trials. Hillary’s got two huge scandals haunting her, but her connections are keeping her from going to jail like any other person would.

    How do you think that would play out with Bernie Sanders voters, who are seeing their candidate keep winning, but keep getting shafted because the system’s rigged? That same system’s going after Trump, while Hillary skates on that, too.

    If you can step back from your own prejudices, you’d see all this, too.

  46. An Interested Party says:

    For Donald Trump, of all people, to accuse anyone else of being crooked…that’s awfully rich…

    How do you think that would play out with Bernie Sanders voters, who are seeing their candidate keep winning, but keep getting shafted because the system’s rigged?

    Awwww….such sad concern trolling…nice try, though…

  47. KM says:

    @Jenos:

    Hillary “stayed married” by playing her part in destroying the women who dared dawdle with her husband. None of his ex dalliances have anything nice to say anything about him. On the other hand, Trump’s exes say nice things about him.

    How sexist Jenos – Hillary’s running, not Bill. The equivalent would be what all her exs have to say about the current Mrs. Trump…. as well as the others for good measure. Are all the Mrs Trumps in possession of exs that say nice things about them? They’re fair game after all if Bill is…..

    FYI, women catch that little misogyny pretty quick – that she’s responsible for her man’s behavior and should be castigated for it. That she should feel bad for being unkind to the cheaters who threatened her marriage because it makes her shrewish. Anyone who’s been cheated on has heard it to her face or behind her back: it’s her fault and even it’s not, his shame is hers. Not a winning strategy because it hits a deep nerve. Proceed at your own peril.

  48. Jen says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    When it comes to Trump’s “deficiencies,” the only people who care are those who wouldn’t vote for him anyway.

    You are making the mistake I used to see a lot of candidates make: the assumption that core supporters are numerous enough to more than make up for the bulk of the electorate that doesn’t focus on the race until the last month. It causes them to become over confident that their message will prevail.

    Trump’s “deficiencies” go far deeper than the cloud of poor business choices, misogyny, and flat-out lies that he peddles. He has no foreign policy experience–or even a base understanding of it. He doesn’t even know how to pronounce Tanzania, which I’m sure is fine to his base but really doesn’t say to much about his grasp of the world beyond “I built a hotel there once,” which is the current core of his foreign policy credentials. He has made it standard practice to go after any world leader who dares criticize his lack of understanding on virtually everything. He is a thin-skinned, know-nothing, and doesn’t seem to care.

    Going back to the original post, Trump has said that he’ll work to raise “a billion dollars” for the Republican Party. He doesn’t have time to do that, and he certainly doesn’t have time to do that and actually learn enough to become even mildly proficient in foreign policy. Oh, and many economists say his ideas (not plans, of course, because we don’t have those–all we have are his “suggestions”) would be disastrous to the US economy. Expect his ideas to receive greater scrutiny–and he’ll whine about the mean, mean press picking on him.

    He’s a mess.

    If you’d step back from your own prejudices, you’d be able to see that.

  49. Jenos Idanian says:

    @KM: FYI, women catch that little misogyny pretty quick – that she’s responsible for her man’s behavior and should be castigated for it.

    Sigh. You miss so much.

    Hillary’s not responsible for Bill’s behavior (even though you call him “her man,” which implies a certain level of ownership), but she 100% owns her response to it. And that response was to protect him by attacking those women.

    It takes two to tango, and Bill is at least 50% responsible for his philandering (the women weren’t breaking any vows, they were helping Bill break his). But Hillary reserved her wrath for the women involved. (At least publicly; there are stories about her private wrath, but they are unverified.)

    She demonstrated how much a champion she is of women by protecting her philandering husband and attacking those who had philandered with him. And if a woman should accuse Bill Clinton of making untoward advances (Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick come to mind), they got the extra-special treatment.

    Hell, Monica Lewinsky was headed for the full “obsessed, delusional stalker” treatment until a certain garment came to light, and certain physical evidence proved impossible to refute.

