Friday, February 01, 2008

F7: One Day to Stop Hillary (or Barack)

GOP online whiz Patrick Ruffini is working with Rightroots to address what they perceive as a critical weakness in the Republican presidential campaign: the lack of cash on hand. Whether Mitt Romney or John McCain wins the nomination (or even if it's Mike Huckabee), the candidate will be essentially broke. That's why they've come together to create

The point of the effort is to raise as much money as possible in one day, with all of it to go to the candidate who seizes control of the nomination on Super Duper Tuesday. If it's unclear who the nominee will be, then the site will continue to collect pledges until the race sorts itself out.

Ruffini explains:

If we fundraise the same old traditional way — with fundraising events and direct mail early and banking on Internet enthusiasm late — we will lose. There is no way we’ll be able to get the money when and where we need it. On the Internet in particular, contributions come in late, often too late for the money to be spent effectively. We’re hoping to help frontload some of this money so that the candidate can use it against Hillary/Obama right away. When it comes to giving, early is the new late.

If the nominee is McCain, we still have to do this. His campaign especially is running on fumes financially, but they’ve shown they can be effective with an even a small amount of money.

And if it is Romney, let’s be clear: he is rich, but not Bloomberg rich, and he cannot self-fund the seven months until the Convention. Building organizations in 19 target states is a whole different ball of wax than building them in four. He will need unconditional buy-in from the base — financially and otherwise — in order to compete with Clinton/Obama.

The only candidate the Republicans have who most certainly doesn't need this kind of help:Ron Paul.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Is It Too Early to Select a VP Nominee?

Robert Stacy McCain offers up a new name for political junkies who must discuss the Republican vice presidential choice before we even get to Super Tuesday. His suggestion though, is an interesting one with some real potential:

I was very impressed with [Michael] Steele's performance on "Meet the Press" in October 2006. Steele ran circles around Ben Cardin, and Steele's subsequent defeat in the Senate race was more attributable to the situation -- running against an anti-GOP tidal wave in an overwhelmingly Democratic state -- than a reflection on Steele's performance as a candidate.

Like Romney, Steele is a "Blue State Republican" who has had to campaign and govern in an environment that is hostile to his conservative values. I've had the opportunity to meet Steele, and can attest that Steele's cheerful, upbeat -- dare I say, Reaganesque? -- conservatism is for real.

Given the current Democratic civil war over race, the selection of Michael Steele could help Republicans make a more serious play for the votes of African Americans than in any election in recent memory. Further, Steele earned a lot of fans among traditional Reagan conservatives, even as he ran a race in one of the most Democratic states in the U.S. In a year when the Republican candidate seems destined to have to work to generate some excitement, Steele would be a very memorable selection.