A sure-fire flop

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This item by Karol about NY Governor George Pataki's presidential ambitions is brilliant for a couple of reasons.

First, there's this observation:

New York Governor George Pataki mentioned ethanol in his State of the State speech last week. Of course, that means he's running for president.

She links "running for president" to a Google search for ethanol+subsidies+Iowa. The only reason a pol from outside Iowa would boost ethanol is to lay groundwork for a good showing in the Iowa caucuses.

Karol goes on to wonder why Pataki's advisers don't tell him he's a no-hoper, and some of her commenters have it pegged. Sean writes:

He won't win, he hasn't got a shot, but that doesn't mean that his "advisers" and "consultants" won't sign contracts for $16,000/month in the process of failing miserably.

Commenter Jay comes close to nailing it:

The "Producers" motivation for running for president. Raise a lot of campaign funds, tank miserably, pocket the remainder.

That's a reference to the 1968 Mel Brooks film, in which a failed theatrical impresario and his accountant realize there's a pile of money to be made in a play that closes on opening night. As Karol points out, though, candidates can't pocket any remaining campaign funds.

But Pataki isn't Bialystock or Bloom, as Jay and others seem to suggest. Pataki is "Springtime for Hitler" -- the sure-fire flop -- and his political consultants are the producers. They'll butter him up, appeal to his vanity, and convince him to run. They'll get him to raise a pile of money, which won't be tough for the governor of a large and wealthy state, and they'll spend it for him over the course of '07 and early '08. They can make all sorts of promises in the course of raising money, because they know the candidate will never be in a position to keep those commitments. They'll setup fundraisers, mass mailings, and media buys, and add a percentage to each one, in addition to their monthly consulting fees. When the campaign falters, no one will blame the consultants, who, after all, didn't have much to work with, and they will live to consult again.

There is no shortage of unscrupulous political consultants who will flatter a candidate into running, preferably a candidate who is wealthy enough to self-finance. For this sort of consultant, a successful campaign is one in which the check clears.

So from henceforth, let's refer to consultant-driven no-hope election bids as "Springtime for Hitler" campaigns. We've seen plenty at the state and local level, and there are sure to be more before 2008 comes along.

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» The strength of a cardboard belt from dustbury.com

Whose idea was it to groom New York Governor George Pataki for a Presidential bid? Blame Mel Brooks, says Michael Bates: Pataki is "Springtime for Hitler" — the sure-fire flop... Read More

» They can see it from Oklahoma from Mister Snitch!

..but they can't see it from Albany. "It" is of course the end of George Pataki's political run. Pataki and his advisers are still in denial, but Michael Bates sees it writ large. We said our piece last July, and even earlier. Noted on Dustbury. Read More

1 Comments

Mr. Snitch! said:

"There is no shortage of unscrupulous political consultants"

It's a Darwinist thing. You consider them "unscrupulous" but they see themselves as guns for hire. I've been advised to see things through that prism as well, but I can't. I know some policies are better for the country than others, and if I wanted to work for its own sake I'm better off doing straight advertising. Doing commercial advertising, in most cases, is a more honest pursuit than most political consultants can manage.

I could cite names of some especially slimy ones, but I might do political work again sometime. Which means I'd (possibly) be up against them. I'd much rather beat such people than villify them online.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on January 14, 2006 11:57 PM.

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