Mitt Romney

McMeltdown

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The Welch Effect continues. Not only did John McCain disappoint supporters with a $12.5 million fundraising haul in January-March, he's got only $3.4 million left to spend once you factor in his debts.

McCain, an Arizona Republican who raised less money than former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, also spent a bigger percentage of his campaign treasury than his rivals, according to federal reports filed electronically over the weekend.

From January through March, McCain raised about $13 million. But he spent $8.4 million, leaving him with just under $5.2 million at the end of the quarter. The campaign reported $1.8 million in debt, as well.

The figures underscore the difficult political position McCain is in as he struggles to restore some energy to his bid for the White House. Once the heavy favorite in the GOP field, McCain now trails Giuliani by double figures in some national polls. He also lags former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, who has not announced whether he will run.

It sounds a little like a Don LaFontaine voiceover, doesn't it? "He wanted to take the money out of politics. But he's about to discover… that sometimes… you get what you wish for!"

Seriously, McCain's last act in politics is providing a good argument against public financing. If the candidates' purses were being filled up with public or matching funds, Romney, Giuliani and Thompson wouldn't be able to build the advantage they're building over McCain, and come April 2008 or so the party would be stuck with him.

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  1. Nothing would be quite so delightful as to have McCain/Feingold play even a small part in sinking the McCain campaign.

  2. If the candidates’ purses were being filled up with public or matching funds, Romney, Giuliani and Thompson wouldn’t be able to build the advantage they’re building over McCain, and come April 2008 or so the party would be stuck with him.

    What do you think the whole point of McCain/Feingold was, anyway? Incumbent protection, all the way.

  3. So the theory is, if McCain’s support among Republicans collapsed so far that he wouldn’t be able to raise money, collecting public financing would mean that he’d win the Republican primaries anyway.

    If you hadn’t written “Seriously” the start of that last sentence, I would have thought it was satire.

  4. there is no candidate. of either political party. that is offering what anyone wants. they all are pitching a modified status quo. there is no believeable health care plan that will fix the problems. there is no believeable energy plan. no believeable iraq plan. what would be the reason to elect anyone currently running. we might as well keep bush for another four years.

  5. maybe welch should have turned his sights on a more viable candidate instead of an already sinking ship.

  6. Joe: No.

    With public financing, McCain would be able to position himself as the best of a weak field, not necessarily the knight on a white horse but the guy with the name recognition and prestige to lead the charge to victory.

    With the current regime, he’s exposed as not even that. His residual prestige is melting away.

  7. jb,

    He can “position himself as the best of a weak field” with the third-most money.

    But yeah, “His residual prestige is melting away,” all right. His little stunt in Baghdad killed him. It showed that he’s continue B

  8. …whoa.

    He would continue Bush’s habit of lying to us about the war as if we were children.

    People hate that.

  9. With public financing I’m forced to give a candidate that I do not support money. Someone explain to me why that should be the case.

  10. Because with public financing, people like Ron Paul would be on a even playing field with the other candidates. As it stands now, he has absolutely no chance whatsoever.

  11. That’s no argument. Do you have any idea how many wars I’ve funded that I didn’t support?

  12. “That’s no argument. Do you have any idea how many wars I’ve funded that I didn’t support?”

    No joe, THAT’s no argument

    War is a Constitutionally mandated function of the State

    unlike stem cell research,abortion,or funding political campaigns and all that other crap we pay for

  13. But yeah, “His residual prestige is melting away,” all right. His little stunt in Baghdad killed him.

    No, his long history of kicking Republicans in the nads is what killed him. Its just too late for him to rebuild the goodwill he has spent years pissing away.

    Gaghdad and the war have nothing to do with it. He’d probably be where he is regardless of the war and his position on it.

  14. Besides the classic redistributive arguments against publicly funded campaigns, there is also the problem of who doles out the money.

    Republicrats, as the current ruling party, would make it difficult bordering on impossible for minor party or independent candidates to get funding on parity with the major party.

  15. R C,

    First, please tell me “Gaghdad” wasn’t a typo. That’s what I’m calling it from now on: “Gag-hdad.”

    Second, “No, his long history of kicking Republicans in the nads is what killed him.”

    He might have survived one or the other. If he was still Rock Star McCain, popular and beloved Straight Talker that the media grovelled before, Republicans would swallow their doubts and vote for a winner. Like their about to do with a certain thrice divorced transvestite from New York.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 😉

    G’night.

  16. I have lots of respect for John McCain for reasons that are not political. I did support him in 2000 for obvious reasons, over our current President and I would take him twice on Sunday, even today over Mr. Bush.

    Having said that, with the field that the Republican Party has, is McCain the answer? He has hardly proven himself as a pro-growth candidate, seems to champion big government on many issues, and his hawkish views on foreign affairs resemble the Bush Doctrine on steroids.

    Mr. McCain has proven to be quite a patriot, and I think he is a fantastic public speaker, which he proved with his latest speech on Iraq. He definately has it in him to be a great leader and President, but one has to give him a careful look before offering support.

  17. I think people seriously overestimate the value of money in politics. Money follows the winner, not the other way around. Ron Paul wouldn’t win anyways.

