Friday, August 10, 2007

Romney; Ames

If Mitt Romney doesn't crush - and I mean destroy - everybody in the Ames, Iowa Straw Poll, he's going to be a joke.

As thousands of Republican activists prepare to descend on Ames, Iowa, tomorrow for the straw poll meant to gauge support for the GOP's presidential contenders, the event has all the markings of a historic mismatch.

One candidate, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, has assembled an unrivaled operation for the event: a statewide corps of 60 "super-volunteers," who have been paid between $500 and $1,000 per month to talk him up; a fleet of buses; more than $2 million in television ads in Iowa; a sleek direct-mail campaign; and a consultant who has been paid nearly $200,000 to direct Romney's straw poll production, which will include barbecue billed as the best in the state.

Facing off against this are a half-dozen candidates whose combined Iowa expenditures through the end of June did not match the $1 million Romney had spent by that point, not including his many TV ads. Tommy Thompson, the former Wisconsin governor, advertised in the Denison Bulletin & Review at a cost of $297. Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback has been luring voters to Ames by sending out "brown bracelets" to wear around town ("a great conversation starter with friends and neighbors"). Rep. Tom Tancredo (Colo.) is offering a tour of Washington -- dinner included -- to anyone who brings 25 friends to Ames.
Here's the real punchline, though: even if he does destroy everybody else, he's just going to be the one who outspent everybody by an insane margin - and with his own cash, at that. Kinda hard to spin that as a groundswell of grassroots support, especially when the media narrative has already solidified.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - Mitt Romney will never be president. He might be able to buy the GOP nomination, but the only way he'll ever see the inside of the White House is as a tourist.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, a tour guided by Hillary Clinton.