by Benjamin J. Kirby
I found this to be a horrible election, and I'm glad it's over. Still, I took note of the Boston Globe post-mortem on the Romney Campaign. There are some real gems, there -- and it ought to be mandatory reading for any Republican with political aspirations.
...a reconstruction by the Globe of how the campaign unfolded shows that Romney’s problems went deeper than is widely understood. His campaign made a series of costly financial, strategic, and political mistakes that, in retrospect, all but assured the candidate’s defeat, given the revolutionary turnout tactics and tactical smarts of President Obama’s operation.
And then it gets good.
Rich Beeson, the Romney political director who coauthored the now-discredited Ohio memo, said that only after the election did he realize what Obama was doing with so much manpower on the ground. Obama had more than 3,000 paid workers nationwide, compared with 500 for Romney, and hundreds of thousands of volunteers.
“Now I know what they were doing with all the staffs and offices,” Beeson said. “They were literally creating a one-to-one contact with voters,” something that Romney did not have the staff to match.
Rich Beeson ought to never be allowed within five-hundred yards of a political campaign of any sort ever again.
As Kos at DailyKos asked, just what in the hell did he think they were doing with "all the staffs and offices"?
There's a lot of examination in the piece about whether the Romney Campaign should have focused more on defining Romney as a great guy instead of attacking Obama. It's a worthwhile discussion, I guess -- but I think the Romney people will likely miss the point.
Ann Romney, who had long pushed for more focus on her husband’s personal story, made her point directly in a convention video: “If you really want to know how a person will operate, look at how they’ve lived their life.”
The problem was, Mitt Romney was actually a douchebag.
Later, he was the sole author of a New York Times editorial entitled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt".
He was the candidate who said we were pulling out of Iraq "too quickly."
He was the candidate with a car elevator in one of his many houses.
He was the candidate who didn't release his tax returns, because none of your goddam business, okay! He was the candidate of dressage horses -- which we weren't supposed to make fun of, because the horse was therapy for his wife, Ann, who has MS... except when the horse wasn't dancing in the Olympics. He was the candidate of Bain Capital, shutting down business to make a buck for himself. And speaking of Ann: it was her "you people" gaffe that helped further define this campaign of complete, unrepentant assholes.
And if you want to talk about complete, unrepentant assholes, then the Globe piece gets even better.
While candidates often try to portray themselves as reluctant, Tagg insisted his father’s stance was genuine.
“He wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life. He had no desire to . . . run,” said Tagg, who worked with his mother, Ann, to persuade his father to seek the presidency. “If he could have found someone else to take his place . . . he would have been ecstatic to step aside. He is a very private person who loves his family deeply and wants to be with them, but he has deep faith in God and he loves his country, but he doesn’t love the attention.”
This is the same Tagg Romney -- abject coward -- who said he wanted to "take a swing" at the President of the United States (after, interestingly, a debate in which the issue of gun control came up and Mitt screwed it up something awful).
This may well be the worst spin attempt I've ever seen in more than twenty years of watching politics. He wanted to be president less than anyone I've met in my life.
Uh-huh. Then how come the guy spent the last five running for it? Mitt Romney's campaign for the presidency began in 2007 when he lost the primary in '08 to John McCain.
As I recall, there was a protracted and painful GOP primary in which there were, at one point, half a dozen or more wanna-be drivers of the Republican Clown Car careening towards oblivion. Michele Bachmann? Rick Perry? Rick Santorum? Newt Gingrich? Herman Cain? Ron Paul? Jon Huntsman?
What's the matter, Tagg -- you didn't get to meet any of those people? Because I'm pretty sure every damn one of them wanted to be president.
Stop talking, Tagg. You're doing more harm than good.
Republicans have a lot of work to do, and the ugly autopsy of Romney's campaign is just the start. Will they get it together in four years? Who knows. Too early to say.
Right now, the very best we can hope for is a better election in 2016.