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Pump and Dump



Big Media Scott is in the Los Angeles Times, discussing Donald Trump’s “presidential campaign”:

As if Trump’s money problems weren’t bad enough, he’s also spending the little he has unwisely. Upward of 20% of his campaign spending is being funneled to various Trump properties as rent or expenses. Presumably in lieu of television advertising, Trump spent more than $200,000 on hats. And while Clinton has a staff of 700 people, Trump has just a tenth of that.

Money isn’t everything, but an advantage that big is hard to overcome. Clinton already has begun to advertise heavily in battleground states in which Trump isn’t running ads at all. And by acting early, the Clinton campaign is locking in advertising at favorable rates, so even when Trump does begin to buy air time, he’ll get less bang for his buck.

Given his massive financial disadvantages, to have any chance at all Trump would need to spend with a laser-like focus on a few swing states. Instead, his campaign has decided to spend some of its very scarce resources trying to win New York, a deeply blue state that Obama carried by 28 points in 2012 and 27 points in 2008. His New York strategy is being devised with Carl Paladino, a sort of dollar-store version of Trump who used a similar “say lots of outrageous things” approach in a 2010 gubernatorial race that he lost by nearly 30 points. Spending money and time trying to win New York would, in other words, be a really dumb idea, even for a Republican flush with cash. For a Republican with as little money as Trump has, it’s a political death wish.

Can his campaign be turned around quickly? It’s not clear. Understandably but also disastrously for someone running for president, Trump hates fundraising.

Even if Trump does decide to get serious about fundraising, I wonder how many Republican donors are going to wonder why they should be buying large positions in Webistics.

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  • N__B

    His New York strategy is being devised with Carl Paladino


    • Scott Lemieux

      If anyone knows about winning statewide elections in New York, it’s Carl Paladino!

      • N__B

        I forget – did he get on the Buffalo City Council or whatever it was he was chasing last?

        • He’s on the School Board– and he only narrowly beat an 18 year old high school student to retain his seat.

          Ballot position in New York is determined by the results in the gubernatorial election– the party that holds the governorship gets Row A, runner up gets Row B and so on. There is a minimum showing required for a party to retain an automatic spot on the ballot. Last go-round I really thought that Carl might drop the Republicans down to Row C or lower, but he rallied.

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    this must be like everything else the guy has ever done where he goes into it planning on using someone else’s money. It is very strange how the Trump candidacy can be absolutely frightening and absolutely hilarious at the same time

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      I keep telling you guys, but no one seems to take it seriously.

      Loki is running the GOP this year.

      • junker

        Marvel is running a series called Vote Loki for the summer. It’s somehow more realistic than the actual Trump campaign.

        • Murc

          It’s really not.

          I mean. I’ll read anything with Loki in it. But the first issue (while VERY entertaining, don’t get me wrong) has a very Sorkinesque view of politics.

          And that’s okay, because this is a comic book about the sheer ridiculousness of a magical god running for a President on a platform of “I’ll be the best liar ever” but I keep hearing people say, in dead seriousness, “this is a scathing indictment and deconstruction of the American political system and its pathologies.” And no! No it fucking isn’t!

          I have strong feelings about comic books.

          • junker

            Admittedly I was riding my hyperbole horse for a few laps there.

          • Rob in CT

            I have strong feelings about comic books.

            And politics.

          • bender

            Loki was born in Vinland? Can he prove it?

  • Crusty

    So Hillary is blowing through tons of money and has an enormous staff.

    Trump is doing it for very cheap, possibly making a profit, and with a tiny staff. Who do you thinks going to run the country efficiently and make it great again, and who do you think is going to tax and spend it into oblivion with a huge government?

    Also, on a completely unrelated note, I was kicked in the head by a horse last night.

    • junker

      That last line really made this comment. I laughed :)

    • BigHank53

      What does the horse charge for this service? I’m not asking for a friend.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        It was the BEST horse. Really CLASSY.

        • NBarnes

          YOOOOOGE hooves. Very classy to be kicked in the head by. With little ‘T’s monogrammed onto them by the farrier.

