You Can’t Sell What They’re Not Buying

The biggest box-office flop of 2011 — and perhaps all time — is Disney’s Mars Needs Moms. It cost $150 million to produce, perhaps half that to advertise (we can’t find a precise number, but half the production budget is typical) — and took in less than $7 million opening weekend.

It wasn’t for lack of trying.

The movie was produced by Robert Zemeckis, who has a pretty decent track record with these things. It was based on a Berkeley Breathed book. It came with the usual collection of EXCITED BLURBS!!! And hell, it was a Disney kids movie. Money in the bank, right?

Well, right up to the moment until people saw it. Your money is worthless against Bad Buzz.

That includes — you know where this is going — your Super PAC money.

For the past year, we’ve been told that Mitt Romney is Inevitable. And in some corners, we’re still being told that. It’s not because anybody likes him — for months, Romney couldn’t crack 25 percent in the polls. Rather, it’s because Mitt’s campaign, like Mitt himself, is filthy rich. You don’t stand a chance getting a word in edgewise with all those ads he’s running.

If only Mitt could buy debates as well. Once people see the product being pitched, they rush to Brand X.

Movies serve as comparison because not only does Hollywood know how to sell, and sell big — everything’s at stake on opening weekend, when the public votes with their dollars. But even when Hollywood throws Mitt’s net worth at a movie, they still can’t buy success. If your movie tanks opening weekend, you’re toast. “Sleeper hits” are fairy tales for Indies, not Studios.

So when we hear that Mitt still has an ungodly pile of money to spend, we’re not taking that as evidence of anything.

After all, so did Rick Perry.


I think Stinque ought to organize a communique to the Romney campaign, advising him what secrets to let out to build his profile against the philandering family abandoner and political racketeer, Il Nuce. Stuff like: Romney has 139 wives and, yes, they do share a single bedroom with him; he eats his kids; Bain is a front for a child prostitution trafficking ring.

The second Newt Gingrich started playing racial politics down in South Carolina, Mitt Romney didn’t stand a chance. This is a state that has refused to acknowledge its own error on the question of salvery, defending the old institution with a whole panoply of disingenuous arguments. The Confederate flag still flies over the Statehouse, and most white residents still hold to the lie that the Civil War was fought over abstract issues of states rights that were only peripherally connected with slavery. This is the state where the last Republican presidential candidate gave a highly publicized address at a college that bans interracial dating amonmg the student body (and that responded to the furor by modifying its policy instead only requiring parental permission for any student who wished to date outside his race).

When Newt Gingrich started calling Barack Obama the “food stamp president” and when he publicly dressed down a black reporter on the issue of racism, Newt was basically giving a hand-job to the white, conservative, South Carolinian ego. The state that brought us a white politician yelling “you lie” at a black President was enthralled by the prospect of a white Southerner dressing down a hapless black president in upcoming presidential debates (they’ve never gotten over the lie, propagated by Birth of a Nation that black politicians are incompetent, stupid buffoons, illegitimately propelled to power by un-democratic Northern gerrymandering). At that point he simply coudln’t lose there and wound up trouncing Romney by nearly 20 points.

I know of whence I speak, having lived in South Carolina on an off my entire life. The American side of my family is from South Carolina, it’s a beautiful state with lovely people, who also just happen to be some of the most racially predjudiced individuals you will ever meet.

The real question now is what this does to Mitt Romney. It’s true he has never been beloved of the GOP rank and file, but up to the South Carolina results there has been a certain air of inevitability about him, and that sense even propelled him to the lead in the South Carolina polls for some time before New Gingrich basically began calling the President a welfare nigger. Will the momentum Gingrich gained in South Carolina be Romney’s undoing? And if so, does that mean that because of South Carolina’s centrality in the GOP noiminating processs divisive racial politics are basically here to stay in the GOP nomination process?

It’s all very disheartning.

So, you think Romney needs to cultivate a white power angle in his campaign to attract the neoconfederate, neonazi vote?

@FlyingChainSaw: “At Bain Capital, we specialized in selling crack cocaine to welfare mothers, setting up their saggy-pants sons for a life in the privatized prison system — also financed by Bain.”.

@Dodgerblue: “We call it Social Life Cycle Investment SoLiCit – an investment architecture pioneered by CEO Mitt Romney during his tenureship at the firm’s helm. Insights gained during his years abroad in highly engineered societies like France brought home to Mitt the enormous opportunities awaiting those investors who know how to disrupt social bonds, predict likely outcomes and clean up on investments in firms chartered to remediate the subsequent chaos.”

