Citizens United is Kicking Romney’s Ass

Mitt Romney, who in years past would be watching his weak also-ran competition starting to bow out because of lack of campaign cash, is fighting off a multi-million dollar avalanche of Citizens United style Super PAC money. It’s not just Newt’s Super PAC and their anti-Romney movie :

[…]The Red, White and Blue Fund, an outside group that is promoting the candidacy of Rick Santorum, began advertising in South Carolina before the New Hampshire primary, softening the negative effects of Mr. Santorum’s potentially campaign killing — at least by the old rules — poor finish there on Tuesday.

On Thursday, the group, which was seeded with a major contribution from Foster Friess, a wealthy mutual fund executive, announced a new investment of $600,000 in television advertising in South Carolina. […]

While Jon M. Huntsman Jr. has had too little campaign cash to afford substantial advertising, a super PAC supporting him, Our Destiny, helped keep him afloat through New Hampshire and is expected to weigh in for him to some degree in South Carolina. The group has received hundreds of thousands of dollars from Mr. Huntsman’s father, a billionaire industrialist.

Super PAC money is probably going to have a major negative effect on Democrats in House and Senate races. For example, in pre-Citizens United years, I’d say that Elizabeth Warren would cruise to an easy victory in Massachusetts. This year, since she’s probably facing millions of dollars of Super PAC funded negative ads, I’m not so sure. But for the race that Republicans want to win the most, the Presidency, Super PACs are going to be at least as tough on Romney as they are on Obama. The Obama campaign is a money-raising machine unrivaled by Romney, so Mitt is going to have to waste time fundraising, and deplete his campaign accounts, to try to beat back Super PAC ads during at least the next couple of primaries. Before Citizens United, his campaign would have been stockpiling cash, not spending it.






90 replies
  1. 1
    Schlemizel says:

    AAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGG
    NPR had an absolute blow job for Willard on this morning. All those vulture capitalists are wonderful people who are creating wealth and performing miracles for the country. No mention of looted pensions of destroyed value.

  2. 2
    cathyx says:

    @Schlemizel: And doesn’t that fit in nicely to the many discussions about the NYT editor’s question.

  3. 3
    Raven says:

    Poetic justice !

  4. 4
    Mino says:

    @Schlemizel: I guess they can hire more servants with the money they loot.

  5. 5
    ant says:

    I watched the noot video I think it was yesterday….. Anyway, I found myself googleing the name of the outfit that was promoting it. Then I googled “superpac”. The experience was kinda weird.

    Everybody knows it’s noot that’s doing this, but we haveta pretend that it’s not. It’s an outside group. pfft.

    So now, billionaires can influence elections anonymously, and in unlimited fashion.

    yay.

  6. 6
    Chyron HR says:

    Mitt Romney […] is fighting off a multi-million dollar avalanche of Citizens United style Super PAC money.

    But… but… VICTORY!!

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    I wonder how Occupy the Supreme Court would fare?

    Show up in business attire and really scare them.

  8. 8
    Raven says:

    @Elizabelle: Reminds me of the line in Downton Abbey where Maggie Smith, Dowager Countess of Grantham asks “what’s a weekend”? She is shocked at the notion of a work week.

  9. 9
    WereBear says:

    The Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again.

    But who is making all the money? The TV stations? Who owns them?

  10. 10
    Yevgraf says:

    I think I’ve come up with a two word catchphrase to counter the “punishing success” meme.

    The new phrase is fun.

    Born Successful

    Mention Paris Hilton in the same breath.

  11. 11
    kay says:

    His problem is, he based his entire campaign on a lie.

    Bain wasn’t about “creating jobs”. Bain was about making money for Bain , first, last and always, and if making money for Bain meant destroying jobs, or loading entities up with unmanageable debt, well, that’s what they did.

    Romney’s already all caught up in his career-long record of lying. He can’t brag about his record in Massachusetts, because he’s disowned everything he did there. Now he’s stumbling over the fact that his entire line on Bain is complete bullshit.

    He can still run on the Olympics, I guess. His other two achievements are just loaded with land mines, and that’s his own doing.

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    @kay:

    Now he’s stumbling over the fact that his entire line on Bain is complete bullshit.

    And since the core argument of his campaign is based on his time at Bain (“Vote for me, I’m a successful businessman”), that’s a really big problem for him. Especially since Newt, Perry, and their respective big-money PAC backers are busily establishing that attacking Bain’s business model is nice and bipartisan…

  13. 13
    Valdivia says:

    @kay:

    I completely agree. He could have run on being a moderate from MA who is a technocrat and can work both sides of the aisle but he wouldn’t have won the primary that way so he went with being a Galtian Job Creator now its biting him in the ass. His fault since he made it the whole enchilada!

