sábado, 31 de marzo de 2012

Gingrich, Romney y Santorum en el FFC de Wisconsin

Los tres candidatos han hablado esta mañana en un foro de la Faith and Freedom Coalition de Wisconsin.

Rasmussen: Romney 44%, Santorum 34% en Wisconsin

The numbers have moved little over the past week with Mitt Romney still holding a double-digit lead over Rick Santorum in the closing days of the Wisconsin Republican Primary race.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters in Wisconsin shows Romney with 44% support to Santorum’s 34%. A week ago in Wisconsin, it was Romney 46% and Santorum 33%.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Congressman Ron Paul both pick up seven percent (7%) of the vote from Badger State Republicans, virtually unchanged from the previous survey. Two percent (2%) like some other candidate in the race, and six percent (6%) are undecided.

A Ron Paul le ha costado 500,000 dólares cada delegado; 30 dólares el voto

National Journal:
Whether the race is nearly over or not is a choice for voters and candidates to make. But what's been spent by whom and for what tells us something about the four remaining campaigns -- where they are, where they have been and how they have fared.

That eye-popping headline is right. Texas Rep. Ron Paul has spent $496,461 per delegate. He's spent $30.35 per vote. He's the most profligate candidate in the race when it comes to return-on-investment (ROI to Romney).

Or is he?

The Paul campaign says they've spent wisely and will prove it over time (back to that in a minute).

The Paul math goes like this: According to his latest filing with the Federal Election Commission, Paul has spent $32,766,465. He's received 1,079,753 votes for a cost-per-vote total of $30.35. He's won 66 delegates for a cost-per-delegate total of $496,461.

Doug Weed, a senior Paul adviser offered the following:

"The delegate counts, such as those promoted by the New York Times and The Associated Press are pure media fiction. So your delegate-per-dollar is skewed. For example, they (NYT and AP) say the delegate count in Iowa is Santorum 14, Romney 12 and Paul 1. We have one delegate in Iowa? Hmm. I don't want to reveal too much, but our delegate strategy is doing just fine and it is worth every dollar."

Maybe so. But the raw numbers based on available delegate counts don't look good for Paul.

Romney's cost-per-vote (CPV) total is $16.18. His cost-per-delegate (CPD) is $118,218.

The math: $66,793,395 spent with 4,127,917 votes and 565 delegates.

Santorum's CPV is an amazing $4.56 cents. That's just over a quarter of Romney's and about a seventh of Paul's.

Santorum's CPD is $50,873.

He's spent $13,023,588 and won 2,850,546 votes and 256 delegates. Imagine if Romney or Paul were this efficient? Imagine if the federal government or a private business was this efficient?

"Clearly, Rick Santorum has proven that among the GOP presidential contenders he has been able to do much more while spending much less," said chief strategist John Brabender. "Isn't that exactly what we are asking the next president to do?"

Brabender said this is the crux of why Santorum won't quit. He seems to have a point. Would anyone in politics who had done this much with so little just chuck it? Would that candidate tell supporters who made something out of almost nothing to just give up and go away? Some might. But most wouldn't. Brabender said Santorum will not. At least not yet.

What about Gingrich? Maybe shedding one-third of his staff and charging $50 a photo will bring new efficiency. He'll need it.

Gingrich's CPV is $8.91. Gingrich's CPD is $139,830. Here's the math: $19,716,106 spent for 2,212,001 votes and 141 delegates.

These numbers don't include Super PAC funds spent on behalf of the candidates (either for them or against their rivals).

Boston todavía no piensa en "running-mates"

The Washington Post:
Mitt Romney’s advisers and top supporters have begun informally discussing potential vice presidential candidates and believe that the sooner he can put away the Republican nomination, the more flexibility he will have in picking his running mate.

And although they are careful to note that the campaign is far from putting together a short list, key supporters and strategists said Friday that they are beginning to see the outlines of the kind of person Romney will choose — and the kind he will avoid.

In short, the habitually cautious candidate is less likely to try to make a splash by picking a game-changing candidate and more likely to choose someone safe, whom he sees as competent and ready to be president.

The conventional thinking has been that after a long and divisive primary campaign, the challenge of uniting the GOP would force Romney to pick a running mate with strong appeal to tea party activists and evangelicals. But Romney’s team thinks he may be liberated from that pressure if he can finish off remaining rivals Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul in the next few weeks.

Romney has not tapped anyone to oversee a vice-presidential search process. The strategy talk, one adviser said, is limited to “four guys on the campaign over a beer at night on the North End who might toss names around.”

Romney’s high command in Boston has not taken its eye off the primaries he still needs to win. And cognizant that he would be leading a divided party, they are seeking ways to win over reluctant conservatives. Still, it is unclear whether several months from now, when Romney chooses a running partner, he would be under pressure to pick someone who is demonstrably more conservative than he is.

His advisers said they do not believe geography will play all that important a role, and that he seems unlikely to choose someone to court a single state or constituency. He does not, so far, appear to have discussed the need to pick a minority or a woman, for example, to appeal to certain kinds of voters.

“The days when you could pick a vice presidential nominee and they could deliver a state are long over,” said Charlie Black, a veteran GOP presidential strategist and informal Romney adviser.

At the same time, early indications are that Romney will not repeat the error of 2008, when John McCain sought a dramatic choice but failed to run a thorough vetting process in picking Sarah Palin.

“I think the mistakes made in 2008 will have a big effect, as they should in 2012,” said strategist Steve Schmidt, who oversaw McCain’s selection of Palin. “The 2008 process was evaluated almost entirely through a political prism.”

This time, one Romney adviser said, “politics will matter less than you’d imagine.”

“Knowing Mitt as I do, I think he’s going to be very much of the school that we need a vice president who can become president,” said the adviser, who like others interviewed demanded anonymity because of the sensitivity of the vice presidential search process.

(...) The widespread speculation has been that Rubio is the leading contender. He’s popular with the tea party and his Cuban American roots — Romney has said he embodies “the American dream” — could help capture Hispanic voters.

“Romney’s greatest challenge in the party is with the right wing of the party, which is what that ‘Anybody But Mitt’ movement has been,” one major Romney fundraiser said. “That would suggest that you go toward the conservative wing, quite possibly as well that you go South. Where does that conversation quickly take everybody? It takes you to Marco.”

But the 40-year-old first-term senator is untested on a national stage, something one Romney supporter said “absolutely” gives the Romney team pause.

(...) Another factor is whether contenders have been helpful to Romney. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell endorsed him at critical moments and campaigned for him.

But some Romney supporters noted that McDonnell could hurt Romney with women voters considering his graduate thesis critical of working women and unwed mothers and a bill this spring requiring women to undergo ultrasound procedures before having abortions.

Similarly, a prominent Romney fundraiser said Christie would be “risky because his bombasticness might not travel as well as you’d hope.”

One candidate who could conform to what Romney may want is Sen. Rob Portman (Ohio). A Cabinet member in George W. Bush’s administration, Portman could be an experienced governing partner. So could Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, although he has signaled, as has former Florida governor Jeb Bush, that he is not be interested in the job.

5,200 personas para ver a Ron Paul en Wisconsin

Ron Paul en la Universidad de Wisconsin

Santorum en Eau Claire, Wisconsin

Romney hace campaña con Paul Ryan en Wisconsin

En el American Serb Memorial Hall de Milwaukee.

Antes de salir al escenario en la Lawrence University de Appleton.

Mitin en la Lawrence University de Appleton.

