Posted on | October 8, 2011 | 88 Comments
The question to be asked is not whether it is unfair for the Paul campaign to keep doing this, but why the rest of the GOP field can’t spend a few bucks to do it themselves. Dave Weigel at Slate reports:
He beat out seven other candidates and “undecided.” The full results, with 1,983 ballots cast:
Ron Paul – 36.9% (732)
Herman Cain – 22.5% (447)
Rick Santorum – 16.3% (323)
Rick Perry – 8.4% (167)
Michele Bachmann – 7.9% (157)
Mitt Romney – 4.4% (88)
Newt Gingrich – 2.7% (54)
Undecided – 0.7% (13)
Jon Huntsman – 0.1% (2)
In a post-vote press conference, FRC President Tony Perkins made sure to note that 600 people had bought tickets for Saturday only — a none-too-subtle hint that Paul’s supporters had over-represented themselves.
“Do the math,” said Perkins. “Ron Paul and his campaign are very well organized.”
What did 600 tickets cost the Paul campaign? And what would have been the publicity value if, for example, the Rick Perry campaign had paid for 1,000 of their supporters to attend the summit? Perry raised $17 million and he can’t afford to buy a straw poll? Your stupidity is not someone else’s fault. Beyond that, the story is:
A. Herman Cain continues his momentum; and
B. Santorum got twice as many votes as Bachmann.
This pretty much puts a fork into the Bachmann campaign. If she can’t beat Santorum in a straw poll at a national conference of social conservatives, Bachmann probably can’t beat Santorum in Iowa, either.
And by “organizational skills,” he means, the willingness to spend money on grassroots activism, i.e., offering free tickets for any Paul supporter who wanted to come vote for their guy.
Stipulate that the Paul campaign operates according to the “By Any Means Necessary” radical principle. Nevertheless, the point to which I wish to call the reader’s attention is this: The Paul campaign is smart to spend money on getting their supporters to events, and other campaigns are stupid in spending money to hire a bunch of staffers and consultants who don’t necessarily provide value-added to their efforts.
Suppose you are a college kid who might be willing to support a Republican presidential candidate. Now, suppose that you could actually get to meet that candidate, and get free travel to events where that candidate appears. OK, furthermore suppose that the campaign had a sort of Amway incentive deal where, if you were campus activist who could sign up a dozen of your college buddies to accept the same free-travel deal, you’d get a small commission for every warm body you delivered on the Republican candidate’s behalf.
Shouldn’t Republicans be able to understand how the Ron Paul campaign is using market incentives to build their movement?
Why, then, are most GOP presidential campaigns top-heavy affairs that spend ridiculous sums on “media consultants,” etc., rather than to use their money the way Ron Paul’s campaign uses their money?
Like I said: Your stupidity is not someone else’s fault.