Why Isn’t Donald Trump Going All In?

What's a Couple Billion Dollars to Become Leader of the Free World?


Image Credit: Gage Skidmore

Donald J. Trump purports to be in control of assets worth somewhere over the $10 billion mark. Assuming that is true (more on that later), his campaign finance situation is odd.

According to an analysis from Bloomberg Politics, Hillary Clinton had over twice as much cash on hand at the end of the last reporting period. She has also outraised Trump by a margin of $264 million to $89 million. There are mixed reports about Trump’s more recent fundraising, but it’s widely assumed he is still lagging far behind Clinton.

Trump’s new campaign manager says that they’ll never have the money Clinton has to be spend, and Hot Air’s Allahpundit asks the right questions:

Why not? The guy’s worth $10 billion, right? He could have liquidated 20 percent of his assets, blitzed Hillary with a national ad campaign and the best ground game anyone’s ever seen, and given his nationalist fan base a meaningful chance to capture the White House this fall. This is what’s so maddening about fanboys like Hannity sniffing around for #NeverTrumpers to blame. Between his (alleged) wealth and his media megaphone, Trump has some of the most formidable advantages a Republican presidential nominee has ever enjoyed. Having watched him squander those advantages so thoroughly as to leave him 10 points back in must-win Pennsylvania, his supporters should be angry enough to choke him. Is leaving an inheritance of $2 billion a piece for his kids so important to Trump that he’s prepared to crap away a chance at the White House over it? Can Ivanka and Don Jr not get by on $1.5 billion each instead? For fark’s sake.

There are only two possible scenarios here, and neither one is all that positive for Mr. Trump and his supporters.

1. Donald Trump is not worth what he says he is. Bloomberg puts his estimated net worth at $3 billion and Forbes places it closer to $4.5 billion. Both of these estimates would still make Trump very rich, but would make a $2 billion investment in a presidential campaign an almost catastrophically huge amount of money for Trump.

2. Donald Trump isn’t all that serious about winning. After all, President of the United States is the most powerful position in the world, and the potential impact one human being could have in that office is astronomical. If Trump was serious about “making America great again,” you would think he would have no qualms about investing part of his supposedly massive fortune.

If I had to place a bet, I would put it on an amalgamation of the two factors. There has been plenty of speculation about Mr. Trump’s wealth being not what he portends.

On top of that, I’ll give Mr. Trump the benefit of the doubt (and ignore most of his business record) and presume he recognizes a bad investment. If there ever was a bad investment, his campaign is it.