We all know the candidates in the Republican presidential primary are running a clown show. But Donald Trump’s staying power doesn’t seem to be abating. (I write this as he, apparently, made some comment about a disabled reporter or something — maybe that’s what sinks him?) In fact, he’s scared away establishment donors:
More than a dozen interviews with high-profile GOP financiers revealed a pervasive confidence that the party’s rank-and-file voters will ultimately reject Trump’s brand of politics.
“He is going to implode himself,” said Frank VanderSloot, the chief executive of an Idaho nutritional-supplement company who is backing Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.). He said he recently turned down a funding request from a group seeking to run anti-Trump ads.
“It’s just going to take a little time for people to take a step back and look at his track record, see who he is and how he’s changed his positions and how unprepared he is to be president of the United States,” VanderSloot said.
I’d buy his position more if he hadn’t turned down the opportunity to help fund anti-Trump efforts.
That view is shared by Andrew Sabin, a longtime New York donor supporting Bush.
“I’m not worried,” Sabin said. “The voters are not going to think out their candidate until a week or two before they go into the voting booth.”
I’m sorry. I just have to quote this at much more length to get across the absolute absurdity of this situation:
Another reason wealthy donors are holding back: a widespread conclusion that it is futile to try to dislodge the New York billionaire, who has successfully parried nearly every attack.
“I’m not sure someone wouldn’t do better to take their money and throw it off a tall building,” said Henry Barbour, a Mississippi-based operative who is unaligned with any of the campaigns. “I think the voters who are for Trump are not going to move off from Trump.”
After conducting two focus groups of Trump supporters this fall, GOP consultant Frank Luntz said he has concluded that there is no political issue or stance that will turn off his supporters.
“They came to him because he is unlike any other politician,” Luntz said. “That allows him to do and say things others could not and get away with it.”
One party strategist privy to recent research on Trump voters said that none of the messages tested swayed them — including his past support for universal health care or fond words about Bill and Hillary Clinton.
“They’re incredibly angry, and he’s the first guy in their mind who speaks to that anger in a visceral way,” said the strategist, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the findings. “They have a deep longing for that.”
Trump’s nontraditional campaign has left his opponents rattled. He has largely avoided paid ads and instead harnessed the enormous amount of free airtime he garners. He uses media coverage to drive an attack through multiple news cycles until it becomes a narrative, such as his constant swipes at Bush as “low energy.”
Has anyone considered that — possibly, just possibly — he’s who the Republicans voters want? I’d be surprised, but I’m not discounting it.
And now we come to the absurdity part: Donald Trump is running for president and very well may become the nominee of a major political party. If he doesn’t, he may very well run an independent campaign — and who knows what that will cause.
In Daesh we face an enemy without plans to surrender. Retreat? Yes. But they seem to follow General Oliver P. Smith’s statement, “Retreat, hell! We’re not retreating, we’re just advancing in a different direction” (you thought it was MacArthur, didn’t you?). I don’t even know how you “beat” these people. Kill every single one of them and the children they’ve fully indoctrinated? That’s unspeakable. But what is the answer? I don’t see negotiations happening.
We’re being sucked into something. I’m not sure what. Donald Trump. Daesh. A completely messed up Middle East. The Pacific Pivot that isn’t.
This is absurd. And there’s no end in sight.