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Karl Rove
Mitt Romney's (not so) secret weapon
(Jim Bourg/Reuters)

The Wall Street Journal's Danny Yadron notes the Obama campaign's cash-on-hand advantage over Mitt Romney:

The Obama campaign and affiliates at the DNC and Obama Victory fund had $144.3 million of cash on hand at the end of April, more than double the $61.4 million for the Romney campaign and its affiliates at the Republican National Committee, FEC figures showed.
It would be a mistake to get cocky, however. As Yadron points out, Mitt Romney has the ability to close the gap. First, now that Romney is officially the presumptive nominee, he can coordinate fundraising efforts with the RNC, effectively raising the limit on contributions to to $75,000 per individual. Second, Mitt Romney has a network of Super PACs that will back him:
Unless things change, the Obama campaign will be largely on its own to combat a wave of TV ads from Republican super PACs, such as American Crossroads, which was started with the help of former Bush strategist Karl Rove. Democratic donors have been slow to support similar groups on their own side, though the party will have money and manpower from its allies in organized labor.
To put this in perspective, Karl Rove's American Crossroads plans to spend $200 million and has already raised half that. The Romney-aligned Restore Our Future Super PAC has already spent $45 million boosting Romney and had $8.2 million in the bank at the end of April. Priorities USA, the Obama-aligned Super PAC, had just $5 million in the bank at the end of March. Unless big donors step up, Priorities USA won't be able to match the likes of Rove's group and the Romney Super PAC—and that doesn't even include other groups like Americans for Prosperity, America Future Fund, and the Republican Majority Fund, all of which are going after Obama. And just today, the Chamber of Commerce—which also opposes Obama—said it will dump more than $50 million into the campaign.

Obviously, the Obama campaign is on solid ground financially, but it's increasingly clear that between his campaign and allied groups, Mitt Romney will be able to meet—or surpass—the president's fundraising.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:01 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  3 Most Important Factors of the Campaign Are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, phrogge prince

    timing, timing, timing and timing.

    They are the reality party about winning power.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:03:55 AM PDT

  •  the whole fucking thing... (10+ / 0-)

    is sickening.

    We need six week publicly funded elections.

    As a nation, the U.S. consumes the most hot dogs per capita. So you'd be wise to never underestimate our powers of denial.

    by jbou on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:04:36 AM PDT

  •  Rove spending $200M to buy the presidency (11+ / 0-)

    has to become a campaign issue in its own right.

    It seems to me that publicizing the money war would be an effective way to counter their advantage.  People don't like to be treated like fools, once they understand what is being done to them.

    But right now, I don't think the people seeing the ads understand the money flow.  So they see the attck ads and respond they way they are being programmed to respond.

    why I'm a Democrat - Isaiah 58:6-12, Matthew 25:31-46

    by marking time on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:18:07 AM PDT

    •  I said this yesterday (4+ / 0-)

      and I think this or something similar would go far.

      A counter ad strategy  might be to show pieces of the ridiculous ads and call them out. Have the candidate himself say "Do you know who funded this?" and go on to explain why the Kochs and their ilk want the other guy elected. Just buying their representatives who are more than willing to line their pockets after the election.  We can't win talking amongst ourselves about the realities of Citizens United.
      •  Yep. (0+ / 0-)

        And end it by being very blunt: "They want to buy the presidency with lies and anonymous money.  Will you let it work?"

        Hopefully, a fair number of people will respond "Hell No!"

        why I'm a Democrat - Isaiah 58:6-12, Matthew 25:31-46

        by marking time on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:40:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  You publicize the money war with...... (0+ / 0-)

      ....money. Bit of a conundrum.

  •  You can thank Justice Kennedy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radarlady, Larsstephens

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Mon May 21, 2012 at 08:19:17 AM PDT

  •  Good luck, Karl! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Little Lulu, Amber6541

    By the time November gets here, people will be sick of Karl Rove and his gang. People can only take so much negative campaigning.

    Besides, who are they trying to appeal to with these negative campaigns? From what I've read, negative campaigns tends to turn independent voters off.

    Last but not least, having the most money doesn't mean you will win an election. It helps, but it doesn't seal the deal.

  •  Why dont we (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541

    from a Orange SuperPac.. create a devastating ad and raise funds to get it aired?

  •  Rove should be in jail (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Little Lulu, Amber6541, Mogolori

    instead of raising millions of dollars from other criminals and traitors.

