Thursday, January 31, 2008

Who is Screwing Up the GOP?

Well, everyone, really ... Talk radio, the evangelicals, FOX, the whole think tank apparatus in DC -- you name it, they are probably doing something stupid even as we speak.

But here's segment of the Grand ol' Coalition that you don't hear about getting much flak: the consultants. These guys have done pretty well for themselves in recent memory but you really have to start asking yourself, "What, exactly, the fuck are they up to these days?"

This was a problem the Democrats had for seemingly ever, but it appears to be endemic among Republicans this year. Here's what John Heilemann had to say about Rudy's demise:

There are two broad prevailing theories about how Giuliani lost his mojo. The first revolves around the campaign that he and his team engineered. It contends that he was nuts to effectively blow off the first month of the nominating process and to place all his chips on Florida. That his operation was insular and parochial, dominated by his old City Hall inner circle. That its expenditures were out of control. As John Ellis asks at RealClearPolitics, “Where did all of Giuliani’s money go? He raised, as I understand it, roughly $45 million. He competed in one primary. He did not spend $45 million in Florida … How much were his consultants paid? The ones who dreamed up the ‘don’t-compete-and-win’ strategy? How much (in percentage terms) went to private aviation?”

[The second prevailing theory is, as we here at the Chief have said before, that Giuliani's a dick.]

Private aviation? That's not a small detail -- and it's important for a campaign to have it's own transportation -- but I'll bet Rudy was flying just as well as he liked to do before he started running. Here's the funny part about the flying business: the guy who's going to win the GOP nomination -- John McCain -- was flying coach just a few months ago. And so was the guy who might be his running mate ...

And perhaps now would be a good time to remind everyone that the reason McCain was flying coach in the first place was because of his ... wait for it ... consultants. They had sucked his campaign coffers dry and then split when the going got rough. In fact, McCain's mid-summer's campaign staff massacre was probably the best thing that happened to him this year, a strange sort of blessing in disguise that forced him to get back to the basics that made him popular in the first place.

Katie Rosenberg was on to something when she pointed out the NY Times postmortem on Giuliani ... it'd be interesting to see if she has anything more to add.

Anyway, there's a theory of warfare that runs something like this: it doesn't matter what the advantages one side might have -- technology, intelligence, even numbers -- they will always lose to an opponent with more fight in their belly. Right now it seems like the size of the fight in the GOP's consultancy class is minimal and that will mean, no matter who the nominee is, Republicans are going to get slaughtered in November.

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