    I just saw the ad that responds to the Bain attacks and it is pretty weak I think. I also think it’s good to see how he responds, it gives us a sense of how to pounce even more.

  14. 14
    mistermix says:

    @kay: Yep. He’s also a cheap mofo. I wonder when he’s going to start pouring some serious Bain cash into his campaign. I mean ~$100 million, not the chump change he’s put in so far.

  15. 15

    […] Balloon Juice » Citizens United is Kicking Romney’s Ass […]

  16. 16
    jonas says:

    @kay: Run on the Olympics? Hah! Bringing a bunch of foreigners — many from socialist European countries — to American shores, all in a display of multicultural cooperation, internationalism and sportsmanship? Pansy-ass leftism, that is. Almost as if he spoke fluent French, or something. Oh, wait.

  17. 17
    dead existentialist says:

    Google

    salt lake city Olympics bribery

    . There’s plenty more fodder out there, at least some taint.

  18. 18
    Special Patrol Group says:

    The Obama campaign is a money-raising machine unrivaled by Romney

    Eh, in terms of money raised by the Obama campaign specifically, that may well be true. In terms of SuperPAC money, I bet the party of Big Business (well, more so) rakes in a lot more. (I don’t know this for sure and I’m pretty sure it would be well nigh impossible to know for sure since the money can be anonymous.) I don’t hear right wingers bitching about Citizens United.

  19. 19
    scottinnj says:

    I’m worrying that the movie Idiocracy was too optimistic.

  20. 20
    ericblair says:

    @Special Patrol Group:

    In terms of SuperPAC money, I bet the party of Big Business (well, more so) rakes in a lot more. (I don’t know this for sure and I’m pretty sure it would be well nigh impossible to know for sure since the money can be anonymous.) I don’t hear right wingers bitching about Citizens United.

    The reason goopers are so obsessed about raising cash is that they waste so goddamn much of it. Based on how things are going I think Citizens United is going to have less of an effect than we feared, since a good portion is going to circular firing squads and counterproductive attacks, and a bunch more is being siphoned off by the various grifters and remoras that constitute the party apparatus.

  21. 21
    Tone In DC says:

    Off topic

    DC’s illustrious mayor wants the Park Police to evict Occupy DC.

    Brilliant. Didn’t know I worked in Oakland East. Will they shoot tear gas canisters directly at peaceful protesters, or just shoot them with rubber bullets?

  22. 22
    Zifnab says:

    I’m actually curious to see how many new Christine O’Donnells we’ll get this year in House and Senate races. Idiots congealing around a candidate whose primary redeeming attribute is that she’s “Not a witch” don’t seem like a bad omen for the Democratic Party.

    For all the SuperPAC money that gets thrown into real elections, I can’t help but think letting rebel billionaires do the candidate picking ahead of veteran GOP political strategists because “Screw you, we rich guys know best!” might not be the boon Republicans had hoped for.

  23. 23
    Hill Dweller says:

    What can he run on from his time as Governor? The health care legislation, and its mandate? The anemic job growth?

    I keep harping on this, but Romney’s constituents turned on him rather quickly(we’re talking low 30’s approval ratings for the last half of his term). He basically quit governing once it became apparent he couldn’t win reelection.

  24. 24
    dmsilev says:

    @Hill Dweller: I dunno, in the GOP primary a message of “The liberals of Taxachusetts hated me, so you should like me” might have some resonance.

  25. 25
    Schlemizel says:

    @dead existentialist:
    I seem to remember that those Olympics needed Federal money to get out of the hole. Is that true? Anybody have links?

    @scottinnj:
    Don’t worry – be happy! The estimate was 500 years in the future but it was off by a factor of 10. We are only 50 years away.
    “Don’t worry, scrote. There are plenty of ‘tards out there living really kick-ass lives. My first wife was ‘tarded. She’s a pilot now. “

  26. 26
    kay says:

    @dmsilev:

    And since the core argument of his campaign is based on his time at Bain (“Vote for me, I’m a successful businessman”), that’s a really big problem for him.

    I’ve been laughing, listening to “serious” Romney backers whining that he isn’t defending ” the role of private equity”. They’re pretending it’s a “messaging” problem, but it isn’t.

    Mitt Romney could have told the truth about what Bain is and does. He didn’t. He chose to mischaracterize the central premise of his qualifications.

