Politics is an expensive business. There is never enough money.
Richard Nixon kept a generous slush fund on hand to pay teams of criminals to conduct black operations such as breaking into the campaign headquarters of his political opponents. The Watergate burglary cost half a million in wages and equipment alone. The Clintons helped fly tons of cocaine into Mena Airport to fund their rise to the top of the political scrapheap.
As the 2020 Democratic race rushes toward its history-shaping conclusion, one can but stand in awe at mind-boggling sums of money that have been spent/squandered by unsuccessful candidates. Billionaire environmental activist, Tom Steyer burnt US$200 million without achieving anything close to mainstream name recognition. He failed to register impact in any of the primaries he contested and garnered a mere handful of votes. His efforts must surely represent a case study in ineptitude.
Not to be outdone, late entrant and former Jeffrey Epstein associate, Michael Bloomberg clambered into the race and churned through at least $600 million in a matter of months. Bloomberg was desperate to slug it out versus former golf partner Donald Trump in the general election. With a full-time army of 14,000 campaign staff and a coast-to-coast blanket advertising blitz, Bloomberg galloped through piles of cash at world record speed.
Bloomberg’s campaign died a dramatic death when he was confronted about a long history of settling sexual misconduct claims via non-disclosure agreements with aggrieved parties, normally former employees. He came across as a stunned, out of touch old man who can’t muster a straight answer let alone throw a counterpunch during his two ill-fated candidate debates. After failing to win a single primary he slunk out of the race with a decent chunk missing from his personal wealth.
Pete Buttigieg burned brightly, edging front-runner Bernie Sanders in the contentious Iowa caucuses and promising to unite progressive voters behind his partially-formed agenda. His fund-raising efforts, however, proved second-rate, and with a mere $74 million to splash in subsequent states, his momentum quickly dissipated. Buttigieg withdrew from the race following a series of disappointing outcomes in New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. At a youthful 38 years of age, Buttigieg can look forward to future races and political opportunities that are bound to come his way. Elizabeth Warren soon followed, her radical agenda failing to muster any significant support. Having turned her back on traditional fund-raising methods that rely of large corporate donors, Warren only had $100 million to play with, and her grassroots approach never took hold.
Joe Biden – The Candidate Who Came Back From The Dead
South Carolina was a potentially history-defining primary outcome. 77-year-old political insider Joe Biden bet the farm on winning SC, and did so in convincing fashion, thus breathing life into his cadaverous campaign. He hit Super Tuesday imbued with youthful vigour, and with victories in North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee, Maine, and Massachusetts, he miraculously emerged as the presumptive nominee.
The anti-Bernie Sanders camps quickly coalesced around Biden despite his many, many short-comings. Opponents such as Amy Klobuchar dropped out of the race to ensure Biden would face fewer hurdles on his path to victory. The political establishment will simply not allow an honest man to enter the White House. They will cheat and rig outcomes as they did in 2016 to keep the Sanders charge at bay.
Joe Biden is undeniably corrupt. He is extremely gaffe-prone. He acts very strangely around young children. He has a highlight reel of senior moments, frequently forgetting which city he was in, what day it was, even introducing his best pal Barack Obama as Barack America on one occasion. He thought Super Tuesday was run on a Thursday. He once forgot Senator Chuck Graham was wheelchair-bound, asking him to stand so a crowd could applaud his courage.
He recently confused his wife for his sister and his sister for his wife. He should probably also be in jail. But this is America folks, the home of the brave. Establishment figures will bravely line up behind Biden and somehow, with a straight face, declare that he is the future of the country.
Firefighters Vs Ineligible Sports Clubs – Who Deserves More?
As an interesting Money in Politics comparison, the Australian community is still reeling from a devastating Summer of nation-wide bushfires. An online fund-raising campaign aimed at assisting volunteer firefighters, who risk their lives for no monetary reward, went viral and raised an impressive A$52 million. By contrast, the Australian government in the lead up to the last election disbursed A$102 million in grants to community sports organisations.
Australians love their sport, but much of this largess was focussed on marginal electorates, and many of the recipients have subsequently been deemed ineligible. Many clubs did not even request their generous allocations. This was merely a portion of the A$636 million in total grants handed out in the six months leading up to the election. So, well-meaning, ordinary Australians dug deep to try and help out some fire-fighting heroes, while the government wantonly dispersed 12 times that amount in the hope of securing its re-election. Interesting times.
“If a political party does not have its foundation in the determination to advance a cause that is right and that is moral, then it is not a political party; it is merely a conspiracy to seize power.”
DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER