Moments ago, speaking from Constitution Ave in Washington D.C., Governor Mitt Romney spoke out against the Supreme Court’s ruling today on the Affordable Health Care Act better known as Obamacare:
“As you might imagine I disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision, and I agree with the dissent, what the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected President of t he United States, and that is I will act to repel Obama Care. Lets be clear about what the court did and did not do. The court said that Obama care does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say Obama-care was a good law or its good policy, Obama care is bad policy yesterday, its bad policy today.
Obama care was bad law yesterday, it’s bad law today. Let me tell why I said that, Obama care raises taxes on the American people by approximately 500 billion dollars, Obamacare cuts medicare, cuts medicare by approximately 500 billion dollars and even with those cuts and tax increases, Obama care raises billions to our national debt and pushes obligation the oncoming generations. Obamacare also means for up to 20 million Americans they will lose the insurance they currently have, the insurance that they like and want to keep.
Obamacare is a job killer, businesses across the country have been asked what they think of Obama care, 3 quarters of those survived by the chamber of commerce said Obamacare makes it less likely for them to hire people. And perhaps most troubling of all, Obamacare puts you between the Federal government and your doctor. For all those reasons its important for us to repeal and replace Obamacare. What are some of the things we will keep in place? And must be in place for a reform, a real reform of the healthcare system. One we have to make sure people who want to keep their current insurance will be able to do so. Having 20 million people, up to that number of people, lose the insurance they want is simply unacceptable.
Number two, we’ve got to make sure that those people who have preexisting conditions know that they will be able to be insured. And they will not lose their insurance. We also have to assure that we do our very best to help each state in their efforts to assure that every American has access to affordable health care. And something that Obamacare does not do that must be done in real reform is helping lower the cost of health care and health insurance. It’s becoming prohibitively expensive.
And so this is now a time for the American people to make a choice. You can choose whether you want to have a larger and larger government more and more intrusive in your life. Separating you and your doctor. Whether you’re comfortable with more deficits. Higher debt that will be passed onto the coming generations. Whether you’re willing to have the government put in place a plan that potentially causes you to lose the insurance that you like.
Or whether instead you want to return to a time when the American people will have their own choice in health care. Where consumers will be able to make their choices as to what kind of health insurance they want. This is a time of choice for the American people. Our mission is clear. If we want to get rid of Obamacare, we’re going to have to replace President Obama.
My mission is to make sure that we do exactly that. That we return to the American people the privilege they’ve always had that lived their lives that they feel most appropriate. Where we don’t pass onto coming generations massive deficits and debt. Where we don’t have a setting where jobs are lost.
If we want good jobs and bright economic future for ourselves and for our kids, we must replace Obamacare. That is my mission. That is our work. And I’m asking the people of America to join me. If you don’t want the course that President Obama has put us on, if you want instead a course that the founders envisioned, then join me in this effort. Help us. Help us defeat Obamacare. Help us defeat the liberal agenda that makes government too big, too intrusive and is killing jobs across this country. Thank you very much.”
The real losers today are the current members of the younger generation whose votes the Democrats continue to court even as they pile massive quantities of debt on them, assuring a dismal future. Younger voters, whether they understand it or not, will be paying for a vast governmental expansion whether they want to or not. On top of being unemployed, unable to buy a house, and unable to pay back their massive student loans, the future doesn’t look to bright for these young, idealistic voters who massively supported The One in 2008. One wonders how many of them understand the truth and the consequences of that vote. I not, they’ll be finding out shortly.
The whole Obamacare wrangle was and is a mess of considerable proportion. It was monster legislation, rammed down the collective throats of the American people who have opposed it by a significant majority from the get-go, and still do. Obamacare is proof positive that, at least for now, the country is firmly in the hands of wealthy, dismissive elitists who fully intend to make the average American pay for their world view even as these elitists take care to exempt themselves from the consequences of their actions.
The markets may have smelled what was coming from Washington this morning as stocks tanked from the moment the starting bell was rung. This seems to offer at least anecdotal proof that inside traders knew what was coming before anyone else did and acted accordingly. Pros are well aware that this decision will lead to a continuing stagnation in hiring, which in the current economic climate is the worst thing of all. Smaller employers will cease to add jobs and grow, simply to be able to remain below the threshold where they’ll be forced to comply with the now officially constitutional Obamacare legislation.
