Since Mitt Romney’s 47% video hit the web the shape of American society—whether a “government-centric” welfare state or a culture of financially self-reliant individualists—has come front and center in the campaign debate.
The Romney-Ryan cult of every-man-for-himself economic individualism, largely attributed to Ayn Rand worship, was thrown into stark relief at Romney’s press conference when he drew a distinct line between himself and Obama: Obama is the guy who wants a “government-centric” (he kept using that term) society, and Romney, who claims to be entirely self-made, wants “economic freedom.”
Problem is, as the New York Times reports this morning, Romney is actually more “dependent” on party bureaucracy than Obama is.
Due to FEC rules that both parties play by, the fact that Romney raised money from a few big donors rather than lots of smaller donors means that more of his money gets pooled in with the RNC as a whole and then “redistributed” to Romney, whereas Obama gets to keep his money for himself and spend it how he chooses.
Mr. Obama gathered more money in his own campaign account than Mr. Romney, whose advantage lies in raising large checks that primarily benefit the R.N.C.
Far less money went to the Democratic National Committee, which is playing less of a role for Mr. Obama at this stage in the race.
In aggregate the GOP has more cash on hand, which may give it a strategic advantage as it “redistributes the wealth” (are you getting the irony here?) to Romney and other GOP candidates up for election.
But symbolically it’s a potent metaphor that Obama is the one with the financial self-reliance in the presidential race, not Mr. Romney.