    He lied on his resume, and now he’s at the interview, and he’s still desperately trying to cram his experience at Bain into the “job creator” box required for the new position, but that isn’t what his job was at his prior employer.

    Lots of people do this on resumes, restate their former job in terms of the new requirements for the position they seek, but he decided to try it in a presidential campaign.

  27. 27
    ericblair says:

    @dmsilev:

    I dunno, in the GOP primary a message of “The liberals of Taxachusetts hated me, so you should like me” might have some resonance.

    I think that was more Bush the Lesser. The Village loved Bush, since he was a proper Connecticut blueblood scion of the upper class. Liberals hated him since he was such an obvious blueblood rich kid putting on this idiot Texas shitkicker act. Conservatives either loved the act or loved that it pissed off liberals, or likely both.

    Romney pissed off liberals? Fine, but Romney pissed off conservatives just as much.

  28. 28
    Special Patrol Group says:

    @ericblair:

    The reason goopers are so obsessed about raising cash is that they waste so goddamn much of it. Based on how things are going I think Citizens United is going to have less of an effect than we feared, since a good portion is going to circular firing squads and counterproductive attacks, and a bunch more is being siphoned off by the various grifters and remoras that constitute the party apparatus.

    Perhaps, but:
    1. It’s hard to waste money if it’s virtually unlimited.
    2. When the General Election comes around, I think we’ll see a well-oiled machine of efficient huge money spending from Rove’s exceedingly well organized outfit (Dems are way behind in the sort of streamlined money-funneling that Rove & Co. do, I’m told).

  29. 29
    kay says:

    @dmsilev:

    You know what will be a lot of fun?

    If it comes down to character, between Romney and Obama, and I think it might. Just delicious, if the sanctimonious, uber-religious and holier than thou GOP lose to Obama on character.

    Romney’s GOP opponents keep saying the same thing 20 different ways. They’re saying he’s a liar, and they know him best. I believe them.

  30. 30
    deep says:

    So far, I’m not too worried about Elizabeth Warren. So far the super pac ads have been so offensive and false, I’d imagine only the most dim witted Mass resident would be fooled by them.

    Of course we do have a few of those living on the south shore…

  31. 31
    ericblair says:

    1. It’s hard to waste money if it’s virtually unlimited.

    You can if you’re fucking up and crowding out better messaging. Even if the money’s unlimited, the pathways into people’s brains through TV and print are not. I also see a pulsating mass of consultants, media experts, and other middleman that can ramp up just as quickly as necessary to use up all those new money flows.

    2. When the General Election comes around, I think we’ll see a well-oiled machine of efficient huge money spending from Rove’s exceedingly well organized outfit (Dems are way behind in the sort of streamlined money-funneling that Rove & Co. do, I’m told).

    He can have an efficient, well-organized machine. It can also be drowned out by inefficient, counterproductive ranting being churned out by any rich crank. I think Rove had a better situation pre-Citizens since he could actually position himself to control what was going out in the media; now, not so much.

    Hell, you could be right. I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

  32. 32
    dmsilev says:

    @kay: That would be hilarious. Really, if it comes down to a “who do you like better, Obama or Romney” question, Romney’s got a problem. He isn’t exactly the most likable guy in the world, as an infinity of “Romneybot” jokes demonstrates.

    It’s also interesting to compare the origin stories, if you will, of Obama and Romney. They both went to Harvard graduate schools, and then diverged rather sharply. Obama became a community organizer, helping to build up people at the bottom of the pile. Romney became, well Romney. If this were some cheesy summer action movie, we’d discover that the two of them were good friends at Harvard, had a falling-out, and after taking opposite paths through life are destined to meet in a climactic battle just before the setup for the inevitable sequel.

  33. 33
    Hill Dweller says:

    (per Benen)In just two weeks, Romney has gone from claiming he created 100,000 jobs to “tens of thousands job” to “thousands of jobs” as of this morning.

  34. 34
    dmsilev says:

    @kay: On a similar vein, the Obama campaign has started going after Romney (Politico link):

    President Obama — who, like Mitt Romney, earned a degree from Harvard and all the opportunities that affords — began his career helping jobless workers in the shadow of a closed-down steel mill. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, made millions closing down steel mills.

    If that becomes the key contrast of the campaign, Romney is toast.

  35. 35
    rikryah says:

    Willard’s ENTIRE, and I do mean ENTIRE campaign is based upon..

    America needs a CEO in charge.

    That’s it.

    THAT is the basis upon which this country should elect him President.

