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The Trump campaign showing donor names on its State of the Union stream is tone-deaf but inconsequential

It’s aimed at squeezing more money out of loyal small donors, not the superrich.

President Trump’s reelection campaign has announced that, during its broadcast of Trump’s State of the Union address this week, it will display the names of donors.

“Your name deserves to be displayed during tonight’s speech,” the Trump campaign website reads. “Please make a special State of the Union contribution to have your name broadcast on the Official Donald J. Trump for President livestream.”

It seems somewhat tone-deaf for the Trump campaign to splash its financial backers’ names over a major presidential address. But it will only appear on one particular live stream for a speech aired on a plethora of mediums.

Specifically, the promise is to show donors’ names during the Trump campaign‘s live stream of the State of the Union. The speech will also be shown on every major TV network, many more online live streams (including at Vox), and the White House’s own official feed. None of those other broadcasts will show the donors’ names.

What’s more, this isn’t pitched toward Trump’s mega-donors — the fundraising solicitation gives people options to contribute a few different amounts between $35 and $2,700, or to write their own amount in.

The president’s fundraising ploy really seems aimed at giving loyal, small-donor Trump superfans a brief “thank you” while squeezing slightly more money out of them, in a way that’s relatively common to political campaigns.

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