Today's Presidential Campaign Sounds Like a Horse Race
by Bill Sardi
Recently by Bill Sardi: American Wealth Eroding
Today's Presidential campaign sounds more like a horse race.
"The horses are entering the starting gate. Jockeys to watch are top-tier picks Romney, Gingrich and Perry, sporting 6-to-1, 5-to-1 and 4-to-1 odds respectively. But there's a slight delay. Perry's horse, a Texas stallion, is kicking and the stewards are having a difficult time getting him into the gate.
And they're out of the gates and off and running. Cain, riding his horse "Girlfriend" is off to a strong lead, followed by Paul riding "Constitution" and then Bachmann riding "Blind Faith."
Now at the first turn Cain is drifting back into the pack and Rick Perry on his horse "Forgetful" is surging into the lead followed by Paul.
Going into the back stretch it is Gingrich riding "Fannie Mae" who has nudged by a half-length ahead of Paul.
Now coming around the far turn it is Romney and his horse "Millionaire" who is neck-and-neck with Gingrich, followed by Paul and the others are two lengths behind. And now a race-horse fan (Jon Stewart) has suddenly thrown a sign onto the track which asks: "What about Paul riding Constitution?"
But Gingrich's horse begins to fade as his horse looks like it has thrown a shoe. But here comes Santorum riding "Wartime" from the back of the pack.
Now Paul, on a horse everyone said could never win, is clearly leading the pack now by a length and a half as we enter the final stretch. If only the betting window could take late tickets now! And the winner is……."
How we forget that it is the news media's job to create theatre out of elections to capture viewers for advertisers. All the mud that is to be thrown at a candidate is temporarily closeted to build up a candidate and then later bring him/her down. With so many Americans views on each Presidential candidate being shaped by this contrived TV election drama, it's a wonder so many Americans continue to fall for it.
But it works – as soon as the news media creates a script for the masses to repeat, you begin to hear in conversation that, for example, a candidate has a foreign policy that is "isolationist" (immaterial argument since the nation is using borrowed money to implement its current foreign policy of intimidation by military might and bribery masqueraded as foreign aid. The day is fast approaching when America will have to abandon its navy ships overseas and recall its troops in foreign lands.).
The year of the SUPER PACS
This year's Presidential election has a new twist – Super PACS (political action committees). Due to a new Supreme Court ruling that allows PACS to side-step the $2500 per voter limit on election donations, Super PACS are doing all the negative advertising for their candidate and letting the candidate use his/her own funds to air positive ads.
Instead of the trailer at the end of the ad saying "My name is FRANK SMITH and I'm running for President and I am responsible for the content of this message," campaign TV ads now say: "Super Pac Z is responsible for the content of this message."
But what is perplexing for the TV networks is that, overall, TV ads in Iowa, where electioneering for the first Presidential primary is underway, are down drastically. According to an estimate of political ad buys conducted by Campaign Media Analysis Group (CMAG), spending in Iowa is down nearly 85% from last cycle.
In 2008 Barack Obama raised ~$750 million in campaign funds and spent most of it. The TV networks want to get that money. They are not an unbiased party here.
The news media loathes revealing where PACS get their funds. PACS that donated the most to Barack Obama's 2008 campaign were financial and educational institutions (Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, UBS, Morgan Stanley; University of California, Stanford University, Harvard and Columbia Universities).
If money can buy elections, Mr. Obama could declare victory today. So far his campaign has raised the most money by a wide margin. But this only speaks for special interests controlling elections. Mr. Obama faces declining popularity that is only marginalized by most of his contenders shooting themselves in the foot.