      • Woodrowfan

        nothing, it’s more of a hobby really..

        • very good.

        • tsam

          Multi level awesome

    • Also, on a completely unrelated note, I was kicked in the head by a horse last night.

      I have to admit, I was having trouble following your logic, but now it all makes sense.

    • LWA

      Would that be the horse you rode in on, that I have heard so much about?

    • NonyNony

      You all laugh, but one of the trolls on balloon-juice was essentially making exactly the argument that Crusty is making last night. Ostensibly in deadpan seriousness.

    • cleek

      was it the ghost of Pie-O-My ?

    • See what happens when you look a grift horse in the arse?

    • Trump … with a tiny staff

      I observed your activities there.

      • Ken

        Not every comment about Trump is a small-dick joke.

        But it’s a worthy goal.

  • Richard Hershberger

    I too wonder about big donors’ willingness to contribute. Sure, some moral hazard is built into the system of modern campaigns, but Trump’s seems to a pure grift operation, even if it isn’t entirely clear who is grifting whom–most likely everyone involved from Trump down is grabbing what they can. The word for anyone who contributes money to this is “rube.” Will the big donors line up to be fleeced? I watch in fascination to find out.

    • Halloween Jack

      Apparently Sheldon Adelson is on his side; he either learned nothing from shoveling buckets of money onto Rmoney’s dumpster fire of a campaign, or he’s realized that he’s not going to be able to take it with him so fuck it.

      • D.N. Nation

        Can’t that bloated cryptkeeper throw some of that cash into his pet Vegas newspaper? It’d at least keep some journalists employed, a novel idea I realize.

      • Just_Dropping_By

        Is Adelson actually giving the money to Trump’s campaign though? I had thought it was going to Adelson-controlled/influenced Super PACs.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      “even if it isn’t entirely clear who is grifting whom”

      If you don’t know, it’s you.

    • NonyNony

      I too wonder about big donors’ willingness to contribute.

      Well, when RNC staff are going out in public and basically telling donors not to donate to Trump, I don’t wonder at all.

      via TPM:

      “You’re looking at the Trump campaign through the prism of the Hillary Clinton campaign. Donald Trump financed his campaign all the way to this point by adding in more of his own personal money. So it’s false to say that he has $1.3 million. If he wanted to get that number up in two seconds, he just strokes a check and it’s up.”

      That’s RNC Communications Director and Chief Strategist Sean Spicer on CNN “defending” Trump from the attack that he’s a poor fundraiser and Clinton is kicking his ass in that department. Is he an idiot, or a guy sticking the shiv into Trump’s fundraising?

      Either is possible, but I would not be at all surprised if a plan has been made to staunch the bleeding and convince donors to donate to the RNC instead of to Trump so they can try to salvage some downticket races.

      • tsam

        If he wanted to get that number up in two seconds, he just strokes a check and it’s up.”


        • NonyNony

          I was going to put a comment on that, but I thought I’d leave it there for you tsam :)

          (Seriously – who says “strokes a check”? I’ve never heard that usage before ever. And this is the Communications Director of the RNC. It’s very odd.)

          • tsam

            THANK YOU!

            I actually find a lot of strangely sexual imagery in right winger language. I’m constantly shocked at how much stuff we’re trying to shove down their throats.

            • Come on–I thought that was a fictional character. Like Biggus Dickus. Not an actual RNC person. Those guys are getting punchy.

            • UserGoogol

              I think forcing things down throats really makes more sense at the surface level of being about force-feeding. It’s been a part of conservative discourse (and political discourse more broadly) for a very long time. There’s political cartoons from the 19th century which use it. Of course, people have been engaging in fellatio forever, but I don’t think people would be as comfortable making innuendo about it so prominent back in the olden days. Force-feeding hits the conservative buttons well enough: you’re taking this thing “the people” don’t want and forcing it into their body. Making it overtly sexual doesn’t add much.

              • DrS

                Well, sure…but when the topic that was being ‘forced down their throats’ was gay marriage…

      • AMK

        If you’re that guy in high school who goes around saying you’ve banged all the cheerleaders, your worst nightmare is for someone to pick up your phone and find the only woman you talk to is your mom.

