October 10, 2015


Is Trump Going to Run Out of Money? : He will need to start spending serious cash to keep his campaign going. He might not have it. (Jim Newell, 10/09/15, Slate)

Trump's campaign has lived off a strategy of constant free media exposure--something he earned, we should note, by expressing many "newsworthy" opinions that a not-insignificant number of human beings found oddly compelling in a presidential candidate. That's how he has been able to dominate the race after only spending a couple million dollars of his own money. The problem with Trump's strategy, though, is he's created exceedingly high expectations for himself: Unless he keeps upping the ante of bombast, he's going to see a cratering or even collapse in his media coverage.

Few other humans on the planet understand how to manipulate the media better than Trump, and even he seems to be getting tired of himself. It's time for Trump 2.0: the stage in which he defines himself on his own terms, instead of performing whatever garish acts are necessary to maintain his outsized share of free media coverage.

That means spending much more of his own money. And how much, really, is he good for? [...]

Depending on whom you ask, Trump's liquid assets range from about $70 million to about $350 million. That presents enough trouble to meet even the $100 million figure he's willing to commit for the primary (which he fantastically claims he will take to a convention floor fight). Whether the figure exceeds his available cash or is "only" one-third of it, that's a serious amount of money with which to part ways. And it's nowhere near what he'd need, either for his campaign or in terms of outside commitments, for a general election.

Setting up a campaign infrastructure and a media strategy on your own terms, in which you, the candidate, are allowed to dictate how you present yourself to the public, is expensive. This is why few politicians, even wealthy ones, say outright that they'll never accept large contributions. Donald Trump did. As with most things Trump, this was an extension of his central message: that he is an extraordinarily rich person. He wouldn't take donations because he wouldn't need to. According to him, the "conservative" estimate of his wealth is more than $10 BILLION. The more realistic estimate of Trump's wealth, in Trump's mind, is infinity dollars.

Posted by at October 10, 2015 7:32 PM

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