Buying The Presidency

Republican Presidential Candidate Mike Huckabee spoke about campaign finances the other day, and his comments struck me as being very interesting.
  1. He spoke about operating his campaign in the black and not borrowing money to finance it.

  2. He also mentioned that he was not in a position to cut a big fat check from his personal fortune to keep his campaign afloat.
Now the second comment is a not-so-subtle dig at Mitt Romeny who has been padding his war chest with cash from his persoal fortune (estimated to be hundreds of millions). But who was the first comment aimed at? Do presidential candidates borrow money to finance their campaigns? This is news to me, and news worth mentioning since time and time again, pollsters rank "the economy" as their number one concern in this election. If you can't run your campaign in the black, then how can you take the country in the right financial direction? Maybe Huck is refering to Mitt once again, and the $3.8 million his campaign had spent on credit cards as of Sept. 2007.

And back to Mittens... Is this the same man who a year ago told reporters that it would be "akin to a nightmare" for him to have to spend his own money on his campaign, rather than, ya know, relying on voter support in the form of donations? Indeed it is. In fact, at the time of his comment, he had already dropped a couple mil of his own money. And this makes you an economic leader as seems to be the centerpiece of your campaign (this week)? Sinking money into a loosing cause, time and time again, with little to no results. Yeah, great. And do I send my tax dollars straight to your personal account Mr. Romney, or do they still go through the IRS before you squander them? If you want to know how he'll handle the nation's budget, just look at how he handles his own money.

Now its one thing to do 'dumb with money'. Its one thing to tour the country, frivolously spending money. Its quite another to lie about it and try to hide it. Poor Mitt got a tad testy with Tim Russert during the Florida debate when the NBC Washington Bureau Chief asked him point blank how much from his personal fortune had he spent on his own campaign. Squirming doesn't begin to cover it. He stuttered, he dodged, he even tried to hide behind the excuse of not wanting to disclose those numbers to his opponents before he had to. Oh, Mitt.... they already know that you are outspending them, they just want to know how hard they should be laughing.

What we already know...

Mitt out-spent Mike Huckabee 15 to 1 in Iowa. Mitt dropped $1 million on advertising with the De Moines AM station, WHO. That put him between Monsanto and Bayer in terns of ad money spent with WHO in 2007. Monsanto and Bayer were advertising fertilizer. Mitt was spreading some too. Huckabee took Iowa.

What to do? More money?

Mitt out-spent the John McCain 3-1 in New Hampshire, dropping $3.6 million on 3600 ads on WMUR (New Hampshire's only state-wide network). McCain took NH.

More recently, Romney's philosophy of spend-more-money failed to buy him the state of Florida.

It's also raging in paid advertising on TV and radio. Romney has spent $30 million on TV ads in Florida this year. That's five times as much as the McCain campaign, which is now using less-expensive radio commercials to directly question Romney's credibility on the economy.

So how's that working out for you, Mitt?


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