The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler


Posted on | March 14, 2012 | 42 Comments

by Smitty

By the eye, Mitt has outspent his remaining three opponents combined by 2:1. . .

But, for all that negative ad carpet bombing, he’s barely holding his own overall.

Maybe the Mitt-heads can spring into action, and convince me that Romney really has this thing sewn up. I’m not his biggest fan, but I don’t consider this a question of fandom. Mere competence is like saying you can run a ball-control offense in the 4th quarter; no one can deny it’s football, but when the game ends, and the other team has one more point, all your competent play calling doesn’t make you other than a loser.

Maybe Mitt has been brutally honest all along; he’s merely a slender version of Al Gore. At least he hasn’t tried to pretend he can connect with the hoi polloi. If you read older posts here, my unsought advice had always been to court the Tea Party vote.  But he is not, and cannot be, for all his bumper-sticker talk. He’s about Ruling Class, and not liberty.

Update: Barone is essential in this context.


42 Responses to “Inevitability?”

  1. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 14th, 2012 @ 9:17 am

    He should have more biscuits for all he has spent.  

  2. Steve in TN
    March 14th, 2012 @ 9:27 am

    There has been NO #TeaParty candidate in this cycle.

  3. JeffWeimer
    March 14th, 2012 @ 9:32 am

    “Maybe Mitt has been brutally honest all along; he’s merely a slender version of Al Gore. “

    Isn’t that exactly what I told you two years ago at the Tax Day Tea Party?

  4. smitty
    March 14th, 2012 @ 9:35 am

    You’re asking me to remember some anecdote from two years ago?
    How completely unreasonable of you, sir.

  5. A Stephens
    March 14th, 2012 @ 9:47 am

    Yet he’s out knocking Santorum as not fiscally conservative.  Yeah, I get it but it’s a bit rich considering what the graph shows.  Reality bites, ey Mitt?

  6. richard mcenroe
    March 14th, 2012 @ 10:08 am

    Mitt needs more than just negative advertising if he’s going to define himself in the public eye.  May I suggest… he needs a new chant.  Something like, “MEG!  MEG!  MEG!”

  7. rosalie
    March 14th, 2012 @ 10:22 am

        I do not begrudge the fact that Romney’s extremely wealthy;  more power to him.  But he seems like a snob and a braggart.  When he tries to act like normal folks,  it always comes off wrong.  Yes, I’m really interested in the fact that he knows NFL owners.  Is that his way of saying that he likes football or what? 

  8. JeffWeimer
    March 14th, 2012 @ 10:26 am

    Yes, I am. Both. 🙂

  9. richard mcenroe
    March 14th, 2012 @ 10:30 am

    If he really liked football he’d own a team.  And not some bush league Arena team either.

  10. richard mcenroe
    March 14th, 2012 @ 10:32 am

    So we keep talking about a brokered convention.  What do we get if a candidate, say a coal-miner’s kid from PA as a hypothetical wins more states but another candidate, say, from a MA country club, winds up with more delegates because he won fewer but more populous states? Strikes me as a great way to motivate turnout…

  11. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 14th, 2012 @ 10:47 am
  12. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 14th, 2012 @ 11:45 am

    Wombat/Stacy/Smitty:  Another link to TOM

  13. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    March 14th, 2012 @ 11:49 am

    I do not see Santorum winning in a brokered convention over Mitt.  There is enthusiasm but not enough for Rick.  And a Romney Santorum team does not create synergy.  And there is luke warm support for Mitt.  Yet who else is there?  Newt?  Sarah Palin (dobut it)?  Certainly not Ron Paul (and he is doing quite poorly now).  

  14. Steve
    March 14th, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

    >”  when the game ends, and the other team has one more point, all your competent play calling doesn’t make you other than a loser”

    Yes. But you seem to remain blissfully unaware that your words describe Santorum and Gingrich far better than they do Romney, who is in fact the guy with “one more point”. Or to be precise, the guy with a roughly two hundred delegate lead.

