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The Trail: 2012 Presidential News from the Field / Campaign 2012

Win or Lose, Presidential Campaigning Can Be Lucrative

Former Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum.(AP Photo/Jason Minick)

April 15, 2012

The buzz around Rick Santorum’s departure and Mitt Romney’s ascent obscure an interesting truth about the presidential primary: win or lose, it can often be lucrative for the candidates.

Many candidates have come up shy in the elections, only to find that a fine living can be made on the book deals, speaking fees, television gigs, and consulting work that often become available after the race is over. Ask Mike Huckabee. Or Sarah Palin. Or perhaps even Santorum, who may have a future in politics, but also appears particularly well-placed to capitalize financially on his electoral showing.

Prior to the election, Santorum made more than $1 million at a variety of jobs, including newspaper columnist, radio talk show host, consultant to companies like Consul Energy and American Continental Group, and board member at Universal Health Services, according to a financial disclosure he filed last year.

 

Back then, he was simply a former U.S. Senator, several years out of office. Today, he’s a conservative standard bearer who beat Mitt Romney in Iowa and 10 other states, and he has spent the better part of the last three months awash in media coverage befitting a top contender.

What do you think he’s worth now?

—Glen Justice

NATIONAL JOURNAL’S PRIMARY REPORT

Can Romney Expand His Map Into the Northeast?
[Real Clear Politics, 4/15/12] Although northeastern U.S. has traditionally been hostile to Republican candidates for president, some top Republicans from the region are encouraging Mitt Romney to work on building an organization there in hopes that he may be able to make headway against President Obama.

Obama's Electoral Vote Advantage
[National Journal, 4/14/12] Obama has 242 electoral votes of the 270 needed to win in solidly- or Democratic-leaning states, more than Romney has in Republican states.

Lead-Up to Labor Day May Determine Presidential Winner
[Washington Post, 4/14/12] Historical trends show that this portion of the race, the period leading up to Labor Day, tends to reveal what the fall campaign is going to look like, and indicates who's likely to win come November.

Politics Doesn't Stop at the Water's Edge
[National Journal, 4/15/12] The traditional practice of avoiding criticism of your opponent when he's overseas has been completely thrown out this cycle, with Romney and Obama trading barbs back and forth across oceans and international borders.

Do Hometowns Matter? Why a Politician's Geography Is Becoming Irrelevant
[The Daily Beast, 4/15/12] Romney is from Massachusetts, but he's also from Michigan. Obama is from Chicago, but he's also from Hawaii. When it comes to a candidate's background, geography seems increasingly irrelevant.

Obama, Romney Camps Ready for Digital Warfare
[Philadelphia Inquirer, 4/15/12] Social media may have played a large role in 2008, and it may play an outsize role in the campaigns again this year as both Romney and Obama ready their digital arsenals.

For Romney, Stressing Business Prowess May Be Risky Strategy
[Los Angeles Times, 4/14/12] Politicians who have attempted to fashion themselves as businessmen and women and lost their bids should serve as a cautionary tale for Romney, who sells himself as capable of fixing the economy because of his business experience.

Plouffe: Outside Backers Trying to 'Purchase' White House for Romney
[National Journal, 4/15/12] Top White House Adviser David Plouffe said that “you've got a few dozen people who are going to write $5 million, $10 million, $15 million, $50 million checks to try and purchase the White House on behalf of Governor Romney,” at a time when Republican super PACs are taking in and spending far more than Democratic super PACs.

Romney Helps Obama Blunt Health Care Fallout
[Washington Examiner, 4/14/12] Because Romney is the GOP nominee, health care won't be available as a centerpiece for Republican attacks because it remains a vulnerability for the party's nominee.

Mitt Romney Reportedly Offered 'SNL' Hosting Spot
[The Hollywood Reporter, 4/15/12] Next time Saturday Night Live makes fun of Romney, he could be in on the joke. He'd be the first candidate to host since 1996.

Geithner, Sperling Go On Offense
[National Journal, 4/15/12] Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling went on offense against Romney on Sunday, criticizing his statements and defending Obama’s record, writes National Journal’s Michael Hirsh.

Gillespie: Not Running the Search for Romney’s Running Mate
[National Journal, 4/15/12] Veteran Republican strategist Ed Gillespie, who recently joined Romney’s campaign, shot down reports that he will run Romney’s search for a running mate. Meanwhile, Mike Huckabee said he has received no call—and isn’t expecting one.

Ann Romney Insult Sparks Twitter War Between Top Politicos
[National Journal, 4/14/12] Twitter may be the showcase for unfiltered crossfire between the Democratic and GOP campaigns this fall, as yet another fight broke out on Saturday between Romney senior advisor Eric Fehrnstrom and Obama strategist David Axelrod.

Mass Dems of Two Minds on Romney Role in Health Reform
[Boston Herald, 4/15/12] Top Massachusetts Democrats have conflicting views on how to frame Romney's involvement with the state's controversial health care law.

Romney’s Inner Circle to Abruptly Expand
[Boston Globe, 4/15/12] Now that Romney is the all-but-certain GOP nominee, his campaign will grow not only in scope but in size. His campaign will have to transform from a small, tight-knit circle to a larger organization with many more advisers than it has now.

Bachmann 'Very Seriously Looking Into' Romney Endorsement
[National Journal, 4/15/12] Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said today she was "very seriously looking into an endorsement" of Mitt Romney, her former opponent in the race for the GOP nomination, and soundly praised him as "an extremely smart guy."

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