  18. Accepting public financing would be a betrayal of everything that Ron Paul stands for.

    Not to mention that people who don’t support him shouldn’t be forced to pay for his campaign, either: the ends do not justify the means.

  19. Does anyone remember how Conan couldn’t show the mocking clips of Arnold’s old movies when he first was running for governor because face time counted as advertising under some campaign law? Was that a California law or was that federal? I’ve been wondering if something like that would apply to Fred Thompson and Law and Order. If Law and Orders with Thompson couldn’t be shown leading up to a primary, and McCain’s campaign finance legislation was the reason, I think that would make McCain look terrible, even if it restricted ‘free advertising’ for a rival.

  20. We’re down to the wire! The Ron Paul 100 for 100 pledge ends in just
    five days time! And we are within sight of raising over $10,000 for
    the Ron Paul campaign this month! Thank you to each of you who has
    participated in this exciting experiment — you’re helping history for
    the cause of freedom.

    But we need another 19 people to make this pledge a success! I’m
    asking each of you who has not pledged to do so at
    http://www.pledgebank.com/SupportRonPaul. For a newsgroup with over
    300 members, this is very doable!

    For those of you who have already signed up (and I know a lot of you
    have donated far more than $100), please contact pro-freedom
    newsgroups, blogs, friends, and family members. We need your help!

    Yours in the cause of freedom,
    Jon Isaac
    http://www.pledgebank.com/SupportRonPaul

  21. I ask this in the least sarcastic way possible: McCain is supposed to appeal to…? Not Democratic voters, since although they pretended to love him back when he was running against Bush, when it comes down to it, he’s a Republican and he doesn’t seem to significantly differ from Bush on the war. Not libertarian-leaning centrists or Republicans, because he’s got an appetite for authoritarianism (Congress is worrying about who cheats in Baseball?!?!?!). Not religious Republicans, who have never liked him and ain’t buying it when he sucks up. Not the hardcore party faithful, as he has made betraying them or flirting with the idea his stock in trade. So who is the Platonic ideal of a McCain Base Voter?

    Mr Straight talk express doesn’t have the money becuase he doesn’t seem to stand for anything in particular. For all the mystique he once had about being “above the fray of politics”, he may in fact be the most out-for-his own career of them all. Well, there’s Hillary of course.

  22. If he was still Rock Star McCain, popular and beloved Straight Talker that the media grovelled before, Republicans would swallow their doubts and vote for a winner.

    That’s just it, joe – he never has been that “popular and beloved” with the Republican core, only with the media. This ain’t his first run for President that’s blown up early – it just happened even earlier this time around.

    What differentiates this rejection by the Republicans from the last one? Nothing much.

    Sorry, but “Gaghdad” is a typo. You can use it, though.

  23. Because with public financing, people like Ron Paul would be on a even playing field with the other candidates.

    Since public fincing goes to candidates who are already popular It would mean that those like Ron Paul stand even less of a chance.

    That’s why the incumbents love it so much. No worries about anyone coming in from the fringes (of either the left or right) and derailing their gravy train.

  24. A colleague heard McCain at Yale some months back. No charisma. Read his entire speech from his notes. During q&a was condescending and mocked students. Doesn’t know what anybody ever saw in him.

  25. Joe,
    With the 3rd most money he can position himself as such, but not with far less money than he thought he’d have.

    The story is not only that Giuliani and Romney have raised all this money, but that McCain hasn’t. He’s not just being outfundraised, he’s severely underperforming. That’s what’s hurting him. Under public financing, he might be able to reach the allowed maximum and pretend that he could raise a lot more, when in reality he’d be struggling, but here his failure is totally public.

  26. Surprise, surprise a politician that can’t manage money even in his own name when that money is given by someone else to them.

    Reminds me of the last Prez go round when Dean was going to balance the National budget when in the end he was begging donors of his now defunct pres. run to help him pay off his campaign debts. Can’t even manage his campaigns finances on budget but he is going to balance the Fed Budget, uh yeahhhh right.

    They spend so much of other peoples money to be allowed to take and spend yet even more money from all of us.

    Explain this to me. Why is it that my way costs no one else anything yet everyone elses way costs me nearly half my fucking pay? How exactly does your dumbass idea make me obligated to finance it? In this day and age we should be allowed to vote on all issue, we no longer need to send reps to DC to vote for us this is not required they just need to plead the states cases. We should all vote on all issues talk about cutting the pork train down to cutlet.

    Just because one sides political machine wins an election should not mean I am automatically required to pay for their ideas. In todays day and age we should have a simple check list of all the government funded programs. If you agree and want to support the program check the box yes if not then check no. Send it in and all those that checked the yes boxes will be sent the bill for their support of those programs evenly divided amoungst the rest that wanted to support it. Everyone that checked no gets no bill.

    Something tells me if all these wonderful give away ideas were to be financed by those alone who had the idea they would suddenly not look so appealing. But I guess you can’t buy enough votes without stealing money from those who would give you nothing directly for any of those individual issues.

  27. McCain is not used to balancing a budget. He married an incredibly wealthy woman who was the sole heir to her family fortune. He is surrounded by the highest priced campaign consultants of any campaign I understand, and he has kept most of them on staff for years. I’m shocked he has any money in the bank at all.

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