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Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

I confess even I'm surprised at what the overnight FEC filings revealed about the Trump campaign. Posting the 'Trump is Broke' column yesterday made me feel at least a touch exposed since I figured he'd add (either from his own money or fundraising) at least some additional funds to the paltry $2.4 million cash on hand in his previous filing. Appears not. Now on top of that it's revealed that he's been using his presidential campaign to funnel millions of dollars back into his own businesses. The new filing shows the campaign had only $1.3 million in cash on hand at the beginning of this month, in comparison to $42 million on hand for the Hillary campaign.

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As you can see, the news of the day is Donald Trump's firing of war-time campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Lewandowski never actually functioned as a campaign manager - more like what the modern campaign calls a body man or traveling press secretary. In recent months, Paul Manafort has, supposedly, been filling that role. So it's not clear what effect his dismissal will have other than signaling to worried Republicans some desire for change and steadying Trump himself with an act of demonstrative dominance.

My real interest is in a different question: where's the money?

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To be clear: I don't think this is remotely likely. But I will note that the betting markets seem to be having their first real doubts - small but numerically perceptible - that Trump will even be the Republican nominee.

It's hard not to fixate on Donald Trump's string of galactic unforced errors on the campaign trail. But there's a whole different story playing out on the campaign mechanics front - and one that has Republicans rightly worried. According to this new story out from AP, the Trump campaign estimates that it currently has a nationwide field staff of 30 people. 30. This in a country with 50 states.

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I noted earlier this week that Donald Trump is uniquely reliant on strong poll numbers. Every candidate is dependent on good poll numbers for morale, fundraising and more. But Trump's platform isn't abolishing Obamacare or lowering taxes or kicking more ass in the Middle East. His platform is "winning." So if he's clearly not winning, it's uniquely debilitating. But there's another way to understand this phenomenon, a broader framework for understanding Trump's current rough patch. It is the inherent turbulence faced by a bullshit-based candidate making first contact with an at least loosely reality-based world.

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I was online last night when I saw someone say, 'Just think how differently this would be going if Rubes or Kasich were the nominee.' I actually think Clinton would be doing much better in those contests than a lot of people realize. But the counter-factual jarred me into a sudden realization: It's not just that Trump isn't doing well. He's barely running a campaign at all.

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TPM Reader JA sends in the following passage from Wikipedia in response to my recent discussion of narcissistic injury ...

Kohut explored a wide range of rage experiences in his seminal article 'Thoughts on Narcissism and Narcissistic Rage' (1972).[17] He considered narcissistic rage as one major form among many, contrasting it especially with mature aggression.[18] Because the very structure of the self itself is weakened in the narcissist, their rage cannot flower into real assertiveness;[19] and they are left instead prone to oversensitivity to perceived or imagined narcissistic injuries resulting in narcissistic rage.[20]

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Donald Trump has had a terrible few weeks, largely self-inflicted, as I noted here. But as he gets less popular and gets sterner rebukes from Republican endorsers, he's actually getting more scattered in his speeches, darker and more apocalyptic in his imagery. This afternoon he compared America to a terminally ill patient and a country that would seem be like Venezuela. Check out these quotes.

The pivot appears to have finally arrived ... but it's toward a crazier, more fire and brimstone Trump.

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