    Finally, it’s sad how… limited you are. You think that because I notice and state certain things, and make predictions, that I somehow favor such things. Noting how certain attacks on Trump will fail, and fail spectacularly, does not mean I am a Trump fanboi. It shows a certain laziness on your part — you don’t like what I predict, so you struggle to find a way to dismiss it.

    Here, let me spell out an example, of how Trump could reach out to the Sanders voters. “Hey, you guys, you put all your work into winning, and you kept winning, but that didn’t matter, because Hillary had the system rigged against you. You couldn’t win because the fix was in. You got screwed.

    “They tried the same thing on me, but it didn’t work. The Republicans weren’t as good at it as the Democrats were, but they tried like hell to steal that primary, too.

    “Now November’s coming up, and the establishment on both sides is backing Hillary. They’re going to do everything they can to steal the election for her, just like they did everything they could to steal the primary for her. I’m asking you to take them on again, to help me beat them and take back our country.

    “You lost your fight, but that doesn’t mean you lost the war. Vote for me, and show them that they can’t get away with stealing elections.”

    Do I think that’s a completely honest or compelling argument? No. But as a targeted message, aimed at a specific slice of voters, I think it could peel off a significant number of Sanders supporters for Trump.

  50. MarkedMan says:

    There are two areas of attack I would love for Hillary to use:

    – The subject of this discussion – taking money from big time donors. When Trump or his SuperPac takes money from Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers, ask him over and over again “What deal did you cut with them?” and “What do they get in turn for your support?”. “Did the Koch brothers ask for their appointment to be head of the EPA?”. When he tries to turn it around, hit him again and again with his own words – that if you take their money they own you. Use that word “deal” over and over again, because that’s so heavily associated with him. And if he tries to deny there is a deal, point out that over and over again he has justified lying because it was just what he said as part of negotiations.

    – Appeal to patriotism. America’s word is our bond and Trump has said over and over again that he will say anything to strike a deal, that he would default on our loans. For 250 years, since before we won the revolution our commitment to repay our debts has been iron clad, and Trump just thinks that’s a cheap bargaining chip

  51. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Jen: We’re talking past each other. You’re talking about Trump as president; I’m talking about Trump the candidate. You’re saying that Trump would be a disaster as president, I’m saying that Trump is doing a hell of a lot of things that will help him get there. Nothing you said refutes anything I said, and vice versa.

    We aren’t disagreeing, because we’re barely speaking the same language.

  52. C. Clavin says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Hillary’s got two huge scandals haunting her

    No…she has Republicans obsessed with her, and dupes like you repeating talking points.
    Decades of investigations and millions spent…to find bubkis.
    But keep prattling on about non-existent scandals.

  53. Jenos Idanian says:

    @MarkedMan: Very easily countered. Trump can point out that he’s only using donors for the campaign; Hillary’s been taking big bucks to support her family for years, laundering it through her crooked charity.

    On the second point, Trump can say something like “The Marines — don’t you love them? — have a motto: ‘No better friend, no worse enemy.’ For the last eight years, Obama’s foreign policy has been ‘no worse friend, no better enemy.’ They’ve treated our good friends, like England and Israel, like enemies, while making terrible, terrible deals with countries like Cuba and Iran and China. When I’m president, I’ll make that Marine motto our policy. Once again we’ll make everyone want to be our friend, and no one will want to be our enemy.”

    The problem with Trump is, the old rules don’t apply. What worked in the past in beating Republicans simply won’t work with him.

    You guys need a new playbook. And, quite frankly, a better candidate. With Hillary, I think you got the most easily dislikeable candidate put forth since… Jeez, I can’t think of one. I almost said Dukakis, but he was more bland than dislikeable. Maybe Nixon? Maybe, but he won twice, so he had something going for him.

    Yeah, I give.

  54. Jenos Idanian says:

    @C. Clavin: (click)

  55. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    “When it comes to Trump’s “deficiencies,” the only people who care are those who wouldn’t vote for him anyway. And Trump just takes the hits and rolls with them. Nothing sticks.”

