October 02, 2007
It's never enough, is it?

I guess it was too much to ask to hope that the "Noriega may have the resume, but Watts has the money" story line would fade, even for a day, as evidenced by some of the coverage that Noriega's third quarter haul received. It would have been nice to have known at what arbitrary height the bar had been set. Perhaps if Noriega had raised an amount equivalent to what Watts has loaned himself - and remember, that money is going to be used to defeat Rick Noriega, not John Cornyn - that might have done it, I dunno. But if that's how it is, then that's how it is, so let's deal with it and move on.

I'll just say this: As EoW pointed out, the goal was not to match Watts, as that would be impossible, but to show that Noriega could raise some serious money, from a broad-based coalition. Call me crazy, but I think $570K in basically two months' time, from over 1100 donors, for a campaign that was starting from scratch, ain't too shabby. He'll have to build on that, of course, but the basic foundation has been laid. And as long as we're talking about building on foundations, Watts would presumably like to show that his $1.1 million haul from the second quarter isn't a one-time-only event. If he repeated that performance this time around, that's one thing. But if not, then that needs to be taken into consideration as well. Because, as the Observer reminds us, the political graveyards are full of self-funders who failed to establish any broad appeal. Mikal Watts' checkbook is an asset for him, and a factor in the race, and it's perfectly fair to take it into account. But while money is necessary to win a race, it's not sufficient. We'll see how far it can take Mikal Watts.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 02, 2007 to Election 2008

Reporters don't (and shouldn't) automatically leap to the same conclusions that affiliated bloggers do. The fact of the matter is still that Noriega's sum is notably lower than that of Watts.

It seems the real culprit is the lack of (successful and accepted) spin offered by the Noriega press shop, not the reporters themselves. It could have been pointed out how Noriega's numbers stack up against Bell's (favorably) or Radnofsky's (not sure, but I believe equally favorable). They could have put out a set goal for fundraising instead of cutting that number in half just to drive down expectations, as well. But since the media had two different numbers for the Noriega expectation of funds, you're not going to be successful in badgering them to accept the spin of biased partisans.

Posted by: Greg Wythe on October 3, 2007 11:53 AM

They don't seem to have had too much trouble accepting the Watts campaign's spin on the millions he's loaned himself for the primary. Perhaps that speaks to the relative efficacy of their press shop, I don't know. But a little consistency here would give me less to grumble about.

And you know, there's nothing to stop reporters from asking around among nonbiased nonpartisans whether they think Noriega's haul was objectively impressive or not. Remember what the conventional wisdom was, as stated by Paul Burka:

"Noriega has a great personal story; the question is whether he can raise enough money to get it out to the electorate."

So does his total help to answer that question or not? They don't have to ask me, but they could have asked somebody. Cal Jillson's opinion would have been far more enlightening than Gardner Selby's, for instance. That's all I'm saying.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on October 3, 2007 1:19 PM

Fair enough, but a smart campaign never leaves it to the media to do their own homework. Watts obviously had an easier task of selling his side: My $$$ > Noriega's $$$. Nothing new there, but it also serves as a refutation of Burka's take. Does $570k really help Rick get his message out against a guy able to drop $6M+ in a primary?

If you or any other affiliated bloggers think you can spin that to a reporter, the phone numbers of reporters are generally available. There's nothing prohibiting anyone from doing so before the news is reported rather than complain about it after the story is reported.

Posted by: Greg Wythe on October 3, 2007 2:53 PM