(click en la imagen para ver el video en otra ventana)

Santorum en John King USA (CNN)

Romney y Ryan en Hannity (Fox News)

Gingrich en On The Record (Fox News)

Obama en Vermont

En una recaudación de fondos.

viernes, 30 de marzo de 2012

Los votantes reclaman un Romney más emocional

The New York Times:
The voters were pleading with Mitt Romney to share personal details of his life. They stood at town-hall-style meetings and chatted before rallies, clamoring for a story or an anecdote that would help them connect with the real Mitt Romney.

“I wish that you would speak more to a lot of the things that I think you should speak about — the fact that you were pastor at your church, the fact that you were a missionary, the fact that you do speak about helping with the Olympics,” Mary Toepfer, 40, of Warren, Ohio, said at a recent event.

Without these kinds of stories, she added, “it’s hard for us, who are trying to support you, to address them when trying to explain to them why you would be the better candidate.”

Another voter, another day, spoke up in Bexley, Ohio, beseeching Mr. Romney to open up. “I’d like you to share with all the American citizens that are watching right now,” the man said, “to show the American people that you have a lot of heart.”

On the campaign trail these days, voters often talk frankly of their yearning to get more from Mr. Romney. Some Republicans seem so eager for a leader who can rouse the passions of the party faithful that they are offering advice directly to Mr. Romney, suggesting that if he revealed more of himself and made more of a human connection, he could better harness the enthusiasm of the conservative grass roots for defeating President Obama.

But even if Republican voters appear increasingly eager to fall for him, it is not clear that Mr. Romney can satisfy their desire for warm, revealing moments. His campaign advisers say that as the primary season winds down, they expect Mr. Romney will have more opportunities to talk about himself in a personal way.

He has already started to appear again in more settings that lend themselves to intimate exchanges with voters and will soon do longer interviews, which he has largely avoided, during which he can dole out tales about himself.

Still, the aides say Mr. Romney has a natural reticence — he regards talking about himself as bragging, they say. And they are all too aware of his susceptibility to awkward or off-key statements when it comes to disclosing personal information, like the story he told to voters in Wisconsin on Wednesday about his father, as head of American Motors, closing a factory in Michigan and moving the production to Wisconsin.

They say they also do not want to distract from his chief campaign theme, how his experience as a businessman and a governor has prepared him to help fix the economy.

“I think people underestimate the trauma there is out there for voters who want someone to help them,” said Stuart Stevens, a top Romney strategist. “There’s a balance between an election being about you, and an election being about the voters.”

(...) “There’s so many stories of Mitt helping and reaching out and helping other people, and he’s very modest about it and he doesn’t talk about it,” said his wife, Ann, when asked by Neil Cavuto of Fox News this month why she and her husband rarely talk about how he supported her during her illnesses.

Now, she and other surrogates are trying to do the job that Mr. Romney seems uncomfortable, or unwilling, to do himself. On the stump, Mrs. Romney often talks of warm family moments, and she recently made two Web videos, filled with images and memories of the couple and their five sons. Garrett Jackson, a personal aide to Mr. Romney, has also been deployed to start a blog intended to offer a window into the candidate’s daily life.

Aides, however, talk about finding the right balance. Especially in the modern political era of Twitter and nonstop blogs, they worry that opening up with some personal stories could lead to every little personal quirk becoming fair game for criticism.

While the Romney campaign expects it will have another chance to re-introduce Mr. Romney to Americans if he becomes his party’s nominee, some Republican voters are hungry — now — for a better sense of him.

Paul Ryan apoya a Romney

CONGRESISTA RYAN (en Fox & Friends): "Estoy utilizando dos criterios para tomar mi decisión sobre a quién votar en nuestra primaria el martes. ¿Quién es la mejor persona para ser Presidente? ¿Quién será el mejor Presidente? Y, ¿quién tiene la mejor oportunidad de derrotar a Barack Obama? En mi opinión, Mitt Romney es con claridad esa persona."

Este es un endorsement con un doble efecto: por un lado, solidifica la impresión general de que Romney será el nominado, y, por otro lado, le da un importante empujón de cara a la decisiva primaria de Wisconsin.

NBC/Marist: Romney 40%, Santorum 33% en Wisconsin

NBC News:
In Wisconsin’s April 3 Republican contest, the former Massachusetts governor gets support from 40 percent of likely primary voters, including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a particular candidate. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum gets 33 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul gets 11 percent, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gets 8 percent. Seven percent of respondents are undecided.

The poll – conducted March 26-27 – is consistent with the findings of a recent Marquette Law School survey, which found Romney leading Santorum by eight points. The Wisconsin race follows a familiar pattern: Romney holds the advantage over Santorum among liberal and moderate Republicans (43 percent to 24 percent), conservatives (42 percent to 33 percent), non-Tea Party supporters (42 percent to 31 percent), and those who earn $75,000 or more annually (47 percent to 32 percent).

Meanwhile, Santorum leads among very conservative primary voters (42 percent to 33 percent), strong Tea Party supporters (40 percent to 32 percent), and evangelical Christians (40 percent to 29 percent).

So far in all the GOP contests where there has been exit polling, Romney has won in every contest where evangelical voters have accounted for less than 50 percent of the electorate. And he has lost in every contest where that number has been higher than 50 percent. The evangelical percentage among likely Wisconsin GOP primary voters, according to the NBC/Marist poll: 41 percent.

El Super PAC de Santorum dobla el gasto en Wisconsin

The Hill:
The pro-Rick Santorum super-PAC Red, White, and Blue Fund is increasing its television ad buy in Wisconsin.

The super-PAC announced Thursday that it had spent an additional $360,000 on television advertising in Milwaukee and Green Bay, bringing the total amount spent to $660,000. The super-PAC had originally announced that it was spending $304,000 on advertising in Wisconsin. The super-PAC also announced it had added the following Wisconsin cities to its ad blitz: Madison, Wausau and Lacrosse.

The announcement comes just ahead of Wisconsin's April 3 primary. Santorum has been focusing most of his recent campaigning in the state.

La reunión con Newt fue un acercamiento informal, según Romney

ABC News:
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney confirmed reports Thursday that he and Newt Gingrich met secretly in New Orleans the day before the Louisiana primary.

But Romney played down the importance of the meeting between the himself and Gingrich, who earlier this week scaled back his campaign and laid off staffers.

“We’re pretty much in regular communication between the different campaigns and I said hello to Newt,” Romney told Sean Hannity in a radio interview. “Nothing new, nothing exciting except we keep a friendly discourse open.”

A source close to the Gingrich campaign confirmed the meeting happened early on Friday morning at around 6:30 a.m. at Romney’s hotel in the French Quarter district of New Orleans. Gingrich was staying at a hotel about 30 minutes away from Romney’s hotel and met with him before heading to the southern part of Louisiana to campaign in Port Fourchon.

“We do meet from time to time and I’m sure that the Speaker meets with Rick Santorum as well but we don’t go off and report the discussions,” Romney said. “But they are friendly and we discuss the issues, we discuss the way forward but we don’t reveal our secret campaign strategies.”

Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond told ABC News that he was not the source of other reports that the two candidates had met, however, “Newt does speak Santorum and Romney on a regular basis.”

