Rick Perry's Presidential Campaign Is Running Out Of Money (And Staying Power)
The thing about being a longshot candidate in an overstuffed presidential field is that the fundraising game can get pretty crowded. And while there's no telling whether things would be going any differently in a smaller, more sustainable primary, there's no doubt that a certain former Texas governor could use a cash injection. Rick Perry's presidential campaign is running out of money, according to reports, and it's apparently taking a toll.
According to The Washington Post, Perry's fundraising efforts have dried up as of late, and it's forcing his campaign into some pretty dire cost-cutting measures. Reportedly, staffers have been told that they'll no longer be paid, forcing those who still want to work to elect Perry to do so as volunteers. This is a kind of hazardous place for a candidate to be, especially when their poll numbers and traction are as poor as Perry's have been so far. Here's the statement that Perry's campaign manager, Jeff Miller, gave staff on Friday:
As the campaign moves along, tough decisions have to be made in respect to both monetary and time related resources. Governor Perry remains committed to competing in the early states and will continue to have a strong presence in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.
Fortunately for Perry, he's not totally out of luck. While his coffers are dwindling, he can still draw on support from his Super PACs, those dismal reminders of our broken campaign finance system. Basically, while campaigns are legally barred from coordinating with the Super PACs that support them (and there's a lot of flexibility in that rule), the PACs can step in to absorb some of the responsibilities that a campaign might typically demand — advertising in early primary states, for example.
But that could all end up being moot, depending on how Perry's staffers react to this dilemma in the days and weeks ahead. The thing about relying on a core of volunteer staffers, rather than paid ones, is that the likelihood of actually winning starts to weigh on people's minds. If Perry continues on his current trajectory and looks to have no real shot at winning the Republican nomination — a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll has him at just 2.5 percent — how long will his crew hold things together before people start falling away?
Of course, it's not as though these kinds of problems are impossible to overcome. Back in late 2007, eventual Republican nominee John McCain faced a similar set of problems. Little money, little support, and a slow-bleed of staffers forced him to dramatically reshuffle his campaign, bringing in strategist Steve Schmidt to run things. And, needless to say, it worked! At least, until the general election, that is.