super hanc petram

Monday, February 23

Cash Cow  

I realize that I'm supposed to have my socks knocked off by the Bush re-election fundraising prowess, and that all Dems should cower in fear before the terrible prospect of the re-election campaign actually starting (apparently the stunt at Daytona was not, in fact, a re-election effort). That being said, how does a campaign that hasn't even started yet burn through $50m? W's campaign will probably pull in at least another $50-60m if not a cool $100m before November. But the ability to raise money does not also indicate the ability to spend it wisely. This campaign has burned $50m even though W has all the trappings of the presidency to reduce his spending. For absolutely no charge to the campaign, Air Force One did a low altitude fly-by at the Daytona 500. For no charge W and his massive entourage did a lap around the track in a fleet of SUVs. W can make speech after speech after speech and his campaign isn't charged a dime. One is left to assume, then, that the $50m was burned almost entirely on overhead and fundraising efforts. Obviously the re-election campaign has been in full swing for a long time (public pronouncements not withstanding), and we know that Bush himself has felt that his re-election campaign should be the biggest political story in the country since last August.
Q Are you going to do anything for Arnold? You say he'll be a good governor. You're spending two days in California. THE PRESIDENT: I'm going to campaign for George W., as you know. Q Will he get a plug in the speech, a mention? THE PRESIDENT: I think I've answered the question, and yes, he would be a good governor, as would others running for governor of California. Like you, I'm most interested in seeing how the process evolves. It's a fascinating bit of political drama evolving in the state -- in the country's largest state. Q It's also the biggest political story in the country. Is it hard to go in there and say nothing about it? THE PRESIDENT: It is the biggest political story in the country? That's interesting. That says a lot. That speaks volumes. Q You don't agree? THE PRESIDENT: It's up to -- I don't get to decide the biggest political story. You decide the biggest political story. But I find it interesting that that is the biggest political story in the country, as you just said. Q You don't think it should be? THE PRESIDENT: Oh, I think there's maybe other political stories. Isn't there, like, a presidential race coming up? (Laughter.) Maybe that says something. It speaks volumes, if you know what I mean. But, yes, it's an interesting story, it really is. And I'm looking forward, like you are, to seeing the outcome of the interesting story. But, no, I'm going to go, I'm going to talk about -- now that you've asked, are you going on the trip?
The point is this, a campaign that has spent 33% of its funds before it competes in a primary or rolls out a national ad campaign is one that is not spending wisely. While they may break all fundraising records, they will spend far more than they raise, and right now the campaign looks undisciplined as it spends like a drunken sailor.


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