Romney’s Kevin Madden “flabbergasted” at Team Romney’s helplessness against under-funded and un-organized Gov. Huckabee—Romney loses control of his spending says Carr—more on Romney’s fantastically low ROI for his every campaign dollar

“The reasons many establishment operatives still see a Huckabee win as unlikely, polls notwithstanding, were underscored by Monday’s debacle,” writes Mike Madden in a Salon.com news feature titled Can money buy Mitt Romney love in Iowa? The CEO candidate tries to grind out an expensive victory over a surging, underfunded and baffling upstart
Note how Mike Madden’s story hinges on Romney’s massive spending.

… Huckabee announced to a crowd of reporters that the anti-Romney commercial he’d cut the day before would not, in fact, ever be broadcast — and then proceeded to show the ad to the reporters. Huckabee surprised even some of his own staffers with the ploy. The campaign had apparently been divided about whether to put the ad up in the first place, but the move wound up looking either brazenly cynical or shockingly stupid — or both — and the reaction from the political press was withering.

It was the reaction from the Romney campaign, though, that may have been more telling. Spokesman Madden sent out a careful press release that linked the fiasco to the Romney message that Huckabee can’t handle scrutiny. But when I talked to Madden later in the day, he just sounded flabbergasted. Romney’s team had watched the nation’s top political reporters laugh in Huckabee’s face three days before the caucuses, to little avail. They had won the news cycle, but not the war. They still couldn’t figure out quite what to make of their candidate’s biggest rival — or how to make him go away … etc.

Note Kevin Madden’s despairing wonderment at what any rational person could have predicted—in fact, we did predict it, many times, right here in this blog.
When you overshoot the mark—when you have no discernment, no sense of proportion, when you rocket right past the culminating point of success—all your former strengths and strong points suddenly become points of exceeding vulnerability, and you can no longer trust your own perceptions. Example: Romney’s principal strength, his vast personal wealth, has become the organizing principle of his organizational failure as he no longer controls it; it, rather, controls him.

“Mitt Romney said last year that it would be ‘akin to a nightmare’ to have to fund his presidential campaign out of his personal fortune,” writes Howie Carr in a BostonHerald.com news feature titled Mitt finds $20M can’t buy voters’ love

But I can think of worse things. One would be spending $20 million of your money . . . and then losing. Forget “akin to” – that would be the politician’s ultimate nightmare.

So now Mitt Romney is about to find out how much it costs to buy – or fail to buy – an election in 2008. A lot more than the $6 million it cost him to buy the Massachusetts governorship in 2002, that’s for sure. Forget the $63 million Mitt raised through the first three quarters of 2007 (which included $17 million of his own).

Let’s talk about how much of his cash Mitt has thrown into the campaign by now. We won’t know until Jan. 31, but it’s got to be way more than $20 million.

And for what? Who knows at this point? By this time in most campaigns, the candidate has a pretty good idea if he’s going to win or lose. But this week the polls are all over the place.

And for at least another day he finds himself in a two-front war, with John McCain in the East and Mike Huckabee, the dope from Hope, in the West. Two-front wars are tough – just ask Napoleon and Hitler …

[ … ]

… How does Mitt explain to the partners at Bain Capital if he loses to Mike Huckabee? I mean, that would be like losing to Warren Tolman or John Lakian. Completely unacceptable.

No wonder Mitt has been spending money like a drunken sailor, although the difference between the sailor and Mitt is that Romney doesn’t have the bad-ice-cube excuse. Everyone has the occasional moment where suddenly you can’t control your spending – you’re trying to impress some babe, maybe, or you’re in a high-stakes poker game. Which I suppose is what Mitt’s in, although I think by this time he thought he’d be reacting to Hillary, not Huckabee.

Bhutto gets shot, and Huckabee apologizes to Pakistan, like the United States shot her or something. And what happened after Huck made a fool of himself? He went up two points in the national tracking polls.

I hope Mitt pulls it out in both states, but if he doesn’t, the reporters will be grilling him in a few weeks about why he blew 20 million in Steve Forbes-like futility.

To which Mitt should reply, “I was drunk.” So what if it’s not true? It’s an answer that always works for the Kennedys …

Drunk. We concur. And Romney is the rational candidate. Question: When did the term “rational” has come to mean its opposite? Ask yourself: do you really want someone who so easily loses control of himself as your president? Imagine this man at war …Also: Romney’s scorched earth tactics are costly in ways that cannot be readily quantified. Back to Mike Madden of Salon.com:

… The TV and mail advertising blitzkrieg, though, has done little to endear Romney to any of his rivals. “He’s given up on trying to persuade anybody that he’s the right candidate,” said McCain’s Iowa chairman, Dave Roederer. “He’s just trying to persuade them that everybody else is the wrong candidate.” Another Republican strategist said, with some relish, that a Huckabee win here would be “a massive upset” given everything Romney’s spent in the state. Huckabee and McCain have practically signed a mutual defense pact over the campaign’s closing weeks, with each side rushing to protect the other from every Romney attack … etc.

How can a man who so blithely, thoughtlessly, and consistently alienates and estranges everyone around him govern?

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