        This “Trump just has to write a check” narrative is the RNC picking up Trump’s phone. His worst nightmare is to be cornered into parting with money to demonstrate wealth he doesn’t have.

    • Trump probably thinks that Democrats should pay for his campaign, and you know what? It’s almost worth it.

      • Robespierre

        Mexico will pay for it.

  • Murc

    This election cycle is both historic and hilarious.

    It’s baffling. Trump is… well, what he’s done has never been done before. People don’t just fucking parachute in and become the standard-bearer of a major political party. Wendell Wilkie had prior political experience and was a lawyer of some note. There IS a tradition of hauling in war heroes, but, well… war heroes.

    Trump is just some random not-even-all-that-rich guy who decided he’d like to run for President and the Republican Party said “yeah, sure, I’ll vote for that.”

    You’d think someone like that would be sort of… sinister. A mesmeric demagogue like Huey Long, with brains and smarts and toughness. Someone with the smarts and skills to elbow their way in and go “this is MY party now.”

    Instead we’ve got this combed-over motherfucker.

    I just. This election will go into the history books as a watershed no matter how it turns out, and THIS is the villain we’ve got? Christ.

    • CaptainBringdown

      If you haven’t seen it, watching Howard Stern ask Trump and his offspring what 17 x 6 is is an absolute delight.

      • Crusty

        Trump’s 112 is almost a proceed governor moment.

      • Murc

        It was weird.

        At first I was sympathetic to them, because it took me about fifteen seconds to do that math in my head and I was unsure I’d gotten the correct answer and so did it again. (102 seemed low.) And that was without being live on the air with a radio host staring at me. So I was like “Christ, would I do any better?”

        But then they went off the rails! And fucking doubled down!

        Trump and the Trumpeters managed to turn a math question… an arithmetic question… into a tire fire.

        • LWA

          Me too, at first I thought the question unfair.
          But what is revealing, is that Trump and his kind are incapable of modesty and self doubt, of ever saying “I don’t know”.

          • addicted44

            I think Ivanka is pretty smart though. She knew the answer (she told Stern he was right as soon as he said 102).

            What she was doing was defending her father and brother (?).

            I do get the feeling that Ivanka is easily the smartest of the bunch, and if her father wasn’t destroying the Trump name, could be a formidable candidate in the future.

        • DrPretorius

          It’s that little bit of context at the beginning that allowed me to enjoy this without guilt. Stern poses the question in response to a claim by die Drümpfchen that they got into the Wharton School on merit, and not because of Daddy’s money. Live by the pose, die by the pose.

        • Richard Gadsden

          I know that 17×3 is 51 (because I used to play three-handed card games years ago) so I got there instantly. But the total lack of humility is just astounding.

    • As tons of people have said here and elsewhere, Trump’s political rise makes perfect sense when you consider the confluence of contributing factors:

      1.) For 40 years the Republican “establishment” has been pursuing economic policies that exclusively favor their moneyed donor class, at the expense of everyone else. When their voters piss and moan about how government “let them down” or “isn’t speaking for them,” in this way they’re completely right.

      2.) Those disaffected voters would never dream of switching over to the Democrats, because

      a. Republicans have been demonizing Democrats for decades, telling their voters that Democrats are insufficiently “patriotic” and all that bullshit; and
      b. A significant plurality of them are racists.

      3.) A strongman demagogue shows up and says “the government pursued policies that destroyed your jobs and also brown people are super-scary, and I will protect you,” and they go “fuck yeah.”

      4.) The Republican “establishment” somewhat unsurprisingly underestimated the appeal that message would have, and they didn’t even bother actively trying to stop Trump until it was almost too late.

      5.) Even once they did start trying, they needed the help and reach of mainstream media to appeal to their voters’ better angels, but they have diligently and meticulously trained their voters to distrust mainstream media, so that didn’t work.

