Trump’s Minneapolis fundraiser helped win over a couple of voters, at least

REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Janet Beihoffer on Donald Trump: "One on one, this guy is a completely different personality."

Donald Trump’s appearance at a Minneapolis fundraiser seemed to do little for his image in the state other than elevating a spat between the state Republican party and Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges over the treatment of protestors who were hassling attendees.

But the fundraiser solidified the support of his core followers, including a pair of one-time Trump skeptics.

Janet Beihoffer attended the fundraiser in her capacity as national committeewoman for the Minnesota Republican Party. Prior to the event, she said, she was resigned. “You [Trump] played the game. You got some breaks and you got the delegates,’” she said. “OK, that’s it.”

The fundraiser changed her opinion. “When we were going through the photo line, I did not expect to be impressed with him,” she said. “But he was asking everyone who went through the line what they thought. He waited for the answer and he repeated the answer. One on one, this guy is a completely different personality.”

Doug Seaton, an Edina attorney and a sponsor of the fundraiser, admits that Trump never made the cut on the list of GOP candidates Seaton would support for president. Now he’s volunteered to help the Trump campaign make its argument that a special prosecutor is needed to investigate the release of the Hillary Clinton emails from her time as secretary of state.

“Everybody raises flags, but [Trump] raises far fewer flags than Hillary Clinton,” Seaton said, an attitude adopted by most Minnesota Republicans who say they will vote for Trump.

As for the appointment of a special prosecutor to look into whether donors to the Clinton Foundation received special treatment at the State Department, Seaton says, “I don’t think you can trace this sort of trail when influence is working its way into the system, but can we show that there hasn’t been an out come and policy decisions because of connections to the Clinton Foundation? They should do it but I am very pessimistic they will do it.”

Janet Beihoffer
Janet Beihoffer

The Clinton campaign, in response to Seaton, referred me to a statement from John Podesta, chair of the campaign, who says Trump has his own conflicts of interest.  

“The Foundation has already laid out the unprecedented steps the charity will take if Hillary Clinton becomes president,” Podesta said. “Donald Trump needs to come clean with voters about his complex network of for-profit businesses…. He must commit to fully divesting himself from all of his business conflicts to ensure that he is not letting his own financial interests affect decisions made by his potential administration.”

As true party loyalists, Beihoffer and Seaton actually see a path where Trump could win Minnesota in November. “If you factor what the Green Party and the Libertarian Party could take away from the Democrats, it’s possible,” Beihoffer said.

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Comments (12)

  1. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/25/2016 - 10:22 am.


    Two Republican loyalists who went to Trump’s fundraiser voluntarily are now proclaiming that their minds are “changed” and that they will support Trump without reservations. Is there a reason we should be surprised?

    Perhaps the whole story was a set-up for the last paragraph. Comedy gold, except they really seem to believe it.

  2. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 08/25/2016 - 10:41 am.

    I have seen the Trump I would get if he is President

    With Trump as President I would never get the up close, personal, warm, and fuzzy Trump. I would get the racist, misogynistic, arrogant, crass, out of touch, off the teleprompter Trump and I don’t want anything to do with that Trump. Hillary may have her problems too but the laws will take care of her if necessary.

    At least 14,000,000 Americans are forgetting that the youngsters in our population are mirrors of what they see being done in the political world around them. Elections used to be good civics lessons in school, but not anymore. Now they have to be RESPECT lessons because the politicians can no longer be looked at as role models to follow. America is in a very ugly spot right now, which one election will not fix.

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 08/25/2016 - 10:55 am.

    Comedy gold

    It’s hard to argue with RB Holbrook’s conclusion, but I have to add the statement from Doug Seaton:
    “…“Everybody raises flags, but [Trump] raises far fewer flags than Hillary Clinton,” Seaton said, an attitude adopted by most Minnesota Republicans who say they will vote for Trump.”

    Trump raises far fewer flags than Hillary Clinton? In what universe does Mr. Seaton live?