  •  Personally, I take great pleasure in watching (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joeschmeaux, Amber6541

    filthy rich Rethugs throw their lucre at Rmoney and lose that bet come November big time.  It's gonna be sweet to watch.  Much like Meg-A-Bucks Whitman in CA.  Sweeeeeeeeeet.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:13:48 AM PDT

  •  Does this work? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, jck, native, Diana in NoVa

    I can't remember the last time I intentionally subjected myself to a TV commercial, much less paid attention to one. I can't be the only one.

    Are people honestly influenced by political ads? Any research on the subject? Or is this more a matter of the ability to have comprehensive GOTV procedures in place?

    What the hell are they going to spend $200 million on?

    •  Diminishing returns (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Diana in NoVa

      At some point, they could spend every penny on the planet and it wouldn't change opinion enough to swing the election. Are some people swayed by political advertising? Absolutely. Look how many people bought a snuggy or shakeweight for christ's sake. But at a certain point, the media market becomes saturated with your message and you are just throwing good money out the window and getting no return on the investment.

      •  U'r forgetting the 'pile on' effect of media megap (0+ / 0-)

        hone.  It will happen.  The media is more corrupt than the Thugs, which is saying something.  At least you know Thugs are reliably evil.  The media doesn't even have a corrupted soul.

    •  Exactly, gonnabechef! (0+ / 0-)

      Just what is that money spent on?

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:57:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It worked nicely for Thugs in 2010. Its the last (0+ / 0-)

      weeks $200 million blitz of lies that will kill us.

      And don't kid yourself, they will $400 m before mid-Oct then another $200+.  And that's just the SuperPacs.

  •  Where are the Dem Big Money Donors? (0+ / 0-)

    It's absolutely dumbfounding that our big donors are sitting on the sidelines.  And contrary to what many of you believe, there are a ton of big Dem donors.  In CA & NY alone, you could easily raise $100M at $500K - $1M per.   I just don't understand why they are refusing to get involved.

    It's also important to note that, for those of who have maxed out to OFA, an additional $25K can be given to the DNC and the DNC is essentially acting as an extension of OFA.  Given the massive number of donors that Obama has, you would he would be able to take advantage of this more so than Romney.  

    Trust-Fund Kids of America Unite... save the Bush tax cuts!

    by JCPOK on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:22:21 AM PDT

  •  It is truly obscene that such monumental (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Amber6541, Diana in NoVa

    amounts of money are spent on national elections.  Think of all the good that money could do if spent elsewhere.

  •  If money can buy this / every election ... (0+ / 0-)

    we're finished. The only way to fight this is with boots and person to person networking and education. And local candidates supporting the top of the ticket by energizing supporters with local connections and issues.

    I'm less pessimistic about this than I expected at the top of the ticket. The dirty secret of what's left of Madison Ave is that advertising as a whole has less and less of an effect. Obama will do as well as he was going to do regardless of how much they outspend him by. The danger is targeted House races with an avalanche of negative ads swamping small candidates like what's happening now in Wisconsin. It's kind of hard for me to imagine that the < $100 I could possibly scrape up at this point would make any difference what so ever in the cash flood that is the Wisconsin recall election - note: I know that it would I'm talking about a visceral reaction to the amount of good it would do. $50 is maybe a tank of gas for one volunteer on election day and, sadly, hurts my budget right now.

    The conspiracist that I usually keep under wraps opins that maybe why the national Democratic Party is staying financially out of Wisconsin is some strange union busting deal with big business (part of the centrist Dem playbook since 1992). The reality based lurker that usually gets to do the typing thinks the national party has decided that money's not going to move that race and is waiting to see if people power can stop lying advertising and a visceral hatred of all things Union bred into the foot soldiers of the RW since Reagan and maintained by our right wing attack dog vs meek false equivalence media equation.

    There's got to be a better way - and, going against dKos group think, I don't think Occupy is at all relevant and the remaining coverage is a function of wishful thinking among what's left of the energized liberals / progressives in the media and blogosphere. Here's hoping I'm wrong but ...

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:39:07 AM PDT

  •  Republicans will swamp Democrats with cash. (0+ / 0-)

    If the Democrats are smart, they can use that to their advantage.

    Heavy-handed displays of influence-buying are NOT the new black this season.

  •  How can anyone question (0+ / 0-)

    the existence of evil when reading about Karl Rove and his manipulation of our lives with his secret money?  

  •  Election 2012 => (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    Bailed Out Corporate Sector vs. Tapped Out Middle Class

    Every dollar raised by Romney over that raised by Obama is evidence of a fundamentally undemocratic campaign finance system.

