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CPAC: Pat Caddell eviscerates Republican consultants and the GOPe; Update: Video added

For the past four years or so, I’ve written numerous posts condemning the inbred society of Republican "insiders" and "consultants" who tell their candidates that they need to become Democrat light to win elections. These Washington denizens, I’ve argued are more interested in a candidates willingness to spend huge amounts of money for their services than their ideology or electability. That’s why they’ve consistently tried to marginalize real conservatives who see them for what they are: parasitic mercenaries who’ve become rich dispensing bad advice since about the time Reagan left office. They are scared to death by conservatives with core convictions who, thus, don’t need them such as Governor Palin. In a post on the eve of the 2010 mid-term elections, I listed several reasons why it was in their interest to make sure Governor Palin wasn’t the 2012 nominee because they had, in Mitt Romney, the perfect candidate for their narrow self-interest:

First, for whom do these mysterious “insiders” work (or want to work)? Keep in mind that Washington political consultants are basically parasites whose foremost goal is to suck as much money out of a campaign’s coffers as possible. But they first have to get hired by a campaign and, to do this, they must ingratiate themselves to the candidate. Most of these insiders know that Governor Palin will not play their game and, consequently, won’t hire their incompetent, backstabbing a*ses, so it’s undoubtedly in their financial interest that she not win the nomination. Sure, they’ll be able to find work on House and Senate campaigns, perhaps a campaign for the local dog catcher, but the real money is in the big show: the presidential election.

Second, which potential candidate benefits the most by a concerted effort to marginalize the Tea Party in general, and Governor Palin in particular? It would have to be an establishment candidate, of course. A candidate the Tea Party would never support. One who has taken positions that are, shall we say, anathema to the limited government principles espoused by Governor Palin and the Tea Party movement. A candidate whose position on, for example, government run health care is less than pristine.

Third, which candidate has consistently been promoted by Washington consultants and insiders as being the “inevitable” Republican candidate in 2012? Hmmmmm. And finally, who is willing and able to hire as many of these campaign advisors as it takes regardless of how much they cost? In other words, which candidate will result in the most financial gain for the community of mercenaries known as Washington political consultants?

Yesterday Pat Caddell made some of these very points — and then some — as he brought down the house at CPAC. Via Michael Patrick Leahy at Breitbart:

Caddell stole the show as a panelist in the breakout session titled "Should We Shoot All the Consultants Now?" He spoke with a fire and passion that electrified the room. When the session began the large room was half filled, but as word spread of the fireworks going on inside, the audience streamed in. By the end, it was standing room only…

Caddell on GOP consultants:

"When you have the Chief of Staff of the Republican National Committee and the political director of the Romney campaign, and their two companies get $150 million at the end of the campaign for the ‘fantastic’ get-out-the-vote program…some of this borders on RICO [the 1970 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act] violations," Caddell told the crowd. "It’s all self dealing going on. I think it works on the RICO thing. They’re in the business of lining their pockets."

"The Republican Party," Caddell continued, "is in the grips of what I call the CLEC–the consultant, lobbyist, and establishment complex." Caddell described CLEC as a self serving interconnected network of individuals and organizations interested in preserving their own power far more than they’re interested in winning elections.

"Just follow the money," Caddell told a rapt audience. "It’s all there in the newspaper. The way it works is this–ever since we centralized politics in Washington, the House campaign committee and the Senate campaign committee,  they decide who they think should run. You hire these people on the accredited list [they say to candidates] otherwise we won’t give you money. You hire my friend or else."

On the GOP Establishment’s lack of fire in the belly:

As a Democrat, Caddell said he could tell the truth about the failings of the Republicans 2012 campaign efforts since "I have no interest in the Republican Party." He compared Republicans unfavorably to Democrats."In my party we play to win. We play for life and death. You people play for a different kind of agenda…Your party has no problem playing the Washington Generals to the Harlem Globetrotters."

On Mitt Romney and his dismal campaign:

Caddell also said Romney failed to back his campaign with his own money when it was most needed. "My question for Romney is, you spent $45 million [of your own money] in your 2008 campaign where you didn’t have a chance. Why didn’t you give your campaign a loan in the spring instead of letting Obama define you?"

Romney, Caddell said, was not on top of his game when he failed to anticipate attacks based on his business career. "You didn’t know Bain was coming? Ted Kennedy used it against you." Romney lost to Ted Kennedy in the 1994 Senate election in Massachusetts.

Caddell was equally caustic in his evaluation of the Republican consultants who managed Romney’s campaign. "Of course this election could have been won.  It should have been won," he said. "The Romney campaign was the worst campaign in my lifetime except for ninety minutes [in the first debate] thanks to Barack Obama."

"There was a failure of strategy, a failure of tactics, a massive failure of messaging. Most of all there was a total failure of imagination." Caddell singled out Stuart Stevens, a key figure in Romney’s campaign, in a particularly withering critique. "Stevens had as much business running a campaign as I do sprouting wings and flying out of this room," he said to an audience that applauded.

On the GOP’s failure to capitalize on Obamacare’s unpopularity:

"A majority of the people wanted to repeal Obamacare, [an issue that] the Republican Party abandoned," Caddell noted. He added that "on the issue of bigger or smaller government, one-third of the people who want smaller government voted for Obama."

