A Tale Of Two Political Organizations

John Briare‘s post highlights a great story on how Team Romney screwed up a key aspect of the campaign’s GOTV operation. Allahpundit over at Hot Air has an even more devastating critique of Team Romney being out-hustled:

(Barack) Obama‘s team also succeeded by emphasizing personal, one-on-one contact with voters; there was an 11-point gap when voters were asked if they’d been visited at home by a campaign in Pew’s poll taken last week. Even with something as simple as buying airtime for ads, (Mitt) Romney reportedly used an unusual in-house system that made things more expensive than they needed to be. Again: This is precisely the sort of thing that he wasn’t supposed to be outmaneuvered on. His ideological heresies were worrisome, but the comfort in nominating him was that his campaign would be smart and efficient enough to fight Obama to a stalemate.

Instead, news is breaking tonight that even though Nate Silver and Drew Linzer and Simon Jackman and various other statistical modelers all had a high degree of confidence in how the election would go by the end, Romney himself was reportedly genuinely shellshocked when he realized he’d lost. (An NYT story on his address to staffers notes that defeat seemed to “genuinely startle him.”) According to a senior advisor, “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming.”

With all the information they’d gathered from months of polling and voter outreach, no one inside the campaign had an inkling that Obama’s model of the election might be right? Even though Romney ended up trailing in the last national poll average before election day too? One Republican operative wondered to Politico whether the campaign’s cheery poll spin was a head fake, aimed at boosting GOP morale, or evidence that they just weren’t that smart. Now we know.

Yep. “Now we know.” It’s a pithy epitaph suitable for Team Romney’s tombstone.

About The Angelic One


  1. Policymic’s Hamdan Azhar opines that the shabby treatment received by Ron Paul & his supporters during the 2012 GOP Primary & at the GOP National Convention may have soured enough “Paulites” to stay home:

    When Ron Paul went to the Republican National Convention in August, he brought with him the youngest delegation in the history of the Republican Party.

    How were they welcomed? When they arrived, their signs were confiscated and torn up before their eyes. The Maine delegation was summarily unseated and sent home because they contained too many Paul supporters. At the last minute, the Rules Committee changed the ballot access requirement from five states to eight states to prevent Ron Paul’s name from being entered into nomination. They even prevented his name from being mentioned from the podium!

    The establishment’s abominable treatment of Ron Paul supporters at the RNC was only the culmination of a corrupt and shameful primary season. In Louisiana, Ron Paul delegates were arrested when it became clear that they were in the majority at the state convention. In Arizona, desperate party bosses turned off the lights at the state convention to prevent Ron Paul supporters from being elected to a party position. In both Maine and Nevada, Romney campaign officials were caught distributing fake delegate slates. In Missouri, police were called to shut down the St. Charles caucus when a Ron Paul victory appeared imminent.

    “It’s a shame the party hasn’t been more welcoming of these young people,” confessed a Romney delegate to me at the RNC.

    Did it cost Mitt Romney the election? Azhar argues that it did. After citing statistical information, he concludes:

    What does this mean? Given two conservative assumptions – that the number of Paul supporters in these five states is at least double the number of Paul primary votes, and that 40% of these Paul voters stayed home on Election Day – we have a strong case for stating that Mitt Romney would have won the election had he earned the votes of these Ron Paul supporters.

  2. Republican Ram Rod Radio

    I have to know … in your heart of hearts do you really believe Mitt Romney was lighting victory cigars before last Tuesday’s counts were in?  Seriously?  


  3. I think everybody contributing to this site can come up with 11 different suggestions we made over the course of the campaign, a bunch of questions we asked that were never answered, glossed over, subject changed and so on.

    The biggest one is how is the Republican economic program different from Bush? I still don’t know and I voted for these guys.

    Most working women I know are in low-productivity, low-risk professions like education, non-profit, government. How is such a woman going to let go or sacrifice her job, or see her health insurance threatened when there is no clear path to higher reward work for the husband?

  4. John Dickerson of Slate Magazine has an excellent piece on the errors that doomed Team Romney on Election Day:

    (T)he Romney campaign was openly dismissive of the Obama ground game. Why are they wasting so much money with neighborhood offices, they asked? (In Ohio, for example, Obama had almost 100 more offices than Romney.) In retrospect, the Romney team is in awe and full of praise of the Obama operation. “They spent four years working block by block, person by person to build their coalition,” says a top aide. They now recognize that those offices were created to build personal contacts, the most durable and useful way to gain voters.

