Mitt Romney may not be my top candidate this time around, but he sure knows how to raise money. The headline at Drudge reads “Billion-Dollar Man?” Yesterday he held a fundraising telethon in Las Vegas and hauled in over $10 million. Politico reported that Romney could raise as much as $40 million in this quarter alone.
One of his top advisers was even blunter when asked whether any of Romney’s rivals could demonstrate the sort of political muscle-flexing that the former Massachusetts governor staged by convening over 700 supporters to call through their Rolodexes for the better part of eight hours on the floor of the hangar-sized Las Vegas Convention Center.
“No,” said longtime spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom, recalling that Romney held similar events in his last campaign. “Nobody has copied it because it’s hard to do.”
If Romney and his campaign sound confident, or even a little cocky, it’s because they’ve developed a fearsome fundraising machine that is almost certain to be unmatched by any other GOP hopeful. And he’ll need it, judging from the not-good-enough reaction to his healthcare speech last week and the continued pining for more candidates.
Romney’s total haul for this quarter, to be revealed in July, will be revealing. One fundraiser here said assuredly that the Republican would raise $40 million, a sum that could give him a financial advantage so strong that it partly compensates for his considerable weaknesses.
And those weaknesses are considerable. Then again, when people like Newt Gingrich open their mouths Romney looks a tad bit better by comparison.
Update: This is interesting. It looks like the Obama campaign’s fundraising machine is sputtering. They say it’s because they’re focusing on the DNC. Are they trying to diminish expectations?