    The game will end at the convention, and there remains no plausible path for anybody not named “Romney” to emerge the winner at that point.

    Results from yesterday are still not finalized, but it looks like in the best case for Santorum, he may pick a handful of delegates more than Romney. (By a handful I mean six, perhaps)  If things break a little differently, he may finish the day of his biggest triumph a few delegates further behind Romney than when it started.

    The loser is not the guy who spends the most money. The loser is the guy (or guys) who loses. 

  15. Steve
    March 14th, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

    Take these numbers with a grain of salt, since things are not yet set in concrete, but the results from yesterday may well be:

     41 delegates for Romney

    35 delegates for Santorum

    24 delegates for Gingrich

    1 delegate for Paul

    A few more triumphant victories like this for Santorum, and he’s going to have to hang it up.

    As I pointed out before yesterdays primaries began,  the matter of who “won” this or that state in the sense of winning a plurality of the popular vote was largely meaningless. We could have said going in (and some of us DID say going in) that the result would be pretty much a wash, with no candidate able to deliver a crucial blow, but with each of the three major candidates able to see enough silver lining in their respective cloud to carry on.

  16. Pathfinder's wife
    March 14th, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

    This sets up a bad general scenario — the only way the GOP canidate got the nomination was by being a rich fat cat who outspent his rivals (and smeared them through proxies), picked up more delegates (but not more states); thus the establishment pick who steamrolled over the actual will of the people.
    Not saying this is true; just saying this is how the Dems will couch it.  It could cost the election.

  17. Steve
    March 14th, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

     A brokered convention would be an absolute disaster for the GOP. By definition somebody would be “selected, not elected”. By definition the supporters of the not-selected candidate(s) will feel cheated.

    If we have a brokered convention, let’s just cancel the elections in November and award Obama another four years, because that’s what we’re doing anyway.

  18. Confutus
    March 14th, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

    Romney doesn’t want to make an appeal to hotheads who can’t wait for him to go after Obama like Custer against the Sioux, and he doesn’t want to fight the Holy War against creeping secularism.  That kind of polarization may come whether he wants it or not, but I can see where Romney might think it’s too early.  For now, he’s aiming at what he considers the sensible moderates.   Santorum and Gingrich don’t have the executive credentials, so they have to preach conservative ideology, and they are both better at it.  As long as they are still in the race screaming that Romney is a squish and pinning their hopes on winning at the convention when they can’t manage it among the voters,  his own lower-key version of conservatism isn’t going to draw much  praise from the far right.

  19. Hump Day Link-Around: Santorum’s Victory Speech, Romney Not Sealing The Deal, Get Out, Newt! « Nice Deb
    March 14th, 2012 @ 1:49 pm

    […] at The Other McCain:  Inevitability? By the eye, Mitt has outspent his remaining three opponents combined by 2:1. . .But, for all that […]

  20. Steve
    March 14th, 2012 @ 1:54 pm

    >”Mitt has outspent his remaining three opponents combined”

    Mitt has also won more delegates than all his opponents combined.  And over time his lead continues to grow larger. His lead increases when he “wins”, of course. But even when Romney “loses”, as he supposedly did yesterday, his lead keeps getting bigger.

  21. Pathfinder's wife
    March 14th, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

    “He (Obama) is great” — Matt Romney campaigning for his dad in Hawaii.
    “I’m not going to set my hair on fire [on going negative on Obama” — Mitt RomneyOh yes, that nuanced approach is going so swimmingly.  I don’t think being a hothead works, but when it can be made to appear as though you are less likely to turn your guns on your opposition as opposed to whipping out the long knives on your own supposed people…well, that’s a very big problem.

    Romney keeps this up, he tanks (in which case a brokered convention may be the only thing that works, if anything).
    Instead of “may not be a man of the people, but try my best to be one for the people” this idiot has gone with “I’m the CEO that you all have been waiting for and you’ll just have to deal with it!” (not exactly the best way to win the hearts and minds of the voters…again, only imhao).