    Obama focused on person-to-person, network-driven, grass roots organization. Romney relied on an impersonal, hierarchical, technocratic campaign model. The results of the 2012 election clearly demonstrated which version worked.  

  5. Commentary Magazine columnist Bethany Mandel comments on Team Romney’s GOTV “fiasco“:

    One of the most basic tenets of conservatism is a loathing and mistrust of big government and bureaucracy. Project ORCA was the embodiment of big government, top-down management. Information was sent by volunteers in swing states across the country to Boston, and those in Boston were then tasked with assigning other volunteers in those same swing states to contact those who had not yet been to the polls. Boston was, at best, a detour and an unnecessary middleman in the GOTV efforts, and when that link in the chain broke, Romney’s GOTV effort crumbled on the most crucial day of his campaign. One of the most successful components of Karl Rove‘s GOTV efforts with George W. Bush‘s campaigns was his small-government ideological approach. Each volunteer was tasked with personally getting a handful of voters from their area to the polls, voters that they were already familiar with from their church, their children’s schools and their community. Instead of this strategy, Boston was the hub; information was sent there and GOTV assignments were delegated from thousands of miles away by Romney staffers largely unfamiliar with individuals and communities. At Ace of Spades, (John) Ekdahl described the organizational approach of Project ORCA: “The bitter irony of this entire endeavor was that a supposedly small government candidate gutted the local structure of GOTV efforts in favor of a centralized, faceless organization in a far off place (in this case, their Boston headquarters).”

    Was ORCA’s failure the reason why Romney lost Virginia by almost 116,000 votes, Ohio by 103,000, Iowa by 88,000 or why Florida is still, days later, too close to call? It’s impossible to know what a Romney campaign with working GOTV technology would have been able to accomplish. Ekdahl explained that with the failure of Project ORCA’s organization and its later meltdown on Election Day “30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help. Like driving people to the polls, phone-banking, walking door-to-door, etc.” The possibility that all of the efforts of Romney’s campaign, all of the enthusiasm, went unharnessed and dormant on Election Day when they could’ve at least led to a closer election result, if not a victory, is becoming beyond frustrating for thousands of his staffers, for the millions of Americans who gave their time and money to elect Mitt Romney president as they come to learn just what a disaster ORCA seems to have been.

  6. Let’s not forget the dismal communications non-strategy devised by Mr. Etch a Sketch Fehrnstrom, Liz Meyers and Peter Flaherty at Boston’s RINOfied Shawmut Group. Epic Fail by these fearsome Democrat-Lite shills. Their referendum on the economy completely ignored who was turning out and how to motivate the 12 million who were sitting on the sidelines and were repulsed by RINOism.

  7. Check out Atlantic Magazine Business Insider’s insightful article on how the nerds got Obama re-elected:

    They’d been working 14-hour days, six or seven days a week, trying to reelect the president, and now everything had been broken at just the wrong time. It was like someone had written a Murphy’s Law algorithm and deployed it at scale.

    And that was the point. “Game day” was October 21. The election was still 17 days away, and this was a live action role playing (LARPing!) exercise that the campaign’s chief technology officer, Harper Reed, was inflicting on his team. “We worked through every possible disaster situation,” Reed said. “We did three actual all-day sessions of destroying everything we had built.”

    So, it was with more than a hint of schadenfreude that Reed’s team heard that Orca crashed early on election day. Later reports posted by rank-and-file volunteers describe chaos descending on the polling locations as only a fraction of the tens of thousands of volunteers organized for the effort were able to use it properly to turn out the vote.

    This article should be required reading for any political operative thinking of running campaigns in the future.

  8. I have no idea how accurate is the anecdote you’re referencing, RRRR. But that wasn’t the point of the post. The greater irony to me was the contrast between Obama’s decentralized, person-to-person GOTV operations & Romney’s impersonal centralized set-up. The GOP should learn lessons from its mistakes &  the successes of its rivals. Seriously!