    And, because THAT is it..

    ANYTHING, AND EVERYTHING that relates to his time as a CEO

    Is FAIR GAME.

    Which is why I call bullshyt on those who think that Bain is going to ‘ blow over’.

    BLOW OVER?

    Hell-to –the-naw on that.

    We haven’t even gotten to the part, where, like his tax returns, and the disk drives from Massachusetts, he WON’T LET THE STUFF FROM HIS TIME AT BAIN BE RELEASED.

  36. 36
    dmsilev says:

    @Hill Dweller: Exponential decay, huh. Looks like a 10 dB/week slope, so at that rate, Romney will be claiming to have created “a job” (his own, presumably) by the end of the month.

  37. 37
    kay says:

    @Valdivia:

    he wouldn’t have won the primary that way so he went with being a Galtian Job Creator now its biting him in the ass.

    I don’t think he did that to win the primary. I think denying everything he did in Massachusetts was to win the primary.

    I think his organization looked at the economy and looked at polling and looked at his experience and said “you were a job creator at Bain”. It’s his message in the general.

    I think they’re really methodical, and they had two prongs, one short term and one long term: deny Massachusetts record; primary, job creator at Bain;primary to general.

    He’s winning the primary. The first leg worked. His problem is that second thing. He has to go back to record in Massachusetts, I guess, and then he runs head-first into “flip flopper”.

  38. 38
    rikryah says:

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again:

    Nobody is gonna cut someone over Willard.

    Unless you get an actual paycheck from him, nobody on the street is gonna stand up and defend him.

    IF his checks didn’t clear, wouldn’t nobody even know his name.

  39. 39
    Valdivia says:

    @kay:

    excellent point. I just think that as Ezra pointed out and you did too Bain was never about job creation, it was about wealth creation and the longer he keeps saying that the more trouble he gets into.

  40. 40
    daveNYC says:

    And no matter how badly Romney’s ass is chewed in the campaign, he’ll still have a baseline support of 40% of the vote.

    I guess the plus side for candidates is that they no longer have to spend all their time fundraising. Just get buy in from one or two major industry groups and you’ll be good to go for cash.

  41. 41
    Valdivia says:

    @dmsilev:

    I particularly love that this is also turning the odious Palin joke from the convention speech into a plus: hell yes I was c community organizer when he was a community raider! I came in to solve the problems he created! Just like I had to do after Bush left. Perfection.

  42. 42
    kay says:

    @dmsilev:

    made millions

    It’s such a hard thing for him. Had he come out and said “Bain was about making money, and I made money, for myself and others, and I don’t apologize for that because that’s markets and allocating capital, blah blah blah” but he didn’t say that.
    He said Bain was about creating jobs. What a ridiculous thing to say.

  43. 43
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @kay:
    @dmsilev:

    Here’s an interesting bit of anecdata. We had a late lunch the day after NH at a local bar/cafe that’s been around forever, is famous for its sandwiches, and quite close to our new place. A couple in their 70s came in to sit in the booth behind us, so it was hard not to eavesdrop. I’d have pegged them for Fux Newsies based on the snippets of overheard conversation. They were joined by another man and the talk turned to politics. They didn’t seem to like Romney much, and the other guy was explaining venture capitalism (he sorta got it right, but omitted the vulture capitalism component.)

    The striking thing is that the man from the couple said “what Obama’s done is fine.” She said, apparently surprised, “so who are you going to pick – Obama or Romney?” And he said “Obama, unless he does something stupid.” She seemed even more surprised by that based on her facial expression. So I think it could get real interesting when some of the older Fuxies are planning to vote for the incumbent.

  44. 44
    Cacti says:

    @rikryah:

    Willard’s ENTIRE, and I do mean ENTIRE campaign is based upon…America needs a CEO in charge

    And rather than say, running a Fortune 500 company that actually produced goods…

    His entire CEO tenure was in running a pump and dump operation that pillaged the wealth of people who actually made things for a living.

    Mitt isn’t an all-American success story who made a fortune from building a better mousetrap. His job was to find people like that, and suck their companies dry.

  45. 45
    kay says:

    @Valdivia:

    I don’t follow “finance” generally, but one of my sisters does (she knows a lot about it) and she says private equity people aren’t even defending him.

    They’re saying it isn’t about “creating jobs”. Jobs may or may not be created, but that isn’t what they set out to do every day. It’s a weird argument, conceptually, for a conservative. He didn’t just “let markets work”, and there were “winners and losers”?