      6.) Instead, those voters trust Fox News and the talk radio zealots, who constantly scream about how America is dying, can’t go a segment without speculating about whether Hillary Clinton will get indicted or whether the justice department is already in the tank for her, and imply that the sitting President of the United State is a secret Muslim. It’s no wonder that “eliminate the estate & capital gains taxes and privatize social security” doesn’t resonate with those people as much as “kick the fuckers out and build a fuckin’ wall” does.

      • Murc

        That’s all true, but the same thing has been happening in many other western countries, and the demagogues who have been emerging are… well… actual politicians.

        Like, I loathe Nigel Farage and Marine le Pen and Jorg Haider, but their trajectories make sense. And they’re, y’know, competent.

        • Fair!

        • addicted44

          I think the other countries lack the decades of equating CEOs with Jesus that the US right has had.

        • I think you’re overthinking it. Celebrities are roughly like war heroes in terms of public salience and that’s a good chunk of the battle. Hence Gov Gropenator. Add in more or less normal random factors and it’s not too surprising that the odd oddball choice pops up.

          Add in that Trump *was* a bit of a politician eg by being a sustained prominent birther.


          Weird stuff happens more often than you think, and this isn’t that weird. It’s just feels weird because we overestimate the role of competence in campaign politics. It can be important, but it’s easily swamped.

          • LNM_in_LA

            I really can’t believe I’m gonna say this, but.

            Der Gropenator was far and away more competent at governating than I could ever imagine Trump being.

            Yeah, there was the sexual harassment thing (when I worked out at the Venice Gold’s Gym back in the day, his nickname was ‘Hans’, pronounced ‘Hands’), which, yuck – and that ban on foie gras? I have no words. No, wait . . . I did use the term ‘girly-man’ a lot in reference to that one.

            But his actual term in office had a decidedly practical, bipartisan flavor.

            The man is scary smart, and his personal charisma, like Bill Clinton’s, is undeniable if you’ve met him in person.

            Mind you, I’m going on the stated experience of others here when describing Bill’s personal charisma.

            • Right, with the Gropster, I merely meant that he was no kind of politician before hand, not that he was incompetent at governing per se, certainly he wasn’t anything like what Trump seems to be.

              But we had the Lesser Bush who was a politician but wildly incompetent at governing.

              • LNM_in_LA


                But with both examples used here, my direct impression was that a brief study of their behavior at the podiums [podiae?] during their campaigns rapidly gave the informed observer an idea of their competency, or lack thereof. I easily could, and did in fact, reliably predict (roughly, of course) how they would govern.

                If only we had some means of gauging how Mr. Trump would perform in office . . . it’s just very sad we lack the tools for that.

                • Ahuitzotl

                  podia (after Bellum, etc), or possibly podiorum

    • This election will go into the history books as a watershed

      or perhaps a urineshed.

    • Trump is just some random not-even-all-that-rich guy

      Here’s the place where I disagree with you. The one thing that Trump has been good at, and which he’s been doing for decades, is building up his brand in such a way that his name became synonymous with “rich, successful businessman.” It’s actually a bit weird looking back even a few years ago and seeing how benign that seemed, and how we all (except the people with on the ground experience) bought into it.

      Scott Bakula was on a talk show a few nights ago, and as a joke they brought out a clip from Quantum Leap where Sam “inspires” the young Donald by telling him that building skyscrapers is the future. There’s a line in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first play In the Heights (that I bet he wishes he could take out now) where a character boasting about how he’s going to be rich some day daydreams about being on a golf course with Trump as his caddy. That’s just a couple of examples I ran across in the last few days. The others are everywhere.

      So there’s obviously a lot more to be said about why “rich, successful businessman” looked good to GOP voters, and why the combination of that with racism and boorishness won them over completely, but let’s not pretend that Trump has no abilities. The real question is why those abilities made him appealing to right-wing voters in 2016.

      • Scott Lemieux

        Yes, he’s better thought of as a famous-for-being-famous celebrity than a random businessman.

        • Pseudonym

          So a substantially less successful (and dumber) Kim Kardashian West?

          Arguably better at breaking the Internet however.

          • Richard Gadsden

            He’s the guy that is the epitome of “rich successful businessman”.

