Archive for the ‘Spending’ Category

Rudy Ascendant: Don’t Take My Word For It

January 10, 2008

Take the word of Patrick Basham from the Cato Institute in thisNRO piece, or thisCNBC video. [can’t find an embed code. sorry]  To my knowledge, he has not been a Giuliani water-bearer like yours truely.

One observation he makes in the NRO article that I did not in the post below:  All the ads in early primary states currently run by McCain, Romney, and Huckabee– many of them negative– cost money.  That’s an obvious problem.  What I had not thought about is how they’ve also allowed Hizzoner to appear less irascible and divisive.

That was supposed to be one of his weaknesses, remember?  That he was a real SOB, and while people like me may view that as a feature many people think it’s a bug.  But for close to a month, now, it’s all the other candidates that have been acting like political streetfighters.  Mayor Giuliani, on the other hand, has stood by appearing sober and above the fray.

Dare I say “Presidential”?

Things Breaking Rudy’s Way. Seriously.

January 9, 2008

It will only be mentioned in passing, but it looks like NH broke the way Team Rudy would want.  Just like IA.

Hizzoner probably would have liked McCain to win by more, but McCain appears to have not only won the primary, but also appears to have won among GOP voters only.  Romney was hoping to take solace in crowing about winning the GOP vote, only losing to McCain because independents opted for the aged veteran.

The fact that Clinton pulled out an unexpected victory will also distract the media, making the McCain victory apt to quickly become old news.

Huck’s IA bounce evaporated, and Thompson barely registered at all.

Finally, our man did avoid the ignominy of losing to Ron Paul.

This forces Romney and McCain to both vigorously contest MI, and Huck and Fred both into an all-in pot in SC.

So all other candidates will be otherwise disposed until FL, spending money their campaigns don’t have, while Team Rudy continues to accrue interest on the resources devoted to what they hope will be a Tsunami Tuesday blitz following a FL win.

That was always the plan.  Bit of a nail-biter, sure.  But if the national strategy is viable– which I always thought was the case– then the dominoes are setting up appropriately.

Perspective? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Perspective!

January 4, 2008

Last night’s results, actually, were perfect for the Giuliani campaign given they elected to forgoe spending seven million dollars in an attempt to kiss up to every Iowan with a pulse.

Romney was dealt a huge defeat.  By his own campaign’s admission IA and/or NH were hugely important to them.  They spent the ethanol farm on IA, and lost.  And NH isn’t looking good.  But that man is stuffed to the gills with venture capital, so he’ll still fight on to Super Duper Tuesday.

Thompson and McCain did OK, encouraging them to stay in the race.

Ron Paul didn’t surprise anyone with a particularly impressive showing.

So it looks like last night Team Rudy got the result they needed.  There will not be any one candidate piling up victories and delegates before Florida, and Florida is where the Giuliani team has planted their flag.

So Team Rudy will get to FL, where our man still leads in all polls.  The only candidate coming on strong is the Huck.  If the Huckster can win Florida, we’re all doomed.

Rudy wins Florida, though, and then piles up some delegates from NY, NJ, DE, CA and others on Tsunami Tuesday, then the national strategy will be vindicated.  And his campaign team can then make some money on a book.

The important thing to note, though, is last night’s results were the first empirical confirmation of the national stragegy’s political viability.

Cross-Post: Giuliani and Libertarians

November 13, 2007

Over at my PA for Hizzoner blog a small thread as developed– well, I’m doing most of the writing– as a result of the appearence of my town’s first presidential support sign; a Ron Paul sign.

As a former card-carrying member of the Libertarian party who’s first vote for president was for the man who was, in fact, Ron Paul’s veep on the Libertarian ticket in ’88, I am not unsympathetic to those supporting Paul.  I did express, though, that I believe Giuliani is pretty darned friendly to Libertarians, a statement which one commenter thought needed elaboration.  That elaboration is below:

I understand the question.  You have to look at it from a perspective that respects one of Libertarianism’s fundamental requirements of the State:  That of protecting private property.

Giuliani’s priority as Mayor– the reason he was elected– was to make the City safer and more pleasant.  Read that as “Protect their private property.”

