Opinion

2012 and the not-so-super PACs

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Joe Kildea
Media and Rapid Response Consultant, Rational 360
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      Joe Kildea

      Joe Kildea is a media and rapid response consultant with Rational 360. Previously, Joe was Managing Editor at The Daily Caller. On the campaign trail, Joe was war room manager for Bush-Cheney '04 and rapid response director for Rick Scott for Governor. In government, Joe served in the Bush administration in the White House Press Office. A proud Hoya, Joe holds a B.S.B.A. and J.D. from Georgetown and is a native Washingtonian.

Donors who want to help the Republican Party solve the country’s problems should focus on two things: using their influence to get the Republican Party to focus on real, honest-to-goodness problem-solving; and using their financial resources not on cosmetic media buys, but on infrastructure building. The 2008 Obama campaign never shut down in Ohio and it’s still going to be working tomorrow. GOP donors who want to invest in the party’s future should direct their resources toward building a smarter comprehensive voter identification organization. In the long run, that will probably prove to be a more prudent — if less sexy — investment than writing a blank check to a super PAC.

Until Republicans start looking at problems — from the national debt to their racially lopsided base — and saying, “How do we solve this?” instead of “If you disagree, you are wrong,” the GOP will continue to lose and lose big.

Beltway Republicans often say that you can’t make problems go away by throwing money at them. On Tuesday, they proved themselves correct. As a result, while Karl Rove fussed over fake numbers and, in a panic, literally forced Fox News anchors to back away from their call in Ohio, the Democrats won.

But there’s a lesson in here for liberals, too. Next time you’re tempted to wax apoplectic about the evils of super PACs and corporate money, remember 2012. Remember that money doesn’t win elections in and of itself. Smart campaigns, solid messages, and savvy candidates do.

Joe Kildea is a media and rapid response consultant. Previously, Joe was Managing Editor at The Daily Caller. On the campaign trail, Joe was war room manager for Bush-Cheney ’04 and rapid response director for Rick Scott for Governor. In government, Joe served in the Bush administration in the White House Press Office. A proud Hoya, Joe holds a B.S.B.A. and J.D. from Georgetown and is a native Washingtonian. Follow him on twitter @Kildea.