  9. Your observations are spot on. I think other GOP activists need to acknowledge the truth of your comments (& the comments of other activists) & have a serious discussion as to whether or not it’s possible for our programs to have any chance of gaining traction in this bluest of Blue States. Otherwise we allow ourselves to perpetuate the cycle of denial & fantasy that – along with our idealism – gets exploited by the Establishment RINOs who line their pockets & enjoy the perks of their positions. I think we can make the case to the public that our programs have merit. Some of those programs might be embraced by the voters. But if the fear factor you describe is too deeply ingrained among most people in this state for us as a party to overcome, then we’ve got to either honestly talk about ways we can rise above this major obstacle (& work towards success) or simply give up. We need to get real.

  10. Most working women I know, myself included, work in private industry, either in the tech industry or related fields, or as managers in the private sector elsewhere.  

  11. After all, Republicans need as many examples of Team Romney’s ineptitude to force them to realize that our side FUCKED UP an election year that had all the earmarks of a “win” for the GOP. The latest Atlantic Magazine had a damning article published weeks ago – weeks ago! – that should have raised red flags to anyone in the GOP:

    I visited Obama and Romney field offices in three swing states — Ohio, Colorado and Virginia — dropping in unannounced at random times to see what I could see. There were some consistent, and telling, differences.

    Obama’s office suite in Sterling was in an office park next to a dentist’s office. The front window was plastered with Obama-Biden signs, the door was propped open, and the stink bugs that plague Virginia in the fall crawled over stacks of literature — fliers for Senate candidate Tim Kaine, Obama bumper stickers — piled on a table near the front reception desk. In rooms in front and back, volunteers made calls on cell phones, while in the interior, field staffers hunched over computers. One wall was covered with a sheet of paper where people had scrawled responses to the prompt, “I Support the President Because…”, while another wall held a precinct-by-precinct list of neighborhood team leaders’ email addresses.

    Only about a mile down the road was the Republican office, a cavernous, unfinished space on the back side of a strip mall next to a Sleepy’s mattress outlet. On one side of the room, under a Gadsden flag (“Don’t tread on me”) and a poster of Sarah Palin on a horse, two long tables of land-line telephones were arrayed. Most of the signs, literature, and buttons on display were for the local Republican congressman, Frank Wolf. A volunteer in a Wolf for Congress T-shirt was directing traffic, sort of — no one really seemed to be in charge and there were no paid staff present, though there were several elderly volunteers wandering in and out. The man in the T-shirt allowed me to survey the room but not walk around, and was unable to refer me to anyone from the Romney campaign or coordinated party effort.

    These basic characteristics were repeated in all the offices I visited: The Obama offices were devoted almost entirely to the president’s reelection; the Republican offices were devoted almost entirely to local candidates, with little presence for Romney. In Greenwood Village, Colorado, I walked in past a handwritten sign reading “WE ARE OUT OF ROMNEY YARD SIGNS,” then had a nice chat with a staffer for Rep. Mike Coffman. In Canton, Ohio, the small GOP storefront was dominated by “Win With Jim!” signs for Rep. Jim Renacci. Obama’s nearest offices in both places were all Obama. In Canton, a clutch of yard signs for Sen. Sherrod Brown leaned against a wall, but table after table was filled with Obama lit — Veterans for Obama, Women for Obama, Latinos for Obama, and so on. The Obama campaign uses cell phones exclusively, while the Republicans use Internet-based land line phones programmed to make voter calls. Every Obama office has an “I Support the President Because…” wall, covered with earnest paeans to Obamacare and the like.

    In a technical sense, the Romney campaign actually does not have a ground game at all. It has handed over that responsibility to the Republican National Committee, which leads a coordinated effort intended to boost candidates from the top of the ticket on down. The RNC says this is an advantage: The presidential campaign and the local campaigns aren’t duplicating efforts, and the RNC was able to start building its ground operation to take on Obama in March, before Romney had secured the GOP nomination.

    “The Romney campaign doesn’t do the ground game,” Rick Wiley, the RNC’s political director, told me. “They have essentially ceded that responsibility to the RNC. They understand this is our role.” The disadvantage of this is that the RNC is composed of its state Republican Parties, which vary dramatically in quality. States like Florida and Virginia have strong Republican operations, while those in Iowa and Nevada haven’t recovered from attempted takeovers by Ron Paul partisans, and the Ohio GOP still bears the scars of a protracted leadership fight earlier in the year.

  12. Simple J. Malarkey

    …bad mechanics did NOT lose this election.  Real fundamentals did.  Fundamentals that are being ignored here at RMG.  Among them:

    Math problem 1:  A smaller tent.  The GOP base is getting smaller and as long as the GOP continues to have nativist, misogynistic and homophobic characteristics in their platform and among major candidates, the tent will continue to shrink.