Bush 41 apoya a Romney (video)

PRESIDENTE BUSH: "Barbara y yo estamos muy orgullosos de dar nuestro respaldo entusiasta a nuestro viejo amigo, Mitt Romney. Es un buen hombre, será un gran Presidente, y le deseamos lo mejor... Creo que es hora de que el partido respalde al Gobernador Romney. Ella (Barbara) me estaba recordando que Kenny Rogers cantó, 'tienes que saber cuándo sostenerlas y saber cuándo soltarlas (en poker).' Creo que es hora de que todos respalden a este buen hombre... Estamos muy convencidos y conocemos a Mitt desde hace mucho tiempo, de que él es el hombre para este trabajo, para seguir y ganar la Presidencia, y es de eso de lo que se trata. Y sin más preámbulos, aquí está el hombre."

jueves, 29 de marzo de 2012

Con ayuda de Callista, Newt saca el John Edwards que lleva dentro


21 millones esperan al nominado republicano para empezar a preparar la elección general

Whether it's Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum or someone else, whoever wins the Republican presidential nomination will enter the general election at a significant financial disadvantage.

President Obama currently has more than $100 million at his disposal for his re-election effort, thanks to his campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

Romney's most recent cash-on-hand figure - $7.3 million - looks paltry in comparison. And Santorum's $2.6 million is even more worrying.

But the Republican National Committee is pointing to a sizeable pot of money that they can immediately share with the nominee once the party settles on a candidate.

It's an important $21 million lifeline called the RNC Presidential Trust, which is chaired by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Chairman and a potential vice presidential pick.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told CNN Thursday that with Ryan's fundraising help, the trust is now fully funded, meaning the Republican presidential nominee won't be cash-starved once the general election fight begins.

Under Federal Election Commission rules, the RNC can coordinate with the presidential nominee on how that money - $21.6 million to be precise - is spent.

The seed money, which will come out of the roughly $30 million the RNC will have on hand by the end of March, can pay for office space, staff, travel or whatever the Republican nominee needs to hit the ground running.

"Whoever our nominee will end up being, that nominee is going to be needing some serious money," Priebus told CNN.

"We have decided to take this $21 million right now and set it aside as a bridge loan for the Republican nominee, so that as soon as they are the presumptive nominee, they will have $21 million plus immediately so that they can recharge their batteries."

RNC officials are touting the trust as another sign that Priebus rescued the committee back from financial disaster after taking over the chairmanship in January 2011, when the RNC had more than $23 million in debt.

Rasmussen: Romney, muy favorito en Maryland

Republican front-runner Mitt Romney is well ahead of his chief rival Rick Santorum in Maryland with that state’s primary less than a week away.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters in Maryland shows Romney with 45% support to Santorum’s 28%. Twelve percent (12%) favor former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, while Texas Congressman Ron Paul earns seven percent (7%) of the vote. Two percent (2%) like another candidate in the race, and six percent (6%) are undecided.

Wisconsin, la última oportunidad de Santorum

First Read:
*** Santorum’s last chance (really, this is it): With Mitt Romney holding a sizable delegate lead and with more prominent Republicans (George H.W. Bush and Marco Rubio) formally endorsing the former Massachusetts governor, Tuesday’s GOP primary in Wisconsin is shaping up to be Rick Santorum’s last chance -- in math and perception.

If Romney wins Wisconsin, Santorum can’t stop him from getting to the magic number of 1,114 delegates, according to our math. When we crunched the numbers showing that Romney would fall about 50 delegates short of the magic number, that ASSUMED Santorum would win Wisconsin, as well as pick up more delegates than he did in Louisiana. When it comes to perception, Wisconsin is Santorum’s final opportunity to convince Republicans that this race isn’t over, and a win in the Badger State would do the trick. Can Santorum pull off a win on Tuesday? Well, we’ll have a new NBC/Marist poll on the race tomorrow morning that could answer that question.

Gingrich se reunió con Romney el pasado fin de semana

The Washington Times:
Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich met secretly with GOP rival Mitt Romney on Saturday, according to a source close to the campaign, but the former House speaker says he has made no deal to end his bid for the GOP nomination.

Mr. Gingrich, responding to questions from The Washington Times, did not deny the meeting, but explicitly said he hasn’t been offered a position in a potential Romney administration in exchange for dropping out.

Nor, he said, is there a deal to have Mr. Romney’s big donors help retire Mr. Gingrich’s campaign debt of more than $1 million.

“There is no agreement of any kind, and I plan to go all the way to Tampa,” Mr. Gingrich said, referring to the August GOP presidential nominating convention in Florida.

(...) According to a source close to the Gingrich campaign, the two GOP rivals met early on the day of the Louisiana primary at Mr. Romney’s hotel in New Orleans.

On Tuesday, the former House speaker signaled that he is toning down the anti-Romney rhetoric he has used on the campaign circuit, telling reporters while campaigning in Annapolis that, “Obviously I will support [Mitt Romney] and will be delighted to do anything I can to help defeat Barack Obama.”

But Wednesday, the former congressman from Georgia struck a defiant note again. “Romney has to earn this. It’s not going to be given to him,” he told Washington-based radio station WTOP.

Partida de bolos (II)

Rick Santorum echó ayer otra partida de bolos en La Crosse, Wisconsin. Jugó con miembros de los College Republicans.

Ron Paul en la Universidad de Maryland

Habló de libertad personal y libertad económica.

Volvió a llenar el auditorio de apasionados seguidores.

Marco Rubio apoya a Romney

El Senador Marco Rubio anunció en Hannity (Fox News) su apoyo a la candidatura presidencial de Mitt Romney. Dijo que Romney "se lo ha ganado" y que ofrece "una alternativa muy clara" sobre el futuro del país.

Sobre la Vicepresidencia, dijo que no cree que se la ofrezca.

miércoles, 28 de marzo de 2012

Santorum en Sparta, Wisconsin

Bush 41 apoyará formalmente a Romney

Associated Press:
Former President George H.W. Bush plans to endorse Mitt Romney at an event Thursday in Houston.

Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho says the two will appear together and speak to reporters.

Formal backing from the 41st president is another sign that the Republican Party is uniting behind Romney as pressure builds on challengers Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to leave the race.

The elder Bush has offered encouraging words to Romney throughout the primary season but had withheld a formal endorsement. Former first lady Barbara Bush has formally backed Romney. She recorded automated telephone calls for him during the primary in Ohio.

Their son, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, endorsed Romney last week.

Una convención disputada (no abierta) con un favorito claro

Las fuerzas de Reagan y Rockefeller tratan de parar la inevitable nominación de Nixon en la convención republicana de 1968.

Resumido en 'Rule and Ruin' de Geoffrey Kabaservice:

Gingrich quiere ganar en verano

The New York Times:
Mr. DeSantis [the campaign’s communications director] said Mr. Gingrich accepted that he could not win enough delegates to clinch the nomination before the convention. But the campaign believes that neither Mitt Romney nor Rick Santorum is likely to do so, either. In that case, Mr. DeSantis said, the campaign will enter a “tossup period” this summer.

“We’re going to make sure Newt is ready to win that 60-day period,” Mr. DeSantis said. “What we’re going to be doing is focus on a campaign strategy that takes it to Obama.”

(...) The idea, Mr. DeSantis said, is to persuade unpledged delegates and those who have backed another candidate to see Mr. Gingrich as the best challenger to face President Obama.

“We know that we will not get to 1,144 delegates by the convention,” Mr. DeSantis said. “But there’s a real possibility that Governor Romney won’t, either.”

(...) “You are going to see us be very happy for Governor Romney and Senator Santorum to be hitting each other while we go after Mr. Obama,” Mr. DeSantis said.
Lo que se propone hacer Gingrich es muy bizarro, es como volver a hace cuarenta años, cuando había candidatos muy serios que pasaban de las primarias, que entonces eran pocas, y montaban su campaña pensando en pelear por la candidatura en la convención.

