Terrifying Ride

June 21, 2016 7:45 p.m.

This is amazing. And it must be terrifying for any Republicans who were hoping that the firing of Corey Lewandowski presaged the debut of a new saner Trump. Faced with a Clinton campaign that has over $40 million in cash on hand and his own campaign that’s barely solvent with just over $1 million, Trump tells Norah O’Donnell that the money Clinton has raised is “blood money.”

You can see the video here (there doesn’t seem to be an embeddable version). “Every time she’s raising money she’s making deals,” says Trump, before saying that he doesn’t want to spend his time raising money. “For all of the money she’s raising, that’s blood money.”

It’s classic Trump form – up the ante, go hyperbolic – but it looks more desperate when he’s losing and being abandoned by allies right and left.

Beyond the pyrotechnics, what’s worth noting is that Trump seems to be groping his way back to his earlier “I’m self-funding, no one owns me” line. Only he’s not self-funding because he doesn’t have any money. He isn’t raising other people’s money because he’s either too proud or too lazy to ask real rich people for money. So his answer is a kind of penniless primal scream about “blood money.”

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What Trump needs, though it’s uncertain how he’d manage it, is to rebrand, build a cocoon and reemerge, as a sane, emotionally balanced Republican who could leverage public uncertainty about Hillary Clinton and harness the inherent strengths of the party which hasn’t held the presidency in eight years. He desperately needs a public perception reset on the temperament front. But his impulse, which always rules him, is to channel every white guy over 50 who’s spent twenty years gnashing his teeth for the opportunity to call Hillary a c#%t and developed hypertension for lack of an opportunity to say it to her face.

I can only imagine what this bodes for his big Hillary speech tomorrow.

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