Via the Politico:
Mitt Romney, usually cautious and measured in describing his nascent campaign, allowed himself a minor indulgence in describing to reporters the fundraising call-a-thon that netted his presidential bid $10.25 million here Monday.
His biggest asset, however, could be the millions in his own bank account. The former venture capitalist plowed $42 million of his own money into his failed 2008 bid for the nomination.
That Romney has lots of rich friends at the yacht club willing to use the rolodex to bundle cash from their rich friends on the Mittster’s behalf is not exactly a news bulletin, the Politico’s breathless reporting to the contrary. Romney raised piles of cash in 2007 and 2008, and it got him nowhere. He couldn’t even beat McCain and Huckabee, despite blowing $42 million of his own money. Try as he might, Mitt can’t buy authenticity: he’s never going to be anything but the flip-flopping phony he always has been.
Romney’s ability to raise money, of course, is why he’s the overwhelming favorite of political insiders, those parasitic denizens of the beltway who love cash-rich candidates like Mitt who are unburdened by any core values and are willing to pay huge sums of money to be told what their values should be depending on the day of the week and to whom they are speaking. This big “announcement” yesterday is more an attempt to dissuade others from entering the race than it is an actual news story (either that or it’s Mandate Mitt’s attempt to change the subject from last week’s debacle). Presumably, Team Mitt expects other potential Republican candidates to be quaking in their boots over the prospect of facing the Mittens money machine.
This is silly, of course, since a similar strategy didn’t work in 2008 when Mitt was less damaged than he is today. Now many more Republican Primary voters are aware of Mitt’s ever-evolving positions on the issues, and when you add the Obamacare-Romneycare millstone to the Romney campaign, things look even bleaker. But, on the bright side for Team Mitt, they may have a silver bullet which, if true, may change everything and scare away all of Mitt’s potential competitors. Or not.
Update: (h/t ramorywebb) Michael Barone discusses the irrelevancy of the Mittster’s boatload of cash:
Romney delivered a health care speech last week in Michigan defending his Massachusetts plan and insisting that a state mandate is a different kind of duck from a federal mandate. But the response of the large mass of Republicans seems something like the old New Yorker cartoon in which the little girl confronted with a green vegetable says, “I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.”
Some Romney fans are saying he has recovered by raising $10.25 million in a single day this week. It’s an impressive fundraising feat.
But what is money for in a presidential nomination race? It can help build state organizations, it can introduce an unknown candidate to voters, and it can present arguments for a candidate or against his opponents.
Some of those things, however, can be done much more cheaply these days through new media. And it doesn’t seem likely that even millions of dollars of ads can make Republican primary voters and caucus-goers love the Massachusetts mandate.
Romney is running as a technocrat, someone who can analyze data and get results through good management. But Republicans this year are looking not for a technocrat but for someone to reverse the Obama Democrats’ vast increase in the size and scope of government.
Romney too seems out of line with the party he seeks to lead.