There are three great things in life: dogs, doughnuts and money. But money's better. Wanna know why? Because money don't make you fat or poop all over the rug. But, there's something even better than money. Wanna know what is? OTHER peoples' money!--Danny DeVito, Other Peoples' Money.
It takes only a moment of reflection to know when and why Donald Trump will end his campaign and will absolutely not run as a third party.
No, it will not be his next racist rant, nor his next ridiculous idea. Nor will it be because he is under investigation for running an education scam, nor that he is a worse perv than Anthony Weiner (he fantasized out loud about his own daughter's body), nor that he has broken with Republican orthodoxy on taxes.
It is simply because of the god he worships: money.
There is no way The Donald is going to spend hundreds of millions or a billion of his own money to become The Prez. Indeed, I don't think he will spend $20 million.
And, unlike everything else he says he will do -- bomb ISIS into submission and take the oil, get Mexico to pay for a one trillion dollar wall, deport 11 million people "humanely" -- that is all in the future and requires he actually be president, and thus cannot be definitively denied by others today, this promise not to take anyone's money, and the moral superiority he has claimed for not doing so, is in his own power and testable daily for veracity.
First, it is doubtful he is worth $10 billion. Even if he were, it isn't liquid. He would have to take loans out against, e.g., Trump Tower.
Second, he would not spend 10 percent or 20 percent of his net worth.
Third, Trump just does not have a history of making investments of this size without knowing he can complete the job with a high degree of certainty. He will not spend $30 million if he cannot be sure of winning the nomination unless he spends $50 million. He needs ads, organization, local delegates, field organizers for GOTV, and so forth.
Here is what he cannot do. He cannot ask for thousands of unpaid volunteers after declaring how rich he is. How long before even the most ardent supporters wonder why this money-is-no-object leader does not have the decency to pay them?
But,it would be even more devastating if Trump reneged on his pledge. On the only Trump promise we can judge, he would have shown himself to be untrustworthy, just like any other politician. Why would anyone believe he would act differently on any other matter? Why would anyone believe he could "negotiate better deals"?
What about a superPAC? It does not help, because he could not claim that he would not be beholden to those donors. Nor can he claim that it is independent, he wants them to cease-and-desist, but they won't... if The Donald cannot even get his friends to do what he wants, who will believe he get China to do what he wants.
One doubts that Trump thought he would get this far this fast, and thus his opening bluster about how rich he was, and how he will be free of influence peddlers, sowed the seeds of his own demise.
Trump will play his little game, the media will use him for ratings, until he has to spend more than a few million dollars. After that, knowing he will not spend what is really required to get the nomination, Trump will cut his financial losses.