Hey, it looks like Donald Trump is running out of money.
The Times’s Shane Goldmacher and Maggie Haberman reported this week that just as the presidential race is steaming into high gear, the Trump campaign has frittered away more than $800 million of the $1.1 billion it raised since the start of 2019.
The money went to much-needed initiatives like $11 million in reservations for Super Bowl ads. A great investment! Look what it did for Michael Bloomberg.
The Biden campaign — which raised way more money than Trump in August, seems to be spending a lot less. Do you sniff disastrous ineptitude in the Republican air? Think of it this way: This election is the Trump family’s new version of their Atlantic City casinos.
Or: The campaign’s finances are structured with all the discipline and care of the Mexican wall project.
Or: The president’s campaign projections sound approximately as reliable as his timetable for coronavirus relief.
If this keeps up, by late October Donald Jr. and the other kids will be trying to keep the family’s political fortunes afloat with gigs on the rent-a-celebrity circuit. Party planners will have to decide whether their guests would be more impressed rubbing elbows with Jared Kushner or the 2015 winner of “The Bachelor.”
To be fair, some Trump supporters are trying to do things more creatively. Just the other day, they had a lovely boat parade on a Texas lake that was perfect except for the part where five boats sank.
But if the fund-raising doesn’t pick up, Joe Biden will have a definite advantage for the last leg of the race. That might reduce the suspense, and a Democratic victory might look a little less spectacular — maybe history would just regard the vice president as an average guy who got lucky.
Pop survey: In your scale of worries, which most concerns you:
A) The future of the endangered axolotl salamander.
B) The possibility that if Trump gets too weak, Biden’s triumph would seem less impressive.
C) Eric Trump’s tweet that N.F.L. football is “dead” now that Dallas Cowboys players are allowed to take the knee.
Wow, I had no idea there was so much concern about the axolotl! Although if I had a choice between a walking fish with several gills on each side of its head and the gang at the White House, I, too, would certainly opt for the former.
But OK, about the president of the United States. You have to love the fact that a guy who’s bragged all his life about his ability to attract investors can’t match a career politician from Delaware when it comes to creating a well-financed campaign.
Trump claims that in a crisis, he’ll pay for the campaign with his own money. It’s not clear how much he could come up with — we’re still waiting for those tax returns. But it would certainly be an interesting change of pace for a guy who’s been trying to foist all the bills on us.
Right now we the people are paying a ton of money — rightfully — for the Secret Service to guard Trump wherever he goes. But it seems crass for him to be charging us up to $650 a night for rooms at Mar-a-Lago so the agents have a place to sleep, and $17,000 a month for putting them up at his golf course in New Jersey.
The Trump campaign has been kind of bragging about its intention of paying to replace the sod on the White House lawn where Republican crowds gathered during the convention. This, you will recall, involved roughly 1,500 people mobilized to demonstrate their love for the president and hatred of social distancing. It’s sort of the people’s lawn, right? People, how many of you invited Donald Trump to stage the Republican convention there?
Another bill we’ve been footing involves a sexual assault allegation. You may remember that last year a New York journalist, E. Jean Carroll, claimed she had been raped by Trump in a department store changing room. Carroll’s charges involved events she said happened more than two decades ago, and it was too late to try to press them as a crime. So when Trump denied them in an interview, she sued him.
It’s a long and depressing story — in which you, American citizens, appear in the final act. The Justice Department says that since Trump was president when he issued the denial, he was “acting within the scope of his office as president of the United States.”
Get it? If the Justice Department is working on Trump’s behalf in this matter, you, me and every axolotl owner in America will be footing part of the bill.
Everybody knows we live in tough times, trying to work and take care of kids stranded at home, and worrying about the economy. We learned recently that since March, people have watched 41.2 million hours of chess on Twitch.
Even going for a walk loses its allure when it involves being swathed in masks. But at least it gives you a feeling that everybody’s working together to contain the coronavirus. My own neighborhood has been extremely diligent on the mask front, and I’m pretty sure it’s because everyone knows Donald Trump hates them.
So there’s a real plus. Never say he never did anything for the people.
The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: firstname.lastname@example.org.