Is Donald Trump *Really* Running for President?


Donald Trump is running anything but an ordinary campaign for President of the United States. While it’s mostly a foregone conclusion that Trump will win his party’s nomination there are reports that the GOP may still try to jettison the nominee at it’s July convention. The rationale for doing so has only increased since Trump won the nomination last month. His first month as a nominee has been disasterous and it seems unlikely that Trump will do anything differently in the months heading into the general election.

It would be a rather easy conclusion to draw to say that Trump’s appeal with hardcore conservative voters simply hasn’t translated well to the general election electorate. I think that’s giving voters a little too much credit though. Trump is simply a lazy politician who likes the idea of being President the same way we all thought it would be cool to be President after watching Michael Douglas’s portrayal in The American President or Martin Sheen in The West Wing. The problem for Trump is that you actually have to campaign and campaign effectively to win the Presidency and this is something that Trump simply isn’t willing to do.

After the California primary former Obama Senior Aide David Plouffe summed up Trump’s position in the race nicely:

“One thing that was amazing about his (Donald Trump’s) speech the other night aside from the fact he looked like he was in a hostage video was that he did it at the Trump National Golf Course in Westchester county. It’s so offensive as a practitioner like – get on your plane and go to Ohio.”

The point Plouffe is making is that Trump is counting on an unbelievable majority among white voters to push him over the top. Romney won about as large a share of the white vote as one can bringing in over 90% in 2012. Trump is polling at 85%. If Trump stays at that number this will be a landslide election for Hillary Clinton. What’s alarming for GOP strategists is that Trump isn’t even making an effort to pick off voters in battleground states.

Josh Marshall at TalkingPointsMemo pointed out in a wonderful piece titled “Trump’s not doing poorly; he’s not even running” that:

He’s spent the last six weeks in an erratic barrage of self-inflicted wounds and petulant attacks on people who he needs to be critical allies. Not just Rubio or Kasich but any other candidate would be spending this time fleshing out a campaign team – usually bringing in the best operatives from the defeated primary challengers – developing campaign themes focused on the Democrats’ nominee, raising and stockpiling money.

Meanwhile, Trump has a national organization consisting of thirty people. Hillary Clinton has an organization that has 10,000 volunteers ready at the grassroots level and Donald Trump has thirty. Perhaps Clinton should do him a solid and lend him a few guys until he figures things out, you know, just for the sake of fairness.

In an almost sad story in Politico, Donald Trump’s tiny little fingers failed him in his first RNC fundraising effort. Maybe the buttons were too big for him, but Politico said:

While Trump had promised Priebus that he would call two dozen top GOP donors, when RNC chief of staff Katie Walsh recently presented Trump with a list of more than 20 donors, he called only three before stopping.

Fundraising is not fun. There should be no doubt about that. But, it is necessary to run a campaign at the national level. This is something that Trump hasn’t had to do thus far. He’s run statewide campaigns when there was a lot of media focus on that particular state and the outcome of the election. On Election Day in America however, there are things happening in FIFTY states all of which need to be coordinated through a national effort. Trump and his thirty staffers do not have the manpower or the resources even to carry this out. As MSNBC first reported:

Veteran operatives are shocked by the campaign’s failure to fill key roles. There is no communications team to deal with the hundreds of media outlets covering the race, no rapid response director to quickly rebut attacks and launch new ones, and a limited cast of surrogates who lack a cohesive message.

All of this seems to suggest that far from running for President, Trump may be ducking the responsibilities of a major party’s nominee. It’s really strange how Donald Trump is choosing to use his time as the Presumptive Republican nominee. It almost makes one question whether he understands that there are things you have to do in life that you don’t necessarily like, but that need to get done nonetheless.

It seems reasonable to assume that due to the many things Trump is against, work may very well be among them, as well. Perhaps Trump should look to the model of Trump University and simply scam people into donating to his campaign. The “donors” would receive about as much wisdom as they would attending Trump University and who knows? Maybe they’d actually get to meet Trump himself this time.

I’ve wondered since he began attacking a federal judge whether Trump actually wants to be President or whether he simply wants a bigger platform to denounce his enemies. The entire Trump campaign has been like a cult anyway. You’re either in it and believe in the sanctity of your leader or you’re terrified of how Trump is brainwashing people to devote resources to something that will likely never come to fruition. In fact, the only real difference between the Trump campaign and a doomsday cult is that cults are far less inflammatory to the outside world.

In his six weeks as the presumptive Republican Nominee, Donald Trump has attacked a federal judge, insinuated that the President is somehow coordinating the efforts of terrorist groups, and perpetrated a fraud to donate money to veterans. One has to wonder if Trump continues on his current path whether he will still be the nominee come the party’s convention in Cleveland in July.


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