Tag Archives: Paul Begala

Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign already has $106M and an army of grassroots volunteers

Two days before his inauguration, during an interview with the Washington “fake news” Post on Jan. 18, 2017, Donald John Trump already had the slogan for his re-election campaign in 2020. He asked the Post, “Are you ready?,” then announced his 2020 campaign slogan:

“Keep America Great!”

Trump called his lawyer into his office to trademark the slogan, more than three years before he is up for re-election, so confident is he that America would be great by the time the slogan is deployed.

What we didn’t know was that President Trump began raising money for his reelection campaign shortly after winning the 2016 election, and he already has amassed $106 million in his 2020 campaign war chest!

Michele Y. H. Lee reports for the Washington Post (via Chicago Tribune) that on Monday, Oct. 15, President Trump disclosed that his campaign and affiliated committees have raised at least $106 million – an enormous sum that exceeds what any of his predecessors amassed so early in their presidencies. Together with the RNC, Trump’s campaign committee and joint fundraising committees have raised more than $337 million, and stockpiled at least $88 million of it in cash.

Lee dolefully points out that this means Trump has a $100 million “head start” over Democrats “as Democrats’ hopes for the presidency are just coming into focus” because “the Trump machine has been churning for nearly two years – unheard of before this president, as his predecessors typically waited until after midterm elections to focus on their reelection campaigns.”

In addition to Trump getting a “head start” over the Demonrats, his 2020 reelection campaign is also significant because of his appeal to different parts of the GOP base:

(1) Small donors, The Deplorables, who donate $200 or less, account for 40% to more than half of the money raised in Republican Party fundraising bearing Trump’s name and likeness. The Deplorables are also buying Make America Great Again gear and responding to Facebook ads.

(2) Trump is equally successful with wealthy donors who support conservative causes:

  • At least six political action committees have spent more than $9 million to promote Trump’s 2020 run, while spending only about $1.2 million supporting GOP House and Senate candidates, according to a McClatchy News analysis.
  • Joel Benenson, a campaign strategist for Barack Obama, admitted that wealthy conservative donors are better organized and act more strategically than any Democrat outfits that raise money from big donors: “Focusing on just what the RNC and just Donald Trump [have] raised masks what I think another advantage that Republicans have … the billionaire network on the Republican side, which I think often seems like they deploy and develop in more coordinated ways. There’s a way to get more strategic on that front [for Democrats], and I think we’re playing a bit of catch-up there.”

(3) More than mobilizing small donors, the Trump 2020 reelection campaign is getting organized at the grass roots level — something that the Republican Party inexplicably and unconscionably had overlooked in the past:

  • The Republican National Committee (RNC) is gathering into its voter database the tens of thousands of Deplorables who are turning up at Trump rallies across the country, connecting with 1 million voters per day and forging an army of volunteers. The test run of this new GOP machine is the November midterm election.
  • Since 2012, the RNC had spent nearly $250 million to improve the party’s data and digital operations. The RNC’s data program flags prospective volunteers when they express interest in the party for the first time – such as making a donation or signing a petition online – and when they register to attend their first Trump rally.
  • An example is Hope Eck, 49, a registered nurse in Indiana and an independent who supported Clinton in 2008 and voted for Trump in 2016. Eck attended her first Trump rally in May in Elkhart, Indiana. When Trump implored the crowd to help elect Republican Mike Braun to the Senate, in one of the most competitive contests this fall, “I definitely felt a tug at my heart to get involved,” Eck said. So at the rally, she signed up to volunteer. Within a week, a Republican Party official called her. Soon after, Eck was knocking on doors to educate voters about Braun. She now canvasses voters in person and by phone every day, often on her own.
  • Another example is Linda Olson, 66, a retired legal secretary who lives in Great Falls, Montana, attended a Trump rally for the first time in July after waiting 5½ hours in line. Olson voted for Trump in 2016, but it wasn’t until she saw him in person at the rally that she was moved to volunteer for the party, urging voters to support Republicans in House and Senate races. Olson said she plans to continue volunteering to help Trump get reelected in 2020: “Anything he needs us to do – for the president – we’ll be doing.”
  • The RNC now has 540 national staff members across 28 states, with more than 22,000 “top tier” trained activists. In comparison, 5,000 such volunteers were trained for the 2016 campaign.