    Math Problem 2:  The party of business fails to grasp a basic business principle: Cutting revenues (taxes) and increasing cost (defense spending) will create a lose (increased budget deficit).  Enough voters grasp this basic concept.  Sure there is a sucker born every minute, but not enough to win an election.

    These are fundamental flaws the GOP has.  All the other problems are cosmetic.  But these two are fatal.

  13. Brown, Tisei and to a lesser extend Baker got all taken out by machine politics.

    I still think Cahill was a foil candidate.

    This is not healthy for Democrats or Republicans. As evidenced by 3 house speakers are all convicted felons. Or a Kennedy being elected without any experience.  

    As a prosecutor once said – he could indict a ham sandwich – in Massachusetts – you can elect one if you have a D after the name.  

  14. Bad mechanics was a contributing factor to Romney’s loss (as detailed by the press accounts I’ve referenced). So were a few decisions made by the candidate himself such as refusing to engage Obama in the third debates on the unfolding Benghazi controversy & not pressing hard enough on Obamacare, the lousy state of the economy, & foreign policy.

    Regarding the “fundamentals” you’ve mentioned, I agree with you on some the demographic problems behind the GOP’s smaller tent (#1) as well as the basic business principles ignored by key elements of the GOP (#2).

    However I disagree with your partisan spin on #1. With a broad stroke you paint ALL Republicans as 1) “nativist” when in fact some of them are concerned about law & order issues in regards to illegal immigration; 2) “misogynistic” when in fact New Left Democrats use redefined notions of “women’s rights” to create a subclass of gender-based government dependents while at the same time utilizing said redefinition to undermine targeted religious institutions (such as the Catholic Church) that are perceived to be an obstacle to the New Left’s totalitarian impulses; & 3) “homophobic” when in fact the New Left’s aggressive exploitation of civil rights statutes with regards to “marriage equality” threatens the First Amendment rights of a variety of people & institutions (& not all of them purely religious).

    You’re also correct that a lot of folks (but not all) here at RMG are not engaged in any soul-searching process to better understand what went wrong this past election in order to understand it & take steps to avoid a repetition of the same result(s) the next election cycle. Why? The motivation is either despair, denial, or analysis paralysis.

    Election Day revealed some fundamental shifts in American culture. Are they permanent? I don’t know. Can the worst aspects of said shifts as they impact the political prospects of the GOP be overcome? I’m always an optimist. Will Republicans make the effort to adapt/engage/thrive in the new political landscape? Your guess is as good as mine.

  15. Simple J. Malarkey

    All in the eye of the beholder.  If the MA GOP and MA Dem Parties were two businesses, which is a better business?

  16. Simple J. Malarkey

    …we weren’t conservative enough?

  17. But don’t think that’ll slow down the Establishment GOP from erasing this self-inflicted embarrassment, whip out the smoke & mirrors, & try to distract – I mean, rally – the party faithful into absorbing more fairy tales about those wicked, heathen liberals & their god-forsaken ways two to four years from now. Don’t laugh. They might get away with it again.

  18. Simple J. Malarkey

    While there are plenty of other “mechanical” mistakes–like letting Obama define Romney as a corporate raider in the Spring/Summer–you’re wrong about Obamacare and trying to exploit the Benghazi tragedy for political leverage.  While Romney was the best GOP nominee from the field, Santorum was right and Obamacare was Romney’s Achilles Heel.   As for exploiting Benghazi…man you really are a masochist, after getting burned twice, you wanted Romney to try a third time?  No, the prudent thing was to no attack the thrid time.  

    No not ALL Republicans are nativist, misogynistic or homophobic.  But there are certainly elements in the party that are and those smaller elements are able to poison the GOP for huge chunks of the population.  You can dismiss it as some New Left mumbo jumbo, but certainly the like of Rush Limbaugh is a real symbol of the elements in the GOP that I’m talking about.  I can’t help it is you won’t accept reality.  

