Some of the biggest Republican donors, who collectively have contributed tens of millions of dollars to shape the presidential race, are tightening their purse strings out of frustration with their inability to boost their favored candidates, or to slow Donald Trump.One of donors quoted is Stan Hubbard, a media bigwig from Minnesota. He initially backed Scott Walker -- a reasonable enough investment given the popularity of Walker among conservatives, and also given Walker's ability to win elections in a state that twice voted for Barack Obama. But when Walker flamed out, the largesse of Hubbard and his family became rather scattershot:
Rather than continuing to write huge checks to support the cluster of establishment candidates jockeying to emerge as the leading alternative to Trump, a billionaire real estate showman roundly despised by the GOP elite, these donors have mostly retreated to the sidelines.
After Walker dropped out, the Hubbards played the GOP presidential field a bit, donating nearly $40,000 to committees supporting Bush, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson, as well as the since-aborted campaigns of Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie.Hubbard is complaining about "money down the drain" and he's giving to John Kasich? Kasich, who's going to finish a distant fifth in every Bible Belt state? (Hubbard is not alone. We're also told that Home Depot founder Ken Langone, a former Christie backer, is now supporting Kasich.)
“That’s money down the drain,” Hubbard told POLITICO, adding that his latest hope to take down Trump is John Kasich.
And Hubbard is worried about Trump, yet he's given money to Ben Carson -- a candidate who's just as ignorant and unqualified as Trump?
And, ultimately, why was Hubbard giving money to so many different candidates? Donations from Hubbard and other rich people kept too many people in the race for too long, at a time when someone had to start emerging as the obvious Establishment anti-Trump.
We're told this:
Several donors expressed frustration that the establishment candidates and the super PACs supporting them spent considerable time and money attacking one another -- and not Trump -- in the run-up to the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.Well, of course they attacked one another, you idiots. Your money kept them all in the race. It's as if Ken Langone moved into a town and put a Home Depot on every block, then gave each one a year to turn a profit. What are they going to do to survive? Yes, they have to compete with Lowe's -- but they also have to compete with one another.
And then there's this guy:
Wyoming mutual fund pioneer Foster Friess, who supported Rick Santorum, this week told POLITICO -- presumably with tongue planted in cheek -- “I am still in the fetal position in my bed where I probably will be for the next 30 days after Rick's decision to drop out.”Friess gave money to Rick Santorum, in the 2016 election cycle, and he wants sympathy? I know Friess is a highly successful businessman, but can't he read a freaking poll?
These people should have recognized the possibility that Trump could gain unstoppable momentum after early victories, so they should have coalesced around the best choice that had. It sounds ridiculous to say this now, but I still think the best choice was Rubio. If they'd made it clear a couple of months ago that he was their boy, I think he actually could have survived the robot moment -- maybe a cash-strapped Christie would have dropped out and the gaffe never would have happened, or maybe Rubio would have been able to withstand the bad moment because weeks or even months of donor-favorite status would have given him an air of inevitability.
I realize that hasn't worked for Jeb Bush, but Rubio, apart from that horrible moment, has been a much better candidate than Bush. (It's a low bar to clear.) I'm thinking back to Bill Clinton's ability to withstand the Gennifer Flowers scandal -- it helped a lot that he was the clear Establishment favorite.
The richies should stop complaining -- they're the party now, and when it came to picking a candidate, they decided not to decide. And so angry voters are deciding for them.