The Supreme Court has awakened a sleeping giant. Support Governor Romney. Donate here.
UPDATE! Mitt Romney responds to today’s dismal jobs report:
ANOTHER MONTH OF DEVASTATING ECONOMIC NEWS FOR AMERICAN WORKERS, FAMILIES
“Today’s weak jobs report is devastating news for American workers and American families. This week has seen a cascade of one bad piece of economic news after another. Slowing GDP growth, plunging consumer confidence, an increase in unemployment claims, and now another dismal jobs report all stand as a harsh indictment of the President’s handling of the economy. It is now clear to everyone that President Obama’s policies have failed to achieve their goals and that the Obama economy is crushing America’s middle class. The President’s re-election slogan may be ‘forward,’ but it seems like we’ve been moving backward. We can do so much better in America. That’s why I’m running for president.” –Mitt Romney
UPDATE 2 - You don’t want to miss Governor Romney’s excellent interview on CNBC this morning. The video also includes traders’ reaction to The Gov’s interview. See video here (article here). More here.
Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images North America
The U.S. Dept. of Labor today released the jobs report for April. Not good, folks.
155,000 jobs were hoped for; only 69,000 jobs were added to the U. S. economy last month. Unemployment has risen to 8.2%. At the first of the year, we were barely breathing at around 200,000 jobs created per month. In April, that number was almost cut in half at around 100,000 jobs created. (Numbers for March and April were revised to reveal unemployment was more prevalent than originally reported.) We are weak and getting weaker. Today’s numbers are almost halved again. Long-term unemployment jumped up by 300,000 last month, as well. Factoring in the UNDER-employed, the real number is at 14.8%. The labor participation rate is clinging to 63.8%, meaning 36.2% are not participating; they’ve given up.
Obama’s economic policies just aren’t cutting the mustard and Americans are not only sick with worry, they’re furious.
Romney for President keeps churning out timely, hard-hitting web ads. Today, they released a new web video using footage from Governor Mitt Romney’s press conference yesterday near Silicon Valley in Fremont, CA. (The image of Romney standing front of bankrupt Solyndra spoke volumes.)
In case you’ve forgotten:
The Obama Administration loaned $535 million to Solyndra – which later went bankrupt and laid Off 1,100 employees. “In a blow to the Obama administration’s efforts to create green jobs, solar-cell maker Solyndra announced Wednesday that it will close its remaining Fremont factory, lay off its 1,100 employees and file for bankruptcy. The news marked an abrupt end for a company once considered among the most innovative in a fast-changing industry. The bankruptcy also represents a high-profile failure for a federal stimulus program that gives loan guarantees to green-tech manufacturers. Solyndra was the first company to win one of the guarantees, receiving $535 million in 2009 to build its second factory in Fremont less than a mile from the company’s original plant.” (David R. Baker and Carolyn Said, “Solyndra Closes Fremont Plant – Stimulus Hopes Dim,” San Francisco Chronicle, 9/1/11)
Romney’s new video is aptly titled Symbol of Failure:
Two years ago, President Obama went to Solyndra and touted it as an example of his initiative to create jobs. Today, the company is bankrupt and the building stands empty as a symbol of the failure of President Obama’s policies.
“Free enterprise to the president means taking money from the taxpayers and giving it freely to his friends.” ~ Mitt Romney, press conference May 31, 2012
Did you happen to watch CNN last night? Former President Bill Clinton was speaking with Harvey Weinstein when he kicked the legs out from under Obama’s main campaign strategy to slice and dice Romney’s record as a businessman:
“So I don’t think that we ought to get in the position where we say this is bad work, this is good work. I think, however, the real issue ought to be what has Governor Romney advocated in the campaign that he will do as president? What has President Obama done and what does he propose to do? How do these things stack up against each other, that’s the most relevant thing. There’s no question that in terms of getting up and going to the office, and you know, basically performing the essential functions of the office, a man who has been governor and had a sterling business career crosses the qualification threshold.”
Thanks for the straight talk, Bill!
UPDATE – Speaking this afternoon on Your World with Neal Cavuto (FOX News), former Democratic pollster Pat Caddell said “Clinton has just done enormous damage to President Obama. … He has just put a torpedo right into the Obama campaign. This is as bad as it gets.”