  46. 46
    dmsilev says:

    @kay: I’m not sure he really had a choice. Sure, “Bain was all about making money for us and our investors, and we didn’t care one way or the other about creation or destroying jobs” is accurate, but even in the GOP primary, you have to at least look like you care about normal people. So, pretend, bluff, and lie, and hope that nobody either in the press or in the opposing campaigns does a good job calling you on it.

  47. 47
    rageahol says:

    It occurs to me that the recent “more heat than light” bullshit from the NYT seems like an organizational way to say that yes, the CU decision is what’s going to keep the company afloat for the next few years, and the hell with you DFHs who think that news agencies should commit journalism.

  48. 48
    Mino says:

    @dmsilev: Stephany Cutter is pretty good with her metaphors and can put down a train of thought. Good job.

  49. 49
    Paula says:

    @ant:

    I’m pretty sure that everyone know that the candidates run the superpacs.

    Racketeering?

  50. 50
    kay says:

    @dmsilev:

    I just keep going back to picturing Romney at a rally here, in rural Ohio.

    Bush was a very good politician, and he genuinely connected with people. Liberals may hate to hear it, but that’s what happened, that’s what I saw.

    I just don’t think Bush voters (here) are going to connect with Romney. Kerry didn’t really “reach” Democrats here. I remember standing at a Kerry rally in Bowling Green Ohio and listening to him and watching faces and thinking “we’re in trouble”. Kerry had some genuine humility and a nice self-deprecating vibe, too, like he knew it was a problem, and that was appealing. Romney seems clueless.

  51. 51
    terraformer says:

    So, in terms of advertising, it’s going to come down to which side has the most money to provide: the billionaires with the empathy gene, or the billionaires without the empathy gene?

  52. 52
    priscianusjr says:

    You know what Citizens United reminds me of? Pandora’s Box.
    Or that old expression — “Be careful what you pray for.”

  53. 53
    vheidi says:

    @Schlemizel: yes, but at least today was the last time I’ll have to listen to that douche Chiotakis on marketplace

  54. 54
    priscianusjr says:

    @kay:

    He said Bain was about creating jobs. What a ridiculous thing to say.

    It IS a ridiculous thing to say. And yet, politicians and the MSM have been peddling that load of crap since forever. It’s only recently that Mr. & Mrs. America have finally realizd how ridiculous it is. Tough luck, Romney.

  55. 55
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    @ericblair: I agree with your first comment along these lines – Redoublechins are infinitely creative at figuring out ways to line their pockets and burn other people’s money. I expect an army of idiot nephews to gobble up the Citizens United cash and really put the “diminish” in “diminishing returns” by churning out horseshit like the Demon Sheep ad.

    I hadn’t considered the part about how there’s only so much bandwidth to buy, though.

    I think the kind of thing that’s going to get anti-Citizens-United legislation through Congress is the same mechanism that gets any campaign finance reform through there: the realization that what they thought was a golden goose for Republicans is actually biting them on the ass.

  56. 56
    priscianusjr says:

    @ericblair:

    Even if the money’s unlimited, the pathways into people’s brains through TV and print are not. I also see a pulsating mass of consultants, media experts, and other middleman that can ramp up just as quickly as necessary to use up all those new money flows.

    You have a really good point. There is high potential for pandemonium.

  57. 57
    Mnemosyne says:

    @kay:

    Bush was a very good politician, and he genuinely connected with people. Liberals may hate to hear it, but that’s what happened, that’s what I saw.

    I might be a little more narrow than that and say that Bush was a good campaigner rather than a good politician, but I’ve been saying for a while now that George W. Bush’s one major skill in life was running for president. He was really, really good at it. People always give most of the credit to Rove, but Bush was heavily involved in strategy and he knew what Republican voters would respond to. I’m still convinced that the most effective attacks (like McCain having a black baby) were thought up by Bush.

    It’s not enough to have a great campaign staff — you have to have a candidate who has good instincts, too. I just don’t see that coming from Romney.

  58. 58
    kay says:

    @priscianusjr:

    It’s only recently that Mr. & Mrs. America have finally realizd how ridiculous it is. Tough luck, Romney.

    I agree. We’ve been told to worship people like Romney my entire adult life. It’s not over yet, CEO/finance worship, but the solid wall is cracking.

    I think it was so damaging, because it both justified the insane salaries they pay themselves, and demeaned the role and contribution of actual workers. It wasn’t enough that we put them way up. We also had to push down the people beneath them. All we needed to succeed were GREAT managers. The people who did the work were just interchangeable cogs to be managed. Just poison. A double whammy, if you’re not a manager.