    The converse applies at least as well. The only people who care about Hillary’s deficiencies are those who won’t vote for her anyway. And she has decades of experience with taking hits and rolling with them with nothing sticking to her. Trump is the one who doesn’t have a long track record in the political arena.

  56. Jenos Idanian says:

    @Moosebreath: The converse applies at least as well. The only people who care about Hillary’s deficiencies are those who won’t vote for her anyway.

    A fairly valid point. I find myself shaking my head a little over it, but I’m coming to accept that I can’t change that, so we have to work around it.

    Which is why I’m watching for signs of Trump looking to chisel away at potential defectors from the Democratic forces. I see an opportunity for him to peel off a hunk of the Sanders voters. He can also use Hillary’s contemptuous treatment of coal miners to pull some unions away.

    I don’t know anywhere near enough about Trump’s past to go into detail, but I am fairly comfortable in saying that his extensive background in construction, hotels, casinos, and the like has given him a lot of experience in dealing with unions. Some may hate him, but they’ve dealt with him a lot over the years. He might be able to leverage that and couple it with the above and take even more votes away.

    Trump doesn’t need to do a lot to cultivate the right. All he has to do is point at Hillary and ask if they really want her to be elected. So he’s freer to go after more middling factions.

  57. Mikey says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Trump Hillary doesn’t need to do a lot to cultivate the right left. All he she has to do is point at Hillary Trump and ask if they really want her him to be elected. So he’s she’s freer to go after more middling factions.

    This modification is every bit as true as the way you originally wrote it.

    The real difference is a lot more people hate Trump than hate Hillary, and that will be the difference that leads to her victory.

  58. Moosebreath says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    “I am fairly comfortable in saying that his extensive background in construction, hotels, casinos, and the like has given him a lot of experience in dealing with unions”

    From what I have seen and heard, most construction people have a highly negative experience with Trump, to the extent that you know if Trump is really holding the purse-strings or just lending his name to a project based on the experience level of the contractors. The typical experience with Trump control over the finances is that they have to fight for the final payment, and expect demands for payment to be met with fictitious claims of deficient work, to enable Trump to try to negotiate to reduce the price.

  59. KM says:

    @Jenos:

    Sigh. You miss so much.

    Finally, it’s sad how… limited you are.

    Oohhh mansplaining! Please Jenos, please explain about how I just don’t understand how a woman might feel at seeing Republicans consistently chastise a woman for her reaction to them hypocritically dragging an affair out into public and into the damn Senate. As a female, I clearly have nooo idea how limited I am and need a man to explain how hideous her behavior was towards other women. I’m lazy in that don’t understand Hillary’s not a champion of women because she picked her (scummy) husband over some random chick he happened to do. Glad you cleared that up for me! Any other condescending tips you want to practice before this crap burns all of idiots in the general?

    You are actively saying the cheaters deserve your sympathy because Hillary was so cruel to them. Not implying, actively saying. I’m telling you this is the completely wrong tack to take for a majority of women. In order to justify the hate on Hillary, you have to exalt people like Lewinsky into vaguely-innocent territory; Madonna/Whore reversed, pity the seductress but scorn the wife. Any woman who’s had her husband run around will not be happy with him but there’s no magical sisterhood bond that makes her OK with the other woman. You’re hoping personal dislike of her will overwhelm any empathy female voters will have seeing her mocked for this played out. It won’t, especially when Trump goes all bombastic on how she’s a terrible woman for selling these other women out and grinding them down. That’s a nerve that’s best left alone.

  60. KM says:

    @Jenos :

    On the second point, Trump can say something like “The Marines — don’t you love them? — have a motto: ‘No better friend, no worse enemy.’ For the last eight years, Obama’s foreign policy has been ‘no worse friend, no better enemy.’ They’ve treated our good friends, like England and Israel, like enemies, while making terrible, terrible deals with countries like Cuba and Iran and China. When I’m president, I’ll make that Marine motto our policy. Once again we’ll make everyone want to be our friend, and no one will want to be our enemy.”

    Considering Trump told the mayor of London he needs to take an IQ test, the UK needs better friends. You might want to check out some foreign press; they’re not interesting in his “friendship”. The man will start a Twitter war that will screw up decades of diplomatic work.

