When failed presidential candidates become spam kings
B-list Republican presidential candidates are now making money off internet spam.
DES MOINES—“It's a historic day,” Rep. Steve King of Iowa announced yesterday from the podium of the FAMiLY Leadership Summit 2012, a major gathering of social conservatives in a suburban Des Moines megachurch that drew a host of national political celebrities. King wasn’t talking about the event, or even the prospect of ejecting Barack Obama from the White House, but of the choice of his friend and colleague Paul Ryan to become Mitt Romney’s running-mate.
As Mitt Romney struggles, yet again, to nail down the Republican presidential nomination, a question keeps presenting itself: Is Romney’s team incompetent?
The man tasked with leading Rick Santorum’s stand against the Mitt Romney juggernaut fell into the job after happening across Santorum’s presidential aspirations in the newspaper. Mike Biundo, a 43-year-old New Hampshire political consultant, was looking for something to do after managing a successful congressional bid when he read about Santorum’s possible run in The Union Leader.
ROCHESTER, N.H. -- Four years ago, the Republican candidates for president met for a final debate before the New Hampshire primary. Mitt Romney had been the presumed frontrunner but was no longer -- he had been embarrassed by Mike Huckabee in Iowa and was facing a resurgent John McCain in New Hampshire. Yet his rivals could not resist going after him, even in his weakened state. They ganged up on Romney in a tag team, taking turns with their shots and cackling in glee whenever someone else landed a hit.
Rick Santorum has received, and courted, plenty of comparisons with Mike Huckabee since his near-victory in the Iowa Caucuses, but not all of them have been earned. Yes, like Huckabee in 2008, Santorum has been heavily dependent on grassroots campaigning, with direct appeals to evangelical voters, and a veneer of folksy, blue-collar economic populism. But the comparison ought to stop there. What Santorum cannot match is Huckabee’s status as a genuine Washington outsider, someone untainted by the corrupt dealings inside the beltway.
The results of the Iowa caucuses illuminate the basic structure of today’s Republican Party and offer clues about what’s to come between now and the end of January. Pew’s “political typology,” the latest iteration of which appeared last May, provides the best point of departure. That report used a statistical technique known as cluster analysis to identify four major pro-Republican groups: Staunch Conservatives (11 percent of registered voters), Main Street Conservatives (14 percent), Libertarians (10 percent), and “Disaffecteds” (11 percent).