  59. 59
    FollowtheDough says:

    @priscianusjr:

    I highly doubt that billionaires are worried about us in the sense of a takeover. The system has been gamed and we are the chumps that keep saying “We will get them next time” Alas, you can’t compete w/ a rigged board.

  60. 60

    The real danger of Citizens United is the effect it would have on Congressional and state elections. Most Presidential candidates can hold their own in the fundraising department once they have the nomination, but those other offices are much more susceptible to undue influence by Super PAC money. I don’t think any Congressional seat is completely safe in the era of unlimited money.

    @kay:

    If it comes down to character, between Romney and Obama, and I think it might. Just delicious, if the sanctimonious, uber-religious and holier than thou GOP lose to Obama on character.

    Oh my. The the political party filled with god-bothering atavists losing an election on the character issue. FSM please make it so!

  61. 61
    kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    He was really, really good at it. People always give most of the credit to Rove, but Bush was heavily involved in strategy and he knew what Republican voters would respond to.

    He was. There were a couple of weeks there where I thought they had a credible shot to flip Michigan. I think they were serious about it. There were Bush-backer billboards all over my regular Ohio to Michigan route.

    They had a great campaign and a very good candidate. I remember they did such a clever thing, in Ohio. They would set up a Bush stop in a populous area, a city, and invite Bush supporters from rural places. They would take a picture of that rural Bush supporter and the President, and then the rural Bush supporter would submit that photo to the local paper. It was like he had been here. They did it over and over.

    Our local paper thus had a photo of the high school football coach and George W Bush on the front page.

    I was thinking: “we’re so screwed” :)

  62. 62
    FollowtheDough says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If anyone thinks Romney isn’t going to be a tough fight, you should think again. There are so many factors that make this up in the air. Not to mention how many e-voting machines are rammed through battleground states. Who knows what happens in the next 9 months?

  63. 63
    FollowtheDough says:

    @kay:

    Everyone wants to be wealthy and as long as that perception that everybody can be wealthy in america, this battle will persist forever. And as long as the airwaves keep buzzing, everyone will be misguided w/ no clarity for the best direction of this country. “That is just how it goes, everybody knows” Leonard Cohen

  64. 64
    General Stuck says:

    George Bush’s campaigning skill was that he was able to turn over his will and messaging to his brane Karl Rove in a very disciplined manner. Who (Rove), at the time actually was an electoral genius for those times. Of course, later, reality of bad governing caught up with the bullshit lending to the likelyhood that historians will record Bush jr as a failed presidency.

  65. 65
    FollowtheDough says:

    No one really wants to hear the obvious which is that wealthy tyrants will never let us have a chance in terms of us being more flexable as a society. The wealthy tyrants will crash this society and make a killing in the process. You can bet on that. (Which amusingly enough they already have)

  66. 66
    Brachiator says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    The striking thing is that the man from the couple said “what Obama’s done is fine.”

    I hope that the Democrats make use of this. Real people demonstrating that they don’t passively absorb GOP lies and the attempts to falsify Obama’s actual accomplishments.

  67. 67
    Hill Dweller says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    It’s not enough to have a great campaign staff—you have to have a candidate who has good instincts, too. I just don’t see that coming from Romney.

    Case in point, Willard rushed out a new ad this morning touting his job creation at Steel Dynamics. But a closer look shows Indiana and DeKalb County basically gave away the store, including levying a tax on the community, to support the venture.

    Consequently, the Cato Institute is out there calling the Steel Dynamics deal corporate welfare, completely undermining the message.

    As an aside, the corporate welfare aspect of some of Bain’s deals is also an untapped well for oppo-researchers.

  68. 68
    kay says:

    @FollowtheDough:

    this battle will persist forever

    Well, sure it will. I never imagined they were going to just give up :)

    They’re nothing if not persistent. They’re still fighting the same battle over the Commerce Clause, for example. More than a hundred years later, here we are! Same argument. States’ rights? Yup. Still plugging away on that.

  69. 69
    catclub says:

    @priscianusjr: regarding pathways into brains. Listening to NPR, it seems to me that MITTco has gone into overdrive to rebut the Bain capital vultures themes, _before_ people see that 28 minute vidoe that Newt’s superpac has produced. Andrew Tobias thinks it is a killer… and so does Andrew Sullivan ( I read from A Tobias, not Sully).