    And that above? That’s seriously hard to swallow BS. Might want to tone the rhetoric done. The man who outsources at the drop of a dime, who hires illegals, screws people over deals, runs fraudulent companies and colleges that go bankrupt more then most families take vacations….. is now going to exalt Semper Fi? What an insult to the troops. Trump doesn’t know the meaning of loyalty, just keeping things he thinks is valuable to him.

  61. MarkedMan says:

    I just re-read my comment above and thought I should make something clear: I really do wonder what deals Trump will make to get Adelson and Koch money. It’s not simply a tactic I think Hillary should take. I truly fear that he would trade, say, the right to pick the EPA head to the Koch’s for $100M. The man, by his own admission, doesn’t care about any of this stuff and considers everything on the table when he is pursuing a deal.

  62. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan: It certainly is something worth watching. I’m wondering just how much money Trump will even be able to raise from mega donors, and with the National Review article that came out saying that the Koch network is scaling back…well, Mr. Trump is going to have to do a lot of ring-kissing.

    @KM: Thank you. I was trying to figure out a way to explain exactly what you’ve covered in your comment, but you did so far more succinctly than I could have.

  63. MBunge says:

    @KM:

    I think the quite obvious point that Jenos, amazingly enough, is making is that Bill Clinton harmed actual women and Hillary Clinton was the #1 enabler helping him do that. I don’t understand how you can logically or ethically trash Donald Trump for being bad for women while insisting that he can’t respond with that obvious point.

    Mike

  64. MBunge says:

    @MarkedMan: I truly fear that he would trade, say, the right to pick the EPA head to the Koch’s for $100M.

    Wait…isn’t Hillary largely basing her campaign on campaign contributions having NO effect on politicians? People who give money to Hillary expect nothing but people who give money to Trump demand the world?

    Mike

  65. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “And remember all her talk about how bad people hedge fund managers are? I think we know why she says that. Her son-in-law is a hedge fund manager, and he just shut down his hedge fund that lost over 90 percent of its value before he shut it down. He bet other people’s money on Greece, and they all got wiped out. She figures that they’re all as incompetent as he is.”

    And then he’ll continue: “And don’t you dare say anything about MY son-in-law, who only took over the family business when his father was arrested and convicted for tax evasion, illegal campaign donations and witness tampering. Because it’s perfectly fair to use people who are tangentially related to Hillary to smear her by whining about their perfectly legal business history, but it’s outrageous to even think of using the criminal history of people who are tangentially related to me!”

    You’re really not very good at this, are you Jenos?

  66. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian: “We aren’t disagreeing, because we’re barely speaking the same language”

    Yes. She is speaking English. You are speaking Breitbart.

  67. An Interested Party says:

    Here, let me spell out an example, of how Trump could reach out to the Sanders voters. “Hey, you guys, you put all your work into winning, and you kept winning, but that didn’t matter, because Hillary had the system rigged against you. You couldn’t win because the fix was in. You got screwed.

    Oh, in other words, Trump will tell a bigger lie than Hillary has ever told…

    Trump can say something like “The Marines — don’t you love them? — have a motto: ‘No better friend, no worse enemy.’ For the last eight years, Obama’s foreign policy has been ‘no worse friend, no better enemy.’

    Quoting a military motto after his bogus fundraiser to supposedly help the military…yeah, that’ll work…

  68. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    “Folks, I said I’d self-finance my primary campaign, and I did that. Now it’s time for the general, and I want to invite you to get some skin in the game. I’m opening my campaign for any and all donations, whatever the law will allow.

    Oh my god, with a few changes in that wording to fit the circumstances, one could easily imagine Trump pitching investors to buy into an Atlantic City casino operation even as he knows he’s probably going to file for bankruptcy protection.

    Fantastic.

  69. wr says:

    @MBunge: Yes, and what a ringing campaign slogan this will be:

    “Vote for the man who wants to put women in prison for controlling their own reproductive rights because his opponent was mean to women who slept with her husband!”

