Donald Trump, the man whose name is synonymous with money like Einstein’s is with intelligence, announced today he’s entering the 2016 race for the White House.
He will be joining a crowded field of Republican candidates that includes former governors Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, and Mike Huckabee, among many others.
Addressing supporters from inside his Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan, Trump said, “We need somebody that literally will take this country and make it great again.”
So how does Trump, the well-known real estate mogul and reality television star plan to make himself standout more than he already does?
According to his speech, by running a campaign that isn’t shaped from the opinions of political action committees, high-powered donors, and the all-important lobbyists.
“I don’t need anybody’s money, that’s nice,” he said. “I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists; I’m not using donors… I’m really rich.”
The Trump Card
Trump’s ability to change any preconceived notions about him will be a tall task paralleled with Hillary Clinton’s desires to do the same.
Since the 1988 presidential campaign, Trump’s name has been a potential candidate in nearly every election cycle, and while he’s floated the idea of running multiple times, this is his first official candidacy.
Citing his accumulated wealth of nearly $9 billion, the 69-year-old Trump says the United States needs a business-oriented leader to face the uphill challenges combatting the country, including ISIS, immigration, and ObamaCare. “Our enemies are getting strong and stronger by the day, and we as a country are getting weaker.”
Though much is to be learned about Trump’s exact positions on many key platforms, what we do know is the magnate would likely support the expansion of gambling both land-based and online.
The Donald’s corporate gambling arm was one of the first enterprises to pursue online permits in New Jersey, and though his Plaza Hotel and Casino closed in the fall of 2014 and his Taj Mahal property was recently sold to billionaire Carl Icahn, that doesn’t necessarily mean Trump wouldn’t still support Internet gambling.
The GOP field for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is congested, but of the 11 other official candidates, only Trump openly supports the expansion of gambling.
Of course, much more than gambling goes into deciding on whom to vote for, and the baggage that comes with Trump might be more than most voters can carry-on.
Billionaire vs. Billionaire
Sheldon Adelson and Donald Trump have a lot in common. Both are billionaires, both are Republicans, both have rather unfortunate hairdos, and both have enjoyed long careers in the gambling industry.
But they have starkly different views when it comes to that of online gaming. Adelson, the Las Vegas Sands CEO, is adamantly opposed and is using his political weight to pressure GOP candidates into taking a stance to ban Internet betting.
Trump isn’t as vocal on the subject, but his company’s history in trying to enter the online gambling market in New Jersey seems to hint his position would be quite polar from that of Adelson’s.
Adelson spent $92 million on the 2012 presidential election, though chump change considering his fortune hovers around $30 billion.
Leading candidates like Jeb Bush will likely need to cater to Adelson as nearly $3 billion was spent on presidential campaigns four years ago.
But of course, Trump will be the one wild card that won’t require any pandering to Adelson or any other deep-pocketed GOP bigwig. And that, to some, might make a rather “hairy” candidate that much more attractive.