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Mitt Romney and the case against campaign finance reform


The Atlantic's James Warren raises an important point in his latest article about the wealthiest contender in the GOP primary race -- Mitt Romney -- and the apparent irrelevancy of his fortune in this election so far.

As it turns out, money isn't so powerful after all:

Mitt Romney is single-handedly demonstrating the limits of money in politics.

Yes, yes, some argue that the end of the world as we know it came with the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case. Corporations and labor unions were unshackled, with their free speech rights prompting a flood of new money into the political system.

The little guy would be screwed.

But if there is a shred of doubt that money is simply a piece of the puzzle in getting elected, look again at one of the many weaknesses displayed by Romney on Super Tuesday.

He outspent Rick Santorum roughly six-to-one in those primaries. And what happened? He way underperformed expectations, turnout was awful even in his beloved Massachusetts, and he showed surprising weakness among independents and middle class voters (except in Massachusetts). ...

One can be very anxious about the potency of money, including all those anonymous contributions flooding the system, most especially in local campaigns. If you outspend a rival by six to one in a city council race, you may have to be a certifiable nincompoop, or recently indicted, to not have the clear upper hand.

But, as Romney is exhibiting on the political system's largest stage, one's message, background, response to the unexpected, and views on issues play a part, too.

(Image: HuffPo)

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