President Donald Trump is the first president in history to file papers to run for re-election on the day he was sworn in to office. That allowed him to set up a re-election campaign right away, and to use the Office of the President as a fundraising prop, something he loves to do.
For example, on Wednesday the President traveled to Texas, where he held not one, not two, but three campaign events – including a fundraising dinner.
But tucked in between all those campaign events, was this entry on his official schedule: “The President delivers remarks and signs an Executive Order on Energy and Infrastructure.”
That allowed him to hand taxpayers the bill for some of his trip.
Sunday night and Monday morning headlines heralded Trump’s fundraising prowess:
“The Trump campaign amassed a vast $30 million reelection war chest at the start of 2019, as much as the top 2 Democratic challengers combined,” Business Insider wrote.
“Trump Raises $30 Million in First Quarter, Smashing Democratic Numbers,” New York Magazine touted.
Trump of course should be raking in the dough. He’s been running for over two years now, and has a full and experienced team in place.
But is $30 million historic? Incredible? A great sign for Trump’s re-election prospects?
Not according to CNBC’s chief Washington correspondent, John Harwood, a man who knows numbers and politics.
in the first quarter of Obama’s 2012 re-election fund-raising, Q2 2011, he took in $45-M
That was eight years ago https://t.co/M02f9hVxWp
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) April 15, 2019ADVERTISEMENT
(And by the way, President Barack Obama didn’t launch his re-election bid until April 4, 2011. Q2 of 2011 would be April, May, and June.)
Trump’s had two years, a full team, and only took in $30 million?
As the headlines say, that $30 million is “as much as the top 2 Democratic challengers combined.” But don’t forget, there are 18 announced Democratic challengers. That’s a lot of competition. And many Democrats may be waiting to donate until the field narrows down a bit, or until everyone has announced.
$30 million may sound like a lot, but $45 million sounds like a lot more.
Sometimes, like in fundraising and in crowd size, size does matter:
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 20, 2017
Can at least half the 2020 Democrats please quit right now?
OK, Democrats — you’ve had your fun. You grew up being told that everybody could run for president, and then everybody did. Except that this mad anthill scramble of presidential candidates, which resembles a bunch of kindergarteners descending on not enough cookies, really hasn’t been fun so far. All you’ve managed to do is put the fear of God — or the fear of the other guy, more like — into the voters, provoking widespread PTSD flashbacks to November 2016.
This article first appeared in Salon.
Self-preservation fuels the Democratic base’s lurch to the left — before the rich take it all
In 2016 all the corporate news media outlets, NPR included, predicted that Trump would lose. They just did not recognize the discontent in America’s rust belt because the economic dislocation that had, and continues to define life there, was just not part of their personal frame of reference.
They thought the country was several years into a recovery and the national aggregate unemployment data they had commissioned confirmed it. But nobody lives or votes in the aggregate. And it wasn’t until Trump flipped the 200 counties that Obama had carried twice, that the corporate news media started paying some attention.
Experts discuss the distorted impeachment debate at a propaganda forum — and how real debate can untangle it
“Would you be upset if the Democratic nominee called on China to help in the next presidential election?” That’s the concrete question we should ask ourselves about Robert Mueller's report and the issue of impeachment, according to University of California, Santa Cruz, social psychologist Anthony Pratkanis, speaking at a recent Zócalo Public Square event, “Is Propaganda Keeping Americans From Thinking for Themselves?”
This was a week before President Trump’s interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News, apparently welcoming foreign interference in the 2020 election. Impeachment wasn’t the ostensible subject of the event — which also featured Texas A&M historian of rhetoric Jennifer Mercieca and UCLA marketing scholar and psychologist Hal Hershfield — but it was never far from mind.