I never thought I’d see the day. My God — they’re busting out the hats.
— GOP (@GOP) June 23, 2016
Click the link in that tweet and you’ll find yourself at this page on the RNC website. Note the language at the very bottom there indicating that it’s a project of the joint fundraising committee between the RNC and the Trump campaign. If you’re a “Dump Trump” delegate, know that your party leadership has already moved on and is full speed ahead on making America great again…
… or are they?
Donald Trump is relying on the Republican National Committee to help him dig out of a financial hole, but GOP fundraisers are privately encouraging major donors who are leery of Trump to steer their cash to the party instead of to his campaign, according to people with firsthand knowledge of the solicitations…
Trump’s campaign likely will receive only a small fraction of the cash raised by the joint committees created late last month with the RNC partly to help his flagging finances. The FEC reports show that one of the committees — Trump Victory — transferred $3 million to RNC, but has yet to transfer any cash to the Trump campaign.
Party fundraisers have informed some Trump-weary donors that they can earmark their donations to Trump Victory and another joint committee called Trump Make America Great Again Committee in such a way that all the money will go to the RNC, and none to Trump, according to a finance operative who delivered such as solicitation and a donor who received such a solicitation.
Maybe the RNC’s playing a game here where they signal unity by making a show of supporting Trump publicly, replete with “Make America Great Again” imagery on their website, Trump merchandise sold in their online store (although none is available there yet), and flattering soundbites in media, and meanwhile behind the scenes they’re quietly cutting him loose by trying to hoard as much of the joint fundraising cash as they can for down-ballot Republicans. If Reince starts wearing a MAGA hat, hey, how disloyal can he be, right? On the other hand, there’s a good argument that the RNC should keep all of the joint money for itself: They’ll effectively be running Trump’s ground game this fall. They need it more than he does to improve his chances of winning. If you’re trying to get him elected, in whose hands would a million dollars be more effective? Trump, who’s spending more on hats than he is on microtargeting, or Priebus’s guys, who will be organizing the door-knocking coast to coast? It may be, in other words, that the RNC’s playing a game with donors as much as they are with the big guy. A donor who insists that his entire donation go to Reince with none to Trump may feel that his conscience is cleaner but in the end, because of the RNC’s outsized role in Trump’s campaign, he’s paying to help Trump anyway. Reince is Trump. Finkle is Einhorn.
Anyway. Odds that Trump will be ousted in Cleveland with the RNC now joining him in a mutual thumbs-up: Zero, down from one percent yesterday. Exit question: Are we still absolutely sure there’ll no conservative third-party candidate? Read this before you answer.