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Archive for Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday column: Money will be key factor in presidential campaign

March 10, 2012

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Unless there are some major surprises, it appears former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee to challenge Barack Obama for the presidency.

The fight between GOP contenders has been fierce, so fierce many wonder whether the dirty laundry and charges and countercharges fired within the field have damaged the chances of the Republican candidate in the main event, the battle for the White House. Only time will tell.

However, there is one clear fact emerging from the GOP nomination battle: The availability of money is almost as important and, in some cases, maybe more important than the strength and ability of an individual candidate.

At various times during the months-long GOP race, one candidate or another seemed to be picking up substantial support only to have Romney launch powerful advertising campaigns to knock down or weaken support for a Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, Ron Paul, etc.

Romney’s campaign fund has trumped the best efforts of all those trying to win the party’s nomination. Granted, Romney is an attractive and able candidate, but his powerful, targeted advertising messages have gotten results and stunted the effort of any contenders who seemed to be climbing in the polls.

Earlier this week, news stories told of the massive fundraising efforts of President Obama. So far, Obama has held at least 191 formal fundraisers, the most of any previous presidential candidate.

Early on, Obama supporters talked about a $1 billion campaign fund and, even though he already has broken previous fundraising totals, he still has 10 months left in his first term. By comparison, George W. Bush had 173 fundraisers during his entire first term in office, followed by Bill Clinton with 96, George H.W. Bush with 109, Ronald Reagan with 75 and Jimmy Carter with 49.

As mean and tough as the Republican primary battle has been, the general election between the GOP nominee and Obama is expected to be even more intense. It’s obvious Obama and his supporters are going all-out to raise record sums for his re-election campaign. He already has headlined 35 events in Washington, 32 in California and 30 in New York, and he has seven more months to add millions of dollars to his war chest.

Romney, or whoever ends up winning the GOP nomination, is going to use every means to raise money, but, chances are, his totals will pale in comparison to what Obama will have at his disposal.

Also, Obama has a huge information bank carried over from his first campaign with the names and addresses of millions who have pledged to help in his re-election effort.

Another big, and extremely dangerous, element is the political action committees, which will be investing hundreds of millions of dollars in support of either Obama or his challenger. Unfortunately, the public has no way of knowing who is putting the money into these PACs and what favors or policies those donors expect from the candidate if he wins the big prize, the White House. How does the average voter know who is trying to buy influence, whether it is an individual with millions of dollars or organized labor?

The upcoming presidential election is not going to be a pretty picture. The stakes are enormous with Obama committed to making “fundamental changes” in this country and the Republican candidate calling for a smaller government involvement and less control of the lives of Americans and the need to reduce the national debt.

What will count the most in the election: the candidate himself and what he believes or which candidate has the biggest checkbook with which to tell his story? And where do the media enter the picture in how they deliver the message of each candidate?

Comments

Keith 1 year, 11 months ago

Is the Saturday column usually posted on Monday or did the dog eat his homework?

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beatrice 2 years, 1 month ago

Funny to see Republicans now all upset over the Super PAC ruling by our current activist Supreme Court. Nice to see Dolph Simons now siding with President Obama's initial assesment of the court's ruling. See what happens when you believe "corporations are people"?

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oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 1 month ago

And when will Mr. Simons tell us where the media enters the picture in how they deliver the message of the candiates? That's a good one Dolphl. We are waiting.

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 1 month ago

We need to quit whining about money. Money isn't good or bad, and it's used by all organizations to tell their story,. Once both sides tell their stories the voters will decide. Turnout will be the key for both sides.

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Darrell Lea 2 years, 1 month ago

There were only three rhetorical questions today. I haven't been reading these Saturday columns in a while, so am unsure if this is a new writing style for the author or just an anomaly.

Anyway, let's look at these:

"How does the average voter know who is trying to buy influence, whether it is an individual with millions of dollars or organized labor?"