El dilema de Santo: ¿Ser un buen chico o forzar la situación?

Matt Lewis:
Talk has turned to Rick Santorum’s exodus. Over at The Atlantic, Molly Ball writes that GOP insiders and Mitt Romney backers are “encouraging [Rick Santorum] to be the better guy and they’ll help him do whatever he wants to do.” And RCP’s Scott Conroy wonders if Santorum might be putting his future at risk.

Clearly, there is an effort to encourage Rick Santorum to do the right thing. The problem for Mitt Romney is that — as it was once (wrongly) observed about Winston Churchill — Santorum seems to be “a man with a brilliant future behind him.” This makes him harder to intimidate.

To be sure, at just 53, Santorum is still relatively young. This means that there is plenty of time for Republican insiders to punish him. And there are certainly ways to reward him for acquiescing. But if Santorum’s goal is to actually become president, it seems Romney’s supporters have more sticks than carrots. They can’t promise to help him become president.

For Rick Santorum, there is likely no “next time.” Should the GOP nominee lose in 2012, Santorum would face a strong 2016 field, possibly including the likes of Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and Bobby Jindal – just to name a few. Santorum would not fare well in that environment.

If his goal is to make it to the White House, his best bet might just be to hold out until the convention, and try to negotiate to become Romney’s running mate (this may sound laughable to some, but it’s not uncommon for bitter foes to team up “for the good of the party”.) Given his druthers, Romney would obviously prefer a different running mate, which is precisely why Santorum’s odds increase by staying in the race and forcing the situation.

This is not to say Santorum’s hardball strategy is likely to succeed. But he is probably more likely to make it to the White House by playing tough than by playing nice and waiting his turn. In 1976, Ronald Reagan challenged a sitting president from his own party. He took it all the way to the convention. Reagan was not doomed for this apostasy, but instead, became the nominee in 1980.

The voters might just reward this sort of moxie. Churchill famously observed that “nations that go down fighting, rise up again; those that surrender tamely are finished.” Sometimes, I think the same is true of candidates.

Romney en el camerino del show de Leno

Es uno de esos momentos íntimos que de vez en cuando graba y cuelga en youtube su asistente Garrett Jackson.

Una parada espontánea

Mientras un confiado Romney recauda dinero y visita platós de televisión en Los Angeles, Rick Santorum recorre Wisconsin buscando un contacto personal con los votantes.

Ayer, entre mítines, hizo una parada no prevista en una hamburguesería de Jefferson, un pequeño pueblo que se echó a la calle para ver en persona a la primera celebridad nacional que ven por allí.

Se ve que estamos ante lo que en EEUU llaman un verdadero "impromptu campaign stop" cuando los votantes no llevan carteles, lemas o chapas de la campaña encima.

Newt reestructura su campaña pensando en una convención abierta

Newt Gingrich is cutting back his campaign schedule, will lay off about a third of his cash-strapped campaign’s full-time staff, and has replaced his manager as part of what aides are calling a “big-choice convention” strategy, communications director Joe DeSantis told POLITICO.

Michael Krull, a former advance man and a college friend of Callista Gingrich’s who took over the campaign after a staff exodus in June, was replaced last weekend by Vince Haley, who has worked for Gingrich for nine years and currently is deputy campaign manager and policy director.

“We’re focusing exclusively on what it’ll take to win what we’re going to be calling a big-choice convention in August,” DeSantis said in a phone interview Tuesday night.

Gingrich officials declined to specify who else besides Krull would be leaving. “Not getting into it right now besides Krull,” DeSantis said.

But another campaign official said the layoffs would largely affect junior and advance staff, the latter of which was contracted out to Gordon James Public Relations. Gingrich consultant Kellyanne Conway and political director Martin Baker will both retain their roles, according to officials. The advance staff also received word on Tuesday afternoon to submit their final expense reports.

(...) The new Gingrich world order is largely a strategy of necessity: Gingrich places a distant third in delegates, behind Romney and Rick Santorum. His campaign-finance report for February, released last week, showed more debt ($1.55 million) than cash-on-hand ($1.54 million). That situation is unlikely to improve given Gingrich has captured no momentum in the polls.

DeSantis said the former speaker will continue to visit states with primaries, but will have a less intense campaign schedule. DeSantis promised that the campaign will be “more positive and ideas-focused,” eschewing attacks on Republican rivals. The aide said the campaign will be more digital, focusing on low-cost communications tools, including informational videos, social media and the web.

“We think that a big part of how we succeed is getting back to core Gingrich, which is a focus on big ideas and positive solutions — having someone who is intimately aware of Newt’s policy positions and the way things are framed, and has been working with Newt for so long on the policy front. We think that having [Haley] as the campaign manager is very important.”

DeSantis said Krull “has agreed to resign.” DeSantis and press secretary R.C. Hammond will remain. John Fluharty, the campaign’s director of ballot access and delegate operations, will also stay on.
About a dozen staff members “will be transitioning out by the end of the month,” including some at the campaign office in Arlington, and some working out in the states, DeSantis said.

The remaining staff will be waging a campaign aimed at what DeSantis termed a “big choice convention” in Tampa this summer. Both Gingrich — and Rick Santorum — are setting their sights argue that Romney cannot reach the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch the GOP nomination, and even if they can’t either, they may be able to prevent him from doing so.

“This big choice convention phase will be focused on two goals. 1. Affecting the national dialogue to show that Gingrich is the most capable of defeating Obama, by leading on issues that put the president on defense – like Newt’s $2.50 Gas Plan; and 2. A parallel communications strategy directly to the delegates.” DeSantis wrote in an email.

(...) “We believe that if Governor Romney is unable to secure 1,144 by the last primaries, he will be unable to do so at the convention where the vast majority of the delegates are conservative,” DeSantis said. “That creates [an] environment at the convention where Gingrich can emerge as the one candidate who can unite social, economic and national security conservatives (a fact which is borne out by polling).”

Santorum en Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

El ObamaCare une al GOP

Ex candidatos presidenciales como Michele Bachmann unieron sus fuerzas ayer con futuros presidenciables como Paul Ryan, Allen West o Rand Paul, en un mismo rally contra el ObamaCare.

Romney en The Tonight Show (NBC)

Continúa: Parte 2 / Parte 3

Gingrich en The O'Reilly Factor (Fox News)

martes, 27 de marzo de 2012

Cinco staffers frente a cientos

Rick Santorum's presidential campaign is only paying five staffers directly, according FEC filings from February.

The reports, made public last week, show that the campaign only paid a handful of staffers a salary; other members of the team are being paid consulting fees, while still others don't appear on the report at all, though some staffers, including the communications aides, are in fact working for the campaign's consulting firm, Brabender Cox.

The staff figure is tiny even by the standards of a small presidential campaign. The Obama campaign has more 300 staffers in Chicago alone, and the Romney campaign has more than 100 staff. Even Newt Gingrich's struggling effort reported 33 staffers to the FEC.

The report doesn't mean that no one on the campaign is getting paid; campaign manager Mike Biundo, for example, is collecting consulting fees, as is Santorum's adviser and friend Greg Rothman.

Communications director Hogan Gidley said he wasn't sure how the campaign structures its payments.

Marquette: Romney 39%, Santorum 31% en Wisconsin

Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:
The GOP race for president has flipped in Wisconsin since last month, with Mitt Romney overtaking Rick Santorum in the latest poll by Marquette Law School.

