I have long been perplexed, and continue to be, regarding Rick Perry’s lingering concern about the Presidential contest fundraising situation. Those close to the Perry camp claim that the unknowns about fundraising remain the biggest hold-up in Perry making a final decision on whether to run for President. I believe that they’re sincere. I just don’t know why they’re obsessed with it.
While Perry criss-crosses the country seeking fundraising commitments prior to jumping into the race, here are the fundamentals about funding a Presidential race, whether you’re Rick Perry or any other candidate of either political party:
— after you get into the race, if you gain momentum, everybody who pledged to you will fulfill their pledge. Also, about half of those who refused to pledge to you will also start writing checks and helping you raise money.
— after you get into the race, if you fail to show momentum, few who pledged to you will end up fulfilling their pledge. Also, you will get little or no significant unexpected previously unpledged money.
From the start, Perry has been in a much better fundraising position than most, if only because he’s a longstanding Republican in Texas. He has a deep and wide fundraising base here, with people who owe him big, and who would continue to do business with him even if he cratered as a Presidential candidate – especially since he’ll still be Texas’ governor if he fails in the Presidential bid. And sure, the Federal contribution limits might serve to dampen that a bit, but big bundling would just take the place of big check-writing. With those assumptions, Perry’s first $10 million is probably easier to come by than most candidates’ first $10 million.
And after that initial $10 million? There’s no bandwagon like a Presidential nomination bandwagon. If Perry has momentum to show for his early efforts, the donors will be lining up. If Perry doesn’t show momentum, it won’t have mattered anyway.
So what’s the big hold-up? Either jump in, or don’t jump in. But nobody likes a tease.