            He’s more famous for being rich than he is actually rich.

            • Ken

              “I’m not a billionaire, but I play one on TV.”

    • So you’re saying that we are in a computer simulation controlled by the guy who’s job it is to come up with the one off villians for the MCU?

  • Vance Maverick

    Congratulations on the big-media placement!

    The appeals to our provincialism (Mt. Whitney, house price in Santa Monica) are amusing — did you leave them as blanks for the editors to fill in?

    • ajay

      The most important number in the filing is $1,289,507.76. That’s the amount of cash the Trump campaign had on hand as of May 31, a grossly inadequate sum for the demands of a contemporary presidential campaign, which requires a large national staff, a sophisticated get-out-the-vote operation and lots of television advertising. It wouldn’t even be enough for a good Senate campaign — or a

      [three-bedroom house in Santa Monica]
      [six-bedroom mansion with pool in Albuquerque]
      [thousand-acre farm in Iowa]
      [enormous mansion-shaped cheese in Wisconsin]
      [vast, limitless expanse of blasted scabland in North Dakota]
      [parking space in Manhattan]

      • jim, some guy in iowa

        a thousand acres of the good farm ground would run somewhere near $8 mil. where I live in the rough country you might get a half-section (320 a) for that $1.3 mil

      • N__B

        [64,475,388 pieces of Bazooka Joe in 1980.]

      • Uh…a million plus dollars? What is that: a shack in Cambridge, MA?

        • Already answered above: a urine-shed (i.e., a stripped-down PortaPotty) in a back yard off Green Street somewhere, beside a disinflated Bouncy Castle.

          • Disinflated bouncy castle? So: Trump Estates, Cambridgeside Galleria?

      • Pseudonym

        [1U slot on a server rack in SF or Silicon Valley]

    • Scott Lemieux

      The Mt. Whitney line was mine — I play to the local audience! The title was my editor.

  • LosGatosCA

    The only public service Trump has done in his life is to expose the Republican Party and its active base as the shallow, racist, bigoted, authoritarian loving low life’s they are.

    That someone as superficial, unprepared, mean spirited as Trump could hijack their party without much more than a token investment speaks volumes about the (lack of) seriousness of their organization and its lack of humane values. Of course it’s perfectly in line with all the other superficial or evil or unprepared candidates they have had of the past 5 cycles.

    They’ve been all hat and no cattle (except malice) for a long time.

    • i8kraft

      Well this is even more hat than usual. $200,000 worth of hats!

  • Steve

    Big Media Scott is in the Los Angeles Times

    tronc. The correct phrase is “Big tronc Scott.” Try to keep up.

  • junker

    I think we might have to consider that Trump has an addiction to adjectives and adverbs.

  • catbirdman

    Why would anyone rich enough to make a significant contribution send it to Trump, who is completely unpredictable at best? Goldman Sachs knows where to shop.

    • rachelmap

      Contribute? When they know darn well too much of that money would wind up sticking to Trump’s dainty little fingers? Some of them are dopes, but they’re not that stupid.

  • Denverite

    Wow, an op-ed in the LA Times is huge. Congrats, Scott!

    • Scott Lemieux


    • Hogan

      And in your face, Freddie!

      • There you go, inflating his numbers.

        • Denverite


        • Ken

          30% rule.

          BTW, did no one tell MaxSpeak about that? With nine posts, he should have made at least two, preferably three, about Freddie.

      • kped

        Freddie wrote in the NYT. Magazine. But still NYT. He’ll lord that over Scott forever. Also, he’s younger then Scott, who is old. Very old.

        (and I don’t know how to change the font to make this more sarcastic looking, so…it’s sarcasm!)

        • AMK

          Yeah but you have to assume that a mainstream paper of record only publishes Freddie as part of the See Both Sides Do It And Dems Are Just As Bad If Not Worse affirmative action program for the professionally self-righteous. Scott got in on merit……unless his dad just made a big donation.

          • Pseudonym

            You’ll never guess who has an opinion piece on the front page of the Washington Post website right now, or what the topic might be. (But being published next to Jennifer Rubin is quite appropriate.)

