Donald Trump is justifiably proud of securing his win on a very low budget. He got top billing in the news for much of the campaign season due to his masterful manipulation of the mainstream media. As a consequence, he did not have to spend much money to get his message out.
A lot of the money that the Trump campaign spent was to pay for services provided by the Trump empire: the campaign paid him for the use of his plane, for renting office space in his buildings, etc.
In the last week before the election Trump announced that he would chip in $10 million of his personal money to his campaign, but it is not clear whether he ever did that and whether it was a contribution or a loan.
Someday, someone will run the numbers, but there is a good chance that after the loans are paid back and the amount earned by Trump’s companies is added up, it will turn out that Trump ended up earning more money from the campaign than he personally spent on it.
The election results bring to mind the famous Canadian editorial cartoon published just after the separatist party surprised everyone and won elections in Quebec in the 1970s. The party leader, cigarette in hand, spoke directly to the panicked electorate, while his vanquished rival looked on, completely stunned.
As predicted, Donald Trump is already moving to the courts to challenge the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. However, there are still a few things that are not certain:
- Will Trump personally spend more on the legal challenges than he spent on his campaign?
Probably, but he will get others to chip in.
- Will Trump fund-raise to recoup the legal costs?
The Republican party and Republican donors will step up to fund these challenges if it looks like they can affect down ballot races. Normally they might not make some of these challenges lest they be labeled ‘sore losers’, but Trump will give them cover.
- How long until this thing is over?
Beyond the inauguration as it will affect down ballot races.
- Will Trump get sued, perhaps by some of the women he accused of being liars?
Good chance. My guess is that Gloria Allred cannot wait to slap a defamation suit on him.
WikiLeaks has played an important role in the US presidential campaign, timing releases of hacked emails embarrassing to Hillary Clinton with great effect.
Julian Assange, who runs WikiLeaks, has an intense personal dislike of Clinton and is directing the effort from the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been holed up for four years. The blond-haired Assange was accused of sexual assault in Sweden and has been hiding out in the embassy to avoid facing charges by the Swedish authorities.
Interestingly, WikiLeaks has not published any hacked mails regarding Donald Trump. Is this simply a case of two blond-haired sexual assaulters sticking together?
If Donald Trump wins the election next week, the two words that will sum up his presidency will be “executive power”. Trump may ask Congress for approval for what he wants to do, but my guess is that he will ask for the approval after he has already done it using his executive powers.
In his career, Trump has always been the sole decision maker (at least since his Daddy stopped being involved). His campaign for the presidency has been more of the same – he says what he feels like saying when he feels like saying it. It does not matter if he does not agree with his vice presidential running mate or his campaign staff.
There is no reason to expect he will suddenly become a different kind of manager once he becomes president. He will push the limits of executive power like the country has not seen before. Before a year goes by, there will be a case in front of the Supreme Court challenging his use of these powers.
Even if the Republicans maintain control of the House and the Senate, Trump will not find it easy to get his way. Congress is going to be upset with his use of executive power, and Paul Ryan, unlike Ted Cruz, may just put principal before politics and push back on Trump’s interpretation of what the Constitution lets him do. Of course, Paul Ryan might not keep his job, but that is another story.