Who is an average voter? Someone who gathers their news from multiple sources on the Internet, or someone who passively believes whatever their TV tells them? If the writer is so concerned about anonymous political money and power, will he tell us where he stands on the Citizens United ruling?

"What will count the most in the election: the candidate himself and what he believes or which candidate has the biggest checkbook with which to tell his story?"

This question is impossible to answer, either in present or future tense. There is also an inference that these factors would be the only two things determining the outcome, which may not be the case. For example, we've yet to see whether or not the supposed "voter fraud" laws that Kris Kobach and his ilk have successfully passed will tip the scales one way or the other. I suppose we'll know sometime after November 7.

"And where do the media enter the picture in how they deliver the message of each candidate?"

The writer answers his own question by serving up Conservative Republican talking points in the previous paragraph as assumed fact, i.e. "The stakes are enormous with Obama committed to making “fundamental changes” in this country and the Republican candidate calling for a smaller government involvement and less control of the lives of Americans and the need to reduce the national debt."

The idea that Republicans are calling for "smaller government involvement and less control of the lives of Americans" is completely ludicrous in light of the ongoing onslaught against women's health care options.

This country needs fundamental change. The U.S.A. is a pretty messed up place right now. You can't solve problems without first acknowledging their existence.

Knowledge is power. God bless America.

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its_just_math 2 years, 1 month ago

Soros money has accomplished it's mission: it was more or less "seed" money. It has worked like a dream for Soros. Then nuts like Maher give The Anointed One a million bucks. The looney left are thicker 'n thieves, they are. Of course, shall we not forget Obama's amirers on Wall St., why shoot, Goldman-Sachs gave him over a million bucks in the 2008 election cycle. People believe in Obama. Don't ask me why, but they do. Afterall, he has done so much for the economy and global relations. He is just the best.

What am I trying to say? Well, the Elitist Leftist Dogma Machine has made hating the GOP all the rage. They can even beckon some loose chick from Georgetown to do their wealth re-distribution bidding for them now.

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 1 month ago

True that. Gonna be messy to sort this all out. The voter turnout is declining, which might suggest that some are getting turned off by the negative ads. When both sides turn the big guns against each other in the summer and fall, it may get interesting. So far, Romney says, "I'm a businessman trust me." Then he and all the rest propose policies that will make the deficit worse over time. Obama hasn't much of a clue what to do about all this either. The Sheeple are nervous and selfish. Buckle up, folks.

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WilburM 2 years, 1 month ago

Dolph writes, remarkably disingeniously (even for him): " Romney’s campaign fund has trumped the best efforts of all those trying to win the party’s nomination. Granted, Romney is an attractive and able candidate, but his powerful, targeted advertising messages have gotten results and stunted the effort of any contenders who seemed to be climbing in the polls."

TRANSLATION: " Romney's SuperPac has run a highly expensive, relentlessly negative campaign against his opponents, with a fair amount of success. "

The "discourse"(sic) is further demeaned, as it has been in Romney's previous campaigns. So it goes. But let's call it what it is -- highly negative attack campaigning, which, ironically, has helped move Romney's approval ratings far into negative territory.

In the end, Dolph's right on one score -- this is going to be one really ugly campaign.

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 1 month ago

"The availability of money is almost as important and, in some cases, maybe more important than the strength and ability of an individual candidate." === Good point, sir, but this has been true for a long time, particularly since television and other mass media discovered there is money in politics. Money is the milk of politics, no doubt. If you don't have the cows, you don't get the milk. If you don't get the milk, your message and ideas are not going to be heard. +++ "And where do the media enter the picture in how they deliver the message of each candidate?" === Now this is amusing. The media is in the entertainment, not information business. Their job has little to do with 'message' and everything to do with the bottom line. The media moguls and the candidates sell us by the tens of thousands as commodities to the advertising gods. Message, truth and sometimes 'democracy' are sacrificed on the altar.

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