Hence this person’s perception of him as a “gun-grabbing” and “police state” mayor.  I think Giuliani was wrong at the time with his handgun lawsuits, but he thought he had two opposing freedoms he had to prioritize: Civil order and the right to defence.  I am a pretty dogged 2nd Amendment advocate, but even I can appreciate how the priorities of NYC in a crime wave and Idaho are different, and probably require different approaches.  So while aspiring to be President, it is natural for Giuliani to become more sympathetic to gun owners, which he has.

It is enlightening to also understand that the protection of private property is why– as a mayor rather than the President– he was Libertarian-ish on immigration.  He wanted illegals to be comfortable dealing with the local gendarmes so they could report on the bad apples.

Some suggest the Mayor has been doing a lot of flip-flopping.  Without getting into semantical arguments, I think it is important to understand that those issues on which he has drifted rightward merely reflect differently weighted priorities of two different jobs:  That of Mayor of NYC and that of President of the United States.  As he has pointed out, it would have been easier for him to just complete the flip-flop and lie.  A look at the GOP field illustrates at least one candidate who is comfortable doing this.  One thing, though, that appears to be consistent with the Mayor is that at the core he is driven by a respect for the freedoms of law-abiding individuals to pursue their own happiness, and an understanding that it is the State’s role to defend these freedoms.

I do not at all suggest that Giuliani would be at home in the Libertarian party.  I do suggest, though, that he is Libertarian-friendly:  His first priority is to protect your property and civil society in general.  His second priority– as evidenced by his actions in NYC and the associated favorable reviews from the Club for Growth and endorsement by Steve Forbes– is to minimize the vigor with which government dips into your bank account.  After that, he pretty much feels the states should decide on all the culturally divisive social issues.

That, I say, is pretty Libertarian friendly.  Does he buy into Libertarian ideology?  Probably not, as his habits of character can be quirky and pretty hierarchical.  Note his apparent distaste of ferret owners.  But when the time comes in a general election for Ron Paul supporters to pull a lever, I hope those that aren’t using their support for Paul merely as a way to promote isolationism will do the needful and vote for Giuliani rather than staying home or voting for his opponent.

Assuming, of course, Hizzoner can secure the nomination, which is a whole ‘nother article, as Nordlinger says.  I am not entirely sure how Paul’s supporters effect that process.  Not much, I tend to think…

Most Recent IA Polling

October 8, 2007

Varied and sundry recent IA polling seems to indicate Fred Thompson has moved to 2nd place.  Here’s one recent one, which seems to understate Giuliani’s performance compared to others I’ve seen.

The real story, though, has nothing to do with Rudy’s numbers.  Mitt is banking on IA.  In fact, he has spent so much money there attempting to ensure a victory that he’s had to become his own campaign’s bank to the tune of almost 10 million dollars so far.

Giuliani, on the other hand, is husbanding his resources in a fiscally responsible way.

Now Fred Thompson ambles in and suddenly starts popping up in 2nd place in IA without seriously eroding Giuliani’s respectable if moderate standing.

If Mitt Romney has to spend even more money just to fend off Thompson, he may be well and truly screwed.

3Q07 Fundraising Numbers

October 5, 2007

It seems everyone was paying more attention to the fundraising numbers the previous quarter.  It is still gratifying to notice that Hizzoner raised more last quarter than any other GOP candidate.  Assuming, of course, you don’t count the $8.5 million Romney gave to himself.

He just keeps spending and spending, and pretty much has a lead in a single midwestern caucus to show for it.

Alas, you all may have also noticed the Dems continue to out-raise the GOP.  It is distressing, but I won’t get in a twist about it for a bit.  Hillary looks likely to win the Dem nod.  As soon as there is officially a candidate Clinton redux I expect GOP donors to start writing so many checks to the appropriate candidate that they’ll have to start selling stock and working longer hours to accommodate their burning need to defeat her.  They just don’t know who that candidate is, yet.

A Few Notes re. Advertising, MoveOn, and the NYT

September 14, 2007

There has been some suspicion in the blogosphere about the rate MoveOn paid for that loathsome ad they placed Monday with the NYT calling Petraeus a treasonous liar.  They apparently received a huge discount, and people think the Times clearly gave it to them because they’re sympathetic to MoveOn.

The Times counters that this was sort of a standard discount deal for a non-profit, black and white “standby” ad.  What they mean by standby is “We have this space we tried to sell to someone who will pay full price, but can’t.  So since things are already laid out such that this space exists, we’ll sell it to you on extraordinarily short notice for a song.”