Romney leads Santorum 39% to 31% in a survey of GOP primary voters taken last Thursday through Sunday.

Ron Paul is running third in the poll with 11%, followed by Newt Gingrich with 5%.

The new numbers represent a major shift from Marquette’s February poll, which showed Santorum leading Romney in the state 34% to 18%, followed by Paul at 17% and Gingrich at 12%.

"We Just Can't Trust Mitt Romney"

El Super PAC de Santorum contraataca con este spot anti-Romney que se emitirá en Milwaukee y Green Bay, en Wisconsin. Pagará algo más de 300,000 dólares por su emisión, bastante menos de lo que está pagando el Super PAC de Romney para pasar sus anuncios con mayor frecuencia.

NARRADOR: "¿Qué clase de Presidente sería Mitt Romney? Simplemente mirad a su historial como Gobernador. Romney subió los impuestos y las cuotas que destruyen empleos en más de 700 millones de dólares. El crecimiento del empleo en Massachusetts fue cerca de cinco veces más lento que en otros estados. Romney dejó una deuda proyectada de más de 1,000 millones de dólares. El plan sanitario estatal de Romney sirvió como anteproyecto del ObamaCare y su precio de 1.7 billones de dólares. No podemos confiar en Mitt Romney."

Restore Our Future, la máquina de matar de Romney

Bloomberg realiza una radiografía del gran protagonista de esta campaña, el Super PAC de Romney:
One of the political ads airing in the run-up to the April 3 Wisconsin primary accuses Rick Santorum of voting with former Senator Hillary Clinton in favor of granting voting rights to violent convicted felons.

Santorum’s campaign says the commercial is untrue, yet that hasn’t stopped Restore Our Future, a so-called super-political action committee supporting Mitt Romney, from running it and another attack ad more than 1,647 times on Wisconsin television stations, according to New York-based Kantar Media’s CMAG, a firm that tracks advertising.

The firepower, to which Santorum has yet to respond, fits a pattern that has become a defining feature of the 2012 Republican presidential primary race. Since the contests began, Restore Our Future has spent $35 million on commercials attacking Santorum, a former Pennsylvania U.S. senator, and Newt Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker, the two candidates who have come closest to knocking Romney out of front-runner status, according to the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks political money. The super-PAC has spent just $1.1 million promoting Romney, the data shows.

“They need to demonize and destroy, they need to slash and burn their opponents,” said David Johnson, a Republican strategist from Atlanta who worked on former Senator Bob Dole’s Republican presidential bid in 1988 and is unaffiliated with any candidate this cycle. “That’s the only way Romney can win” because he has “no base of support,” he said.

(...) John Brabender, a Santorum senior adviser, called the ads “troubling,” particularly since they are aimed at Republicans. “Why in the world didn’t he spend his $35 million running ads against Obama instead of brutally attacking Republicans?” Brabender said.

Romney’s campaign has run fewer positive ads to promote his candidacy than Restore had spent on negative commercials aimed at his top rivals. The campaign has aired 12,817 spots, almost all of them positive, since January of 2011, according to CMAG. The commercial run most often is called “Moral Responsibility,” which touts Romney’s commitment to be a strong financial steward for the nation.

In Wisconsin, and elsewhere, the campaign ads illustrate the role that super-PACs are playing in presidential elections after the Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that independent third parties have a constitutional right to raise and spend as much as they want on political ads.

In the case of Santorum and Gingrich, wealthy donors to their friendly super-PACS, called respectively the Red, White and Blue Fund and Winning Our Future, have helped keep them in the race when their own fundraising faltered. Restore Our Future has helped Romney by ensuring neither of those candidacies gain momentum.

The only court stipulation is that the groups can’t coordinate their activities with a campaign. Candidates found a way around that hurdle by dispatching aides to operate them. Restore is run by former Romney advisers, including Charles R. Spies, who was Romney’s general counsel in the 2008 Republican primary. Its board of directors includes Carl Forti, who was political director four years ago.

“The way they function is essentially a parallel presidential campaign,” said Anthony Corrado, a political scientist at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. “The notion that these PACs are independent is nothing more than a legal technicality.”

The pro-Romney group’s leading contributor last month was Houston homebuilder Bob Perry, according to Federal Election Commission records. Perry helped fund the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth ads that attacked Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry’s Vietnam War service in the 2004 race. Restore’s ads are being made by Larry McCarthy, who in 1988 produced the “Willie Horton” ad that linked a murderer to Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis, a former Massachusetts governor, a smear even Republicans said was unfair.

Since Jan. 1 of last year, Restore has aired the same 16 negative ads 41,612 times in the major media markets of primary states from Michigan to Florida and Colorado, according to data provided by CMAG.

The committees backing Gingrich and Santorum ran 8,172 and 8,121 negative spots, respectively, according to data from CMAG.

Restore concentrated its firepower first on Gingrich in Florida after his Jan. 21 victory in South Carolina and then on Santorum in Ohio after his wins in Colorado and Minnesota on Feb. 7.

Its charge that Santorum supported giving convicted felons voting rights was repeated 2,671 times in two separate ads before the Ohio March 6 primary.

(...) A CMAG analysis as of March 7 found one of the anti- Santorum ads, titled “Values,” has aired a total of 4,650 times, making it the fourth-most-run spot of the campaign season, including those in support of President Barack Obama.

(...) In all, Restore ran 3,313 ads in the 10 days before Ohio’s March 6 vote, compared to 722 by the pro-Santorum PAC. Santorum lost narrowly to Romney, by four-fifths of a percentage point.

“He did the same thing in Michigan and Mississippi and every place,” said Brabender. “In Gingrich’s case, he did basically knock him out of the race.”

After his South Carolina win, Gingrich went into Florida’s Jan. 31 race in a dead heat with Romney, according to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted Jan. 19 to 23. In the final days before the primary, Restore ran five different ads in the state’s major media markets, every one of them attacking Gingrich and rated as negative by Kantar.

“Overnight a storm rained dollars on the television,” said Susan MacManus, a University of South Florida political scientist. “They had a big impact.”


El Super PAC de Romney vuelve a la carga contra Santorum en Wisconsin, sacando de contexto sus palabras, o más bien haciéndose eco de lo que la prensa se encargó de sacar de contexto.

NARRADORA: "Sobre la economía, Rick Santorum dice."

SENADOR SANTORUM: "No me preocupa cuál va a ser la tasa de desempleo, no me importa."

NARRADORA: "¿El historial de Santorum en economía? Durante 20 años en Washington, Santorum votó cinco veces para subir el límite de la deuda. Y a favor de miles de millones en despilfarro, incluyendo 'el puente a ninguna parte.' Santorum incluso votó contra la legislación de derecho a trabajar sin sindicato. Rick Santorum sobre la economía..."

SENADOR SANTORUM: "No me preocupa cuál va a ser la tasa de desempleo."

"Journeys with George" (campaña de 2000)

Alexandra Pelosi, periodista de la NBC e hija de Nancy Pelosi, cubrió la campaña presidencial del Gobernador George W. Bush durante 18 meses, entre 1999 y 2000. Grabó su experiencia en una videocámara y el material sirvió para producir Journeys with George, un divertido documental de 80 minutos que se estrenó dos años después. Nominado a seis premios Emmy, el documental se centra en tono desenfadado en la relación que establece el candidato con los periodistas que le acompañan en su viaje por todo el país a lo largo de la campaña.