            Such a pity that the paywall won’t let me read it. I’m sure it’s as insightful, original, and intellectually honest as it was the last fifty times he wrote it.

            • kped

              I don’t have a sub, but I don’t seem blocked at the moment.

              Spoiler: Freddie still sucks. Does he spend 2 paragraphs trying to say Nader had nothing to do with Gore losing? Of course he does! It’s almost like he’s begging Scott to tear it down.

    • LosGatosCA

      Excellent news!!

    • Indeed! Congrats!

  • John F

    As if Trump’s money problems weren’t bad enough, he’s also spending the little he has unwisely. Upward of 20% of his campaign spending is being funneled to various Trump properties as rent or expenses.

    “unwisely?” from whose POV?
    He’s skimming from his own damn campaign…

    Trump spent more than $200,000 on hats.

    hats, lawn signs, what’s the difference?

    • catclub

      “unwisely?” from whose POV?

      He loaned the campaign $44M, and thinks he will get it all back,
      … and more!

      • tsam

        And if there’s one thing theDonuld is competent at, it’s the grift. He’ll probably get a whole bunch more back than he put in.

        • NonyNony

          We’ll see. So far he doesn’t seem to be getting much in the way of other people’s money. And he just send out a hilarious fundraising e-mail where he’s promised to match the donations that come in in the next 48 hours … up to $2 million dollars that is.

          He probably won’t follow through on that (which will hilariously show up in the next set of FEC filings) but even if he does – it’s pathetic. He’s pumped something like $40 million dollars into this campaign and apparently has only recouped around $10 million so far. He needs to do a lot more fundraising to make this grift more profitable than just sticking his $40 million into an index fund or something similar.

          • Why, when its Donald Trump involved, does the very phrase “sticking his $40 Million” give me the giggles?

          • Hogan

            So basically he’s running a pyramid scheme entirely with his own money. Sounds about right.

            • NonyNony

              Feels more like a “Jenga” scheme than a pyramid scheme at this point. Moving money around, leaving big holes, waiting for the whole thing to fall over…

              • Scott Lemieux

                His model is the trapezoid.

            • ColBatGuano

              So basically he’s running a pyramid scheme entirely with his own money.

              If he signs himself up enough times, he wins!

    • Trump spent more than 200 thousand on hats.

      Its not the crime, its the coverup.

      • Pseudonym


  • So, the real reason is coming to light. The presidential campaign as a giant grift operation for Trump.

  • Chester Allman

    Maybe someone here has posted this already, but if folks haven’t seen it, I recommend this Twitter thread: a pretty convincing analysis of the Trump campaign as as classic real estate development confidence trick.

    • NonyNony

      I think it makes a lot of sense, but it also seems that Trump has been getting high on his own supply and isn’t actually running a confidence trick so much as he’s conned himself into thinking that his success in real estate transfers over to anything else he wants to do.

      If he were running a con, I’d expect him to be focused a lot more on fundraising and not be so unwilling to get that money. Ben Carson’s campaign was structured like a very efficient grift where Carson would be a beneficiary – Trump’s is structured like a grift designed to take money out of Trump’s own pockets and distribute it to his campaign staff. At this point if he were running a grift he’d have paid back all of the loans he’d made to his campaign and would now be draining the coffers of money made by donors instead of his own money.

    • NBarnes

      That Twitter thread is a work of massive genius.

      • It is absolutely worth reading. Fascinating and very concise. It also reminds me of the ways in which, when you are buying a house, the contractor and the broker are very much at the mercy of the buyer’s will to walk away. At that moment there is almost always something that nearly craters the deal (discovery of something wrong with the house, a gas tank in the basement, a broken furnace) and the realtors routinely step in and end up paying for it themselves. The buyer/seller are always overjoyed and treat the minimal investment as an enormous gift. But without it, and it could be something like fifty bucks, the deal ends before it begins. Contractors also do this to sweeten the deal. But once you sign on with them? Its a whole different story. You have to go through it a couple of times before you realize how very stylized it is.