  22. Adjoran
    March 14th, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    A whiny little loser is still a loser.  Romney raised the money, what business of yours how he spends it lawfully?  Should he have sat on the war chest and let others win so he’d have a nest egg like Herman Cain did?

    It’s not Romney’s fault that the others haven’t been able to raise the money he has.  While Newt was cruising in Greece last Spring, Romney was working.  While Santorum was still drawing over $1 million per year as a lobbyist, Romney was working.

    There was a time in this country when we respected the guy who didn’t take the vacation, but kept working, who didn’t suck on the easy teat, but worked hard for nothing toward his goal.

    But too often these days, success is resented by lesser men, envious little losers who snipe and whine because their dream didn’t come through because they were not willing to make the sacrifices.

    Do your own math:

  23. Adjoran
    March 14th, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

    I know in the fantasy world of Wonderland, it doesn’t matter when you hold contradictory opinions.  But on the reality side of the Looking Glass, it seems odd to label people like Trent Lott, Bill Frist, and Mitch McConnell as “The Establishment” or “Ruling Class Overlords” in one breath, and then in the next to praise their protege Santorum, who was part and parcel of their leadership team and voted with them on every single major issue. 

    Then, when he lost his seat, instead of going back to PA to the house he claimed as residence but never actually lived in, Santorum stayed in DC to work for a lobbying law firm and buy a house with some arcane financing the registrar can’t explain.

    Now, I admire loyalty and a guy with a family has to make a buck, but to pretend he is some anti-Establishment outsider . . . do you have to beat your head with a hammer to believe that?

  24. Adjoran
    March 14th, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

     True.  Romney has a different skill set:  straightening out dysfunctional operations by cutting expenses and manpower as needed and forcing efficiencies.  But some Republicans can’t imagine any use for those, they demand a butcher who throws scraps of red meat to the mob.

    The fact is there is little difference on policy issues between the three mainstream candidates, which is why the campaign has been negative on all sides. 

  25. Charles
    March 14th, 2012 @ 2:45 pm

    There is still a path for Santorum, but he would need to win Illinois, New York, Texas, and California.

  26. Confutus
    March 14th, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

    Matt’s comment sounds to me like a misspeak, a verbal flub. If he really thought Obama was all that great, why would he be out promoting his father?
    There are a lot of approaches Romney has taken that aren’t what I would have done. I wouldn’t make his mistakes…I’d make worse ones.

  27. Pathfinder's wife
    March 14th, 2012 @ 3:31 pm

    It’s part of a long train of flubs he’s been making for the past few months, and it will cost him.

    Truth is, Romney’s campaign has done the exact opposite of what it should have done for the past few months and is now really off message.  Mr. Inevitable has perhaps listened to his own press too much as of late — there is no such thing as a “sure thing” other than “you’re gonna die one day”, and people would be wise to remember that.

  28. McGehee
    March 14th, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

    I love the smell of Romneyrrhoid fear on a Wednesday.

  29. ThePaganTemple
    March 14th, 2012 @ 6:28 pm

    What is going to matter is who wins the most primaries after the winner take all primaries commence. So if these latest primaries help to shore Santorum up in preparation for those contests, then they are important, if it helps him build his momentum.

    That’s what you call an analysis based on fact, not sentiment.

  30. smitty
    March 14th, 2012 @ 6:45 pm

    The point of this post is not to question how Mitt spends his money; rather, the efficacy of the spending, and what that may reveal about how genuinely representative a candidate he is.
    He’s blown a ridiculous amount of cash for the stalemate he currently enjoys.

  31. smitty
    March 14th, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

    No, I don’t doubt that Ricky is a card-carrying member.
    I just rather hope that he’s been outside the Bleatway talking to people enough to make a measurable difference compared to the rest.

  32. smitty
    March 14th, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

    It is what it is.

