ONTD Political

Mitt Romney's Campaign: Jub Creator, Money Spender.

6:46 am - 11/20/2012
Mitt Romney's Surprisingly Unbusinesslike Campaign

I've read several election postmortems that claim Mitt Romney paid a whole lot more for his TV ads than Barack Obama did. Today, Matt Lewis confirms this. His source tells him that Romney typically paid a big premium for non-preemptable ads even in early September, when ads are rarely preempted. Why?

According to our source, Team Obama simply did the “due diligence to find where the lowest unit rate was,” a tedious process which “takes manpower.” Conversely, it appears Team Romney simply didn’t want bother with the hassle. So they threw money at the problem — and walked away.

In other words, Obama ran his campaign like a business, outsourcing specialized tasks like media buys to outside firms and keeping a tight rein on costs. Conversely, Romney ran his campaign like a millionaire's personal fiefdom, figuring that his buddies could do the job as well as anyone else. But although they were pretty deft at making excuses for their inefficiency, it turned out they couldn't. What's more, outside the world of TV ads, he directed a tremendous amount of campaign money to his friends:

Mitt Romney's campaign has directed $134.2 million to political firms with business ties to his senior staff, spotlighting the tightknit nature of his second presidential bid and the staggering sums being spent in this election....Ryan Williams, a Romney spokesman, said payments to firms with connections to staff members were not only for consulting, but also were used to purchase a variety of services, including "polling, video production, political mail, get-out-the-vote phones, online advertising, website development, and budget and compliance management, among other things."

His longtime business cronies did well out of the campaign, but Romney apparently didn't know how to manage them very well (cf. Orca, failure of). This isn't surprising. Romney portrays himself as a successful manager, but there's a big difference between heading up a private equity firm and heading up an actual business. Live and learn.

shortsweetcynic 20th-Nov-2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
and yet again i'm aware of what a huge bullet we dodged with an obama win.

keeperofthekeys 20th-Nov-2012 07:55 pm (UTC)
girlwonderrobin 20th-Nov-2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, Mittens. Didn't you know? Money can't buy you brains!
skellington1 20th-Nov-2012 06:42 pm (UTC)
You need a wizard for that!

[I suppose, technically, money can hire you brains, but you have to have enough brains to choose good brains to hire, and that appears to be lacking]
girlwonderrobin 20th-Nov-2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
That's exactly my point. It's like an analogy I've heard before about farts. To cut the cheese, you must first eat the cheese. To hire a brain, you must first possess a portion of one yourself. Or you'll end up with a team of money happy charlatans.

Thank GOD the American people cannot be duped. Well, 52%, give or take a decimal point...
keestone 20th-Nov-2012 11:08 pm (UTC)
Even then, all you get is a head full of bran and pins and needles.

(On the other hand, the Scarecrow was a smart enough ruler to know he was crap at ruling a country and happy to step down and let a girl run things. And off course, the Wizard was also smart enough to know he was a humbug, and he skipped town before everybody started to call shenanigans. And he actually did stimulate the economy, come to think of it. . . . which means they were both smarter than Romney.)

Edited at 2012-11-20 11:10 pm (UTC)
skellington1 20th-Nov-2012 11:26 pm (UTC)
That's true. I don't think anyone in the Wizard of Oz is really a good Romney parallel.
keestone 20th-Nov-2012 11:30 pm (UTC)
Maybe the Nome King?

Wait. I know! Princess Langwidere! He kept on changing heads (and personalities to match) depending on who he wanted to be that day.
skellington1 20th-Nov-2012 11:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes, the creep creepy face person!

Wow, it's been far too long since I read Wizard of Oz. Should fix that.
keestone 20th-Nov-2012 11:35 pm (UTC)
I've read the first book within the past few years (well, I taught it so it was kind of necessary), but I really need to reread the sequels again. The Marvellous Land of Oz was always my favorite. (That reminds me, I still need to get myself an H.M. Wogglebug T.E. icon.)
skellington1 20th-Nov-2012 11:36 pm (UTC)
I think I've only read the one right after, and seen that movie in the distant past -- like, distant enough past that I'm pretty sure it was a movie, and I"m pretty sure I saw it, and I'm pretty sure it was Wizard of Oz, but it might all have been a fever dream.
keestone 20th-Nov-2012 11:45 pm (UTC)
There was a movie in the 80s that starred Fairuza Balk and mixed in stuff from Ozma of Oz (book 3) and Tiktok of Oz (book 8) with completely un-book-related plot IIRC. I'm not sure whether I saw it myself, but I'm pretty sure it traumatized some of my friends growing up. (I at least read all of the Baum sequels and most of the Ruth Plumly Thompson sequels at some point in my childhood.)

I think Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz (book 4) has the creepiest characters of all. At least, I got totally creeped out by the vegetable people. But, totally read the books! You know they were removed from lots of library shelves in the 50s because people thought they were too communist? And really, light-hearted jabs at suffragists asides, Oz is a utopian matriarchal society. It's awesome. ;D (Far from unproblematic -- and there's a paper or two I still need to write there -- but awesome.)

Edited at 2012-11-20 11:46 pm (UTC)
skellington1 20th-Nov-2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
OMG That was it! It wasn't just an insane and terrifying dream!

BTW, I've always loved that otter icon.

Edited at 2012-11-20 11:49 pm (UTC)
keestone 20th-Nov-2012 11:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks. It's totally yanked off of Cat and Girl and it still makes me smile almost every time I see it. (I wish I could have managed to buy the t-shirt.)
nesmith 21st-Nov-2012 03:48 am (UTC)
I remember that movie gave me nightmares as a kid. When it came out everyone at my school kept reminding me of it because they thought I was related to the girl (we have the same last name).
crossfire 20th-Nov-2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
You know, every time I read an article like this I'm really amazed and relieved that we dodged the bullet that was President Romney.
moljn 20th-Nov-2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
President Romney

My mind just literally went [blank] when I read that. Does not compute.
moonbladem 20th-Nov-2012 05:11 pm (UTC)
If he ran his campaign in that manner, imagine how he would have run the country. *shudders*

And a collective sigh of relief was heard around the world...
kitanabychoice 20th-Nov-2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
This song is only relevant through title and first lyric, but I'm posting it anyway because that's what started looping through my head as I read this.

shortsweetcynic Re: ORCA20th-Nov-2012 05:54 pm (UTC)
coyotesuspect 20th-Nov-2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
The postmortem dissection of these campaigns and what worked and what didn't is really fascinating to me.

Also lawl Romney
eyetosky 20th-Nov-2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
I was under the impression that incumbents actually paid a lower rate for ads in national elections by default anyway? I could've sworn I heard that on Maddow. In that case, it's a bit disingenuous to attribute that to thrift on the campaign's part.

*digs around the internet for sources*
eyetosky 20th-Nov-2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
Nevermind, I'm nuts. I misheard the fact that political ads have to get the lowest rate because of public interest, and that applies to both parties. The cost disparity between the two is attributed to the Obama campaign buying less ads, but fewer of them limited to prime slots, while Romney took every slot possible, even if it was 3 AM on a Tuesday.
paksenarrion2 21st-Nov-2012 04:50 am (UTC)
Hell, he even bought spots out here in WA the last three weeks. WA that went firmly Obama-who only did a few random spots to dozens of Romney spots.
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