If there’s a better analogy for the Obama presidency, I’d like to hear it. From a New York Times article over the weekend:
President Obama has spent more campaign cash more quickly than any incumbent in recent history, betting that heavy early investments in personnel, field offices and a high-tech campaign infrastructure will propel him to victory in November.
Since the beginning of last year, Mr. Obama and the Democrats have burned through millions of dollars to find and register voters. They have spent almost $50 million subsidizing Democratic state parties to hire workers, pay for cellphones and update voter lists. They have spent tens of millions of dollars on polling, online advertising and software development to turn Mr. Obama’s fallow volunteers corps into a grass-roots army.
The price tag: about $400 million from the beginning of last year to June 30 this year, according to a New York Times analysis of Federal Election Commission records, including $86 million on advertising.
Let’s see: Unprecedented rate of spending? Check. Large amounts of money for sexy but as-yet-unproven technology? Check. Subsidies to the states? Check.
All to produce a lead, while Mitt Romney is caught between depleted primary funds and restricted from spending his significantly larger general-election funds, that is more or less within the margin of error. And the Obama campaign has not persuaded donors to contribute more heavily to it: July, the third complete month since Romney’s GOP challengers ceded the field to him, was also the third straight month his campaign has out-raised Obama’s.
So, we also have: Ineffective? Check.
Yep, that about sums it up.
– By Kyle Wingfield