The article quotes the solicitation: “Right now we're facing an emergency goal of $100,000 to help get our ads on the air," it said. "We need your contribution by 11:59 P.M."
Has any campaign email ever been so off-brand?
The recipient cannot help but feel cognitive dissonance. Hey, wait a minute, if he’s worth $9 billion dollars, if he’s as rich and successful as he says, why is it an “emergency” to raise what amounts to a rounding error in his net worth, by midnight no less?
I know where my mind goes. Is he so tightfisted and greedy that he’s lying to spur donations he doesn’t need from his working class supporters? Does he have much less money than he led his supporters to believe back when he promised to self-fund in the primaries? Is he fearing a massive financial hit if or when the Trump University lawsuit is litigated? Does he just not care very much about the general election?
It’s hard to imagine that the Trump campaign wants its supporters to draw any of those conclusions, but I find it hard to formulate a more charitable explanation that’s plausible. The implausible: He’s decided in a moment of introspection that he’s not qualified for the office he is seeking and is now quietly self-sabotaging to save face. Or perhaps he’s going to drop a billion dollars into his campaign coffers any day now?
If not, I’ll remain baffled by his approach.
On Monday, related news broke. The New York Times reports that the Trump campaign is facing the largest financial disadvantage in recent presidential history:
Mr. Trump began June with just $1.3 million in cash on hand, a figure more typical for a campaign for the House of Representatives than the White House. He trailed Hillary Clinton, who raised more than $28 million in May, by more than $41 million… The Trump campaign has not aired a television advertisement since he effectively secured the nomination in May and has not booked any advertising for the summer or fall. Mrs. Clinton and her allies spent nearly $26 million on advertising in June alone, according to the Campaign Media Analysis Group...
Mr. Trump’s fund-raising for May reflects his lag in assembling the core of a national finance team. In the same month that he clinched the Republican nomination, Mr. Trump raised just $3.1 million and was forced to lend himself $2 million to meet costs. Some invitations to Trump fund-raising events have featured the same short list of national Republican finance volunteers regardless of what city the event is held in, suggesting Mr. Trump has had some trouble lining up local co-hosts.
Even here, Trump did not decide to spend $2 million on his campaign (leaving him with a mere $8.73 billion by his accounting). He loaned his campaign the money, meaning he’s holding out hope that he can reimburse himself with future donations. Meanwhile, his inability or unwillingness to raise money or contribute to his own campaign threatens to do serious harm to the GOP’s down-ballot prospects:
In a first for a major party nominee, Mr. Trump has suggested he will leave the crucial task of field organizing in swing states to the Republican National Committee, which typically relies on the party’s nominee to help fund, direct and staff national Republican political efforts.
His decision threatens to leave the party with significant shortfalls of money and manpower: On Monday, the party reported raising $13 million during May, about a third of the money it raised in May 2012, when Mitt Romney led the ticket.
No wonder some Republican Party insiders are making another late push to dump Trump as the GOP nominee: They were expecting a Sugar Daddy and got a moocher.