Andrew Malcolm: What if Trump wants to help elect Hillary?

Veteran reporter and pundit Andrew Malcolm is accustomed to looking for hidden motives in political figures, and he is not a fan of Donald Trump.  For over a year he has been raising the possibility that Trump is a stalking horse, whose real purpose in running for president is to secure the election for Hillary Clinton.  In his column today for McClatchy, he assembles a disturbing amount of evidence.

Whether intentional or not, Trump’s candidacy will focus attention on him and elect the Democrat whom he’s long supported. Nothing has happened since to change our mind, save that another Clinton White House could be an unintended consequence of an enormous Trump ego that expands faster than the universe.

Trump and Clinton are long-time friends and supporters of liberal causes. He's contributed generously to her campaigns and family foundation. Trump conferred with her husband just before announcing his candidacy. And with Hillary Clinton's FBI exoneration last week, we've seen the power of a Bill Clinton chat, at least with Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Malcolm analyzes Trump’s behavior:

Since locking up requisite delegates to hijack the GOP, Trump has done everything possible to torpedo his own campaign as a serious candidate – and help Clinton’s stumbling candidacy.

His fundraising is tardy and half-hearted. He’s being battered by millions in unanswered negative ads like the ones that bloodied Mitt Romney beyond repair in 2012. His campaign staff turmoil dominated June news.

Trump’s done little to unify a fractured GOP riven with suspicions over his conservative credentials and with fears for their own political survival inside his Nov. 8 ballot blast-zone. After a Friday meeting House Republicans said sound bites distort how personable Trump is. So why not show the good side if he really wants to win?

And, as many have noted, Trump is all but forfeiting on a gift he received:

... now that Clinton has serial setbacks, Trump routinely steps in to divert attention back to himself. Whether it’s his uncontrollable spotlight addiction or not, the result is to protect the Democrat he allegedly wants to defeat.

And thus Trump forfeits political opportunities to cash in on Clinton troubles. For instance, FBI Director James Comey gave Clinton a gift by declining to prosecute her for the email scandal.

But the first 10 minutes of Comey’s on-camera remarks read like a federal indictment for perjury and national security violations. Trump could also point out Clinton’s emails were under subpoena when she destroyed them. A goldmine for a genuine opponent.

But no. Instead, Trump dredged up his old remarks about Saddam Hussein being a great terrorist-killer. And re-ignited attention to his Star of David gaffe by distributing a similar image on a Disney ad. Seriously? The media are evergreen Republican targets, but they’re not on the ballot.

My own reading is that Trump’s ego would not let him set himself up as a loser.  But Trump also likes to structure deals so that no matter what happens, up to and including bankruptcy, he ends up with a profit.

On the other hand:

More recently another billionaire businessman named Ross Perot spent lavishly to challenge Republican establishment and orthodoxy in a 1992 third-party bid that captured 19 percent of the popular vote.

The results of that populist effort served to split the GOP and — oh, look! — elect a Democrat named Clinton. Is it coincidence that it’s happening again?

Veteran reporter and pundit Andrew Malcolm is accustomed to looking for hidden motives in political figures, and he is not a fan of Donald Trump.  For over a year he has been raising the possibility that Trump is a stalking horse, whose real purpose in running for president is to secure the election for Hillary Clinton.  In his column today for McClatchy, he assembles a disturbing amount of evidence.

Whether intentional or not, Trump’s candidacy will focus attention on him and elect the Democrat whom he’s long supported. Nothing has happened since to change our mind, save that another Clinton White House could be an unintended consequence of an enormous Trump ego that expands faster than the universe.

Trump and Clinton are long-time friends and supporters of liberal causes. He's contributed generously to her campaigns and family foundation. Trump conferred with her husband just before announcing his candidacy. And with Hillary Clinton's FBI exoneration last week, we've seen the power of a Bill Clinton chat, at least with Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Malcolm analyzes Trump’s behavior:

Since locking up requisite delegates to hijack the GOP, Trump has done everything possible to torpedo his own campaign as a serious candidate – and help Clinton’s stumbling candidacy.

His fundraising is tardy and half-hearted. He’s being battered by millions in unanswered negative ads like the ones that bloodied Mitt Romney beyond repair in 2012. His campaign staff turmoil dominated June news.

Trump’s done little to unify a fractured GOP riven with suspicions over his conservative credentials and with fears for their own political survival inside his Nov. 8 ballot blast-zone. After a Friday meeting House Republicans said sound bites distort how personable Trump is. So why not show the good side if he really wants to win?

And, as many have noted, Trump is all but forfeiting on a gift he received:

... now that Clinton has serial setbacks, Trump routinely steps in to divert attention back to himself. Whether it’s his uncontrollable spotlight addiction or not, the result is to protect the Democrat he allegedly wants to defeat.

And thus Trump forfeits political opportunities to cash in on Clinton troubles. For instance, FBI Director James Comey gave Clinton a gift by declining to prosecute her for the email scandal.

But the first 10 minutes of Comey’s on-camera remarks read like a federal indictment for perjury and national security violations. Trump could also point out Clinton’s emails were under subpoena when she destroyed them. A goldmine for a genuine opponent.

But no. Instead, Trump dredged up his old remarks about Saddam Hussein being a great terrorist-killer. And re-ignited attention to his Star of David gaffe by distributing a similar image on a Disney ad. Seriously? The media are evergreen Republican targets, but they’re not on the ballot.

My own reading is that Trump’s ego would not let him set himself up as a loser.  But Trump also likes to structure deals so that no matter what happens, up to and including bankruptcy, he ends up with a profit.

On the other hand:

More recently another billionaire businessman named Ross Perot spent lavishly to challenge Republican establishment and orthodoxy in a 1992 third-party bid that captured 19 percent of the popular vote.

The results of that populist effort served to split the GOP and — oh, look! — elect a Democrat named Clinton. Is it coincidence that it’s happening again?