Political Animal


January 11, 2012 12:00 PM Wednesday’s campaign round-up

By Steve Benen

Today’s installment of campaign-related news items that won’t necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:

* Mitt Romney’s campaign raised an impressive $24 million in the fourth quarter of 2011, and enters 2012 with more than $19 million cash on hand. To date, the campaign has already exceeded its published goals.

* On a related note, Romney’s Super PAC, which has its own expansive fundraising operation, has bought over $2.5 million in airtime for campaign ads in Florida. The primary in the Sunshine State is Jan. 28.

* And speaking of Florida, a new Quinnipiac poll shows Romney leading President Obama in the state, 46% to 43%. Obama would be ahead, but there’s a base gap — 92% of Florida Republicans would back Romney, but only 84% of Florida Dems would support the president.

* At the national level, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll shows President Obama leading Romney, 48% to 43%. The rest of the GOP field fared even worse in hypothetical match-ups.

* Rick Santorum raised quite a bit of money after Iowa, but he couldn’t spend in time to influence the outcome in New Hampshire. The former senator will, however, put his new-found riches to use in South Carolina, and a top Santorum consultant said they’ll spend at least $1.5 million in ads in the state.

* The most organized presidential candidate in New Hampshire wasn’t a Republican. It was President Obama.

* Is Jon Huntsman’s father prepared to throw good money after bad in his son’s failing campaign? He doesn’t want to talk about it.

* Rep. Paul Gosar (R) is worried about re-election in Arizona, so he’s moving to a neighboring, more GOP-friendly district.

* And speaking of Arizona, Sen. John McCain (R) told Sean Hannity yesterday that choosing Sarah Palin his running mate was “still the best decision I’ve ever made.” I’m not sure if he was kidding, or if his life has been a series of awful decisions.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


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  • spudvol on January 11, 2012 12:13 PM:

    I agree with McCain. Choosing Palin cost him any shot at being elected, therefore it was the best decision he has ever made.

  • Epicurus on January 11, 2012 12:19 PM:

    If selecting Caribou Barbie is "still the best decision Ive ever made.... I would hesitate to ask the Senator what he considers his worst choice. Yelling at his wife? Getting beaten by Karl Rove and George Bush? He really is approaching senility, apparently.

  • Marnie on January 11, 2012 12:21 PM:

    Could that entheusiasm gap in Florida have anything to do with Obama cutting payments to old age entitlements/trust funds last year and promising to do it again?

  • DAY on January 11, 2012 12:26 PM:

    The Media has been running clips today of Gordon Gekko, saying "Greed is Good."

    Even more appropriate of Bain Capial's modus operandi is this clip from Goodfellas, where Henry Hill (Ray Liota) says:

    Also, Paulie could do anything. Especially run up bills on the joint's credit. And why not? Nobody's gonna pay for it anyway. And as soon as the deliveries are made in the front door, you move the stuff out the back and sell it at a discount. You take a two hundred dollar case of booze and you sell it for a hundred. It doesn't matter. It's all profit. And then finally, when there's nothing left, when you can't borrow another buck from the bank or buy another case of booze, you bust the joint out. You light a match.

  • desraye on January 11, 2012 12:29 PM:

    "Could that entheusiasm gap in Florida have anything to do with Obama cutting payments to old age entitlements/trust funds last year and promising to do it again?"

    No, but it could be Florida's stubborn high unemployment rate.

  • Werewolf on January 11, 2012 12:35 PM:

    Hmm-McCain hotdogging over Spain and knocking out their power grid. McCain screwing up a take-off and nearly sinking the USS Forrestall. McCain hotdogging over Hanoi and getting shot down. Picking the Snowbilly Grifter as running mate may well have been his best decision.

  • Ron Byers on January 11, 2012 12:35 PM:

    McCain's life has been filled with one bad decision after another. After all he is the only pilot after WWII to have very nearly sunk an American aircraft carrier. He killed dozens in the process.

  • jjm on January 11, 2012 12:53 PM:

    Not on McCain: what was the turnout for Obama in NH? I understand he was the only one running, despite NH GOP Representatives' efforts to 'disqualify him' because he was foreign, but was it any measure of voter enthusiasm?