    That’s a surefire winner — as long as every woman in America is a moron. So I can see the Republicans running with this, because that seems to be their view.

  70. wr says:

    @MBunge: “People who give money to Hillary expect nothing but people who give money to Trump demand the world?”

    It was Trump who declared that people only gave to politicians because they expect to give back, that this is the reason he has given to politicians, and that everyone who takes money is corrupt. This was a major theme of his primary campaign.

    Now I realize that as a good right winger you are eager to forget everything that happened ten minutes ago so as to support this fraud, but these are his words.

    So yes.

  71. KM says:

    @MBunge:

    I don’t understand how you can logically or ethically trash Donald Trump for being bad for women while insisting that he can’t respond with that obvious point.

    Easily – look at the words you are using. “Enabler” has nasty connotations that go beyond not acting like you think she should; it implies involvement in the process and tacit permission to continue. You really think she wanted this to happen over and over again? Like or not, they are married (probably even love each other, you know). As in a partnership and his actions affected her in a very public and embarrassing way as a tool by her enemies. She’s supposed to be all kindness and sunshine while hypocritical a-holes are parading about on camera threats to her marriage? If it were me, I’d have been a spitfire non-stop since it’s my choice if I stay married to the jerk or not so everyone can just STFU. It’s certainly nobody’s business but the couple’s and the cheater; Republicans made it everyone’s business every time they could.

    Tell me, are any of the philandering Republican’s wives called that repeatedly? Are any of the ex-Mrs Trump’s enablers, consider it was stressed what good relationships they have with him? Shouldn’t they have warned off #4, save her some grief? My point is Trump is a sleazy serial cheater himself, trying to excuse the act by making Hillary sound absolutely wretched. He doesn’t have a leg to stand on. For all his crap, Bill’s still married to the woman he started with – a choice that would be lauded if her last name was Cruz or Gingrich or any other RWNJ. He’s not attacking her extremity of behavior; he’s attacking the fact that she went on the offensive at all.

    And Hillary is an actual woman too. Again, we notice these things. Y’all might wanna stop now before you dig yourself deeper/

  72. Jen says:

    Interesting National Review article about the Kochs.

    Trump’s positions (i.e., blathering) on trade are completely opposite of the Koch’s Libertarian open markets philosophy. After reading this piece, it looks like they are going back to think tank funding and steering away from campaigns. I expect this is probably a Big Deal in Republican fundraising circles.

  73. KM says:

    @MBunge:

    Bill Clinton harmed actual women

    Wanna address this as well. What never seems to come out is how Republicans hurt these women. Dragging them into a national spectacle, making them objects of ridicule and scorn (blue dress, anyone?), forcing them front and center as pawn in their on-going war on the Clintons. You don’t think Lewinsky’s name being a national joke on night time TV isn’t harm? Having the intimate details of their lives splashed all over every tabloid for decades isn’t harm? Starr and his ilk didn’t give two sh^ts about any of the women they dragged down in their stupid withchunt and still don’t. They’re nothing but convenient targets to hit whenever a cheap shot at Hillary is necessary; screw bringing up a embarassing past and humiliation again and again you turn on the news, Trump needs to make a point!

    Bill may have slept with them; Republicans totally f*cked them over.

  74. Jenos Idanian says:

    @KM: Oohhh mansplaining! Please Jenos, please explain about how I just don’t understand how a woman might feel at seeing Republicans consistently chastise a woman for her reaction to them hypocritically dragging an affair out into public and into the damn Senate. As a female, I clearly have nooo idea how limited I am and need a man to explain how hideous her behavior was towards other women.

    You use initials, and I had no idea about your gender (biological, self-styled, or whatever), and even less interest in it.

    But I’ll have you know that today I am self-identifying as a black lesbian, so I will ask you to stop with your racist, sexist, homophobic attacks.

  75. MarkedMan says:

    @MBunge:

    Wait…isn’t Hillary largely basing her campaign on campaign contributions having NO effect on politicians?

