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Trump Card: Could Dark Money Win The Nomination For The Donald?

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Trump Card: Could Dark Money Win The Nomination For The Donald?


What could benefit Democrats more than Donald Trump’s explosive presidential candidacy – except Donald Trump as the 2016 Republican nominee? A ticket led by Trump has all the makings of a right-wing Armageddon, putting as many as 400 electoral votes in the Democratic column.

While The Donald shows no sign of muting his appeals to the GOP’s most racist and lunatic elements, his rise in recent polls makes that impossible dream seem slightly more plausible. The latest survey by The Economist/YouGov puts Trump in first place, ahead of Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Scott Walker and all the rest of the clown-car occupants. Other polls showing him running second to Bush and in the top tier in early primary states.

At least one looming obstacle to a Trump triumph remains, however (aside from his boatload of baggage and his penchant for spectacularly ill-advised remarks). Nobody who knows him well believes that the self-proclaimed “billionaire” is willing to spend the many millions of dollars needed for the television buys that would make him a serious primary contender.

Evidently he believes that free media – like the continuing tsunami of negative publicity earned by his barking-mad announcement speech and subsequent remarks – will carry him through. Although wiser heads have explained why that won’t work, he isn’t listening.

But there is a solution. An actual billionaire on the Democratic side — someone like George Soros or Tom Steyer — could simply set up a pro-Trump SuperPAC funded by “dark money.”

This cloaked entity could become, as Trump would put it, “the biggest SuperPAC EVER,” promoting the casino developer and denigrating his Republican opponents in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and onward, until victory. And since the Republicans just adore Citizens United, they could scarcely complain if and when a sudden influx of undisclosed cash makes their worst nightmare come true.

Sadly, this is the sort of initiative that wealthy Democrats are far too principled (or squeamish) to consider. But just imagine next year’s Republican convention if Trump arrives with the most delegates – as my National Memo colleague Eric Kleefeld did yesterday on Twitter:

Joe Conason

A highly experienced journalist, author and editor, Joe Conason is the editor-in-chief of The National Memo, founded in July 2011. He was formerly the executive editor of the New York Observer, where he wrote a popular political column for many years. His columns are distributed by Creators Syndicate and his reporting and writing have appeared in many publications around the world, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, and Harpers. Since November 2006, he has served as editor of The Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism center, where he has assigned and edited dozens of award-winning articles and broadcasts. He is also the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President (St. Martins Press, 2000) and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (St. Martins Press, 2003). Currently he is working on a new book about former President Bill Clinton's life and work since leaving the White House in 2001. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, including MSNBC's Morning Joe, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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  1. Mortalc01l July 10, 2015

    That is an evil, unprincipled, dangerous idea. And I LOVE it.!! It really WOULD bring on a Republican Apocalypse and BOY would it be fun to watch…. Can you imagine the sound bites, the flip-flopping and the lunacy that would spew out of The Donald’s mouth.

  2. 13observer July 10, 2015

    This is the same stuff we heard from liberals in the 2014 Apocalypse that resulted in the democrats losing their a** at the ballot box. Trump is getting traction because most Americans whom CAN vote despise illegal immigration! That’s why I’m voting Trump/Cruz 2016 because Trump is successful and Cruz is Hispanic and will win over the Hispanics.

    1. The lucky one July 11, 2015

      Forget it, there’s not enough room on any ballot for those 2 egos.

    2. katahdin July 11, 2015

      In 2008, Republicans put the wildly unqualified Sarah Palin on their national ticket, because female.
      Hillary supporters (of which I was one) weren’t fooled.
      Republican tokenism never fools the people it’s aimed at.

    3. bobnstuff July 13, 2015

      In a national election things are a little different, there were more votes for democrats in 2014 then republicans. Had it been a national election the democrats would have won.

      1. 13observer July 13, 2015

        Oh sure. I’m sure the dems will still be following illegal aliens right over the cliff in 2016. Good luck with all that. Voter I.D. laws will prevent illegals from voting and the plan will be foiled. Trump has struck a cord with the majority of Americans.

        1. bobnstuff July 13, 2015

          If I hear about this hog wash of voter fraud one more time. It isn’t real it’s a myth. Voter fraud at the polls is very very rare. I have worked the polls and the system is just fine. Vote I.D. is a tool to cut down on poor people voting. The Republicans in Pa said so. The few cases that did hit the news were republicans. Trump has shown just how easy it is to fool the public. The fact check people are having a ball with Trump. almost everything he says is wrong or a out right lie. Don’t take my word for it though, go to factcheck.org. They did a nice job.

  3. 13observer July 10, 2015

    Just like Hillary says; your chance to make history by electing the first Hispanic V.P.

  4. 1standlastword July 12, 2015

    Donald Trump is evidence that the “universe” has conspired against the republican party and his ascendancy in the polls proves just how much republicans hate their current elected officials–take Lindsey Graham for the featured example

  5. CCinRI July 12, 2015

    Be careful what you wish for. It’s not that long ago that the GOP mobilized voters in open primary states to vote for “the unelectable” then-senator, Barack Hussein Obama; we know how that worked out for them.

    1. Eleanore Whitaker July 13, 2015

      We wished for a president of the people. That is WHO we elected…twice. There is not one single member of the GOP clown show worthy of the White House. And, the only reason there are 11 men and 2 women is because of the vast sums these clowns are getting from their crony capitalists.

      The GOP has had their fun and games raining mindless austerity on this country while they flush 65% of our tax dollars to their pork barrel states.

      Force Americans to live in abject mindless hardship and they revolt. Check history if you want proof.

      1. CCinRI July 13, 2015

        I don’t wholly disagree, but that has Nothing to do with the article or the point I made.

        1. Eleanore Whitaker July 14, 2015

          Here is your post:
          “Be careful what you wish for. It’s not that long ago that the GOP mobilized voters in open primary states to vote for “the unelectable” then-senator, Barack Hussein Obama; we know how that worked out for them.”

          What has that to do with the article or the point you failed to make? Bashing one president who does his best for ALL Americans while praising his predecessor who left, as he always has in his political career, a mess for the next guy to clean up, is not exactly “making a point.”

          It’s obvious under the GOP Regime, we’d need them to swear an oath that they are being truthful and honest and not lying by omission or outright distortions.

          That is NOT what the American people want. We’d be better off had the Mafia taken over than the dangerous corruption the GOP crony capitalists are pulling off for the past 15 years.

          1. CCinRI July 14, 2015

            Are you just completely obtuse? I know what I wrote, you’ve completely missed the point, and I can’t understand it for you.

          2. Eleanore Whitaker July 15, 2015

            As a twice elected “unelectable” then-senator, he has been a super achiever some too obtuse right wingers can’t stand. He sets them up for the kill and these stupids fall for it every time.


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