Monday, June 29, 2015


At Bloomberg's With All Due Respect, John Heilemann and Al Hunt (presumably in for a vacationing Mark Halperin) think Trump might quit the presidential race now that NBC has dumped him over his racist remarks about Mexicans:
JOHN HEILEMANN: ... Some people think Trump was just in the race to pump up his TV ratings. So now that he's off the network, Al, is it more or less likely that the Donald will stay in the race, at least until Iowa?

AL HUNT: Well, I've never seen the light and really fully appreciated the virtue of the Donald's candidacy, John, and I think it's an exercise in self-promotion. But what I don't know is, does this make it more likely he'll drop out 'cause he doesn't have this show to promote, or does the Donald figure, "Hey, if I stay in, I'll get a couple more gigs just as good"?

HEILEMANN: It's an interesting question. I think the conventional wisdom is, he's got no TV career going, he's more likely to stay in 'cause what else is he going to do. I wonder, though, at this point, if there's no financial return on the backside, if there's no ratings to ramp up, those are the ways -- the previous theories had always been, well, he's jut pumping his TV ratings, that would lead to more money is his coffers. Now, if he runs, and he's got no TV career, it's all just net outflow. He's just writing check after heck after check, and I don't know how Trump will feel about that if it gets to be September, October, November, and he's not moving in the polls and he's writing all those -- seeing all those dollars flow out of his bank account.

Do you really think the issue here is strictly money? Until he announced his candidacy, I was skeptical about Trump's interest in actually running for president, but he obviously has had a huge interest in making people think he could be a great president. Ever see his Twitter feed? He retweets every message of praise he gets. There's a psychological craving for adulation there -- the Koch brothers don't do that. Yes, Trump may be in it mostly for the grift, but I think he believes his own lavish praise of himself. I don't think it's just an act. I can't imagine being like that, but then again I can't imagine being Bobby Jindal or Chris Christie or George Pataki and thinking, "I have a real shot at the presidency." There's something going on with these guys, something delusional and psychologically unhealthy, something that's not about cash. (Christie and Jindal will have all the corporate and media opportunities they want once they leave office.)

Trump is an emotionally needy candidate, but he's also like the somewhat richer guys in he donor class who feel vital when they think they're controlling the presidential race -- even when they're throwing their money away on a loser. Did Sheldon Adelson invest wisely when he gave all that money four years ago to Newt Gingrich? How about Foster Friess and Rick Santorum? For them, owning a presidential candidate was an ego trip. Trump is just trying to be both the sugar daddy and the rich man's toy.

And besides, the most recent polls suggest that all this drunk-at-the-end-of-the-bar ranting is actually working for Trump. In the next round of polls, he'll probably be in first place. So he's not going anywhere anytime soon.


Chai T. Ch'uan said...

I have a more sobering theory - that The Donald is actually playing a long con on us all here. Trump's secret goal is to further extend the precedent of Hobby Lobby by running as the first US corporation to seek office for President.

When asked by Jake Tapper about his past campaign contributions to Hillary Clinton, Trump said, "I give to everybody. I'm a business."

Clinical evidence demonstrates that Trump exhibits all the characteristic long term symptoms of supporating chronic reactionary Capitalism, including bragging about his net worth (and naming a figure), spontaneous climax upon firing of subordinates, and a long trail of lawsuits and confidential settlements.

Sure, we laugh now, but is Exxon or Apple next?

mlbxxxxxx said...

He's got to make a serious financial disclosure sometime within the next 30 days or so. That is going to tax his resolve. But if he passes that test, I think he's in it for the foreseeable future. Why not? He's going to be a big story wherever he goes and he's going to love it. Even though his overall numbers are bad, there is a significant fanbase for him in the GOP that I expect will keep the wind in his sails -- especially if he keeps up the anti-immigrant schtick. I hope he's in it til the bitter end.

Theophylact said...

The logic is that he needs the poll ratings to get him over the threshold for the Fox debates. Behaving rationally is not going to work for a marginal candidate like Trump. This way he can buy another year in the spotlight relatively cheaply. I'm sure he considers it an investment.

Steve M. said...

But what's the ultimate goal? These guys think it's money. I think, to a large extent, it's a coke-binge of ego gratification.

Aunt Snow said...

it's a coke-binge of ego gratification.

That's my take.

Marcus said...

The ego driven part of Trump is what made him I don’t see that changing while going for the presidency….he is very good on offence if he can restrain himself and play the little adult in the room…with some luck he can win it.
Right now he is concentrating on JEB with the rhetoric…and he is very political perceptive…he knows JEB is very vulnerable
He is the only one that noticed JEB body language and lack of swagger and how poorly he does with stagecraft…something the right admires…it’s going to take a lot of media protection and money from the left and right to bring down Trump…if he can restrain himself and take some criticism with humor he can be very dangerous to the GOP

Mike McCarthy said...

mlbxxxxxx hit it on the head. Trump isn't worth anything like the money he claims. This will come out - you may remember he's sued people in the past over reporting on his worth.

Look, I tell people all the time if he was really a billionaire he wouldn't suffer serial bankruptcies nor have a TV show. If I was worth billions TV would a waste of my time.

This guy is a cartoon.