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Trump’s Momentum Continues to Build While Hillary Struggles with Bernie

May. 23, 2016
by Bob Adelmann

Donald Trump had, simply put, an amazing week. With two billionaires already endorsing him (T. Boone Pickens and Sheldon Adelson), he added several more, including one with enormous credibility in Republican circles. To top it off he was endorsed by the NRA at its annual convention Friday night even before he got to the podium.

Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, had another forgettable week punctuated by statements from her rival, Bernie Sanders, that he was going to stay in the race to the bitter end. He continued to flay her and distract her and draw attention away from her pending coronation in Philadelphia in July and towards the increasing possibility that she might not make it to the top of the ticket after all.

With Trump’s staff making nearly daily trips to visit with House Speaker Paul Ryan’s staff to iron out their differences, it might turn out that Trump won’t need Ryan’s support after all. Instead he is securing much of the money and the credibility he needs to run his race without it.

Phil Ruffin, another Las Vegas casino owner (along with Adelson), put a million dollars into Trump’s efforts last summer, recognizing the value of early money in a political campaign. Carl Icahn, the activist investor with a net worth of $17 billion, hasn’t given a dime to Trump, but that’s only because, again according to Swan, he hasn’t been asked to, yet.

Stanley Hubbard, the chairman and CEO of Hubbard Broadcasting, with a net worth estimated in excess of $2 billion, is one of the most generous donors to Republican Party candidates. He maxed out his contributions to every Republican running for president except Trump. He even gave a small check to an outfit working to overturn Trump’s campaign. But now he has turned Trump supporter, helping a super PAC support his campaign.

Thomas Barrack, a multimillionaire investor from California, is a longtime friend of Trump’s and is scheduled to kick off his West Coast fundraising efforts at his home on Wednesday. Joining Barrack will likely be another California real estate investor, “Papa” Doug Manchester, who wrote an early check to Trump at the start of his campaign and who is reportedly going to be big as Trump starts his fundraising efforts in the Golden State.

One of the biggest catches Trump enjoyed was securing Lew Eisenberg as the finance chairman of his Trump Victory committee. Although not as wealthy as some of the others in Trump’s camp, Eisenberg lends enormous credibility to his campaign. In 2002 and then again in 2004 Eisenberg chaired the finance committee for the Republican National Committee. He founded and then ran the Republican Leadership Council. After that he was heavily involved in running the Republican Party’s presidential campaign in 2008. In other words, Eisenberg is like the 500-pound canary: when he speaks, everyone listens.

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