Posts Tagged ‘jerks’
“Bottom line: the Romney campaign made their bed with the early state primary strategy and got short-sheeted,” writes Justin Hart in a race42008.com blog burst titled, strangely, Autopsy of a Great GREAT Campaign
The momentum that Huckabee gained through his stunning Iowa win together with the victory that McCain edged out in New Hampshire seriously maimed the Romney narrative [...]
Hart refers to Romney’s ill-starred von Schlieffen plan, a plan that we criticized early and often. Romney’s von Schleiffen plan was an electoral-map fantasia so over-the-top preposterous that we always assumed that it was a cover for a more rational undertaking, an undertaking that required secrecy to pursue. We were wrong about that, and about a lot else besides.
John Ellis has a different take on the “Team Romney mounted a GREAT campaign” theme, one more consonant with our experience:
[...] The sad thing about the Romney campaign’s demise is that Mitt Romney is an exceptional person; highly intelligent, enormously hard-working, a man of great integrity and grit and executive ability. Given the dearth of talent in both parties — the seemingly endless parade of mediocrity and venality — we’re lucky to have people like Mitt Romney who are willing to get in the game. But he was terribly served by his campaign staff and advisors. I would argue that they win the worst campaign team of 2008. Good riddance to them. They had everything they needed to make a good run and they made a complete hash of it [...]
The problem: to explain just went wrong is surpassingly difficult as it requires the observer to interpret the data of the world differently than is otherwise the case. Byron York attempts such an explanation on personal and narrative grounds in an NRO article titled Why Romney Failed
[...] Romney made a lot of mistakes that didn’t seem like mistakes at the time. Drawing on his enormous success as a business consultant, he put together an impressively well-organized and professional campaign. That was good. But he never fully understood that the voters were looking for some spark in a candidate that connects him to them. Instead, Romney placed his faith in his magnificent organization and his PowerPoint analyses.
He hired a lot of people, spent millions to build organizations in key states, and then spent millions more for television and radio advertisements. The day after the Iowa caucuses, I dropped by WHO radio in Des Moines, and a top station official told me that Romney had been WHO’s second-biggest advertiser in 2007. (First was Monsanto farm chemicals.) In all, Romney pumped $1 million into WHO’s bank account. In South Carolina recently, a local politico marveled at how much money Romney’s in-state consultants made from the campaign. “Those guys made a mint out of him,” the politico told me. “It’s sinful how much they made.”
Yuh-huh. How much of the Romney phenomenon is the story of a super-rich ingenue getting bilked—just mercilessly fleeced—by a corrupt and cash-starved GOP party establishment?
Back to York:
As a result of all that spending, Romney ran a campaign on a deficit, deeply in debt. Of course, it was in debt to Romney himself, who put $35 million of his own money into the campaign as of December 31, and likely a lot more since. All that money freed Romney and his team from making some of the tough decisions that other campaigns had to make every day. You could argue either way whether that was good or bad.
Just before the Iowa caucuses, I was at a corporate headquarters outside Des Moines, asking a few questions of Eric Fehrnstrom, the press secretary who usually traveled with Romney. Fehrnstrom looked at Mike Huckabee’s campaign and saw a ragtag lot. “We’re going up against a loose confederation of fair taxers, and home schoolers, and Bible study members, and so this will be a test to see who can generate the most bodies on caucus day,” Fehrnstrom said.
I interrupted for a moment. “Not that there’s anything wrong with any of those groups?” I asked.
“Not that there’s anything wrong, but that’s just a fact,” Fehrnstrom continued. “That’s just where he has found his support. I have a theory about why Mike Huckabee holds public events in Iowa like getting a haircut or going jogging, or actually leaving Iowa and going to California to appear on the Jay Leno show. It’s because he doesn’t have the infrastructure to plan events for him. And when he does do events in Iowa, he goes to the Pizza Ranch, where you have a built-in crowd, so you don’t have to make calls to turn people out. We’re very proud of the organization we have built in Iowa.”
They had reason to be proud; it was a good organization. But in a bigger sense, they just didn’t understand what was going on. Fehrnstrom, like his boss, placed a lot of faith in Romney, Inc. How could a bunch of seat-of-the-pantsers like the Huckabee campaign possibly beat the Romney machine? Well, they could, in Iowa, and McCain could in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and then in Florida and on Super Tuesday. The race was never about the imposing infrastructure Romney had built. It was about that ineffable something that voters look for in candidates. With Huckabee, some of those voters saw an intriguing and refreshing figure. With McCain, a larger number saw someone who wanted, above all, to defend the United States. And with Romney — well, they didn’t quite know what to think [...]