    UNtil I saw that video I did not quite understand why Mitt is in top gear defending Bain and vulture capitalism. It may also explain why newt is no longer pushing all the great lines that Obama would like to take up — the superpac video is doing it. But I still think Newt and perry have folded under pressure to conform.

  70. 70
    catclub says:

    @Valdivia: On NPR this morning there were multiple sections on what vulture capitalist do — basically give lollipops to hungry children. I doubt there were any similar reports in 2008 on what community organizers do.

    The big money GOP organization is either a) well organized or b) really panicked.

  71. 71
    feebog says:

    Even if the money’s unlimited, the pathways into people’s brains through TV and print are not. I also see a pulsating mass of consultants, media experts, and other middleman that can ramp up just as quickly as necessary to use up all those new money flows.

    This, This and This. How many times have you said to yourself, If I hear one more ad for this guy I’m not going to vote for him? I know I have, even if the guy was a Democrat. And that was before Citizens United. Voters are going to be bombarded with SuperPac ads for a good six months leading up to the election. At some point, many of them are simply going to tune out and vote for whoever they were going to vote for anyway.

    Plus, I think we all underestimate the power of social media. I know lots of people who get their news entirely from the internet, and in some cases a lot of it is from posts on facebook, or twitter. It is going to make a difference, especially with the under 30 vote.

  72. 72
    Violet says:

    @The Ancient Randonneur:

    The real danger of Citizens United is the effect it would have on Congressional and state elections. Most Presidential candidates can hold their own in the fundraising department once they have the nomination, but those other offices are much more susceptible to undue influence by Super PAC money. I don’t think any Congressional seat is completely safe in the era of unlimited money.

    I agree. But in presidential election years it might be blunted somewhat. If an idiot like Romney is at the top of the ticket and he’s being shown to be nothing but a vulture capitalist, and the local GOP reps are supporting him, they might find themselves out of a job as people decide they’re not going to vote for people who destroy jobs and support those who do it.

  73. 73
    catclub says:

    @dmsilev: Well the house republicans are crowing over ‘ millions of jobs destroyed to put one man out of work.’ So the only job that really matters is Mitt’s

  74. 74
    SteveM says:

    I haven’t read all the comments, so I may not be the first to say this, but here goes: Citizens United may be saving Romney’s ass. The CU decision is keeping people in the race (Santorum, Gingrich) who really should drop out, and who are thus able to split the non-Mitt vote.

  75. 75
    Keith G says:

    @ Schlemizel #1: To me, that piece on equity firms seem down the middle. In fact if anything, the negatives mentioned were more onerous then the positives.

  76. 76
    Tractarian says:

    @FollowtheDough:

    Jeebus, what’s with the straw man? No one is saying that Obama is a lock in November or that the general election won’t be a “tough fight”. People are merely noting that Romney is a highly flawed candidate – even more so than McCain.

    And look at the electoral landscape. Obama won 5 states by 7 percentage points or less in 2008. Romney could take ALL of them – NC, IN, FL, OH, and VA – plus all of McCain’s states, and he’d STILL lose in the electoral college.

    Finally, consider this: a vast majority of the country thinks we’re headed in the wrong direction, and yet Obama still beats Romney nationally in almost every poll.

    You don’t have to be naive to think that Obama has a very strong chance to be re-elected.

  77. 77
    dmsilev says:

    @SteveM: I think it’s a bit more nuanced. Firstly, without the mass of anti-Gingrich ads that Romney’s SuperPAC unleashed a few weeks ago, Newt might well have done a lot better in Iowa. Secondly, Santorum doesn’t really have a multi-million dollar ad machine backing him up; the heavy anti-Mitt ads are mainly coming from Gingrich’s crew.

    Without CU, we might have seen Gingrich’s surge last long enough to take Iowa, and for him to start to coalesce the NotMitt vote.

  78. 78
    Kilkee says:

    @Tractarian: Over at 270towin.com they have a lovely interactive map where one can fritter away many happy hours trying out various electoral scenarios. Most of them are very soothing to consider: of the states Obama won in 2008, one can give Mittens PA, OH, MI, NC, IA, and IN (the last being the only one he’s really likely to win) and Obama STILL wins. If Obama holds FL it’s difficult to conjure up a plausible route to victory for Mitt. If, as you suggest, he lost FL, he could still win by holding on to most of the Midwest.

    I’m thinking this makes a Rubio VP pick quite likely, by the way. Mitt can’t win with his current 23% Hispanic vote, and he probably can’t win without Florida.