    I’m not a Clinton enthusiast, particularly, but she is far, far, preferable to the Republican nominee. If, indeed, most Minnesota Republicans will vote for Trump on that basis – that he raises far fewer (presumably red) flags than does Clinton – then I can only conclude that the state’s Republicans, as a group, suffer from some serious delusions. None are so blind as those who do not wish to see.

    • Submitted by David LaPorte on 08/26/2016 - 08:20 am.


      If Clinton raises more red flags, it’s primarily because she’s been more transparent (although probably not transparent enough).

      Trump’s tax returns would likely raise a sea of red flags, but he refuses to release them. I wonder why? And the letter from his doctor, testifying to his health, appears to have been written by himself.

      No matter what you think of Clinton’s transparency, it FAR exceeds Trump’s.

    • Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 08/26/2016 - 09:40 am.

      Those “Serious Delusions”

      are daily programmed into today’s Republicans by weasel news and “alt right” talk radio and internet “news” sites.

      They’ve allowed themselves to be convinced that only THOSE sources of information are accurate,…

      and every other source, no matter how well-documented, verifiable, or factually based,…

      is lying to them.

  4. Submitted by Joel Stegner on 08/25/2016 - 11:49 am.

    A couple more voters

    Let’s see. Weren’t the people who attended the FUNDRAISER giving an amount that was more than a lot of people earn in a year to attend. Don’t try to tell me that they weren’t already inclined to support Trump.

    With Trump, they know that their investment,, if it pays off, is likely to result in President Trump pushing for sharp tax decreases on the rich financed by borrowing money from the rich with interest. If you have tens of thousands sitting unused, this is a good high risk investment.

    By the way, next time Trump gets on Hillary’s case about paid speeches, ask him what he told people to support him at this private event. I suspect it related to “return on investment.”

  5. Submitted by Dennis Litfin on 08/25/2016 - 12:03 pm.

    Mr. Seaton

    wants another email saga via a ‘special prosecutor’. Kind of like the many, many times the Republicans tried to overturn the Affordable Care Act, huh Doug ?

  6. Submitted by Charlie Quimby on 08/25/2016 - 12:45 pm.

    A Salesman

    Trump, like a good salesman, asks what you think and repeats it back to you. Plus, he’s not Hillary.

    Fully half this “article” about winning over voters is not about Trump or his supporters at all. After eight years of total obstructionism, this is all the party has to go on.

  7. Submitted by RB Holbrook on 08/25/2016 - 01:23 pm.

    Courage of Their Convictions

    Now that two Republicans are on record as supporting Trump, does that mean the party is going to step up and put his name on the ballot?

  8. Submitted by Theo Kozel on 08/25/2016 - 02:24 pm.

    Wow- like crossing the Rubicon

    Following up on Joel Stegner’s comment:

    “The suggested price to attend the dinner-hour Trump “meet and greet” is anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000. For that, you get the photo-op, reception and VIP status.”

    So basically this article points out that two people who had half-heartedly given at least $1,000 (!) to get into the fundraiser are now more enthusiastic about Trump.

    I think I need comment on this no further.

  9. Submitted by Elsa Mack on 08/25/2016 - 06:42 pm.

    “He’s really nice in private!”

    I have read Beinhoffer’s sort of claim–that Trump is really a great guy one on one–from other sources, and I am always baffled that people consider it an argument for their candidate. Of course Trump can seem nice one on one, if he chooses—he’s playing to his audience. If he’s got ten thousand people chanting about walls in front of him, he’ll chant with them. If he’s got a smiling middle-aged Minnesotan lady with a fat wallet in front of him? He’ll smile with her. That’s how manipulation works.

    Personally I’d prefer a candidate who seems roughly the same in public and in private; I’d feel somewhat more assured that they were authentic or truthful. The fact that Trump is “a completely different personality” in different situations is not a positive one, to me–it’s a very bright, waving red flag.

  10. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 08/25/2016 - 08:00 pm.

    All national figures

    Are usually more impressive in private, they are usually charismatic and really fill any room they are in. The real issue is their policy, which I have yet to figure out for Mr. Trump, although in fairness some of them are on his website. The problem is his public pronouncements often are at odds with the website.

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