  19. Obamacare still remains highly unpopular with the voters. Mitt Romney was aware of that but he also feared that Barack Obama was ready to throw Romneycare at him if he critiqued Obamacare. In the end, he wimped out. He also decided not to press his advantage on Benghazi in the third debate due (I’m sure) to his accepting the narrative pushed by his aides (as articulated by you) that it was “prudent” not to do so. So he creates an impression before Ron Paul activists, Tea Party activists, & grassroots activists that there isn’t any REAL difference between these two shills for Establishment elite. No wonder roughly two (2) million of them stayed home! National Review Columnist Andrew McCarthy best articulated the reality that the GOP Establishment has cried wolf to its base once too often:

    “This is the most important election of our lifetime.” That was the ubiquitous rally cry of Republican leaders. The country yawned. About 11 million fewer Americans voted for the two major-party candidates in 2012 – 119 million, down from 130 million in 2008. In fact, even though our population has steadily increased in the last eight years (adding 16 million to the 2004 estimate of 293 million Americans), about 2 million fewer Americans pulled the lever for Obama and Romney than for George W. Bush and John Kerry.

    Sure as a party the GOP has its share of extremists just as the Democrats as a party have their fair share of lunatics. The difference is that the mainstream media – being the communications wing of the Democrat Party – likes to harp on the crazies as a way to define the entire GOP as being dominated by them. Obviously said wing has been wildly successful given the fact that its Jedi mind trick has you droning on over assorted Democrat talking points such as dismissing as “mumbo jumbo” the reality of the New Left. It’s sad that a person of your intelligence won’t accept or can’t grasp the reality that today’s Democrat Party with its own internal problems is slouching towards a crisis of its own making due in part to the machinations of “The One”. At least liberals like Josh Liefer ain’t drinking your Kool-Aid:

    Until now, the Democratic Party distinguished itself from the Republican Party as the party of minorities and social progress. But when the minorities become the majority, as they will soon, and the increasingly progressive attitudes of Americans translate into legislative changes, the Democratic Party will no longer be different from its previously more sinister counterpart. I say this partially in jest but also to make a serious point: how will the Democratic Party continue to justify its existence? Instead of being presented with a choice between two ostensibly different political parties (as we have up until now), we will be presented with the choice between two parties that clearly agree on fundamental ideological issues. It will no longer be possible to pretend that voting for the Democrats is progressive and voting for the Republican is regressive while both parties promote austerity measures, sustain economic inequality, receive support from the same millionaires and billionaires, and continue US military intervention abroad. We’ve lived for so long with the illusion that we make a choice when we vote. What will happen when there obviously is no alternative to the parties that sustain the status quo?

    For the next couple of days, weeks, and even months, liberals will celebrate the results of last night’s elections and the future they foretell – a future of a more diverse and socially progressive country. But from an economic perspective, the future remains grim. Obama will likely implement austerity measures in order to stave off a major crisis as the fiscal cliff approaches. Severe economic inequality will persist as policies that favor the very wealthy go unchallenged. Drone warfare and military adventurism will continue to take the lives of innocent people.

  20. Simple J. Malarkey

    …so the reason you wanted Romney attack Obamacare and push Benghazi was to motivate the base?  But you ignore the simple fact that the resurgence Mitt experienced after the Denver debate is that he was appealing to moderates.  You are advocating a strategy that would have stopped the surge Romney was experiencing, in the hope that the folks that really hated Obama needed to be motivated to vote.  Great idea.

    Secondly, Democrats recognize who their lunatics are and either ignore, isolate or distain (as in the group you linked to).  Republicans have their lunatics in top leadership positions, several of whom ran for President and US Senate in key races or idolize them as media pundits.  This whole “each party has extreme” elements is hogwash.  The Democrats didn’t have the patients running the asylum like the GOP clearly does.

    Third, maybe it’s me, but I hear “New Left” and I think the late-George McGovern and Amnesty, Acid and Abortion.  It’s so 1970s.  It has as much bearing on day-to-day political events as–well the French Revolution–which is a another talking point of irrelevance you often bring up.

    As for Josh Liefer–who I never heard of–I’m not sure of the context of your excerpt, but he seems (to me) to me making a case of the Dems and Obama are mimicking the policies of the right and certainly not the New Left.  

  21. Romney should have attacked Obamacare because it was flawed legislation that the majority of American voters STILL reject. He also should have consistently advocated some conservative healthcare ideas at the same time he should have excoriated Obamacare so that voters would be able to evaluate the merits of both plans & vote accordingly. He was strong on the first debate when he went on the attack but didn’t do as well in the second & third debates (where Obama assumed the more aggressive posture). The strategy I advocated was for Romney to consistently take the battle to Obama & force Obama to defend his record. He didn’t do that & like McCain he lost his bid for the presidency.