A massive, overflow Trump rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, October 10, 2018:

GOP strategist Scott Jennings, who advised Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign, said: “If the Trump campaign and RNC keep doing what they’re doing, they’re going to amass a huge fundraising and grassroots network. By the time the conventions come around, they’re going to be rolling down the campaign trail with a well-oiled, fully-weaponized battle station.”

Even Demonrat strategist Paul Begala acknowledged that “It is really impressive, the money and the operation that the Trump folks are putting together.” As soon as the midterm election is over, Democrats “had better get about the business of re-arming for the next battle.”

The Democratic National Committee (DNC), struggling to rebuild after 2016, effectively has no cash on hand and remains in debt. DNC officials said they are cognizant of the gap they need to close for 2020 and are investing in state parties and cybersecurity so that the eventual nominee will inherit a strong party – something they acknowledge that Hillary Clinton did not have in 2016. Guy Cecil, chairman of Priorities USA, the main Demonrat super PAC, said: “There’s no question that the DNC found itself in a deeper hole than they thought when the 2018 cycle started, and they have significant more work to do to get resources and to build infrastructure, so that when we have a nominee, we’re prepared to fight.”

The 2020 race is expected to begin almost immediately after the midterm election. Fauxcahontas Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA), rumored “gay” Sen. Cory Booker (NJ), and Obama’s VP pedophile Joe Biden are among the high-profile Democrats who have recently raised millions of dollars and traveled around the country to support midterm candidates – moves typically considered signs of presidential aspirations.

Michael Avenatti, the attorney who represents Stormy Daniels and Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s false accuser (and perjurer) Julie Swetnick, said he would run for the presidency in 2020 only against Trump or Pence.

Bring it on, punks!

~Eowyn

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Pres. Lucifer's super PAC will fund the Hildebeast for president 2016

We’re at the beginning of 2014, a mid-term elections year, and two years away from the 2016 presidential elections.
Time to put on our battle armor, because the Devil never sleeps.
~Eowyn
POS and Broomhilda
Philip Rucker and Matea Gold report for the Washington Post, Aug. 29, 2013: 

Priorities USA Action, the pro-Obama super PAC that led attacks against Republican Mitt Romney, is quietly positioning itself to ­become the main independent group funding a media campaign for Hillary Rodham Clinton in the 2016 presidential race, according to Democrats familiar with the plans.Strategists and donors to Priorities are in discussions about how best to help Clinton should she decide to run again for president, three Democrats familiar with the talks said.
The emergence of Priorities as a pro-Clinton ally introduces a heavyweight player into the constellation of super PACs and other independent groups already focused on the 2016 race. The move also shows how the political forces that helped reelect President Obama are increasingly gathering around Clinton and could make it more difficult for Vice President Biden or other Democratic hopefuls to compete for the nomination if she runs.
The people familiar with the plans said Priorities is developing a different mission than Ready for Hillary, a group started this year by ardent Clinton supporters. While Ready for Hillary is focused on grass-roots organizing, Priorities is planning to become what one of the Democrats called “the big money vehicle” that would produce and air expensive television advertisements.
The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plans for Priorities have not been finalized. Priorities strategist Paul Begala, a former Clinton White House adviser, declined to comment on behalf of the super PAC.
One of the Democrats said Priorities is not planning to become active in the race until Clinton “gives a definite nod that she’s going to run.” Conservative super PACs, such as the Stop Hillary PAC, have already jumped into the fray with attacks on the former U.S. senator and secretary of state.
Unlike federal candidates, super PACs can accept unlimited contributions as long as they do not coordinate their strategy directly with candidates or political parties.

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Note: Anyone who believes that has a shoe-sized IQ.

