Millions of dollars are currently being raised for the coming presidential campaign. Both parties are throwing parties and hosting dinners in hopes of wringing one more dollar than the other guys out of their supporters. Super PACs are gathering and dispersing cash in a flurry not seen in our political history. If the race to the White House was settled on a purely monetary basis, the Democrats would have their work cut out for themselves, but the pockets on both sides seem to be awfully deep.
Twenty years ago, Democratic strategist and Skeletor impersonator James Carville insisted that the focus of that election was "The economy, stupid." While not exactly affirming everyone's self-esteem, he seemed to have given his candidate, William Clinton, a direction. Of course, it helped that his campaign was supported by a very impressive war chest, stuffed with the hard-won nickels and dimes of those who truly believed in his vision. And a bunch of big checks from private donors. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on that election, and when the smoke cleared, a new era had begun.
More than a billion dollars were raised and spent on the 2008 campaign. You might think an infusion of cash like that into our moribund economy would get things started over again. This time around, we're almost certain to top two billion dollars. The attack-ad industry just got the bailout they so desperately needed. For the past four years, these folks have been living on the edge of society with their hands out, looking for a way back in. The crepe paper and Mylar balloon industries have suffered as well, but now all of that is going to change. America is back on its feet again, thanks to the hard work of a few rugged individualists with money to throw around. All of those dollars are bound to trickle down to the rest of us before next November, right? Or am I missing something?