  79. 79
    ericblair says:

    @feebog:

    Plus, I think we all underestimate the power of social media. I know lots of people who get their news entirely from the internet, and in some cases a lot of it is from posts on facebook, or twitter. It is going to make a difference, especially with the under 30 vote.

    Or more generally, things like Amazon comments. If I see ads for something I want to buy all over the place telling me how wonderful it is, all I assume from that is that they have a healthy ad budget. I just need a couple of people who aren’t on someone’s payroll to tell me what they think and then I feel I can make a much better decision.

    Sure, propaganda affects us all more than we generally admit. But there are a lot of sources now that do completely avoid paid corporate media.

  80. 80
    Brachiator says:

    @feebog:

    Plus, I think we all underestimate the power of social media. I know lots of people who get their news entirely from the internet, and in some cases a lot of it is from posts on facebook, or twitter. It is going to make a difference, especially with the under 30 vote.

    Back in 2008, PEW noted how important this was:

    For young people, however, the internet now rivals television as a main source of national and international news. Nearly six-in-ten Americans younger than 30 (59%) say they get most of their national and international news online; an identical percentage cites television. In September 2007, twice as many young people said they relied mostly on television for news than mentioned the internet (68% vs. 34%).

    I would think that this has only increased recently.

    But the other thing is that even InterTubes news is largely a repackaging of mainstream news sources. And who knows what gossip and misinformation is mixed in with the news and reinforced via Facebook and Twitter.

    You also have to think that both political parties will try to use social media to their advantage.

  81. 81
    eyelessgame says:

    I figured it out! I have had so much trouble understanding, this primary season, how the Republicans could possibly choose the non-Christian, pro-choice, pro-gay, ACA-inventing, self-described “progressive” ex-governor of “Taxachusetts” as their nominee.

    But now I have figured it out. None of that actually matters. Mitt Romney is going to be nominated to run against Barack Obama because – and this is the sole reason – of all the Republican candidates, Mitt Romney is by far the whitest.

  82. 82
    Evolving Deep Southerner (tense changed for accuracy) says:

    @Hill Dweller: Oh my God, that would make the GREATEST fucking ad. And somebody could do it in an hour given the right photographs, a recording studio and an ominous narrator.

    (Please imagine this superimposed over the “iconic” Romney photos, the ones with all his pockets stuffed with money, the terror-induced runny dog shit running down the back window of the Family Truckster, etc.)

    “Mitt Romney was on welfare. Corporate welfare. While he rails against government spending, Mitt Romney was more than happy to accept the government’s $X million when he bankrupted X Inc. …”

    The thing writes itself. Why can’t our side write it?

    If I had a “political messaging” company, I’d name it Class Warefare LLC.

  83. 83
    Evolving Deep Southerner (tense changed for accuracy) says:

    Class Warefare, yes. Has a ring to it. Fuck.

  84. 84

    […] — Tbogg is fact checking some of the fact checks. Mistermix says “Citizens United Is Kicking Romney’s Ass.” E.J. Dionne says a debate about capitalism is long overdue. Steve Kornacki writes about how […]

  85. 85

    And so, my own personal pet prediction comes true:

    Organizing your campaign is very, very important. GOP candidates may well have more money behind them now, but it’s no longer organized. For example, I look forward to how many of these loons are going to discover that all the money they wanted to spend on politics this year, they spent on the GOP primary and still didn’t get their way.

    The entire GOP is now a clown show. This is the part of the show where there’s one ladder and fifteen clowns have a different idea of how to use it to rescue the clown baby from the burning building.

  86. 86
    staci says:

    @dmsilev:

    Except Obama did it “the American way” – he pulled himself up by his bootstraps. Romney probably had a valet to do his boots for him.

  87. 87
    Schlemizel says:

    @Keith G:
    Ah . . . what negatives? They mentioned that people lost their jobs & plants closed but said “more would have lost their jobs” They seemed to focus on all the “value” created.

    They did mention that the managers avoided taxes by playing a trick & claiming their income was all capital gains but that hardly covers the sins of these vultures.

  88. 88
    AnotherBruce says:

    Hey, when is Veritas going to comment on Romney and his super-pacs? Or is he in jail in New Hampshire?

  89. 89
    nogo postal says:

    Coolest superpac ever?
    Colbert took it to another level last night
    http://www.colbertnation.com/

  90. 90

    ‎”Within six years they were having a first-class civil war. When nineteen out of the twenty-two thousand had been killed, the survivors unanimously petitioned the World Controllers to resume the government of the island. Which they did. And that was the end of the only society of Alphas that the world has ever seen.”

    — Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, Chapter 16

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