Townhall’s Mona Charen pretty much summarizes it for me today. She writes about the “straws in the wind” Obama campaign – how bad it’s going. She can add today’s stuck-in-the-mud jobs report to her list.
► This incident has caused a media and Twittersphere firestorm! Click on link at the bottom of this article for updates.
They don’t waste any time, do they?
A few months ago, a rancid Democrat plan to “kill Romney” reared its repulsive head. Now, after Governor Romney’s first full day of getting into general campaigning, we’re getting a stinky whiff of their plans for Ann Romney.
On Wednesday evening, Democrat operative/CNN political contributor Hilary Rosen spoke with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. She mockingly snarked about Ann Romney:
“Guess what? His wife [Ann Romney] has never actually worked a day in her life.”
Did you catch Rosen’s accusation that Mitt Romney is “old-fashioned when it comes to women. He just doesn’t see us as equals.” Did you also notice Paul Begala’s nod of approval and big grin when his cohort delivered the talking points? Really, I’m laughing so hard as I type this. What a sorry, ridiculous duo – spouting off ridiculous rhetoric to hide Obama’s sorry economy and ridiculous federal debt. See Vic’s article.
Setting her work record straight, Ann Romney, mother of FIVE boys, grandmother to 16 grandchildren, church, charity, and community volunteer, former Massachusetts First Lady, breast-cancer survivor, and valiant handler of Multiple Sclerosis, fired off her first campaign tweet:
I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.
Good natured Ann is garnering high praise for her down-to-earth ability to connect with voters. Because he was losing ground with female voters, Obama operatives have been taking notes. Regarding Ann, think about it: Obama is leading a class war on successful Americans, combine that with a leftist faction that dislikes political Republican women, throw into the mix some Democrats’ disdain for working-at-home mothers and they see fresh meat to attack – on three fronts. Ann is a triple-threat.
Byron York, Chief Political Corespondent (Washington Examiner) and FOX News Contributor jumped on it:
After insult, Romney hits back with lightning speed
. . . Within seconds, Rosen’s statement that Ann Romney has “never worked a day in her life” began to burn up Twitter. Mrs. Romney, after all, had raised five children, as well as dealt with MS and cancer. That was work, no matter how much money her husband made.
The Romney campaign jumped on Rosen’s remarks with a speed that no Republican campaign has shown in the past. First, campaign staffers sent out tweets hitting Rosen. “Obama adviser Hilary Rosen goes on CNN to debut their new ‘kill Ann’ strategy, and in the process insults hard-working moms,” said top Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom. The campaign then sent out word that Rosen, who has worked for the Democratic National Committee and other Democratic organizations, is now part of the same firm, SKDKnickerbocker, as Anita Dunn, a prominent member of the Obama circle. And then came word that Rosen had visited the White House at least 35 times, according to publicly-available White House visitors logs. And then that Rosen attended last month’s state dinner at the White House.
Sensing an opportunity, the Romney campaign rolled out the big guns and had Ann Romney, who had never sent out a message on Twitter before, send out her first: “I made a choice to stay home and raise five boys. Believe me, it was hard work.” Mrs. Romney quickly had thousands of followers.
Obama machine scrambles:
The story really took off when Obama campaign officials scrambled to distance themselves from Rosen. Obama campaign manager Jim Messina tweeted: “I could not disagree with Hilary Rosen any more strongly. Her comments were wrong and family should be off limits. She should apologize.” Top Obama aide David Axelrod added, “Also disappointed in Hilary Rosen’s comments about Ann Romney. They were inappropriate and offensive.”
Rosen back-tracked but she didn’t back down. Of course not; she’s a messenger – with a dumb message.
York was impressed:
. . . Presented with an opening, Romney’s staff jumped on the controversy with impressive speed, forcing top Obama officials to respond before most people even knew there was a story. The fracas suggests that Team Romney is determined to aggressively — really aggressively — pursue any chance to press an advantage against Obama. If the president’s re-election team thought they were facing a slow-moving, not-up-to-the-task Republican rival, they learned differently Wednesday night.
See tweets here. Follow @AnnDRomney here. By the way, a new hashtag burning up twitter is #waronmoms.
