Mitt’s Money Obstacle

Too much money. Could that be the core reason for Mitt Romney’s lack of success during this primary season? As strange as it sounds, I am becoming convinced that his ability to draw on his own millions may have hindered his campaign. While most of us chuckle at the idea of too much money causing problems and would welcome the opportunity to test the thesis, consider these cases.

A number of years ago I read a charming wedding announcement. The bride and groom met through an online dating program. As they connected and began to explore a relationship the young man found his match to be tremendously reticent about her employment. She wouldn’t even reveal her last name! He finally concluded that she worked for an intelligence agency and only hoped it was the CIA rather than the KGB. Once she trusted him, the truth came out. She was an heiress working for the family company and worried that the wrong sort of man would be attracted by her bank account rather than by her essence.

I know another gentleman in his mid-thirties who has been singularly unsuccessful in establishing a career. The problem? As the recipient of an annual endowment from a trust set up by his late grandparents, he isn’t hungry enough to put in the necessary “grunt hours” needed to master skills. The idea of working diligently for significantly less than he gets for just breathing has become an obstacle in his life.  He’s a talented guy, but life has come just a little too easy for him.

Mitt Romney earned his money honestly and can use it as he wishes. But perhaps he should have initially assigned a certain amount of seed money to his campaign. Thereafter, he could have used his own money only to the extent it matched the donations he received. I think the benefits would have been two-fold. Firstly, market forces would have helped his campaign focus more on the values and arguments needed to win a presidential battle rather than on attacking his opponents. By making his supporters’ vital partners in his campaign he could have used his many aptitudes and abilities to build a more appealing platform.  Secondly, he would have more of an appreciation for the voters. When you depend upon an avalanche of $35 donations, you recognize that each person is important. In a country that believes in ‘one man, one vote’ that is a valuable lesson. Furthermore, anytime someone reaches into their pocket and gives you money that person has invested in you. That builds the grassroots troops necessary to beat President Obama.

Mitt Romney will not be able to outspend Barack Obama through his personal resources. Neither will he be able to run a negative campaign without alienating the people whose support he needs. He has wasted much of this lengthy and rather miserable primary season by relying on money rather than on developing a strong platform. Whether he wins or loses the nomination, his wealth may well have been one of his biggest drawbacks.

8 thoughts on “Mitt’s Money Obstacle”

  1. Although I voted in the 2008 primary for Romney, this time I will vote for Santorum. In 2008, I felt Romney was the best of the worst. I don’t see Romney’s turning point from progressive to conservative. He flip flops on important issues and I believe he obtained tax payor dollars to turn the Olympics around. In short, I believe he stands for big government despite his claims at being a conservative, and like John McCain, I think he would go back to his old ways as soon as he was elected. I also believe that OWS was set up particularly for Romney and I don’t believe the GOP establishment should pick the nominee.

  2. Menorah North – I did check it out and I stand corrected that Mitt is not using his personal money. However he has still had access to large amounts of money which I think he has used poorly. And this does raise another question which I would want to have answered. Whose money is it? It is general knowledge who is bankrolling Newt, and that Santorum and Paul’s money is from lots of smaller donations. Where are tens of millions of dollars coming from to the Romney campaign?

  3. Did you check the facts? From my understanding, Mitt spent about 57 million of his own money on his 2008 run for the Presidency but isn’t funding this run–or at least has minimized his personal contribution.
    But you point out a major problem for Romney–people THINK he’s buying his way into office. Voters don’t know that his dad did not leave him wealth and insisted he work his way up, and it was his own dedication and hard work that brought him what he now has. That, plus the fact he’s very bright AND has lived a godly life, even if his specific theology isn’t the same as mine or most voters’. Our nation could do worse than having a president who is humble and serves God and others. Doesn’t Jewish tradition consider wealth a GOOD thing?

  4. Romney seems to have two money challenges. One is the one that you have stated – he assumed that plunging millions into advertising and campaigning was an automatic win. Second, however, is his penchant for apologizing for being wealthy. As you state, he earned his money honestly, so not only should he not apologize for his success, he should use it to inspire others to raise the bar on their own achievement levels. One huge difference between any of the current presidential contenders – Republican OR Democrat – and Ronald Reagan is that Reagan not only motivated people to believe in his abilities, he motivated people to believe in themselves.

  5. Romney is trying to buy his way into the presidency, but President Obama with his huge war chest is trying to buy a second term.

  6. About 15 years ago, I attended a wonderful dinner where the speaker was a local politician who had been very successful. The topic was “How to run a political campaign.” She said that the first rule was that she never spent her own money on a campaign. If she couldn’t convince people to part with their money to fund her, she wasn’t going to win over voters as well. I have also heard a story about a certain ministry that was in its infancy. A wealthy person came to the leader and offered to fund the whole ministry. The leader turned them down, saying that it was important to have the prayer support of all those people who sent $20 checks every month. My guess is that Mr. Romney should have listened to these people as well. Thanks for the topic.

  7. You are one smart lady! His problem could also rest in his Religion. I just wish we had someone that had enough sense to, instead of fighting like idiots to be first on the ticket, thus giving the other side more “sound bites” to use against us, to join hands and work together. Now that would make more sense to me, because if an admin. was even fairly good, the Vice-President usually won the next time around!

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