Donald Trump, the man who relentlessly touted his, lobby/super PAC free, self-financed campaign will now begin to begin to solicit for donations.
It seems no one was recording the number of times presumptive GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump grandstanded about financing his primary campaign on his own, but if someone was, the total would be in the deep hundreds. Much of Trump’s appeal lies in his outsider status. He knows this, and has exploited it whenever possible. Ask a Trump supporter his/her reason for choosing the candidate and you’ll receive an assortment of responses regarding the economy, immigration and general chutzpah—among other far more distressing reasons. But the one issue that tends to be pervasive among Trump supporters is the idea that Trump isn’t in anyone’s pocket. He ran to and of and for himself. And, for the primary campaign, it’s a hard fact to refute. But this is all about to change. A general election campaign is another beast entirely on all fronts. And so, Trump has stated he will not self-finance moving forward. It’s a smart and necessary move, and a move that almost entirely negates an entire portion of his platform.
Donald Trump was the candidate who could not be bought. In his idealistic head, and the heads of many of his supporters, he was a renegade challenging a broken system, an unflinching patriot who put his money where his mouth is. He was going to do how he pleased, when he pleased.
Remember, I am the only candidate who is self-funding. While I am given little credit for this by the voters, I am not bought like others!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2016
Please remember, I am the ONLY candidate who is self-funding his campaign. Kasich, Rubio and Cruz are all bought and paid for by lobbyists!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2016
I really like the Koch Brothers (members of my P.B. Club), but I don't want their money or anything else from them. Cannot influence Trump!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 30, 2015
According to Bloomberg, Trump’s goal is to raise at least 1 billion dollars by mid-October. To do so, he has assembled a team which includes two fundraisers who worked for Marco Rubio and Mitt Romney. You know, real outsiders. Trump will host numerous fundraisers, accept money from super PACs and huge-money GOP donors, and essentially become the very monster he claimed to be at odds with. Now, allegedly Trump did draw a line. It may be a dotted-line, but it is, nonetheless, a line. He will accept donations for a large swatch of people and organizations, but he will not accept donations from lobbyists. Of course, this is easy to say at this point. But if Trump finds himself a few hundred million short of that billion dollar goal, this, like so many of his hard stances, may crumble before our very eyes.
But does any of this matter? Will Trump supporters, or those on the fence, see the blatant hypocrisy of this move or simply move past it and rationalize it as a necessary means to an end. Politicians flip flop, it’s what they do, it’s how the system functions, but this is a bit different. This is a move that shows how deceptive and fraudulent the Trump campaign can be. This is not to say that it’s much different than any other campaign, but that’s the point. His whole platform was built on being different, on being an alternative to the mainstream, political machine. The truth is, the system is the system, and hacking it is possible for a time, but largely unsustainable. There’s simply too much money involved to self fund an entire primary and general election campaign.
Unless you’re Michael Bloomberg; Bloomberg has enough money.
by Jesse Mechanic