Money And Motive

To other than political junkies a piece of news that broke Tuesday won’t mean much but it really tells us a lot about the 2016 race. It was reported and verified by the Trump campaign that Donald Trump had run his final big money fundraiser on October 19th. Let’s explore what that really means.

Presidential candidates are normally a huge draw for a deep pocketed fundraiser. People who might not come out and open their checkbooks for a surrogate want to get up close and personal with the nominee and are often willing to part with large sums of money for that opportunity.

Donald Trump is really starting to slide in the polls with most people already writing off his chances of winning. He isn’t a big draw for deep pocket donors who only want to invest in a winner that can give them a return on that investment.

Until this cycle major Party presidential candidates have been “one of the boys” with a long history in that Party. They have tons of friends across the nation from prior campaigns during which they aided other members of their Party. Other than the gender reference Hillary Clinton fits that bill. She has been raising money and rallying voters for Democrats for decades.

Donald Trump is actually a prime example of a RINO (Republican in name only). Trump doesn’t really hold dear the principles of the Republican Party – Trump is only interested in his own enrichment. Trump had donated to candidates regardless of their political party. The only consideration was if he thought they could do him some good down the line. Trump has never been a surrogate for an elected Republican official. To most elected Republicans Trump, at best, was a phone call or letter that resulted in a check.

Traditionally when presidential candidates do big money fundraisers they highlight down ballot candidates of their Party in that region or state and part of the proceeds get sent down the line to help them in their races. You can see that the Clinton campaign is actively trying to assist Senate candidates in particular.

As of Tuesday the Clinton team had 41 big dollar fundraisers scheduled before Election Day; Team Trump had zero. That means Clinton will be sending a lot of dollars to help fellow Democrats and Trump will not be sending a penny to help their opponents. Clinton is being a team player and Trump is only taking care of his favorite person – Donald Trump.

I suspect another reason for Trump’s actions is to defend his very fragile ego. His popularity has fallen so badly that I think he fears that if he ran a big money fundraiser the attendance and the haul would be embarrassingly small.

Reportedly there is help on the way for down ballot Republicans. Karl Rove and Mitch McConnell have raised $25 million in last minute dark money. I am far from either a Karl Rove or Mitch McConnell fan and I feel dark money is one of the biggest problems in American politics. All that said, at least you can see why Rove and McConnell continually survive in GOP circles. A lot of Republican Congressional and Gubernatorial candidates are going to get saved by that last minute cash infusion and they will remember where it came from.

Trump represents the “values” of a substantial portion of the current Republican base but he isn’t and never was a traditional Republican; he is simply using the Party like a woman of ill repute as his current actions make clear.

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