@FlyingChainSaw: “Mr. Romney’s current project is the creative destruction of the liberal media, starting with the New York Times. After reducing its readership to three digits by causing it to print his debate one-liners, Bain will buy the paper for pennies on the dollar, rename it the “Asswipe Daily,” repackage it into convenient pre-cut sheets and distribute it free to the Confederacy.”

@Serolf Divad: the south carolinians may have started an avalanche that will take them down too. like you say, they picked newt because he will stand on the debate stage and yell bad words at obama. that makes them very happy but it will result in certain disaster nationally in the general election. so just like civil war, all they are doing is starting their own collapse.

@Serolf Divad:
Good thing that SC doesn’t believe in dinosaurs or they might not get the irony of what happened to them.

@Serolf Divad: For such a God-fearing state, their applause for Newt is very telling.

Well, since the State of Florida suffers from multiple personality disorder (and BTW, anyone who says California is full of “flakes and nuts” has never been to FL), it will be interesting to see the gymnastics of pandering that the candidates will have to engage in depending upon the crowd.

Maybe Newticle will drop a few pounds from the contorting. I swear to FSM he’s put on 20 pounds since the campaign started. He’ll look like fucking Jabba the Hut Chris Christie by August at this rate.

@SanFranLefty: Callista doesn’t have this problem because she doesn’t eat.

@Dodgerblue: If you’ve already eaten and digested breakfast, check out HuffPo’s “Callista Gingrich’s Beauty Evolution” — the thirty pounds she lost from her body went to her hair, and I don’t know what the hell happened to her face.

@SanFranLefty: Weird. I think she could look not unattractive if she de-shellacked her hair and hosed off all that makeup. And went on “What Not To Wear.”

@Dodgerblue: “Retired Bain CEO Romney said of the project, ‘Goodness look at what we’ve done for radio. ClearChannel, once a moribund chain of sort of profitable radio stations is now a money machine and legend as The SIEG HEIL Radio Network, bringing America the most vital neofascist and neoconfederate voices on the air today!’ The NY Times, under Bain’s tutelage, likewise will be unleashed from the chains of liberal bias, free to tell it like it is, to point to the crimes of trade union hooliganism, hyper-regulatory suppression of commerce and the scourge of taxation running wild and destroying opportunities for Americans who are unemployed, starving and desperate for salvation after Obama’s marxist dystopia cratered our once glorious and growing economy.”

Mittens pathetic attempts at electoral love reminds of Monty Burns attempt at buying affection.

Homer: Let me ask you something: does your money cheer you up when you’re feeling blue?
Mr. Burns: Yes.
Homer: Okay, bad example. So let me ask you this: does your money ever hug you when you come home at night?
Mr. Burns: Why, no.
Homer: And does it say “I love you”?
Mr. Burns: No, it doesn’t.
Homer: (chanting) Nobody love you, nobody loves you…


Rand Paul refuses TSA patdown after setting off body scanner, escorted out of Kentucky airport.

Unclear if the refusal was rooted in libertarian principles, or “Do You Know Who I AM?” principles. Given he called the head of the TSA after the incident, I’ll take door #2.

In a desperate attempt to be relevant once again, attention whore Ann Coulter says of Gingrich’s win “South Carolina [was] going back to its Democratic roots.” But did she mean they were being too liberal, or going back to its Dixiecrat days? The head, it hurts.

She’s going soft. I thought she loved saying Democrat not Democratic.

@SanFranLefty: There’s an additional irony to that, but I’m just waking up and dealing with two client crises. More later.

@matador1015: Wait. Is she saying that Newt is too liberal?

@SanFranLefty: A Tennessee airport, in fact, as Nashville is closer to Bowling Green than Louisville is.

@nojo: I’m bringing my iPad threadjack here. You, SCP, and Beesko gave me great advice about the free 3GS. I’m ready for an iPad.

ADD: Oh, sorry. I’ll take to my bed with Bene.

ADDD: Bill!

Programming notice: GOP debate open thread at 8:45pm ET. Please, leave the fireworks to the professionals.

@nojo: Another one? I may be in a hotel bar for this.

@Dodgerblue: Debate tonight, SOTU tomorrow, Yet Another Debate Thursday (I think)…

I was planning to swear off debates. But only while Mitt remained Inevitable.

@SanFranLefty: Problem was that Rand insisted on a patdown with the invisible hand.

Add a Comment
Please log in to post a comment