I’ve worked in advertising, and I think the blogosphere is suspicious for the wrong reasons, and the Times is fibbing.  Thing is, a publication that is desperate to sell something to *anybody* will slash their rates so often that the published open rate is pretty much a fiction, except for people with lots of money willing to pay it so that they are consistently treated very well when it comes to placement and potential “value added”, which means free stuff.

My theory is the rate MoveOn paid is really an indicator of how desperate the Times is to sell ad space.  Their circulation is plummeting, and advertisers are sprinting as fast as they can from newspaper investment generally.  Conspiracy theorists counter that the timing of the MoveOn ad indicates they knew all along when the ad would appear, so standby or remnant pricing can’t be the reason.  I counter what this really means is the Times is so awash in standby opportunities that MoveOn could be reasonably sure their insertion would appear at about the right time.

So the Giuliani campaign is right to call out the Times on this, demanding similar pricing for a one-off insertion, butI bet they aren’t getting that much of a deal.

The real takeaway is still good, though:  The New York Times is likely to discount heavily for anyone because their business is sucking wind.

And now you also know why I am so thrilled I no longer flog paper advertising, making money mostly off the ignorant and the credulous.

And Giuliani Continues to Raise Boatloads of Cash

September 13, 2007

Hizzoner’s commanding advantage in the polls– mentioned below– is particularly astonishing given the fact that in those early states where Giuliani is not leading, he is second to Mitt.  And Mitt has spent exponentially more money.

Nevertheless, Giuliani is continuing to grow his campaign’s financial resources.  Just recently, for example, he raised $350k in Georgia in only three days.  Isn’t that supposed to be Fred Dalton Thompson’s turf?

Team Giuliani his preparing to open the cash spigots in early primary states.  Expect the opposition to start slinging mud at about the same time.

As we’ve already seen, Romney for one knows how to sling mud.  He may, in fact, be the dirtiest of the bunch.  It will be interesting to see how that affects the saintly image he’s gone to such great lengths to cultivate.  Of course, he’s a venture capitalist.  Anyone who’s ever worked with a VC can tell you how well saintly halos fit on one of those cats…

Comparing Hizzoner & Mitt: Economics

August 24, 2007

While talking below about the Club for Growth’s white papers on Romney and Giuliani, I noted that the Club seems to prefer Giuliani.  This is despite the fact that Romney and Giuliani share some of the positions which the Club proscribes, most notably on campaign finance reform.

Deroy Murdock just posted a piece on National Review Online that clarifies the issue.  It seems I have overestimated Romney’s economic stewardship of the bay state.  Examples:

Unemployment: 5.7% drop for Romney, 40.8% drop for Giuliani.

Public Assistance: 5% welfare drop for Romney, 58% drop for Giuliani.

Tax Burden: 10.8% increase for Romney, 17% drop for Giuliani.

Personal Income: 18.2% increase for Romney, 49.9% increase for Giuliani.

As I noted below, Giuliani had the advantage of governing longer, but the differences are stark.  Besides, this means Giuliani was able to actually win re-election.  Most observers agree Romney could never have won a second term.  So yet again Giuliani’s electability advantage comes into play.

I’d say this goes a long way towards explaining why the Club appears to prefer Giuliani to Romney.

The Polls That Really Matter: FL & SC

July 23, 2007

Now that I have become a more earnest content-generator on the upcoming presidential race, I feel in my bones what I only before knew in my head: Polls exist to keep the commentariat occupied.

That caveat aside, we’ve recently had two polls in states with early primaries:  SC and FL.  Both of these states have primaries before super-duper local television affiliate windfall Tuesday.  Combined, there are also twice as many delegates at stake in these states than in IA and NH.

A recent Quinnipiac poll showed Giuliani up by a LOT in Florida.  A recent CNN poll gave Hizzoner a solid lead in SC.  Funnily, his closest competition there is McCain, who we all expect to spectacularly auger into the ground.  If one is curious where Romney stands in states where his spending is commensurate with the competition, it is instructive to note he’s down in Ron Paul territory in SC at 4 points.

So I guess I have a new hobby horse: Why is Romney first tier?  Heck, people.  Give me 12 million dollars with opponents still biding their time and I could get Stan Jones— the Montana Libertarian who turned himself blue by eating colloidal silver– to poll well in IA and NH.