Saturday, October 15, 2011

Robocallers for Romney

AMC launches the second season of its zombie show "The Walking Dead" tomorrow. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend that you check it out - provided you are not squeamish, of course.

Speaking of the walking dead, Mitt Romney just named former Governor Bob Ehrlich chairman of his presidential campaign in Maryland.

If you hadn't heard about it, I'm not surprised. The remnants of Team Ehrlich posted the Romney campaign's announcement on Ehrlich's Facebook page late Friday. 

Politicos and PR types usually only make announcements at the threshold of a weekend when they want to minimize the attention it receives. Maybe Team Romney – wary of any potential negative PR fallout from a rehashing of the robocall scandal – did this deliberately. As of this writing, it had not yet appeared on the Romney campaign website.

Or maybe Andy “I’m new at this and I don’t know what I’m doing” Barth is working for Ehrlich again.

In any event, unlike the TV show, which is a favorite among critics, the Maryland edition of "The Walking Dead" seems to be an unqualified flop based on the early reviews.

If you go to the announcement on Ehrlich’s Facebook page, here are some of the unvarnished comments you will see:

“Ehrlich lost so substantially to O'Malley, I'm not sure how he benefits anyone's campaign - but knock yourselves out.”

“Bob I am so sorry that you lost your values.”

“Perfect match. The originator of Obamacare and the originator of state support of CASA de MD together to ruin the country once and for all.”

“Sorry Governor, I supported you and like you.......but you are wrong on this one :( and I'm REALLY tired of the Media and the GOP telling me who I should support and vote for!”

“Bob u are a sellout! Very disappointed”

“Political zombies like these never die, but they do keep coming back for your brains...and if you support them, you obviously don't have any!”

The tone of some of these comments surprised me, especially coming from people who I know were on the Ehrlich bandwagon previously. But I’m certainly not surprised that these two moderate, one-term governors have found one another.

To date, Romney’s campaign has been about leveraging his ties to the GOP establishment. As a former governor, an establishmentarian’s imprimateur is what Ehrlich offers – at least from an outsider’s perspective. I'm not sure to what extent Ehrlich's endorsement matters when it comes to influencing the opinions of Maryland's GOP voters.

Indeed, when it comes to relevance, Dick Hug – Ehrlich’s finance chairman and perhaps the most successful political fundraiser in Maryland history –  is probably a more valuable asset at this point. He’s now backing Texas Governor Rick Perry.

And, Ehrlich sees in Romney the potential for a restoration to political relevance, perhaps in some future position in a Romney Administration.

For Ehrlich, this is clearly a calculated endorsement, as his own words demonstrate: “After studying all the candidates, it is clear that Republicans’ best chance for beating President Obama next November is Mitt Romney.”

Anyway, I don’t see this news meaning very much in the long term. The GOP presidential nomination will be settled long before Maryland’s primary election. And President Obama is a deadlock cinch to win here next November.

Still, I wonder how Ehrlich’s new Romney duties will impact his ability to promote his new book, scheduled for release in December. I hear the former governor plans to participate in hybrid book signing/fundraising events across the state. Will Ehrlich’s schedule reflect a mingling of these two roles?

And, I wonder what, if anything, this new Romney role will mean for Ehrlich confederates like Paul Schurick.

This Rambo of robocallers was making nearly $17,000 a month at the height of the 2010 campaign. Would Romney be willing to pay him even more?  I hope so. This time, the boy’s got legal bills to pay. I'm sure his attorneys would appreciate it.


  1. sell out of the century. I am talking about the book.....obviously

  2. Until now, only Bill Clinton and Tiger Woods put out press releases on Friday afternoon...

  3. Will Massoni have to hold Mitt's jacket when he comes to town, too?