      • altofront

        It’s worth noting that “Thomas Crown” used to be a Redstate.com frontpager. (Redstate is fun reading these days; they’re all grimly satisfied with their anti-Trump decision.)

    • sibusisodan

      Our nominally expert-level political class was outpaced and out-maneuvered by a penny-ante real estate developer on autopilot.


      • Ahuitzotl

        this is just a part of the decay of the american elite class – as the Gini coefficient ramps up, the exclusion of genuine talent follows, and the dead hand of legacy elites grows heavier.

  • DrDick

    Donald Trump is the classic proof that the rich and businessmen are not all that bright and generally really do not know what they are doing.

    • howard

      sadly, though, he’s also proof that if you simply tell americans that someone is a billiionaire, many americans assume that means he or she is a good business person.

      we particularly see this phenomenon in the polling that shows that a majority thinks trump will be better on job creation than clinton, something that is fundamentally impossible.

      • tsam

        Yeah–definitely more of an indictment of a constituency of Americans than anything else. But then Americans have always had a really goofy sense of what the word success means.

  • priceyeah

    Is there any actual evidence, aside from comments quoted in newspapers and photo ops, that Trump is spending “its very scarce resources” trying to win New York? I’d love it if it were true, but at the same time I don’t want to fall for Trump’s lame attempts at ju jitsu. Trump operating an incompetent campaign doesn’t mean he wouldn’t try to fake us all out…….

    • Alex.S
      • NonyNony

        I’m shocked.

        Shocked that Trump has spent money on a pollster that is. I thought he didn’t consider any of the data mining and poll analysis that the RNC was trying to push onto him to have any value at all. He was just going to have more rallies or something.

        (Not shocked that he’d try to win New York. He’s a New Yorker of the worst most stereotypical kind. He could win the presidency and if he lost New York he’d consider it a personal failure. Because what matters outside of New York?)

        • Is it wrong of me to enjoy the thought of the Trump campaign, like that stupid Hitler clip, nervously examining maps of Manhattan and explaining to various frightened members just whose fault it is that Trump has lost Washington Park, or the 92nd Street Y.

        • efgoldman

          Shocked that Trump has spent money on a pollster

          Just because he “hired” a pollster, doesn’t mean he “spent” the money.

          • NonyNony

            This is a very good point.

            I hope everyone working with Trump demands payment up front. Or at least in escrow.

            (Oh who am I kidding – anyone working with Trump on this campaign kind of deserves to get screwed over don’t they?)

            • I imagine that negotiating with Trump looks like this:

              Trump: “I’ll give you 100,000 to do the polling”
              Pollster “OK, can I have it up front?”
              Trump: “If its upfront I’m only going to give you 50,000”
              Pollster “Ok, can I have it now?”
              Trump: “If you can’t wait until Tuesday I’m going to have to charge you something for an early withdrawal–I’ll give you 20,000 dollars and a coupon for a massage at my new Trump Happy Endings Massage and Golf Course Steak House.
              Pollster “O…kay? Can I have the coupon now”
              Trump “Remember, this is just for the massage. You’ll need to cover the tips by giving the girls 50,000 dollars before you leave. And don’t forget the polling. Have it onmy desk by tomorrow.”

      • priceyeah

        Interesting, thanks.

  • Bugboy

    “Spending money and time trying to win New York would, in other words, be a really dumb idea, even for a Republican flush with cash.”

    I’m not sure why anyone is mystified by this. New York, in The Donald’s mind, is his home state. He MUST win New York at all costs, or he’ll just be a big fat loser. The guy can’t even win his home state? Sad!

  • Woodrowfan

    Trump supposedly keeps a book of Hitler’s speeches at his bedside. I think someone slipped him a 3 Stooges burlesque of the Nazi’s and told Trump it was really Hitler. If he starts playing with a big globe on the republican convention stage we’ll know they gave him “the Great Dictator” as well.