    By the way, HOW did George Romney imagine he was permitted to run for president, when he was born on foreign soil??? I've not heard anyone ask nor answer that question. Unlike McCain, who was born in Panama, I believe he was born on a religious compound, not a branch of the US government.


  • TCinLA on January 11, 2012 12:54 PM:

    I�m not sure if he was kidding, or if his life has been a series of awful decisions.

    Well, let's see....

    1962: decision to go "flat-hatting" over southern Spain in a Skyraider. Result: power line snagged by tail hook and power goes out in 40 percent of country. Definitely an awful decision, but really mostly stupid.

    1967: decision to play a joke on the flight deck crew with a "wet start" of his Skyhawk, shooting flame back 80 feet. Result: airplane behind him burns up, killing two crew, fire spreads to other airplanes, end result is 215 sailors are killed and the USS Forrestal is out of action for 18 months at the height of a war. Definitely pretty damn awful but moron stupid.

    1967: two months later, decides to turn around and fly back over site he just bombed, now that the anti-aircraft defenses are fully engaged. Result: spends next 5 years and three months as a POW, tortured by NVA. Definitely pretty damn awful and seriously moron stupid.

    1974: decides not to devote his energies to being commander of Fleet Air Replacement Jacksonville NAS. Result: doesn't get promoted to Admiral. Pretty damn stupid for him, probably really lucky for the rest of us.

    1980s: decides as a Senator to play footsie with fraudulent president of Lincoln Savings. Result: damn near kills his political career. Pretty stupid, but now can be seen as fitting a decades-long pattern of acting without thinking of consequences.

    I would say that the choice of Sarah Palin for VP was pretty damn stupid, but once again, further evidence this guy has a disconnect between actions and consequences.

  • Kathryn on January 11, 2012 1:07 PM:

    Didn't realize how many deaths McCain caused and what he actually did on that carrier, what would have happened to him if he hadn't been the son and grandson of admirals? What a fraud is the war hero! It makes the fawning of the press for all these years even more nauseating.

  • chi res on January 11, 2012 1:19 PM:

    Obama cutting payments to old age entitlements/trust funds last year and promising to do it again

    Hey Marnie, do you have your head so stuck in the sand that you don't know that the legislation that cut 2% from payroll taxes also mandated that an equivalent amount be transferred to the Social Security program from the general fund of the U.S. Treasury?

    Or are you just a troll?

  • lou on January 11, 2012 2:21 PM:

    "And speaking of Arizona, Sen. John McCain (R) told Sean Hannity yesterday that choosing Sarah Palin his running mate was still the best decision Ive ever made. "

    If that doesn't put "Country First" to the biggest test of lying to stay within the graces of Fox News viewers, the GOP and Arizona right wing extremists, nothing does.

    And competency icon Mitt Romney picks him to front for Mitt at political rallies?

  • T2 on January 11, 2012 2:25 PM:

    If picking Palin is his best decision, that doesn't say much for his Romney endorsement, does it.

  • Squeaky McCrinkle on January 11, 2012 5:43 PM:

    @ Kathryn on January 11, 2012 1:07 PM:

    I truly hate having to defend John McCain, but the "wet start" story is utter bullshit and I'm sorry to see it appearing on this site. And the "hotdogging over Hanoi" comment is beneath contempt. Werewolf, Ron Byers and TCinLA should be ashamed of themselves.

    The tragedy on the Forrestal was caused when an underwing rocket was accidentally launched from an F-4 Phantom. Nothing to do with McCain in his A-4 Skyhawk.

    Anybody who has been on a carrier flight deck on Yankee Station might be surprised that things like that didn't occur more often.

  • Sammy on January 12, 2012 12:57 AM:

    Squeaky McCrinkle, so why didn't McCain get promoted to Admiral, which he would have done before the "not his responsibility for fire" incident?

    And why were his military records sealed? Why are they still sealed?

    Maybe being the son and grandson of Admirals had something to do with it?

    Oh, and I suppose McCain did not crash a total of 5 (FIVE) planes?