  33. smitty
    March 14th, 2012 @ 6:48 pm

    We’ll see. The factual content of the sentiment expressed seems slender.

  34. ThePaganTemple
    March 14th, 2012 @ 7:09 pm

     That’s just it, there was zero sentiment expressed. Some people, evidently Romney supporters for the most part, are saying Santorum’s victories mean little or nothing because Romney’s delegate lead has not diminished (in fact its grown).

    My point is if these victories help Santorum in certain ways, basically by providing him needed extra momentum, and more in the way of campaign contributions which would enable him to become more competitive in getting out his real message to the most people, then his victories here become very important if they lead to helping him win more on down the line.

    That is called reality. Sentiment has nothing to do with it. In fact, it’s unhelpful. The last blog post I did about politics that had any kind of sentiment factored into it featured a Michelle Bachman blow-up doll, which is pretty much at the basic level of the vast majority of political blog posts these days.

  35. smitty
    March 14th, 2012 @ 7:21 pm

    That is called reality. Sentiment has nothing to do with it. In fact, it’s unhelpful. 

    This has been my realization over the last year: reality is a sentiment/rationality blend.
    I’ll fall short of saying rationality is a function of the Y chromosome, and thus rationality is outnumbered 3:1 in the human genome. That would be sort of sexist.

  36. richard mcenroe
    March 14th, 2012 @ 8:00 pm

     Steve, if we feed Mitt Romney with the campaign he’s been running into the grinder against Obama, the only loser is America.

    Mitt Romney stands for damned little in this world, and the little he stands for is antithetical to what the GOP base is demanding.  He won’t even face the reporters following his bus; on what planet do you see him facing Obama in a debate.  He’s already doing the squishy “Obama is not a bad man” shtick McCain pioneered.  Well, Obama is a very bad man, and if we’re not prepared to say so now, don’t worry about saying it on Inauguration Day.

  37. Bob Belvedere
    March 14th, 2012 @ 9:30 pm

    But it is true.

  38. Pathfinder's wife
    March 14th, 2012 @ 9:47 pm

    Hey, I’m trying to be at least somewhat nice here.  If he does win the nomination, then I’ll be voting for him in the general (but he is really screwing up right now…”man for the people” Mitt, “man for the people”…dumbarse…).

  39. Thane_Eichenauer
    March 15th, 2012 @ 1:45 am

     Even if there is a brokered convention I don’t see anybody but the four current candidates being the choice.

  40. Thane_Eichenauer
    March 15th, 2012 @ 1:46 am

     Presidents have been selected for decades.  If the average American hasn’t realized that then he will get some good civic education as a result.

  41. Thane_Eichenauer
    March 15th, 2012 @ 2:02 am

    As much as I am less than impressed with Mitt Romney I still think that complaining about his money is sour grapes.  Santorum or Gingrich (or Ron Paul) each have a horse in the race.  It is up to the man (any of the four) and his supporters and the money each of the candidates and the money of their supporters earned and then invested in each campaign to make a case to We the People.  If Romney is in first place as a result then the guys in 2nd through 4th place have only their own actions (or inaction) to blame.   The fact is that Santorum and Gingrich ain’t that great.  Romney ain’t sirloin steak either which is why it takes millions of dollars more to merely stay a couple of horse lengths ahead of the other two.  I think Ron Paul is far better than the other three but if the general public isn’t buying what he is selling then it is up to Ron Paul and his supporters to either find a better method or step up the pace.

    As for how Democrats and their allies couch it.. if Joe and Jane American still believes what they watch on MSNBC/CNN/CBS/ABC (without a hefty dose of salt) then they are still plugged into the Big Government Matrix.  Here’s to hope (and hard work) that someone somewhere can help them unplug their imagined reality feed.

  42. smitty
    March 15th, 2012 @ 7:43 am

    Is asking whether the $/vote ratio means Romney is not viable a complaint about money, or rational analysis?