    "And now we know that government by organized money is just as dangerous as government by organized mob." -- FDR

    by Mogolori on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:42:18 AM PDT

  •  The Pillsbury Doughboy strikes again (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    I was hoping we'd seen the last of that evil little piece of raw muffin, but no such luck. I wonder what dirty tricks he's got up his sleeve this time around. Negative ads alone won't be enough to beat Obama.

    "Here's another nice mess you've gotten me into." - Oliver Hardy

    by native on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:51:56 AM PDT

  •  Does it bother anyone else that the presumption (0+ / 0-)

    is that the candidate who takes in more money wins the election?  I mean, are we in Afghanistan?

    What about the better candidate winning?

    And why do we have to help buy him?  What exactly is that money spent on?

    I feel nauseated.  

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon May 21, 2012 at 09:55:56 AM PDT

  •  If it comes down to Oligarchs vs. Labor (0+ / 0-)

    and the amount spent really matters, I think it's going to be a lopsided win for the Republicans. How much money can organized labor have to throw at this election, given that I see statistics on Wikipedia that 11.4% of the US work force is unionized?

    I would like to hope that the total amount of spending isn't going to be what determines the outcome, but if it is I think that the Democrats are going to be in a world of hurt. While there may be individual examples of rich Dem donors, the overall wealth of the two sides isn't terribly close.

  •  A carefully crafted Obama ad campaign could (0+ / 0-)

    render the rmoney pacs ineffective.

    In this unchartered territory of post citizens united, it's certainly scary that the thugs can spend limitless money to saturate the airwaves with lies. There is no doubt in my mind that millions of voters in this country vote for whoever they think had the best TV ads. If the Obama campaign (or an Obama PAC) were to saturate the airwaves with a series of TV ads educating people about PACs, citizens united, how easily people are swayed from the truth by slick ads with crooked backers, etc; and which hype a website to which people can go to find out just who those crooked backers are; the lying romney corporate personhood PACs could be hung with their own rope.

    This election has to be about the rich vs. the poor, because that's the biggest issue facing the people. Rich corporations have grown accustomed to paying slave wages and little to no tax in emerging second and third world countries. Now they want the same privileges here and it looks like they are succeeding. If they aren't stopped this election, it may be too late.

    It's a slippery slope down, and we're already sliding on it. If we don't stop the momentum of inequality, we might soon find ourselves in a dangerous situation (virtual or actual indentured servitude, debtor's prison, limits on free speech, mass disenfranchisement, mass homelessness and starvation, etc.) which we will not be able to legislate our way out of. At that point, we will have few alternatives to real revolution.

    If a majority of Americans can be persuaded to develop a significant distaste for people who try to buy their way into office, the rmoney PACs will find themselves in a can't win situation: they can't win without spending a lot of money, but the more they spend, the more they sicken people's sense of wright and wrong (pun intended), so they can't win that way either. Perhaps the rmoney campaign could be reduced to having to talk about his positions -- and they definitely can't win that way!

  •  then there's continuing 24/7 pro GOP RW radio (0+ / 0-)

    and they might have to finally spend some of that money to prop up limbaugh in the next months

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Mon May 21, 2012 at 10:12:43 AM PDT

  •  Go small donors! (0+ / 0-)

    There is a reason that Obama's Chiefs of Staff come from Wall Street Banks. And it has nothing to do with Change We Can Believe In.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Mon May 21, 2012 at 10:31:22 AM PDT

  •  Obama's cash on hand is irrelevant. (0+ / 0-)

    Citizens United guarantees that this fight will be through proxies.

    A man, like Obama, who threatens unpatriotic international corporations can never, ever come up with enough cash to level the playing field.

  •  Some projections ... (0+ / 0-)

    This election total fundraising -- 1 billion

    2016 Presidential Election -- 1 trillion

    2020 Presidential Election -- 1 quadrillion

    2024 Presidential Election -- 1 quintillion

    2028 Presidential Election -- 1 sextillion

    Where will it end ..... ?

  •  I wonder how much of this will actually be spent. (0+ / 0-)

    These huge sums seem more and more like the nuclear arsenals of America and the Soviet Union. Both nations kept piling the megatons higher and higher solely for "deterrence".

    A candidate's worse nightmare is a $1 million negative ad buy in the final weeks of the campaign - with no way to respond. The ability to launch a "retaliatory strike" is the most effective way to deter such an attack.

    It wouldn't surprise me to learn that much of the funds are effectively "pledges", with private agreements that they be returned to the donor after the election, if not spent.

    Have you noticed?
    Politicians who promise LESS government
    only deliver BAD government.

    by jjohnjj on Mon May 21, 2012 at 10:59:22 AM PDT

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