Permanent Political Campaign

“Consultant, lobbyist, and establishment complex”

Pat Caddell

House Incumbency Rate: 1964 - 2012

One of the major requirements for candidates seeking public office is not their experience or expertise, but their ability to raise large sums of money. The cost of winning a House seat is $1.4 million and about $9 million for a Senate seat (Figure 2.1)35, while the Presidential campaign is in the $1 billion range. Congresspersons are expected to spend four out of every ten-hour workday on “call times,” phoning potential donors or making personal appearances at fundraisers.36

“Essentially it is my thesis that governing with public approval requires a continuing political campaign,”37 stated Pat Caddell in 1976. Caddell, a pollster and aide to then President-elect Jimmy Carter, wrote this in a memo entitled “Initial Working Paper on Political Strategy.” The PPC is a growing cancer which has been metastasizing over the last three decades, undermining our democracy.

The $6.3 billion38 spent in 2012 on campaigning would place it among the top Fortune 500 companies in revenue if it was a public corporation.39 $2.6 billion alone was spent on the 2012 Presidential election, making this the first time in our history that a billion-dollar Presidential campaign took place. The reader can decide for herself whether Americans are getting their money’s worth, but it is a sad irony that much of these funds are spent on character assassinations. Blaming one another for everything and misrepresenting each other’s positions are the order of the day. Media is the largest beneficiary of this process, as discussed later.

© 2016 The Beltway Beast and its affiliates

Munir Moon *** The Middle Class