    Romney should have doubled down on Benghazi. However he pulled back after the Obamabots of the mainstream media tossed aside their alleged objectivity & hammered Romney for bringing up a topic said media wanted to keep off the radar. The strategy I advocated was for Romney to double down on raising serious questions about the Obama Administration’s fumble on Benghazi while attacking the press for its collective dereliction of duty. High risk strategy given how wussified a segment of the public is? Yeah, but fortune favors the bold. Obama’s victory is proof of that.

    “The Democrats didn’t have the patients running the asylum like the GOP clearly does.” You’re entitled to your own opinion, Festus, but not to your own facts. Both parties do have their fair share of lunatics. The difference is that the Republican lunatics aren’t as sophisticated as their political rivals nor do they enjoy the kind of Establishment oversight/protection that Democrat lunatics enjoy. The GOP is quick to repudiate its lunatics; nut jobs in the Democrat Party are promoted to their highest level of incompetence or have a lateral promotion that maximizes their effectiveness as either loons (on the high end of the party) or goons (on the low end to enforce the party discipline). You’re just an enabler whose unconscious guilt manifests itself in partisan projection fantasies. See a therapist.

    You’re dismissal of the New Left reflects a lack of historical awareness or the attempts of one of its disciples to deflect any attention towards it. The public of course is clueless about these kinds of things but not so political activists. If you REALLY cared about the Democrat Party, you’d fight those bastards on the New Left who are slowly yet systematically destroying the longest lasting political party in American history. But then again, you ARE an enabler of the worst aspects of your party akin to past Democrats who tolerated crimes inflicted on the country by Democrat demagogues.

    You can rant & rave. You can roll your eyes & foam at the mouth. You can twist & turn the truth into pretzel-like falsehoods all you want. Enjoy the moment while you can. But when the shit hit’s the fan, don’t be surprised when you wind up getting sprayed with the ensuing debris & that you’ll be unable to remove its stench from your personage.  

  22. Republican Ram Rod Radio

    So excuse me for being distracted : )

    Also, you never answered my question … do you really believe Mitt Romney was lighting victory cigars before the votes were in, like your un-named source wants us to believe?  

  23. It wasn’t cigars Romney was going to light up – it was FIREWORKS! He had his 1,118 word acceptance speech ready before the polls closed but, unlike Obama, he had no concession speech prepared just in case he lost. D’oh!

  24. Republican Ram Rod Radio

    It’s normal for a man running for President of the US to have an acceptance speech and some fireworks on stand-by the night of the election … Not sure why you brought those up????  

    Even your “No Concession Speech” charge you made was weak; did you even read the article you linked to????

    He said he’d “only written one speech at this point” – meaning, a victory speech, but not a concession speech.  To which we say: Really? Is he actually implying that, in the event he should lose Tuesday night, he’s just planning to cobble together a speech at the last minute? Or possibly even go out there and wing it in front of the cameras?  Actually, when we think about it, that could make for some good TV …

    Just kidding. We have to assume that Mr. Romney was either being disingenuous or picking his words very, very carefully – so that while, perhaps technically speaking, he hasn’t written a concession speech, one such speech may in fact have already been prepared by his speechwriters.

    I guess there’s no point in asking you a third time

  25. You sound like a deranged Romney supporter who can’t accept that your candidate’s loss was partially self-inflicted.

    Your derangement makes you project onto me things I never said. For example, I never defended the “unknown” source you cite from the post. If you paid attention to the upstream portion of this thread, you’ll see this:

    I have no idea how accurate is the anecdote you’re referencing, RRRR.

    Sure it’s normal for a candidate to have an acceptance speech ready. I never said it wasn’t. Here’s what I said:

    (Romney) had his 1,118 word acceptance speech ready before the polls closed but, unlike Obama, he had no concession speech prepared just in case he lost.

    Yeah, I read the linked article you cited but I didn’t buy into the whole “disingenuous” spin. I’m surprised you did. A possible take on the passage you highlighted is that the writer is sarcastic. You wondered aloud if “Mitt Romney was lighting victory cigars before last Tuesday’s counts were in?” Well according to Capitol Hill Blue, he acted like he did:

    Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was so confident of victory against President Barack Obama that he spent $25,000 for victory fireworks, had already drawn up a list of White House appointments and took it easy on election day when his opponents were still working hard to get out the vote.