  • BiloSagdiyev

    Just because he’s a short-fingered vulgarian doesn’t mean he can’t tie knots:


    • jim, some guy in iowa

      he’s supposed to be giving some major speech today (?). I expect he’ll be wallowing in and bellowing from various gutters in short order

  • addicted44

    With the increasing partisanship in the US, I do have to wonder how valuable the money spent will actually be (I’m only talking about Presidential elections here).

    I think the only real value in spending money anymore will be in GOTV efforts as well as anything that is spent to get people to vote down ticket.

    I’m not sure there is much value in trying to convince someone to vote for Hillary over Trump (although ads promoting Hillary, and trashing Trump serve the purpose of affecting turnout).

    • NonyNony

      I think this is pretty much correct. Undecided voters could exist when the two parties were roughly on the same page with about 90% of what they wanted and when House and Senate members had a degree of flexibility in their votes.

      With the GOP becoming a bloc vote and staking out a maximalist extreme position on every issue, I don’t think there are that many “well I normally vote for the Republican, but this guy is shady so I’ll vote for the Democrat instead” voters left.

      Especially with the two candidates being as well known as Clinton and Trump. There’s no name recognition problem here – it’s all about getting your supporters to show up and vote.

      • Yes, I agree with this NonyNony. The only thing left in the middle of the road are white stripes, dead armadillos, and defunct swing voters. I do think there are people who can’t make up their mind to vote for their own crappy candidate, and will just stay home and cry. I just don’t think that people really swing much anymore.

  • kped

    Scott, you didn’t even mention the weekly salary his campaign was paying himself to be the nominee. Is that standard practice? Does anyone know?

  • Random mango

    Scott Lemieux you are a loser and a very bad person. Donald is just waiting in the wings for the perfect opportunity to pounce on the electorate and make them vote for him. Expect to have him say “You’re fired!” to Hillary on election day.

    • MyNameIsZweig

      Loser “professor” Scott Lemieux can’t even get a job at a school with a decent football team – sad!

    • ColBatGuano

      pounce on the electorate

      This sounds unpleasant.

  • Docrailgun

    Isn’t the scam here that once Trump is the nominee his campaign will get slightly less than $100 million dollars as a grant from the FEC, which his companies can siphon most (or all of) in the next few months? So, in exchange for a $45 million loan to his campaign he stands to make a $50 million profit?
    Good gig, I guess. Maybe he’s a shrewd businessman after all?

    • One of the best books I read in the last year is The Big Con.

      “Of all the grifters, the confidence man is the aristocrat, ” wrote David Maurer, a proposition he definitively proved in The Big Con, one of the most colorful, well-researched, and entertaining works of criminology, ever written. A professor of linguistics who specialized in underworld argot. Maurer won the trust of hundreds of swindlers who let him in on not simply their language, but their folkways and the astonishingly complex and elaborate schemes whereby unsuspecting marks, hooked by their own greed and dishonesty, were “taken off” — i.e., cheated — of thousands upon thousands of dollars. The products of amazing ingenuity, crack timing, and attention to every last detail, these “big cons” richly deserve Maurer’s description as “the most effective swindling device which man has ever invented.”
      The Big Con is a treasure trove of American lingo (the write, the rag, the payoff, ropers, shills, the cold poke, the convincer, to put on the send) and indelible characters (Yellow Kid Weil, Barney the Patch, the Seldom Seen Kid, Limehouse Chappie, Larry the Lug). It served as a source for the Oscar-winning film The Sting and will delight fans of such writers as David Mamet, Jim Thompson, Elmore Leonard, and William Burroughs for its droll, utterly authoritative look at the timeless pursuit of relieving one’s fellow man of his surplus cash.

      I’m not sure where Donald Trump fits in here–he is a little odd that he does all his grifting under his own name, right out in public.

      • snarkout

        Aimi, that’s a great book — if you enjoyed it, can I recommend Amy Reading’s The Mark Inside? It’s the true story of Frank Norfleet, a Texas rancher turned… weird self-promoting anti-grifter vigilante, kind of? With a ton of fascinating detail on how the big con worked in a city with an airtight fix, in this case Denver in the 1920s.

  • “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”


    • wjts

      I don’t think it’s possible to interrupt Trump.

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