Podéis verlo aquí en seis partes.

Continúa: Parte 2 / Parte 3 / Parte 4 / Parte 5 / Parte 6

La red de grandes recaudadores de Romney

The Washington Post:
A few weeks before the Republican primary in Florida in January, the billionaire owner of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins hosted a fundraiser for Mitt Romney at his oceanfront home in Palm Beach. The average voter wouldn’t know about the event at the home of Stephen Ross because Romney’s campaign doesn’t follow the practice of other major presidential candidates who have willingly identified big-money fundraisers and the amounts they collect.

A review by The Associated Press of campaign records and other documents reveals hints about the vast national network of business leaders bringing in millions to elect Romney. The same month that Ross invited friends and colleagues to his home, for example, Romney’s campaign received $317,000 from nearly 150 people who share Ross’s exclusive ZIP code on Florida’s east coast, according to Federal Election Commission records. That mysterious surge of donations outpaced all contributions to Romney during the previous year from the wealthy Palm Beach area, when the campaign collected $270,000 over nine months. Romney got $21,000 more from residents there in February.

(...) Bundlers are typically well-connected business and banking executives who tap their professional and social networks to steer individual contributions from others to the campaign in amounts that can range from $10,000 to well over $500,000. Experienced bundlers can reach these highest amounts quickly. Persuading 25 couples to attend a VIP reception with the candidate for $2,500 each — the maximum an individual can give a campaign — raises $125,000 in a single evening.

Even in the era of “super” political action committees, which can pull in millions of dollars in unlimited and effectively anonymous contributions to support candidates, bundlers are their own campaign forces. Unlike super PACs, which can’t legally coordinate with candidates, bundlers raise large amounts deposited directly into a campaign’s bank account — money that can be spent to pay for salaries, get-out-the-vote efforts and advertising.

(...) Fundraising has been a bright spot for Romney during the bruising GOP primary. Romney has built a potent organization that has pulled in nearly $75 million. Two-thirds of the total — nearly $49 million — came from people who gave the $2,500 maximum, which can be indicative of contributions pulled together by bundlers. Just $6.5 million, or 9 percent, came from supporters who gave $200 or less. The emphasis on top-tier donations indicates an active network of fundraisers who are targeting high-end contributors.

(...) One prominent Romney supporter, Lewis M. Eisenberg, said that even with the rise of super PACs like Restore Our Future, which helped Romney pay for important advertising, the campaign is still dependent as ever on “hard money” that pays for salaries, state organizing, television ads, direct mailings and other expenses.

“It’s fair to say we still haven’t seen the clear impact of all the changes,” said Eisenberg, co-chairman for Romney’s campaign in Florida and John McCain’s finance chairman in 2008. “What we do know is you still need the hard dollars that go to the campaign — to deliver the direct message of the candidate and the campaign.”

Federal law requires only that candidates identify bundlers who also are registered lobbyists, which the Romney campaign has done. Sixteen lobbyists representing a wide range of interests raised nearly $2.2 million for him last year, according to FEC records.

The AP’s review identified dozens of people who fit the profile of a bundler for Romney. Many are listed on invitations for Romney fundraising events, assigned to mine their business and personal networks for maximum campaign contributions.

Several were the same mega-donors who gave million-dollar contributions to Restore Our Future, the independently run super PAC supporting Romney. Seven of the 15 millionaires and billionaires who gave $1 million to the super PAC have either hosted Romney fundraising events or joined his finance committees. They include Tiger Management head Julian Robertson, hedge fund founders Paul Singer and John Paulson, and businessmen William Koch, Francis Rooney and Frank VanderSloot.

Former Bain Capital executive Edward Conard, whose anonymous $1 million donation to the super PAC in August spurred controversy until he came forward publicly, was one of the lead fundraisers for a December Romney event in New York. Conard declined to detail his fundraising role for the campaign but said he “wouldn’t have a problem” if the campaign identified Romney’s bundlers.

New York’s financial institutions are the hub of Romney’s fundraising, ties that were forged during Romney’s rise in the 1980s as founder of Bain Capital, the Boston-based private equity firm he directed until 1999. Over the past year, he has made regular stops at restaurants, hotels, law firms and private clubs in New York to collect donations. He is regularly joined by wealthy investment, hedge fund and banking executives who have signed on to run fundraisers.

(...) Romney’s largest source of donations is employees at Goldman Sachs, the New York based investment and securities firm. More than $426,000 flowed into the Romney campaign in 2011 from individuals who identified themselves as Goldman Sachs managers or employees, and the Romney campaign has listed several senior or former Goldman Sachs executives as lead fundraisers of its campaign events, including John Whitehead, the firm’s former chairman.

(...) Two other major sources of Romney’s campaign money are the New York investment bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Credit Suisse, the international bank based in Switzerland.

The former chairman of JPMorgan, William B. Harrison, was a lead fundraiser at a New York event for Romney in mid-December. Two executives of JPMorgan subsidiaries, Andy Sriubas and Reinier Prijten, were listed at events for Romney last fall. And four senior JPMorgan executives — among them the bank’s vice chairman, James B. Lee and former Republican Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, now the firm’s director of Florida, Central American and Caribbean operations — hosted a separate December fundraiser for Romney.

(...) The chairman of Credit Suisse in New York, Eric Varvel, was listed on invitations for two fundraisers for Romney in New York in October and December, as well as for a New York fundraiser earlier this month. The Romney campaign reportedly took in nearly $2 million from that event and another in New York that day.

Donors who listed their employer as JPMorgan accounted for $305,000 in contributions to Romney last year, according to campaign records. More than $283,000 came from individuals who identified Credit Suisse as their place of employment.

Bobbie Kilberg, chief executive officer of the Northern Virginia Technology Council in suburban Washington, helped collect more than $2.2 million and said she is “profoundly proud to be identified as a person who raises money for Mitt Romney.”

Kilberg said she has worked with a team of Romney supporters who have held a series of fundraisers for him, including a June 29 event at the Ritz Carlton in Northern Virginia, which brought in nearly $350,000. An Oct. 25 gathering at her home in McLean, Va., raised $356,000. That was followed by another fundraiser that collected more than $1.5 million.

Daniel Dumezich, a partner with the Winston & Strawn law firm in Chicago, said he held fundraisers for Romney in Indiana. He also helped organize volunteers and supporters for the campaign. Dumezich said his goal was to inspire others to support Romney, encouraging them to write checks and to find others to give money.

Optimismo desafiante en Team Santorum

The Atlantic:
There was a time when Rick Santorum and his team were resigned to losing the Republican presidential primary.

Surveying the harsh realities of the landscape the campaign faced, the candidate and his staff began to discuss what the most dignified and artful way to exit the race would be. It was time, they figured, to accept that they'd done their best and fallen short.

"As late as December, we were already talking about 'Oh well, we did our best, maybe we can try again in four or eight years,'" a Santorum campaign insider told me. "And then the Iowa surge hit."

Three months and 11 wins later, as Santorum continues to prosecute a race he has almost certainly lost, such talk is banished within his tight-knit circle. The mood, according to multiple sources inside the campaign and close to Santorum, is one of defiant optimism. Ever since Iowa, after all, they've basically been playing with house money. In fact, the Santorum campaign seems these days to inhabit an alternate reality -- one with its own logic, its own perspective and even its own mathematical rules.

The pressure on Santorum has become intense. National Republican Party leaders and heavyweight Mitt Romney supporters have been calling nonstop, "encouraging him to be the better guy and they'll help him do whatever he wants to do," the insider said. But Santorum, who's made a career of bucking the GOP establishment, is unbowed.