This is the problem with positive feedback, say, success. Success often passes into a crisis of perception as people and organizations optimize for successful activities at the expense of a more thorough review of changing conditions etc. It is the very definition of the learning or the experience curve. Failure and tragedy are excellent teachers; but what works for us—our triumphs, our successes—affirms us in what we are already doing, and recedes into the half-consciousness of habit and routine.
But here the problem for the Romney campaign was always this: their success itself was never real. For example: Their highly professional organization was the best that money could buy, but that money was not a reliable indicator of the candidate’s success as a fund-raiser or fitness as a candidate. It was only ever an indicator of the candidate’s personal worth.
ROI, people. ROI. There is no more effective metric for the success of a message or a message campaign than the your Return on Investment, and Romney’s was always preposterously low.
Rubin: “The talk-show conservatives who were so successful in riling the conservative opposition to immigration reform in 2007 proved to be the flimsiest of paper tigers—-Their shouted directions to the conservative foot soldiers, and their warnings of the dangers of a McCain presidency, were ignored”
[...] “Following John McCain’s victory in Florida last week the chorus of McCain-hatred grew louder on talk radio shows and on many conservative blogs,” writes Jennifer Rubin in a New York Observer article titled Voters Reject Romney … and Limbaugh and Coulter and Dobson
Rush Limbaugh declared that McCain was not conservative and unacceptable as a candidate. Formerly respectable conservative figures took delight in criticizing McCain’s war record—yes, his war record—by tallying up the number of planes he had lost in combat. Ann Coulter and James Dobson, a social conservative leader and head of the Focus on the Family organization, declared McCain so indistinguishable from Hillary Clinton, the featured villainess in any conservative drama, that they would vote for her or stay home.
In short the McCain villifiers doubled down on their bet that they could derail McCain and lift their favored alternative, Mitt Romney, to victory.
Then the voters had their say. McCain racked up victories from California to New York to Missouri. Romney was pretty much relegated to Utah and Massachusetts, two more home states to go along with his Michigan win. Mike Huckabee, also the object of talk show and blogger derision (for, among other grave offenses, raising taxes to build schools and allowing children of illegal immigrants access to college scholarships) had a fine night, taking a batch of southern states.
The talk-show conservatives who were so successful in riling the conservative opposition to immigration reform in 2007 proved to be the flimsiest of paper tigers. Their shouted directions to the conservative foot soldiers, and their warnings of the dangers of a McCain presidency, were ignored.
They did their best to boost Romney, who had striven mightily to endear himself to this crowd, but the voters shrugged and rejected him overwhelmingly. Had Romney not changed residences so often he might have been shut out of the primaries entirely [...]
[...] [Limbaugh, Coulter, Dobson et al] might threaten to withhold support for McCain, but does it even matter at this point? Will voters listen to that marching order when they did not follow previous voting advice?
McCain cannot, in what will likely be a close election, entirely ignore the possibility. But something has clearly changed. The façade of influence, the illusion of electoral importance that these conservative pundits previously held, is gone. They can raise issues, jam the White House switchboard and scare timid politicians. When the chips are down, though, they cannot determine elections. Voters, who base their decisions more on common sense than extreme ideology, get to do that [...]
We concur. Well, for those most part. But, sadly, there is evidence to suggest that the radio talkers and conservative celebrities were beginning to affect attitudes about Sen. McCain. Here be evidence for our claim, as provided by the estimable John Dickerson in a slate.com article titled McCain Not Stopped; But Romney is not seen as a true conservative:
[…] Exit polls nevertheless show that McCain’s problems with conservatives run deep. He lost among conservatives in almost every state except Connecticut and New Jersey, where he split them evenly with Romney. McCain also lost conservatives even in the states he won. Conservatives went for Romney in New York and Illinois. “Hard to do well with conservatives when everyone with a microphone is beating hell out of us,” says a top McCain aide. While the conservative voices weren’t enough to stop McCain, or to elect their guy, tonight they were enough to bruise him […]
Now with Romney promising to hold out and fight until the convention, and even attempt to turn around promised but not-officially-bound delegates, we can expect the voices of Limbaugh, Coulter, Dobson et al to grow louder, more dire, and more shrill. See:
[...] “Most observers thought that debate was won by former Massachussetts Gov. Mitt Romney, but Mr. Romney handed back whatever advantage he might have won with some clumsiness of his own,” writes Jack Kelly in a realclearpolitics.com article titled Only Hillary Can Reunite Republican Party
Mr. Romney received a modest bump in the polls immediately after the debate, but it dissipated when Florida’s popular governor, Charlie Crist, and Sen. Mel Martinez, popular with Cuban-Americans, endorsed Sen. McCain. Both likely would have remained neutral were it not for the heavy handed tactics of Mr. Romney’s operatives, said the American Spectator’s “Prowler.”
