Political Animal


September 21, 2012 11:03 AM Grave-Diggers’ Pay

By Ed Kilgore

Hey, have ya heard all the Beltway buzz about “Boston” being a rolling ball of panic-stricken, back-stabbing madness? Not true, it seems: WaPo’s Dan Eggan reported last night that according to a FEC filing, the Romney campaign is so pleased with itself that it paid its top brass sizable performance bonuses just after the Republican National Convention.

Today Politico’s Tarini Parti reports these bonuses were actually planned compensation for Romney’s earlier primary victory. You know: pay-for-performance, the Bain Way and all.

If, however, you buy my (and as noted this morning, Ron Brownstein’s) theory that the campaign’s strategic decisions during the nominating contest are precisely the source of Mitt’s problems in the general election, then maybe those bonuses are premature. Reckon there’s a “clawback” provision if everything goes south on November 6? After all, if these fine Republican political professionals are being rewarded for the often-dirty effort to bury Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, perhaps it’s worth a reconsideration if it turns out they were digging Mitt’s grave as well.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Josef K on September 21, 2012 11:19 AM:

    Okay, so what? The way the Romney campaign's been run to date looks more like a standard (ie. half-baked) Beltway lobbying effort than a genuine election campaign. Does any of this actually skirt illegality in some way?

  • c u n d gulag on September 21, 2012 11:20 AM:


    While Rome burns, they give bonuses to the ones who started the fire - all whole pissing-off the firefighters, and dissing the people who are reporting on the fires.

    They must have learned this from Wall Street, post economic meltdown.

  • martin on September 21, 2012 11:22 AM:

    I bet they all have Golden Parachutes, too.

    It's the Wall St Way: You get your bonus win or lose.

  • stakkalee on September 21, 2012 11:36 AM:

    The Great Grift - Romney is scamming the Republican rubes and he never had any intention of actually being president. Just collect huge checks, run a shitty campaign, then suck out the remaining cash as "salary and performance bonuses" to all his friends when he loses. Republicans are suckers.

  • stormskies on September 21, 2012 11:37 AM:

    Vultures see, vultures do ...

  • david on September 21, 2012 11:51 AM:

    Naw, just par for the course with the Boston crowd. Even if you lose and end up costing a bunch of people a lot of money, you make out like a bandit personally.

  • SadOldVet on September 21, 2012 11:52 AM:

    The 'Smartest People on the Face of Earth' on Wall Street could receive billions of $$$ of bonuses after they crashed our economy and got bailed out by taxpayers. It's the republican way and Mittens is just following tradition. Is not Carli ('I almost destroyed HP and received a Golden Parachute') Fiorini not one of Mitt's advisors?

  • krizriktr on September 21, 2012 11:56 AM:

    These bonuses could be bribes to keep the rats on the sinking ship, or at least keep them quiet. While the campaign is terrible, so is the candidate. If he can't inspire loyalty, he can always buy it.

  • @the_dan on September 21, 2012 12:02 PM:

    I figured they were retention bonuses.

  • AndrewBW on September 21, 2012 12:04 PM:

    Remember the part of the Boca video where Romney was talking about how he had this great team of whiz-bang consultants who'd done races all over the world and really knew their s--- and were gonna kick some a--? I thought that was the funniest part of the video. F------ geniuses.

  • paul on September 21, 2012 1:04 PM:

    First rule of vulture capitalism: get your money back out. Doesn't matter what it does to the organization's longterm prospects. I think someone also thought it would look good: if you pay people a bonus that must mean they've been performing well.

  • Th on September 21, 2012 2:20 PM:

    Agree with a couple of commenters above. They are "Please don't leave me" bribes.