Instead, his campaign is working to shore up and inventory its stock of delegates, reaching out to unbound delegates and superdelegates, trying to get them to go public to bolster the impression that Santorum isn't the only one who believes there's still hope.

"The bottom line is, this guy's a fighter," the insider said. "From Day One people have been telling him, 'Get out, get out.' But you're less inclined to believe the national media writing you off" when you've heard it so many times before.

(...) "We're not out there making wild claims. We're not saying we're [ahead] right now," Santorum strategist Hogan Gidley told me. "We're saying this can be done. There's still a lot to play out here, a lot of votes to be given. It's going to take winning some states and getting some delegates. ... We've got a path. Romney says nobody else can get to 1,144 [delegates], but neither can he."

(...) "If this were inevitable, what would Mitt Romney be doing buying millions of dollars in ads in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin?" Gidley said. "If this is over, what's he doing?"

Chip Saltsman, who managed Mike Huckabee's 2008 campaign and is close to many in Santorum's orbit, said Santorum's team is not laboring under any illusions. "They know how hard this is. They get it," he said. "Are they staying in it for the right reasons, giving Republican primary voters a choice? I think they are."

(...) Those close to him say Santorum is driven by a motivation deeper than delegate math -- a mindset, indeed, that finds talk of delegate math offensive compared to the larger stakes.

"There is a formal [campaign] operation that involves things like ballot access and delegate counts, but really it's Rick's sense of mission that is propelling the campaign," said Jeff Coleman, a Republican strategist and former state legislator in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, who began his career as an intern in Santorum's congressional office in 1994 and remains a friend of the former senator.

"You see the level of emotional connection he is making with these crowds," Coleman added. When Santorum spoke the night of the Illinois primary, for example, it was to a crowd so overflowing in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, that he had to give the speech twice so those outside the ballroom could hear it too. "They weren't regular elephant-brooch, country-club Republicans," Coleman said. "They were people who heard about it on the radio and came straight from work."

Those expecting Santorum to listen to reason and fall in line don't understand who, and what, they are dealing with. From his very first run for Congress, members of his own party have been telling Santorum to wait his turn and run for lower office instead. "There was always a sense of who was Rick, what right did he have," Coleman said. "People think this is a new brashness or audacity. But there's never been a set of Republican rules that applied to Rick."

It's precisely that authenticity, that instinctual, gut-driven quality, that draws people to Santorum, Coleman noted. "People say he needs to be more cautious, more reserved, more researched. But that would have produced another Tim Pawlenty candidacy."

(...) Those around Santorum say he is not oblivious to the way things look for him. "He is continually evaluating and reevaluating. As long as the door is cracked and he sees the path, he'll be very aggressive about pursuing that path," Coleman said.

But as for making a calculated decision to quit the race, his friend doesn't see it happening anytime soon.

"I think," Coleman said, "he makes that decision when somebody else accepts the nomination from the podium."

Super PAC de Santorum compra medio millón en anuncios en WI

Mitt Romney no longer has the Wisconsin airwaves to himself, but he still has a nearly 4 to 1 advantage over Rick Santorum in the last week of the primary campaign, according to sources tracking the air war.

Romney's campaign and the super PAC Restore Our Future are spending a combined $1,917,764 over the next seven days, including $742,928 from the campaign and the balance from ROF. The pro-Romney super PAC is the only group on the radio in Wisconsin and has a major TV presence across the state.

Santorum's campaign is not on the air at all at the moment, so the TV campaign is being carried by the Red White and Blue Fund super PAC. That group is in the process of putting $513,000 into the state for the home stretch.

That's a solid upper hand for Romney, though an improvement for Santorum over last week, when he had essentially no presence in paid advertising. Over the course of the contest in Wisconsin, pro-Romney forces have spent about $3.2 million to the Santorum camp's $568,000, for a roughly 6 to 1 Romney advantage.

Romney en San Diego, California

Romney está en California recaudando fondos en eventos privados. Aunque hizo un alto para prometer en un acto público que revocará el ObamaCare.

Santorum en The Situation Room (CNN)

El Senador Santorum explicó su discusión con el reportero del New York Times:

"Me preguntaron. Me volvieron a preguntar. Luego vino y me dijo, 'así que Mitt Romney es el peor republicano del país.' Eso fue lo que dijo. Escucha sus palabras. Y yo pensé, ¿qué discurso has escuchado? Quiero decir, estaba hablando del ObamaCare, el RomneyCare y el hecho de que, como dije, el Gobernador Romney está incapacitado para plantear el caso. ¿Por qué? Porque escribió el anteproyecto del ObamaCare. Y luego lo cuentan como que Rick Santorum dijo que (Romney) es el peor republicano del país. Es la clase de cosas que le vemos hacer a la máquina de contar historias de Romney; su secretario de prensa estaba al fondo de la sala, pasando líneas a la prensa nacional."

Ron Paul en Piers Morgan Tonight (CNN)

"Nuestra gente está en los lugares correctos. Están haciendo cosas para convertirse en delegados," dijo el Congresista Ron Paul, añadiendo que todavía es pronto para descartar a ningún candidato.

Señaló que faltan muchos estados por votar, y otros todavía no han finalizado su proceso de selección de delegados.

lunes, 26 de marzo de 2012

Romney en The Situation Room (CNN)

"No voy a preocuparme demasiado sobre lo que Rick dice estos días," ha comentado el ex Gobernador de Massachusetts en relación a Santorum, apuntando que es normal que un candidato eleve el tono de sus declaraciones cuando se va quedando atrás. "Cuando caes más y más atrás, te vuelves un poco más animado."

También se ha referido a la promesa de más flexibilidad en su segundo mandato que le ha hecho Obama al presidente ruso en la cumbre sobre seguridad nuclear, cuando creía que nadie le escuchaba. Para Romney, Rusia es "sin duda, nuestro enemigo geopolítico número uno," porque defiende las causas de los actores más peligrosos del mundo.

La prensa escrita abandona a Gingrich

Newt Gingrich has lost his last embedded print reporters, reporters on the trail confirm.

The last two print reporters covering Gingrich full-time on the trail -- from POLITICO and the Atlanta Journal Constitution -- pulled out on Friday. The Associated Press pulled its embed after Tuesday's Illinois primary.

These and other print outlets will continue to cover Gingrich on occasion, but the sustained traveling press has been reduced to the television networks, which will remain.

Santorum vuelve al ObamaCare para cambiar la dinámica

El Senador Santorum ha convocado a la prensa delante del Tribunal Supremo, donde desde hoy los magistrados revisan la constitucionalidad de la reforma sanitaria de 2010 (el ObamaCare), para insistir en que Romney está "incapacitado" para dar batalla a Obama en el campo de la asistencia sanitaria.

"Como ya he dicho antes en esta campaña, no hay asunto más importante (que el ObamaCare). Hay un candidato en esta carrera que puede hacer el contraste necesario entre la posición republicana, la posición conservadora, apoyada abrumadoramente por el público americano, y la posición en la que cree Barack Obama; y ese candidato es Rick Santorum."

Partida de bolos

Rick Santorum hizo un alto en su campaña para echar una partidita a los bolos con miembros de su staff en una bolera de Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. El candidato se descorbató y se puso los típicos zapatos de bowling para no desentonar.

A Santorum se le vieron buenas maneras. Lo hizo mucho mejor que cierto ex Presidente.