Think about that for a moment.  Caddell wasn’t finished. He also predicted that the GOP will become extinct if they continue down the road of the Republican Establishment:

Caddell predicted that the Republican Party, unless it became the anti-establishment, anti-Washington party, would become extinct, like the 19th century Whig Party. "These people [in the consulting-lobbying-establishment complex] are doing business for themselves. They are a part of the Washington establishment. These people don’t want to have change."

Governor Palin made that same prediction over two years ago.  Finally, Caddell notes that the one time in the recent past the GOP was successful is when they ran as conservatives and largely ignored the advice of the Washington Republican Establishment:

The 2010 takeover of Congress by the Republicans, Caddell said, "was not engineered by the Washington Republican establishment. They [the establishment] then took that victory and threw it away."

Bingo. The next time you see these idiots on TV telling us that real conservatives like Governor Palin can’t win a general election, consider the source. Read Leahy’s entire piece here.

Update: (h/t The Right Scoop) Here’s video of Caddell’s remarks:


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  • RedDaveR

    Caddell is one of the few honest Democrats left. Kudos to him for speaking the truth.


    Where is a channel streaming the entire CPAC meeting.
    It seemss they’d have their own multistream broadcast complete with conservative commentary.

    • RedDaveR

      The Right Scoop has a live thread.

      • PANTTERA

        Its the PBS stream when its actually running..
        ty tho RD

  • section9

    Caddell is dead on, of course, about the corruption in both parties.
    It’s up to Palin to strike while the iron is hot.

  • FreeManWalking

    Pat has realized that the democrat party has left him.

  • Ken Lovell

    Why is it ‘Governor Palin’ but ‘Mitt Romney’? Just curious.

    • Kathleen

      I can speak for myself, at least–it’s because I like and support her and not him. It’s as simple as that. You might consider that petty, but to be honest, I have a hard time calling Obama President Obama because I have so little respect for him. I might ask you–how did you refer to George W. Bush while he was in office? As President Bush, or simply Bush?

  • DocBarry1

    If I had not known the speaker, I would have thought it was from one of The Governor’s past talks

  • Timothy Jacques

    Is there a video of this?

  • c4pfan

    Amen! I wish Sarah was part of that panel!

  • GetWhatYouPayFor

    The GOPe knows the truth and spares no expense to bury it. They get matching funds from their partners in crime at the DNC. Nothing can stop this "thing of theirs". They have taken the oath of death. Sound like organized crime?

  • MurphycatII

    I wish Sarah Palin would lead this country to greatness.

    • Carolyn Dixon

      she will

  • Christopher H Fromme

    We have a Vulture Consultant Co. in Pittsburgh that made $7 million from 2 loosing candidates. Now they are moving to DC to try and cash-in on more suckers

  • C.s. Ekstrom

    I was in the room & it was great. Initially the room was almost empty. Caddell took of the gloves & told the whole TRUTH!. I asked the second question & pat named a vey important name…Romney received an absurd reception would have thought HE WON. How stupid are we???

    • KansasGirl

      Caddell is enthralling.
      I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing him speak in public…but I can imagine.

  • laddie_blah_blah

    Consider how effective Gov. Palin has been in the last 2 election cycles (e.g. Ted Cruz, Deb Fisher, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, et. al.) and how ineffective the careerist political consultant branch of the permanent political class (e.g. Karl Rove, Steve Schmidt, et. al) has been.

    Then compare how much Sarah took for being a GOP kingmaker, and how much Rove & co. charged to their losing clients while simultaneously milking the crony corporatist branch of that same permanent political class for hundreds of millions.

    Sarah makes them all look bad, and way, way overpaid. She’s not only bad for their business, if she ever took charge of the GOP party apparatus the only thing they would get from her is a well-deserved kick in the rear as she ushered them out the door into the ignominious political oblivion they so richly deserve.

    Stopping Sarah Palin is a matter of life or death for the corruption of the political process that they thrive on. She is a mortal enemy to their way of life, a female Eliot Ness to their destructive, evil, money-grubbing Chicago Mafia.

    In the movies, the good guys (and gals) always win. This political drama is far from over. Sarah Palin is the most relevant, most compelling political force in our lifetimes. And they know it as well as we do.

    • alien4palin

      Agree 100%

  • Christopher H Fromme

    After reading the article from Nov 2010 you can see all the things that the GOPe did wrong in the last 2 years. Governor Palin laid out a road map for to win in 2012 even if she did not run. Romney & the RNC would have been smart to crawl on there knees and make peace with Sarah to have her on the campaign team. Paying her $2 Million would have been cheap compared to all the vulture consultants

    • alien4palin

      Sarah’s vision and what she wants for America is the opposite of what they want.

  • Kathleen

    I was listening to Rush talk about this yesterday, and was wondering if this was really the underlying reason why Sarah didn’t run in 2012–because the RNC and their consultants basically told her,"you run, and there’ll be no money, honey,from us, or any other kind of support."
    I’ve been relistening to "Going Rogue" on audio disc and you can just feel all that Cadell talks about going on as the 2008 campaign progressed after Sarah came on, in how she and the "B Team" were treated, and how Wallace & Schmidt acted.

    • friskyness

      so how would Sarah ever be able to run in the future, if the GOPe will never give her any money?

    • GetWhatYouPayFor

      Rush knows damn well that is what happened. He only "wonders" out loud to keep the wolves off of him.

  • M_Minnesota

    Hat tip to Politichicks,

    Here is the Caddell Speech.

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