run a small country


Senior Member
Hi! :)

In this context, does “run” mean “to manage [you could manage a small country with that half billion dollar]”, Or “ to be an candidate in an election [you could become a candidate in the presidential election in a small country with that half billion dollar]” ?

(Prison Break – Veronica and Nick, the attorneys of Lincoln Burrows, were trying to find out some evidence for Lincoln’s death penalty case by following the operational activities of the money of Ecofield Corporation. Then they saw the Vice President was making the announcement of running for the Presidency on the TV ...)

Vice President: The move toward worldwide peace and prosperity is a marathon, not a sprint, but I assure you, America will be setting the pace.

Veronica: A half billion dollar that just doesn't disappear, you, you could run a small country with that. [Veronica was talking to Nick]

Reporter: The Vice President is reported to have the largest campaign war chest in history, it is so large ... ...

Nick: May be not a small country, may be this one. [Nick was saying that maybe that half billion dollar is related to this election campaign of the Vice President, since the Vice President was the sister of the C.E.O. of Ecofield Corporation]

(P.S. It is kind of tricky for me to make this context clear for you, but I have done the best I could! So if this context is still not clear enough for you to answer my question, let me know, then I will give it another try to see if I could make it better!!)
  • ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    I agree with GG: manage, operate. Reading between the lines, I would presume it meant a half-billion dollars was more than enough to run a small country, it might even be enough to run a large one like the USA.
    Reading further between the lines, I would presume that half-billion dollars would be spent on bribes and sweeteners and the like to ensure that the wheels run smoothly.

    envie de voyager

    Senior Member
    I agree.

    When Veronica says " could run a small country..." she means that half of a billion dollars is equal to the taxes needed to operate the government of a small country for a year, paying for everything from schools to health care to defence.

    When Nick says "Maybe not a small country, maybe this one." he is saying that he thinks half a billion dollars can be used to bribe enough people to allow you to "buy" your way to the top of the United States government.

    Note: "maybe" is one word when it means "possibly."


    Senior Member
    Thank you! GalileoGalilei, ewie and envie de voyager.

    You made this context so clear and easier for me to get it! :thumbsup: :) I can figure out the part where I was confused now!
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