Ann Responds on America’s Morning with FOX News’ Martha MacCallum – April 12, 2012:
Yes, yes, we know that the President is working hard to consolidate support among female voters — but Obama adviser Hilary Rosen’s remarks about Ann Romney “never work[ing] a day in her life” are cynical, shameful, appalling, divisive and above all . . . ignorant. They constitute the newest iteration of the long-running, ugly and gratuitous left-wing attack on women who have made the very important choice to stay home in order to raise their children themselves.
[article continues below fold]
Rosen has kicked off a political firestorm; click on link below for updates!
I’ve been hearing ‘spin’ on Rick Perry’s response to Baptist Pastor Robert Jefress’ introduction of him at the Values Voter Summit and his “Mormonism is a cult” comments.
What was initially reported on Friday (Oct 7th) differs from the quote I’ve heard the media air for the last two days:
Perry campaign spokesman, Mark Miner, emailed Perry’s response to FOX News: “The governor doesn’t agree with every single issue with everyone he knows or supports his candidacy. He is running for president to get our economy back on track and create jobs. Those are the real issues that matter to people.”
I appreciated reading Jennifer Rubin’s article yesterday in the Washington Post. She sets the record straight:
But the big news was not the vote itself [at the Values Voter Summit]. On Friday, the appearance of Pastor Robert Jeffress set of a chain of events that may be remembered long after the vote results are forgotten. Jeffress in his introduction of Perry voiced his previously known anti-Mormon views. Afterward, he doubled down in remarks to reporters. First the speech:
Do we want a candidate who is skilled in rhetoric or one who is skilled in leadership? Do we want a candidate who is a conservative out of convenience or one who is a conservative out of deep conviction? Do we want a candidate who is a good, moral person — or one who is a born-again follower of the lord Jesus Christ?”
Texas evangelical leader Robert Jeffress, the megachurch pastor who introduced Rick Perry at the Values Voter Summit, said . . .he does not believe Mitt Romney is a Christian.
Jeffress described Romney’s Mormon faith as a “cult” and said evangelicals had only one real option in the 2012 primaries.
“That is a mainstream view, that Mormonism is a cult,” Jeffress told reporters here. “Every true, born-again follower of Christ ought to embrace a Christian over a non-Christian.”
Asked by Politico if he believed Romney is a Christian, Jeffress answered: “No.”
The Christian leader warned that in a general-election race between Romney and Obama, he believes many evangelicals will stay home and leave the GOP nominee without their votes.
Remember, Rick Perry did not distance himself from the pastor’s introduction. Instead, he thanked the Baptist Pastor for a “very powerful introduction” and added “he knocked it out of the ballpark.”
The initial response by the Perry team was pathetically insufficient. Perry spokesman Mark Miner threw out this bit of moral vacuity: “The governor doesn’t judge what is in the heart and soul of others.” But what about the words? Is he mute on expressions of overt prejudice? Does he reject the comments as bigoted? Miner e-mailed me on Friday afternoon: “As I said, the governor does not believe Mormonism is a cult. [*Said? That isn't what he originally said.] The governor doesn’t get into the business of judging other people’s hearts or souls. He leaves that to God.The governor’s campaign is about uniting Americans of all backgrounds behind a pro-growth, jobs agenda for this country.” In other words, when presented with such overt prejudice (and the potential loss of evangelical support), Perry went mute. While Perry did not select Jeffress to introduce him, he did approve the choice.
Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, on Friday afternoon, tweeted: “A number of my close personal friends are Mormon. I find Pastor Robert Jeffries’s intro of Gov. Perry totally offensive and repugnant.” That was the voice of moral clarity sadly missing from Perry’s response.
(*My emphasis and insert)
An interesting note… Shortly before Perry entered the presidential race, he organized a controversial day of prayer in Texas in which about 20,000 people attended. Guess who helped him? Jefress.
A spokesman for the Perry campaign was quick to point out that conference organizers chose Jefress to introduce Perry at the VVS. As Nate pointed out in his article, Dallas-based Jefress’ reputation was well known. And, as Rubin stated, Perry approved Jeffress’ introduction. Too cozy by half…
Perry laid the religion egg. For appearance sake, looks like he is now sauntering away from it. Behind the scenes, some think he is tending the incubator:
Scott McLean, a political scientist at Quinnipiac University and presidential election analyst, told FoxNews.com that he believes the Perry campaign orchestrated Jeffress’ attack on Romney’s faith “to test the waters.” He said he expects Perry surrogates to launch more under-the-radar attacks on Romney’s faith to make Romney look less attractive.
