AFTER THE SUPREME COURT issued its Citizens United decision in 2010, money poured into the U.S. electoral system like never before. Ten billion dollars will likely be spent on the 2012 race, up from $7 billion in 2008—making electioneering one of the few U.S. growth industries in an ailing economy. Campaigns and super PACs have already spent $332 million on TV advertising in the presidential race alone (three-quarters of that sum on negative ads). This avalanche of cash has caused a lot of angst about the future of democracy.
Gosh, what sort of way-back machine has descended on Boston this week? The Republican political strategy emanating from the Hub has a distinctly 1988 feel to it, what with the resuscitation of that Reagan-Bush golden-oldie...the welfare queen!
The conventional wisdom has long held that Romney was disposed toward a lower-case “c” conservative vice-presidential selection, like Pawlenty or Portman: A candidate with indisputable credentials for the presidency, undoubted loyalty to Romney, and experience on the national stage. In other words, Romney wasn’t going to do anything interesting. While this was probably disappointing for the politicos, it made sense for the campaign's overall strategy.