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Priorities, started by two former Obama White House aides (see my comment above), was widely regarded as one of the most effective independent groups in the 2012 presidential race. After a sluggish fundraising start, the super PAC ended up raising nearly $80 million — pouring it into a relentless barrage of swing-state television commercials that portrayed Romney as an elitist corporate raider.
Although Priorities spent far less than the pro-Romney super PAC, Restore Our Future, the group’s early and consistent focus on Romney’s record at Bain Capital put a negative cast on his business experience that proved hard for the GOP nominee to shake.
“They got off to a slow start, but they had a really strong finish, and ultimately they received a lot of credit for the negative mes­saging that was most effective against Romney,” said Phil Singer, a Democratic strategist who ran the war room for Clinton’s 2008 White House bid. “Priorities has been able to establish credibility.”
Refashioning itself as a pro-Clinton super PAC would be a natural fit for Priorities, which already has strong ties to both Bill and Hillary Clinton. Sean Sweeney, who was the top aide to then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, helped launch Priorities with former White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton and continues to steer it. Sweeney worked as a legislative assistant for then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, and people in Clinton’s orbit described Sweeney as a trusted loyalist.
Begala, who remains an adviser to Priorities, was a strategist on Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and served as a political counselor in his White House. Harold Ickes, the super PAC’s president, has been a top adviser to both Clintons, while Geoff Garin, who was the group’s pollster and strategic adviser last year, was a top strategist on Clinton’s 2008 campaign.

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Note: But we are to believe Begala, Sweeney, Ickes, Garin, et al., don’t “coordinate directly with” the Clintons or with the DNC. Puleeze! 

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Priorities also has relationships with some of the top Democratic givers, including DreamWorks Animation chief executive Jeffrey Katzenberg, one of its founding donors, who gave the super PAC $3 million. Katzenberg remains committed to working with the group, according to a person familiar with his plans.

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Note: DreamWorks is a Hollywood movie studio founded by Katzenberg, director Steven Spielberg, and David Geffen.

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Hedge fund manager James H. Simons, who contributed $5 million to Priorities and hosted a fundraiser for the group, is a longtime Clinton backer. Chicago media baron Fred Eychaner, who gave $4.5 million to Priorities, is one of the biggest supporters of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, having given the nonprofit organization more than $25 million.
Texas trial lawyers Steve and Amber Mostyn, who donated more than $3 million to Priorities, are actively supporting Clinton’s potential 2016 candidacy and are founding members of Ready for Hillary’s national finance council.
And Qualcomm founder Irwin M. Jacobs, who gave $2 million to Priorities last year, is an early Clinton backer. Jacobs and his wife, Joan, each gave the maximum $25,000 to Ready for Hillary.
Some fundraisers who bundled donations for Clinton’s 2008 White House bid, such as entertainment executive Haim Saban and producer Steven Spielberg, were also big donors to Priorities in 2012.
Since last year’s election, Priorities has been quiet about its plans. The super PAC made a few donations this spring, including $250,000 to the pro-Democratic Senate Majority PAC, which was used by the group in its campaign against Republican Gabriel Go­mez in the Massachusetts special Senate election, according to Senate Majority PAC spokesman Ty Matsdorf.
Priorities also gave $100,000 to Emily’s List, a group that works to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights, and has launched a “Madam President” campaign to lay the groundwork for Clinton.
As of the end of June, Priorities still had nearly $3.4 million in the bank left over from the 2012 cycle and no debt.
Priorities would play a different role from that of Ready for Hillary, which has stressed its focus on grass-roots organizing and has capped individual donations at $25,000. With a strong social media presence, its profile has risen rapidly, amassing more than 700,000 supporters on Facebook.
Several longtime Clinton aides are supporting Ready for Hillary; the group is being advised by Ickes and former Clinton White House political director Craig Smith, among others.
It remains unclear whether the super PACs would work together. Ready for Hillary officials declined to comment.
A Democrat familiar with Priorities’ plans said there is “a lot of chaos right now” among the party’s operative class to get in place to help a possible Clinton campaign.
“It’s like a bunch of kids under the hoop trying to get the ball, and everybody’s jockeying for position and nobody’s shot the ball yet,” the person said.

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