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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Good Money After Bad

I don’t mean to dwell to an unnecessary extent this week on the presidential campaign of Herman Cain, but he does seem determined to make news in a way that illustrates how not to run for president. The second quarter financial numbers from Team Cain do not paint a very reassuring picture, as noted by The Iowa Republican‘s Craig Robinson:

Cain’s campaign was able to maintain some cash on hand because of a loan of $500,000 from the candidate. However, a close inspection of Cain’s expenditures shows he is not very fiscally conservative with donors’ money. He raised $2,053,000 and spent $2,096,000. Only Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty spent more cash this cycle than Herman Cain did.
The difference is, Romney and Pawlenty raised far more than they spent. Cain is running on a “Common Sense Solutions” platform and claims that his business experience gives him an edge over the rest of the field. If Cain’s campaign was being run like a business, it might be on the verge of bankruptcy.

Comparisons of Cain to other free-spending candidates also indicate the former Pizza King has less to show for his expenses in the way of campaign infrastructure. Pawlenty, for example, has what is universally considered the most formidable field operation in Iowa. Cain’s lost key staffers in both Iowa and New Hampshire on grounds that he’s not spending enough time in either state to make a viable run.
That makes it even odder that Cain’s campaign is spending so much on travel: in the second quarter alone, $336,000 for air travel ($245,000 of that on private jets), and another $65,000 on hotel rooms. They’ve also shelled out, in one quarter, $10,000 for the critical services of Joe the Plumber.
At some point, donors will begin to wonder whether Herman Cain is going somewhere, or just nowhere fast.

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