We’ll hear more about this issue Tuesday night at the presidential debate. Whrrrrrrr…
Have other GOP candidates risen to Governor Romney’s defense?
I was searching around Youtube to see if anyone had captured Governor Perry’s bumbli…uh…umbling responses from last night’s debate. Sure enough, I came across these two gems. Anyone who witnesses these has to wonder if this is the guy we want to send to the general to debate against smooth-talking Obama.
Methinks the GOP electorate is smarter than that… Enjoy!
First video (watch till the end):
Second video (vs. Miss South Carolina):
Update, we have a 3rd entry:
Your thoughts. Is Rick Perry the guy we want debating Obama?
As America continues to suffer from President Downgrade’s Obama’s inexperience and blunders, talking heads predict that the next presidential election is bound to be one of the nastiest, dirtiest campaigns in a long time.
Not surprising, Real Clear Politics revealed last week that Democrats believe Mitt Romney is the greatest threat to their man, Obama:
In gearing up for President Obama’s re-election battle next year, party operatives have directed the bulk of their energy toward beating up on the former Massachusetts governor. With a number of strong Republicans opting not to run and some in the race failing to get traction, Romney has become a singular target for the party in power.
Today, we learn just how afraid Obama and his Scheme Team are:
Barack Obama’s aides and advisers are preparing to center the president’s re-election campaign on a ferocious personal assault on Mitt Romney’s character and business background, a strategy grounded in the early stage expectation that the former Massachusetts governor is the likely GOP nominee.
[...] “Unless things change and Obama can run on accomplishments, he will have to kill Romney,” said a prominent Democratic strategist aligned with the White House.
The onslaught would have two aspects. The first is personal: Obama’s re-elect will portray the public Romney as inauthentic, unprincipled and, in a word used repeatedly by Obama’s advisers in about a dozen interviews, “weird” …
The second aspect of the campaign to define Romney is his record as CEO of Bain Capital, a venture capital firm which was responsible for both creating and eliminating jobs. Obama officials intend to frame Romney as the very picture of greed in the great recession – a sort of political Gordon Gekko.
(emphasis added) Additional details may be found here.
BOSTON, MA – Romney for President campaign manager Matt Rhoades released the following statement in response to Politico’s report on President Obama’s re-election strategy:
“It is disgraceful that President Obama’s campaign has launched his re-election with the stated goal to ‘kill’ his opponent with an onslaught of negative and personal attacks. President Obama will say and do desperate things to hold onto power because he knows he has failed. Neither despicable threats, nor President Obama’s billion dollar negative campaign, will put Americans back to work, save their homes, or restore their hopes. On November 6, 2012, this will change.”
Obama won’t be able to run successfully on his record. Even the lefty-left of his party are in full rebellion now:
How can one explain this lack of leadership? Westen offered several harsh theories. Perhaps Obama is, as conservatives have alleged, too inexperienced and hence, incompetent. Obama, he wrote, “had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state.” He had a “singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography.” Finally, before joining the Senate, he had voted “present” rather than “yea” or “nay” 130 times, “sometimes dodging difficult issues.”
Obama and his Scheme Team will resort to that which they are very familiar and comfortable with – the ol’ Alinsky Rules for Radicals. [Known as the 'father of modern American radicalism,' Saul D. Alinsky (1909-1972) developed strategies and tactics that take the enormous, unfocused emotional energy of grassroots groups and transform it into effective anti-government and anti-corporate activism. ... Some of these rules are ruthless, but they work."]
⇨ “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty. (This happens all the time. Watch how many organizations under attack are blind-sided by seemingly irrelevant arguments that they are then forced to address.)
⇨ “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”
⇨ “If you push a negative hard and deep enough, it will break through into its counterside… every positive has its negative.” [Obamacare is Romneycare?]
⇨ Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’
I can see how Mitt Romney’s private-sector experience, record of accomplishments, leadership, wisdom, work ethic, and straight-forward campaigning makes the Obama Scheme Team’s knees knock.
