Saturday, February 02, 2008

Money, Money, Money!

“Money changes everything
Money changes everything
We think we know what we're doin’
We don't pull the strings
It's all in the past now
Money changes everything”
- Cyndi Lauper – “Money Changes Everything” (1984)

Super Tuesday is just a few days away; the campaign spending is ready to skyrocket from the stratosphere to the rings of Saturn. It seems that all the legislation in the world can’t curb the influence mammon has on American politics.

I just read some eye popping statistics on campaign spending to this point in the election cycle. Since this cycle started Republican and Democratic candidates have spent and average of $1.7 million for every delegate secured. Hillary Clinton has spent $77 million, or $3.7 million per delegate. Barack Obama totals are just about as astounding - $83.5 million spent, adding up to $2.5 million per delegate. John Edwards, who just dropped out of the race, spent $36 million at a rate of $3 million for each measure of committed support.

On the Republican side, Mitt Romney has spent over $86 million, including $35 million of his personal bankroll. That amounts to $3.2 million per delegate. John McCain, the co-author of McCain-Feingold, has spent over $36 million, or half a million bucks per delegate secured.

That’s the way it all seems at first blush. Money buys influence. Money buys power. Money does change things.

Or does it? Is it necessarily true that, as Donald Trump once said, that he who has the most toys (or money) wins?

Mike Huckabee, whose base of support has been scorned by the powerful as a rag-tag band of populists, Evangelicals, and Reagan Democrats. While Clinton, Obama, Romney, and McCain have spent huge sums wooing prospective delegates, Mike Huckabee has spent $57 per delegate. That’s not a misprint – it’s fifty-seven smackers per delegate!

The hallmarks of Mike Huckabee’s economic platform are:
1. A tax system that no longer penalizes productivity and labor.
2. Spending sanity (the line item veto)
3. Reducing America’s tax burden
4. Free/fair trade

While the other candidates spend millions upon millions, proving they don’t really understand how to change Washington’s spendthrift ways, Mike has been toting his own suitcase from the hotel to the airport. There aren’t multitudes of analysts and gurus following him around. He’s just quietly plugging away, at fifty-seven bucks per delegate, bringing his message of hope, reform, and vertical politics.

The Book says we shouldn’t despise small things. I see this principle of small things being played out day to day in the Huckabee campaign. I can’t say that it will win out in the end, but I can say that the battle is worth it. Fifty-seven dollars per delegate speaks more persuasively to me than the millions spent by others. It tells me that Mike Huckabee is a man of, and from, the people. It tells me that under his leadership there would be a clear understanding that the role of a leader is to do the people's business, not spend millions to secure power.


Mandy said...

Great points....I can't wait to vote for the fiscal conservative, Mike Huckabee!

Ben said...

Even fringe candidate Ron Paul is rated by the market to have a better chance than Huck. That speaks volumes!

Lin said...

Yes, Mike has proven again and again that money doesn't buy votes, principle does. With little, he has done much, and that certainly does speak volumes about how he would handle OUR money. For those undecided, please take a moment to visit Since the media coverage of Mike is rather lean, it's up to all of us to do our own homework. Let's not allow the media to pick our next President; let's be informed voters.