“Those two have known each other since Jack (Kennedy) was three years old. The president lived next door to Austy (Austin O’Connor). He likes him. Not only that, but I brought Austy in three times during the campaign. The first time he gave twenty-five thousand dollars. The second time he gave twenty-five thousand dollars. The third time he gave fifteen thousand dollars. That’s sixty-five thousand dollars he contributed.” (1960 dollars btw)
“Sure” said (Kenny) O’Donnell, but he wasn’t with us until after West Virginia.”
Tip O’Neill Man of the House 1987 pp 80
One of the things I’ve noticed about the Romney campaign is that other than the good folks at Kacio cleaners (who absolutely LOVE him) it’s very hard to find people who like Romney because they…like Romney.
Last night at the Twin City Tea Party people during a segment Romney was mentioned, and support for him was expressed based on him having “the best chance to win”.
Romney has also used the inevitability argument. I suspect it has helped him get many an endorsement from people who might otherwise have been expected to support different candidates (Nikki Haley for example). Fat cats don’t want to risk being on the outside like Austy O’Connor during a Romney Administration because they were on the wrong side during the primaries, and as Stacy McCain notes, after Florida many thought it was a done deal:
Show of hands: Who thought Mitt would have had the nomination practically locked up by now? Who expected Romney would have to fight like hell just to win his home state? After Mitt won Florida and Nevada, I thought he might be on the verge of running the table
Even worse consider the point he makes in his American Spectator column:
If the more moderate Romney is really a stronger candidate, why has he struggled to close the deal with voters of his own party here in his native Michigan? It hardly adds to Romney’s “electability” argument that — even with the backing of Michigan’s top Republican officials — he would consider himself fortunate to escape Tuesday with 40 percent of the vote and a narrow win over Santorum’s low-budget campaign. Even if Romney wins Michigan, one of Santorum’s top advisers told CNN Monday, “We have already won. No matter what the results are, we’ve won. This is Romney’s home state.… The Romney campaign is spending a fortune they never expected to spend in Michigan, and every dollar they spend in Michigan is a dollar they don’t have on Super Tuesday.”
What has really struck me has been the use of surrogates to do his dirty work. I remember Romney all the Palin sniping from the Rove school before the field had come out. Every day I see people I follow on twitter relentlessly attacking Rick Santorum while never making a positive case for Mitt Romney and the “dirty tricks” lines coming from the Mitt Camp is…interesting Stacy again:
How much has Mitt Romney’s campaign used dirty tricks in the 2012 campaign? A lot, I’d say. While I always suspected that the sexual allegations against Herman Cain were pushed to the media by the Rick Perry campaign, others whose knowledge I trust have since assured me that Team Mitt was behind it.
Take that with a grain of salt, if you wish, but it’s something I’ve kept in mind the past three weeks as I’ve watched Rick Santorum being hounded by the media over “controversies” that looked for all the world as if they were ginned up by a certain rival campaign with a notable aptitude for “the devastating oppo hit.”
Mitt has a lot of money and hasn’t been shy about spending it, I would be very surprised if the incredible volume of Anti-Santorum stuff getting out there and the incredible amount of time some folks are giving to it didn’t come with some kind of remuneration. Or to put it another way, I would think people who were supporting Romney because they support Romney would be able to mix a positive reason or two to vote for their man.
Now I have not received a penny from the Santorum Campaign (although blog/radio ads and Tip Jar hits Will be happily accepted as this is what I do for a living these days) but I endorsed him at a time when such an endorsement elicited laughter and derision. As for Robert Stacy McCain, I directly asked him today if he was on the payroll of the Santorum Campaign. He answered decisively:
Who would say such a thing?…The future ambassador to Vanuatu can not be bought or sold!
That might explain the bums rush he got at the Romney HQ in Michigan.
All the empirical evidence I’ve seen suggests Romney’s support is solely based on three factors: his inevitable victory, the match-up vs Obama and who he can buy, except for Maria at Kacio’s. Mitt whatever she sees in you. I suggest your team needs to isolate and bottle it; STAT!
Now given Obama vast appeal, I submit even this reality would not stop Mitt Romney from winning the general election (barring something REALLY stupid) but given Romney’s inability to motivate the base while running for president for 5 years, to the point where winning his home state would be a major victory, do you want to risk it?
And much more seriously while it’s been suggested that Romney at the top of a ticket might help Scott Brown is he really going to be a help down the ticket in swing districts where the big issue for many races is the repeal of Obamacare?
Update: Well this explains a lot:
The Political Wire asks, Did Santorum Regain Momentum in Michigan?
I guess we will see if Romney’s guarantee is as good as Broadway Joe’s almost feel sorry for the guy.