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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Election Countdown: Twilight of the Gold-Plateds

Election Countdown

We have 76 days of misery left.

The Donald's campaign looks more and more like an Atlantic City production of Gotterdammerung, in which the candidate's increasingly lifeless dream of the presidency is lowered into a raging dumpster fire.

The Guardian has an interesting article up on how his campaign lives in its own bubble. Trump's going to Mississippi today, where the November outcome is in no doubt, to raise money at a $1,000 a head dinner. Then he will hold a rally at the local coliseum for his base, who can't afford the $1k cut of salmon and some bok choy in butter.

Trump's first-cabin, living off the land style means much of the money he raises on the trip will go to cover the costs of the trip. As the paper notes,

"Trump is spending money as he goes: renting out the 10,000-seat Mississippi Coliseum for the rally, for instance.

“I think he got some pushback from Republicans here who can’t afford the $1,000 dinner,” Moak said. “They said, ‘If he’s coming here, we want to see The Donald.’ So he’s putting on the rally.”

"There are other costs. Trump’s jet alone burns through $10,000 an hour, adding up to nearly a half million dollars just in July. All of which means that either Moak’s estimated “at least seven figures” may be well below the mark, or Trump is managing his campaign funds in a way Barbour, the Republican, called “unconventional”.

Ted Cruz got some heavy weather last winter for using donor money to buy up heavily discounted copies of his campaign book- profiting himself and his publisher- then selling them to new donors, with a claim they were now autographed, for $85 each.

That's nothing compared to the level at which The Donald scams his marks. A news story yesterday uncovered how, once he started getting more donor cash in, Landlord Trump quintupled the rent on Candidate Trump's New York headquarters.

One of the reasons Trump keeps coming back to the Charlotte area for events is that he gets big free media, and there's a Trump golf club nearby where he can get donors to pad its books for a day or two a month.

Apparently, Trump's Mississippi rally speech will unveil his new and improved "humane" immigration plan, which has become intertwined with attempts to get his African-American support up to maybe 1%.

This will be a wacko birds attempt to square a circle, as Josh Marshall noted at Talking Points Memo today. Trump- or, at least, someone on the summer's third campaign management team- is beginning to realize that, having made the KKK leader David Duke into a credible US Senate candidate, he has hit the white-hooded ceiling of support by open racists. But he can't waver on deporting all the brown ones, either.

Marshall quotes a Washington Post article on Trump's race-based flop sweat:

"For Trump, the objective is twofold, according to his aides and allies. He wants to make inroads with minority voters, who polls show overwhelmingly support Clinton. He also believes that a more measured approach on race can convince white voters now shunning him — especially women — that he is not the racist that his inflammatory rhetoric might indicate."

So suffused in dogwhistle talk is the Trump campaign that its latest manager has actually embraced the Bradley Effect as a strategy:

“Donald Trump performs consistently better in online polling where a human being is not talking to another human being about what he or she may do in the election,” she argued. “It’s because it’s become socially desirable, if you’re a college-educated person in the United States of America, to say that you’re against Donald Trump.”

“The hidden Trump vote in this country is a very significant proposition,” she insisted.

“Have you been able to put a number on that?” asked the Channel 4 interviewer.

“Yes,” Conway responded confidently.

“What do you think that is?”

“I can’t discuss it,” she said. “It’s a project we’re doing internally. I call it the undercover Trump voter, but it’s real.”

So he will teleprompter some kinder, gentler talk for the media: at an all-white rally in the state with the largest black population in America. As with his "ask the gays!" fakeout; as with his dehumanizing "what have you got to lose?" outreach to blacks; as with Ronald Reagan's campaign kickoff in Philadelphia, Mississippi, everyone will know what he really means.

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