    So on one hand you have

    Hillary: I don’t like having to raise money, but that is the rules we play by. Despite that I don’t let the money raised influence me.

    The Donald (For the past year): Anyone who takes a dime is bought and paid for, don’t believe anything else. Hillary is corrupt, corrupt, corrupt.

    The Donald (as of last week): I want their money now because I don’t want my campaign to cause me financial discomfort. So I will fund raise from all those guys that I said were buying politicians. But Hillary said it is OK, so it is OK.

    Right.

  76. grumpy realist says:

    @MBunge: Because every single woman who’s been cheated on by her husband has heard the “you’re responsible for this!” excuse.

    If Donald gets even NEAR that, he can kiss off 99% of women.

  77. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Please, don’t be more of an idiot than you usually are. Anyone who has paid attention around here would know that KM is female.

  78. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Jenos Idanian: Google translate version: I just got my a$$ handed to me, got beat like a red-headed stepchild, and got nuthin’ left of my dignity, so I close with a comment proving I’m a perv, and let it go at that.

  79. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    But I’ll have you know that today I am self-identifying as a black lesbian

    I bet you are one of the conservatives who are absolutely bewildered why it seems that African Americans, LGBTQ people, and minorities in general don’t support Republicans.

  80. Moosebreath says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    “I bet you are one of the conservatives who are absolutely bewildered why it seems that African Americans, LGBTQ people, and minorities in general don’t support Republicans.”

    I’d also bet Jenos is one of the conservatives who thinks that is an example of how white males are discriminated against.

  81. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    Trump can say something like “The Marines — don’t you love them? — have a motto: ‘No better friend, no worse enemy.’

    Well sure. Coming from a guy who grew up a rich (really, really rich) kid with five deferments partying in Manhattan while the poor and working class kids got their asses shot off in ‘Nam, that is really compelling. Well, perhaps it is to a twit such as yourself. The problem here is that you fancy yourself a clever and perceptive fellow, and don’t realize that you are really are simply a twit.

  82. anjin-san says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    But I’ll have you know that today I am self-identifying as a black lesbian

    And you still won’t be able to get laid…

  83. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian:

    But I’ll have you know that today I am self-identifying as a black lesbian, so I will ask you to stop with your racist, sexist, homophobic attacks.

    Interesting, George Zimmerman said the same thing, when …. oh, never mind.

  84. de stijl says:

    Trump supporters may have claimed one of the reasons that they supported him was that he was self-financing his campaign. Window dressing at best. On the list of why folks support Trump, self-financing probably ranks like 32nd.

    They will forgive his walk-back of refusing Muslims entry to America as visitors or citizens as a mere “suggestion.” In the future, walking back the Wall will be forgiven. Then walking back the Mexican financing of said Wall will be forgiven. If you’re force-ranking the reasons people support Trump, walking back the self-financing claim is a tertiary concern at best.

    A way will be found; forgiveness will be granted.

    These are folks who voted for a guy who, were he a fictional character, would be total hack version of a cartoon super villain. Mojo JoJo, just as a character is way more sophisticated and believable. That’s actually unfair of me – Powerpuff Girls was wicked smart, and subtle and clever. Not quite Phineas and Ferb level clever, but damned close.

    Trump is a bog-standard WWE heel character. A cartoonishly arrogant, obnoxious, chock-full of silver spoon bluster version of the mega-successful rich-guy businessman archetype.

    (It is amusing to think of Trump as Mojo Jojo, though. They both refer to themselves continuously – I am Dooooonald TrumpJo! They both have ludicrously inefficient plans for world domination.)

    What will be interesting, however, is watching Rs that vehemently did not support Trump come up with interesting ways to justify falling in line.

    I have front-row seats in my family. He was a buffoon and an embarrassment to the party early in the R primary campaign.

    What was the line that got floated here a few weeks back? “I just don’t trust Clinton.” I expect to hear quite a few variations on that line in the next few months. People that were dead set against Trump as the nominee will find a way to vote for for him come November. Not that he’ll win, but tribal voters will manufacture a reason to vote for him, and then just as quickly disavow him when he loses.