Mar-a-Lago Now Is Republican Fundraising HQ
The most important address in Republican politics is now 1100 South Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, Fla., aka, Mar-a-Lago. The Florida retirement home of twice-impeached, one-term former president Donald Trump in the past few months has become the fundraising center of the Republican universe.
Since Trump became an ex-president and permanently moved to “God’s waiting room,” he has welcomed all manner of Republican candidates and officials, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and former adviser Stephen Miller, for ring-kissing photo ops. This week is shaping up to be especially busy at his gilded resort.
On Thursday night his club hosted a dinner for more than 100 people, put on by a conservative activist group. The loquacious Trump graced his paying audience with a more than hour-long speech and posed for numerous grinning, thumbs-up pictures. His club hosted a lunch fundraiser on Friday for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
This weekend his former press secretary and current Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Sarah Sanders and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have fundraisers scheduled at the club. And Saturday night, the Republican National Committee has reserved Mar-a-Lago for a 400-person banquet. The price tag for that dinner: more than $100,000, according to a person involved in the planning.
Before he ran for office, Trump’s hotels and clubs hosted very few political events. But all that changed in 2016. Over the next four years, Trump’s businesses took in more than $11 million from Republican candidates and groups, turning campaign donors’ money into private revenue for the president and his family.
In many ways the central focus of the Republican universe has shifted from Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel to his Palm Beach resort but his ability to get the party faithful to keep spending money at his properties is unabated.