In the end, did money win the White House?


Obama Spent Four Times as Much as McCain at Race End | Bloomberg.com
McCain spent $26.5 million in the final weeks of the campaign, with $9.5 million going for advertisements, $4.5 million for message phone calls and $2.2 million for salaries. He ended up with $4.9 million in bills still to be paid. McCain also had $25 million in his legal and accounting fund, which can cover expenses incurred during a mandatory FEC audit.

After Oct. 15, Obama reported spending at least $80 million on advertising, mostly on television. He listed another $14.5 million in expenses for travel and lodging, $7.9 million for “staging, sound, lighting,” $7.9 million for payroll and $4.3 million for telemarketing.

Obama also listed $14.7 million in contributions. As in the past, he made payments to state political parties. The Minnesota Democratic Party, for instance, got $350,000, and the Missouri Democratic Party got $550,000.
The vast difference in the finances of the get-out-the vote efforts -- in the end, it's all about getting votes -- suggests that the soon-to-be president is wise to not dance to the tune sung by his goofy worshipers. They are claiming that his election was a landslide. Landslide is a fun word that is often used by people unwittingly showing their own lack of logical, factual awareness (to be kind). Take Chris Matthews of MSNBC as an example.

First, it is absurd to presume that this was a landslide since the difference between the Dem and GOP takes were not even into double digits. So, no, not a landslide. Compare it to Reagan's 1984 victory, and his 1980 win, which was a solid win -- in double digits -- in both popular votes and states won. Second, it was simply not a landslide, if so much money was spent and they won by a very small margin.

Historically, even when Democrats lose, they spend more money than the GOP, in national elections. While this lends itself to a good joke about the difference in money and economic policy of the two parties, it also points out that, having won with such a small margin against a foe with such a small cash amount, that Obama ought to assure his victory is sweet by having it be a realist's victory, not an MSNBC-style, MoveOn.org-style, Karl Rove-style victory.

The Democrats will flaunt the win at their peril -- and are, evidenced by the blow-hard tactics of Sen. Chris Dodd (D, Conn.) in the midst of this economic crisis. Doddering Mr. Dodd has proclaimed quite loudly that it the fault of the Fed Reserve and Treasury that the banks -- which he oversees as a Congressional leader -- are not giving out loans with the money shoved at them.

- jR

Note: Have a look at this later post, for a more concise and easier to digest view of what the organizer and money-spender sides evoke in one little pontificater: http://totally-political.blogspot.com/2008/12/organizer-check-money-spender-check.html

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