    Political insiders tell Capitol Hill Blue that Romney didn’t think he could lose and was genuinely “shell shocked” when he lost the Presidential race in an electoral vote landslide to Obama.

    “He was supremely confident and delayed conceding the race as long as possible because he just didn’t believe he would lose,” says one senior aide.  “It was overconfidence based on inaccurate assumptions and flawed data.”

    In conversations with campaign insiders, a portrait of a clueless campaign emerges, driven by a candidate so sure of himself that he ignored all the obvious warning signs.

    Romney told his advisers that he was sure minorities and young people would stay home and turn out for Obama as they had in 2008.  That turned out to be a politically fatal assumption.  Obama drew 90 percent of a large black vote and more than three quarters of Latinos.  Asian-Americans also turned out in droves for the incumbent President.

    The GOP nominee’s campaign advisers convinced themselves that the polls showing a close race were flawed and that the “true electorate” would give give Romney at least 330 electoral votes.

    “They were living in a fantasy land,” says one long-time GOP strategist who asked not to be identified.  “They remained in a fog generated by their candidate’s massive ego.”

    When the numbers came in election night, Romney was stunned.  So was his running mate, who couldn’t even carry his home state of Wisconsin.

    The wives of both the Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates broke into tears.  Romney appeared dazed and it took a while for him to regain enough composure to deliver a long, rambling concession speech.

    “Mitt is not accustomed to losing,” says one friend. “It was a bitter pill for him.”

    Given how close the pre-election polls had Romney & Obama, you’d think the alleged symbol of fiscal rectitude wouldn’t spend 25 THOUSAND DOLLARS on fireworks when the election was viewed by most people – except Romney, his inner circle, & Karl Rove – as one that was too close to call. You run unopposed or you run scared. You don’t coast.

    I shouldn’t reiterate to you for a third time one of the main points of my original comment – but damnit I will:

    The greater irony to me was the contrast between Obama’s decentralized, person-to-person GOTV operations & Romney’s impersonal centralized set-up.

  26. Republican Ram Rod Radio

    You’re getting all defensive.  Why not just explain the virtues of getting your information from un-named sources???

  27. Not every source being quoted wants to be publicly identified so you go with what said source will give you. Is it ideal? Of course not – you want your sources to be identified or at least have a super cool pseudonym like Deep Throat!

  28. Republican Ram Rod Radio

    ROFLMAO – No shit TAO … That way they can lie with out being caught seeeeeeeeee?

  29. So anonymous sources are nothing but a bunch of liars? That sounds like something a politician, a government bureaucrat, or a corporate stooge would say in order to prevent any inquiry into what they do if what they do affects the public. Thankfully yours is a minority opinion. Jill Abramson of the New York Times obviously disagrees with you:

    If The Times and other large news-gathering organizations declared a unilateral ban on anonymous sources, readers would be denied critical and urgent news in the public interest. Think about some of the major stories that have been published as part of journalism’s highest calling, keeping the government accountable to the people: not only the Pentagon Papers and Watergate, but also the more recent revelations about the government’s secret, warrantless eavesdropping program and the C.I.A.’s overseas detention sites. These stories, published by The New York Times and The Washington Post, were justifiably awarded journalism’s highest honor, the Pulitzer Prize. And each of them relied on anonymous sources.

    In many cases, anonymous sources are people working inside the government, a business or other powerful institution who witness possible abuses of power and talk to journalists in order to hold power accountable. They fear retribution, perhaps losing their jobs or worse. This is why they ask to be cloaked in anonymity.

    Certainly, not every story that uses anonymous sources rises to this standard. There are noble anonymous sources and less noble ones. And it is always preferable to have named sources, so readers can evaluate the information, credibility and vantage point of a news source. In two decades spent as an investigative reporter and editor in Washington, both for The Times and The Wall Street Journal, I have relied on solid, reliable, high-minded anonymous sources. I have also seen anonymous sources who leak information for self-serving reasons, to float a policy balloon or damage a rival. Anonymous sources can be misguided, wrong or even lie to reporters.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. The Times is liberal but the same philosophy guides conservative operations like The Wall Street Journal. And would the Drudge Report be as succesful today if it refrained from using anonymous sources? The question answers itself. Given your own pen name, RRRR, am I to assume you’re nothing but (gasp!) an anonymous liar?

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