Quote of the Day

Not to pick on Mike Huckabee today, but he published numbers and opened his mouth:

“If Republicans in this election vote in such a way as to say a candidate’s personal life and personal conduct in office doesn’t matter,” he declared, “then a lot of Christian evangelical leaders owe Bill Clinton a public apology.”

Who all is he attacking? Rudy? Gingrich? "Christian evangelical leaders"? Cannot be smart.

Huckabee underperforms expectations…

Now I have been harsh on Mike Huckabee’s fundraising in the past (here and here), but he is putting together a great team. The question for him has always been how he would do in fundraising. Under the theory of, if your numbers are bad, get them out early, he has put his numbers out before the buzzer. At a Washington fundraiser yesterday, he said:

He said the first quarterly report for his presidential exploratory committee will show he has raised about $500,000, which he said was his goal.

Now that’s lame. National Journal put their fundraising projections much higher at $5m +/- $3m.

 6.     Mike Huckabee
Former Arkansas governor Last Ranking: 7
Mike Huckabee He says that only money folks and activists are focused on the ’08 race now. Polls show that surprisingly large numbers of voters are, too. The most interesting thing about Huckabee? He’s the Republican who Democrats assume will get traction. Our warning: Never trust a smart Republican to handicap Dem presidential politics, and never trust a smart Democrat to handicap the GOP side.
Fundraising projection: $5 million, +/- $3 million.
Fundraising ranking: 7. Almanac Profile

That’s not hitting expectations. It will be interesting to see how other 2nd tier candidates do.

More thoughts on fundraising

In about 12 hours, the Q1 fundraising numbers get filed.  Chuck Todd has a great summary of the implications, and the Hotline has predictions. Hotline also has the Romney campaigns internal memo about how to interpret results.

First, new donors are much harder to find than existing donors. One question will be about the size and potential of a candidate’s donor base. If a donor has maxed out, you can’t go back to them for money, but if they have given small donations, especially over the internet, you can go back to them for fast money.

I hear that Sam Brownback has been building quite a good small-donor direct mail base. John McCain’s campaign was running quite well on direct mail alone before he started doing the rubber chicken circuit. And Mitt Romney’s campaign has been spending a bunch on telemarketing.

There are a series of questions that you can ask to understand these. You can ask about average contribution size, the percentage of maxed-out donors, etc.

Second, cash on hand matters a little, but not too much. So expect to hear a lot about it. All of the campaigns have substantial expenditures for office setup, prospecting for mail and phone lists, etc. John McCain’s buses are not cheap.  COH will be much more important, especially for 2nd tier candidates, in Q2. Then, the numbers are basically about how much can be blown on Ames.

Third, it will be interesting to see where all money is being spent. Geographically. How many places do campaigns have staffers? I am not sure what it would tell us, but I am pretty sure that it will tell us something interesting…

Next week is going to be fun.

Romney attacks Rudy’s family

A while ago, I advised Mitt Romney’s campaign not to attack Rudy Giuliani with sludge. I also suggested that politicizing families is wrong.

However, in their desperation, they didn’t take my advice. Instead they blundered and personalized the attack by sending the candidate himself to be the attack dog.  Veep-picking Mr. 3% whacked at Rudy last night:

"I’ll get my counsel from my wife in the privacy of our home, in the bedroom, in the White House if I’m lucky enough to get there, and she’s not going to be an official part of the administration or attending Cabinet meetings, but it’s a nice offer," Romney told Fox News Channel.

Romney, struggling in the polls against Giuliani and Sen. John McCain, spoke after the ex-mayor told ABC News’ Barbara Walters that he’d be "very, very comfortable" having wife Judith sit on some Cabinet meetings on topics in which she’s interested.

Then Romney’s former driver compared Judy to Hillary Clinton:

A solid Red-Meat Republican’s first instinct when hearing of the Giuliani’s ambitious spousal plans will be to think back to the Bad Old Days when the Clintons ruled the land. Where a less uxorious husband might have been satisfied to give his wife a broach or some other expensive bauble to celebrate their newly won power, Bill Clinton gave Hillary Clinton 14% of the American economy to toy with as a cat does a terrified mouse.

Then Evangelicals for Mitt’s Nancy French piled on with a two-part (one and two) review of the Giuliani family’s appearance on Barbara Walters. Here she tries to roll around in the mud over Rudy’s … complicated family life:

This gave me pause. You know, if I was the third Mrs. Giuliani, I’d talk about how he can defeat the terrorists, understands the global threat of jihadism, and can unite a segmented country. But, she brings up his integrity and character as selling points… not, interestingly, political baggage to overcome.

If this were a court proceeding, the prosecutor would raise his hand in the air with a gleam in his eye. "I’d like to cross-examine this witness, please."

After all, what is the definition of integrity?

Adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

What is "character?"

Moral or ethical strength.

This is, of course, an important thing to bring up because Romney’s family is better than yours, and that’s why you should vote for him.

That said, I do think that Judy was off message. Talk about making us safe, not how wonderful your husband is. All in all, let us talk about substance, and assume, as a baptist minister I met assumes, that Rudy "probably got it right this time" and leave it at that.