We’ve got a desperado president on our hands. America can’t take four more years of Oval Office conniving.
► Jayde Wyatt
A new video on this subject from the Romney campaign below the fold (more…)
To every political reporter in America, I suspect:
“President Obama’s proposals are too little, too late. Instead of supporting spending cuts that lead to real deficit reduction and true reform of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, the President dug deep into his liberal playbook for ‘solutions’ highlighted by higher taxes. With over 20 million people who are unemployed or who have stopped looking for work, the last thing we should be doing is raising taxes on job-creators, entrepreneurs, and small business owners across America.”
Tweet from Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom:
Romney says Obama speech on debt offers “too little, too late” and serves up the wrong solution – “higher taxes.”
While Obama is proposing $4 trillion worth of debt reduction to be implemented in 12 years, he is also promising raising taxes. About a quarter of his speech was spent deriding Rep Paul Ryan’s budget plan. (Ryan is Chairman of the House Budget Committee.) Obama was AWOL in the budget process before Ryan presented his benchmark proposal.
*Note: I listened to Obama’s budget speech; it was a trojan horse to announce his reelection campaign. He is not serious about trying to reduce spending and deal with America’s debt disaster.
To read the transcript of Obama’s speech click here.
UPDATE: Even though Obama extended kudos to Joe Biden at the beginning of his speech, here’s what the Vice President really thought about it…
During his most recent CPAC speech, Romney made a particular declaration that, I’ll be honest, made a thrill go up my leg. It brought the entire audience to their feet in applause — a simple, but memorable statement that was delivered only after plenty of build-up. It went like this:
“It’s going to take more than new rhetoric to put Americans back to work — it’s going to take a new president!“
That was mid-February. Fast-forward to just yesterday, when T-Paw’s team released a movie trailer video response to the announcement of Obama’s reelection campaign. See if your eyes can focus through the joltiness until the very end, where you may hear a familiar line:
Did you catch it?
Now, I’m not saying that Romney has a trademark on that particular phrase; in fact, it will undoubtedly be used (and has been used) scores of times by any challenger seeking to remove an incumbent President. I guess I just found this certain instance to be déjà vu provoking. It’s almost as if either T-Paw himself, or one of his advisers, was in that CPAC audience back in February, taking good notes on what charisma is supposed to sound like. Kudos to the media team for nailing it down. -Tommy Winter
Let me start by saying this post is not meant to suggest that Sarah Palin didn’t run her PAC well, or that Palin is a bad manager. Palin has done amazing things with her PAC. Her ability to raise money from small donors and energize the base is phenomenal. She has gotten people to give money who have never donated to a political candidate before — and that is a great thing. However, the argument that the folks at Conservatives 4 Palin make that Palin will run a better presidential campaign than Mitt Romney because she spent a smaller percentage of the money she raised in her PAC is completely ridiculous.
Money raised to cash-on-hand ratio as measure of fundraising efficiency?!
C4P: The best way to compare the efficiency and effectiveness of different PACs is to compare their respective cash-on-hand/total receipts ratios. I believe the ratio is an extremely significant number because it tells you who knows how to spend money and how to save money effectively and efficiently. Under this metric, Governor Palin has clearly operated her PAC better than how Clinton, Obama, Romney, and Pawlenty have operated their PACs.
Political campaigns are not businesses. Unlike a business, there is no reason to SAVE money in a campaign. A surplus doesn’t mean a profit for shareholders. In fact, if a campaign ends up with a big surplus post-election day, it usually means the candidate did a poor job of running their campaign. You want to use every single penny in a campaign — a dollar the day after the election is a lot less valuable than a dollar the day before the election. Extra money means you should have bought another ad, sent out more mailers, bought more signs, hired another college kid to knock on doors, etc. The only legitimate reason to have leftover money post Election Day is if you KNOW you are going to win by a landslide. (Or lose by a landslide and the candidate loaned money to the campaign and wants the money back.)