Obama tampoco estuvo muy brillante hace cuatro años.

Los republicanos y el NYT

Mitin electoral de Bush-Cheney el 4 de septiembre de 2000 en Naperville, Illinois.

El candidato y su running-mate saludan a la multitud sin saber que el micrófono está abierto.

GOBERNADOR BUSH: "Mira, ahí está Adam Clymer, ese gilipollas de primera división del New York Times."

DICK CHENEY: "Oh sí, lo es, y de los grandes."

Momento épico.

Santorum en Fox & Friends

El Senador Santorum se ha defendido de su encontronazo con el reportero del New York Times. Ha dicho que fue su modo de decir basta después de responder varias veces a la misma pregunta.

También ha indicado que un enviado de Team Romney -envían a algún portavoz a cada evento de Santorum- estuvo hablando con los reporteros, y de algún modo los predispuso a hacer cierto tipo de preguntas -en este caso, a recalcar la idea de que Santorum está más enfrentado a Romney que a Obama. Team Romney ya utilizó la táctica con Gingrich en Florida. Es una manera de dirigir la conversación en los medios hacia donde te interesa para poner al rival a la defensiva.

Santorum no ha desperdiciado la ocasión para hacer un guiño a la militancia conservadora arremetiendo contra el New York Times. "Ya sabes, si no has despotricado contra un reportero del New York Times alguna vez a lo largo de una campaña, no eres un republicano de verdad."

El campaign manager invisible

La campaña de Romney de 2008 pecó de blandura a la hora de defender los puntos débiles del candidato y de modestia a la hora de enfrentar a los rivales.

Matt Rhoades, formado en el negocio de la investigación de adversarios, asumió la tarea de dirigir la campaña de este año, precisamente para corregir esa flaqueza. Y a falta de una homilía más inspiradora, parece que lo está consiguiendo.

Trabaja desde el cuartel general de la campaña en el North End de Boston, y existen muy pocas fotografías públicas de él. En lo que llevamos de campaña, destaca sobre todo su dominio del uso de puntos de consulta de información como Drudge Report para hacer circular material que impacte negativamente en la imagen pública de los rivales.

BuzzFeed ha elaborado un perfil del personaje.
Give Romney's campaign manager credit: His careful defense and kitchen-sink offense have delivered the Republican nomination to a moderate from Massachusetts.

(...) This determined obscurity is part of the myth of Matt Rhoades, the behind-the-scenes operative successfully steering the Romney campaign down a narrow path to the nomination. Apparently allergic to press, Rhoades hasn't given a single on-the-record interview this entire cycle, and never goes on televisions — a fact his colleagues point to as evidence that he is "humble," or "ego-less," or "self-effacing."

As longtime colleague Brian Jones put it, "He's not out there taking self-congratulatory laps in the press... He doesn't care about that stuff."

Indeed, like a hipster for the blue-blazer-and-loafers set, Rhoades's political persona is deeply invested in giving the impression that he doesn't care what you think of him. Whether this apathy is genuine or just marks the recognition that mystery is the best kind of spin, there's one thing Rhoades cares strongly about by all accounts: Winning. And his methodical, tightly controlled, and bullet-pointed approach to politics has been crucial to making Romney — with his complex record and distance from the Tea Party — the presumed nominee of a very conservative Republican Party, no small feat.

Colleagues credit Rhoades in shaping a campaign marked by patience and careful reaction to attacks and by a gleeful, opportunistic unloading of the kitchen sink at rival after rival.

"You've had to engage in hand-to-hand combat as much as you can to get through the next fight," said Jones, who now works alongside Rhoades in Boston. "Matt's good at that."

But if Rhoades gets credit for what is in some ways an unlikely victory in the Republican primary, critics also pin the campaign’s weaknesses on him.

“This is what a campaign run by an oppo guy looks like,” said one rival strategist, arguing that the bullet points haven’t added up to a vision.

(...) But if the campaign has lacked vision so far, Jones blames the presence of Super PACs and proportional delegate allotment — not the man in charge of the effort.

"It's challenging to be big when you're constantly having to fend off attack dogs all around you," he said. "The very nature of the campaign has made it harder."

That said, Jones pointed out that Rhoades's skills for political warfare have uniquely prepared him to lead the charge in what has been a bloodbath of a primary.

As they've battled their way past a series of ever-emerging anti-Romney figures, the campaign's tactical hallmark has been its swiftly efficient, always-churning press shop, which blasts out several e-mails a day filled with dirt on their opponents. While the independent Super PAC supporting Romney has done much of the actual shooting, it's these emails that provide the ammunition.

With sarcastic headlines and playful graphics, there's an almost gleeful tone to the attacks. For example, in February, after effectively dismantling Newt Gingrich's candidacy in Florida, the campaign quickly pivoted to its next rival with an e-mail headlined, "IF YOU LIKED NEWT GINGRICH, WAIT 'TIL YOU GET TO KNOW RICK SANTORUM." What followed was a list of quotes from 10 different news reports meant to cast both men as corrupt Washington insiders.

Rhoades mastered this brand of politics early in his career as an opposition researcher, eventually rising to direct research efforts for George W. Bush's re-election campaign. There, he mined John Kerry's record for contradictions, and then turned them into a relentless barrage of attacks meant to cast the candidate as a weak, wishy-washy flip-flopper — ironically, the exact same attacks he's now fending off for Romney.

(...) "Matt has a steely intensity that I think he is very successfully channeling in this campaign. In past campaigns, he's let it get the best of him," Jones said, adding, "He's not a screamer or a yeller, but he is someone who is intense and he's always brought this intensity to how he got things done."

After the 2004 victory, Rhoades went to work for the Republican National Committee, directing research during a historically bad cycle for the GOP. Colleagues who worked with Rhoades closely during that period — which saw Democrats retake control of both the House and the Senate — describe it as a sort of refiner's fire.

"It sucked," said Jones. "The political environment was awful and it was just not a lot of fun."

"The cycle was a difficult one for everyone involved, and you know, I think many times you learn more in losing than you do in winning," added Danny Diaz, another strategist who worked with Rhoades at the RNC.

It's easy to see how Rhoades would emerge from those years with a bias toward winning races by defining opponents — even at the expense of his own candidate's message. In 2004, Bush won re-election not by wowing the electorate with his record, but rather by defining himself against the flip-flpping Francophile who wanted to replace him. Two years later, the favor was returned, as Democrats rode a wave of anti-Bush fervor into Congress, seizing upon a caricature of the president as dumb, cowboyish, and reckless. This wasn't an era marked by stirring speeches and grand vision; it was dogfight politics — and Rhoades was good at it.

But in the case of Romney's campaign, that approach has come at a price. Large chunks of the Republican electorate remain unsatisfied with the field — many of them supporting Romney only because they dislike him less than his opponents. When they do win, the margin is usually narrow, the support tepid. And on the rare occasions when the campaign reaches for a transformative moment — like the stadium speech at Ford Field in Detroit — it's almost always marred by bad optics.

None of this appears to have deterred Rhoades, who is leaving a host of bloodied opponents in his wake as he guides the campaign to the nomination. Meanwhile, his fierce drive and avoidance of the spotlight have earned wide praise from his coworkers.

"He’s probably the most disciplined and focused person I’ve ever met," said Fehrnstrom. "He’s very committed to whatever task you give him. In the case of the campaign, he is relentless. He lives and breathes Mitt Romney. He never takes a day off, and he gets by on barely no sleep. He’s a real-life version of the Terminator.”