The Trump campaign is one big commercial for Trump Inc.

Donald Trump is giving the Republican National Convention a makeover. In his own image.

As Politico reported yesterday, “Trump is viewing the convention as a showcase for the brand he built in entertainment over three decades and then melded with a political persona developed over the last year. It’s an opportunity to fill a vacuum created by longtime Republican standard-bearers, from Mitt Romney and John McCain to the Bush family who are opting not to attend, and to elevate a new coalition of conservatives and present a party refashioned, at least for the moment, in his own image.”

As one of his campaign aides points out in the article  “This is a massive television production and he is a television star.” Trump the business man has made a career out of using media, especially television, to promote himself. Of course Trump the candidate would borrow from that playbook as he runs for President.

Donald Trump’s campaign could be viewed as one big commercial, but is it a commercial for his candidacy? It’s a legitimate question. His latest financial disclosures show that Trump’s Presidential campaign has been good for business.

The Washington Post compared his last couple of financial disclosures and found that Trump’s business revenue went from $362 million in 2014 to $557 million from July of 2015 through Monday.

Donald Trump, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Donald Trump, via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

At his tony Florida resort Mar-a-Lago, revenue nearly doubled, climbing from about $16 million in 2014 and the first half of 2015 to about $30 million since the start of his campaign, according to the forms.

Sales of his licensed bottled-water brand, Trump Ice, are up as well — from $280,000 last year to $413,000 this year, the forms show.

“Crippled America,” his book published in November, made between $1 million and $5 million in royalties, he reported.

Running for President as a business venture isn’t unheard of. In 2012 Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich were both accused of running primarily to build their profiles and donor lists that could later be rented and sold at a hefty profit. (Both men have since proven those accusations true.) This cycle Ben Carson was accused of the same.

But Donald Trump hasn’t been building lists of donors. That’s small potatoes compared to what he’s accomplished. Trump’s Presidential campaign is one long infomercial for his business ventures. Which as it turns out is far more profitable than simply selling donor lists when your campaign has run its course. The RNC convention is his biggest advertising opportunity to date: 4 nights of prime time television to promote the Trump brand.

What’s interesting is that Trump has alluded to doing this before. When he was considering a third party run in 2000 Trump told a reporter: “It’s very possible that I could be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it.” Sixteen years later, it looks like Trump finally realized his goal.

Melissa Ryan
Melissa Ryan is a political consultant. She’s spent a decade leading digital campaigns for nonprofits and political races, including EMILY’s List, Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, the New Organizing Institute, and Senator Russ Feingold’s campaign. Visit her website at melissaryan.net or follow her on Twitter @MelissaRyan.

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  • voiceandtext bulksms

    Trump is a real business mind and he speaks his mind.
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  • Shirleygamezquita

    “my room mate Lori Is getting paid on the internet $98/hr”…..!te160urtwo days ago grey MacLaren. P1 I bought after earning 18,512 Dollars..it was my previous month’s payout..just a little over.17k Dollars Last month..3-5 hours job a day…with weekly payouts..it’s realy the simplest. job I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months. ago. and now making over hourly. 87 Dollars…Learn. More right Here !te160u:➽:➽:.➽.➽.➽.➽ http://GlobalSuperJobsReportsEmploymentsPhoenixGetPay-Hour$98…. .★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★::::::!te160u….,…

  • Crystalsdupree

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  • Sally

    Trump id many things, but mostly a narcissistic businessman. It is all he knows:selling his name and brand to people who need neither. Anyone voting for this know-nothing blowhard is as big a fool s he thinks they are.

  • The_Fixer

    Well, of course he is doing this for the money. But he’s also doing this to feed his tremendous ego.

    Drumpfo der Clown sees this as a win-win – even if he loses, he wins. In fact, I think he would prefer to lose, there are fewer constraints on his ability to sell his name and image if he loses the Presidential election. I still think that he will likely throw this thing at some point in the future. He may be an egomaniac, but he also knows very well how to promote himself. His outrageous statements are designed to get him in the news, but he knows very well that if you really want to succeed in business, you should be publicly apolitical.

    Would he suddenly turn reasonable if he were elected? Maybe, but he would still not be a successful President. He doesn’t have the knowledge to be a good President, and there’s that ego that would undoubtedly get in the way.

    Drumpfo should stick to what he does best – selling vaporware to know-nothings with a little bit of disposable income. He was very much ignorable by most people and didn’t damage the country nearly as much as he has since he started running.

    After all, I can turn past Entertainment Tonight and all of those shows that feed obsession with shiny, gold-plated things and people. In the old days, I could care less about Drumpfo der Clown, he could be ignored. Not so much, now…

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