Many smart campaigns actually plan on having a deficit post-Election Day. This is not a strategy I personally like, but a lot of smart managers do it. Like I said before, a dollar the day before an election is a lot more valuable than a dollar the day after. If the election is close and spending more money will make a difference, there is a legitimate argument to be made that going into debt is a good idea. If you win, it will be easy to raise money post-election to retire your debts. If you lose, it will be harder to raise the money to retire debt, but still possible with time. And, if you can’t raise the money to retire the debt — well, there is not a lot your creditors can do about it. Leftover leadership PAC money can’t be transferred to a candidate account. It isn’t like Palin or Romney will be able to use this money for their presidential campaigns.
The fact Palin has so much leftover money makes me think she didn’t know how to spend it properly. Palin hasn’t ever run a massive campaign. She tends to like advisors who also haven’t run massive campaigns. There are a lot of things campaigns spend money on that aren’t obvious to someone who hasn’t done it before. This could end up being a good thing for Palin if she is able to bypass some traditional pitfalls of campaign spending — but it could also hurt her if she skimps on important things. What’s important to spend money on in a campaign? Well, that depends on who you ask. The TV ad guys will tell you TV is the only thing that moves poll numbers. Direct mail vendors will swear you will lose if you don’t have a robust mail program. Your political director will tell you that you need more feet on the ground. Your volunteers will inform you that you’re losing votes left and right because you haven’t sent out enough bumper stickers… The answer is that no one really knows. Campaigns are more art than science.
However, things that are good predictors of how a potential candidate will run a Presidential campaign include:
How they’ve run a presidential campaign before. It is likely that Romney will run his Presidential campaign similarly to how he ran it in ’08. I was on his campaign in ’08. It was the best financially run campaign I’ve ever worked on. Money wasn’t wasted, expenses were accounted for, budgets were created and followed. You can bet the same will be true of his ’12 campaign. After Romney dropped out of the primary, I started working for McCain. It wasn’t the best financially run campaign I’ve ever worked on. McCain ran a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants campaign in 2000, and it was similarly run in ’08 — whether he had money or not at the time. (Note: I am not implying Palin had anything to do with the ’08 McCain budgeting and finances.)
The personality of the candidate. Do they focus on the big picture or details? Do they want to drill down through layers of policy, or just skim over the facts and let the staff sort out the details? Do they prefer an organized top-down style of management or are they okay with the chaos of a more Tea Partyesque bottom-up approach?
Previous executive experience. For Romney, you can get a pretty good idea of how he will run a campaign based on his work at Bain, on the 2002 Olympics, and as Governor of Massachusetts. For Palin, you can look at her time as Governor of Alaska and Mayor of Wasilla.
How they run their personal finances. Candidates who are okay with debt in their personal lives are likely going to be okay with debt on their campaign. Candidates who are very careful with money in their personal lives are likely to be very careful with campaign money.
Who their campaign manager is. The truth is, presidential candidates are really busy. They aren’t often at campaign headquarters. They don’t have a lot of time to go over campaign budget numbers. Who they hire as their campaign manager has a huge impact on how their campaign is run.
C4P: How someone runs and manages a multi-million dollar PAC tells you something about how that person would run a political campaign. After all, operating a PAC tests your ability to convince other people to give you money and tests your ability to handle their money as effectively and efficiently as possible. The experience one receives from running and managing a PAC is probably the closest experience one gets to running a campaign as the two experiences share similar mechanics and dynamics.
Both Romney and Palin have raised an impressive amount of money through their leadership PACs. They both gave a lot of help to candidates in 2010. I would say both PACs were well run financially. The fact that Romney may have spent more money on overhead and staff just means he will have an easier time getting a full-fledged Presidential campaign off the ground in no time at all. Palin will have to start more slowly. The money left over in their PACs will make very little difference in the long run, and certainly can’t be used to predict how they will run their potential presidential campaigns.
Audrey Perry is a campaign and elections lawyer who worked as Deputy General Counsel for Romney in ’08. Her main tasks were getting Mitt on the ballot in all 50 states (and of course DC, Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands and Puerto Rico), and counting lots and lots of delegates. After Romney dropped out of the race, she worked as counsel for McCain-Palin where she tried to get campaign staff to abide by the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, insisted all yard signs have proper disclaimers, and tried to shut down ACORN in Las Vegas. She has also worked for Congress, Steve Poizner, the FEC and other various law firms and campaigns. Audrey blogs about politics and the law at www.legallypolitical.com.