The Prowler reported Monday he’d been told by a consultant who’s worked for both Gov. Crist and Sen. Martinez that: “It finally got to the point for the both of them that they just got fed up with the constant harassment. They weren’t going to endorse Romney, and under the right circumstances, one or both of them might have chosen to sit the primary out, but the Romney people just made it intolerable.”
Aggressive, obnoxious stupidity. None of the other candidates like Mitt Romney. This is an indication why [...]
[...] Both Sen. McCain and Gov. Romney are too flawed to reunite and reinvigorate a dispirited Republican party. There is only one candidate who can do that. And she might lose to Barack Obama [...]
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
From the Prowler release that Kelly references:
[...] “In the past week both Florida Sen. Mel Martinez and Gov. Charlie Crist wavered on their promised endorsements for Sen. John McCain, before finally having their fill of the heavy-handed arm-twisting of the Mitt Romney campaign,” writes the Prowler for the American Spectator in a Washington Prowler column titled Heavy-Handedness Backfires
“It finally got to the point for both of them that they just got fed up with the constant harassment,” says a source close to both men who has worked for them as a political consultant. “They weren’t going to endorse Romney and under the right circumstances, one or both of them might have chosen to sit the primary out, but the Romney people just made it intolerable.”
In the middle of last week, it appeared that both Martinez and Crist would sit out what has become the battleground state for the Republican nomination for President.
It is believed that the Romney campaign has been able to use its candidate’s unfettered wealth to run a successful absentee ballot program, something the other campaigns have not been able to do as well. Those absentee ballots may swing Romney to victory, and keeping Martinez and Crist on the sidelines was part of the strategy for victory [...]
Apparently the strategy included arrogant threats:
[...] If Sen. John McCain was anticipating endorsements from Sen. Mel Martinez and Gov. Charlie Crist in the Florida primary, he’s in for a disappointing surprise, according to Romney campaign aides.
“If those guys want a political future in this state, they will sit on the sidelines,” says one Romney adviser. “We have some of the biggest Florida fundraisers with us right now, and if Mel or Charlie went with McCain, we’d make them both pay when it came time for them to get donor dollars for another race.” [...]
A dream is a wish your heart makes. And Romney operatives are thugs.
“WASHINGTON (CNN) — Two negative ads recently launched by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has spent more on advertising than any other candidate, either misrepresent his rival’s records or include distortions, according to a CNN analysis of the commercials,” writes Howard Kurtz in a CNN.com release titled Analysis: Romney attack ad misrepresents facts
The ads come as the Republican air war has erupted into a series of attacks ads, just days before the Iowa caucuses on January 3, Wyoming caucuses on January 5, and the New Hampshire primary on January 8.
In one Romney television ad running in New Hampshire, the announcer calls rival Sen. John McCain “an honorable man” then goes on to ask “but is he the right Republican for the future?”
“McCain pushed to let every illegal immigrant stay here permanently…” the announcer charges. “Even voted to allow illegals to collect Social Security.”
But the ad distorts the position of the Arizona Republican, who has narrowed Romney’s lead in New Hampshire. McCain’s compromise legislation introduced last summer, which was backed by President Bush, would have required illegal immigrants to return to their home countries and pay a fine for breaking the law before applying for legal status … more, so much more
Would an honorable man like Romney distort the records and positions of his rivals!?
- Palmetto Scoop: “Top Romney advisor tied to anonymous attacks of previous presidential primary”
- Associated Press: Romney has candor issues
- Kilmer: “[Huckabee] on [Russert’s Meet the Press], Republican Presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee covered a list of what he said were Romney mischaracterizations of him and his records—[Huckabee] was effective here, and he did not slip when defending his foreign policy or his faith.”
- Romney’s bitter and personal attacks on other candidates tearing the GOP apart
- Romney’s negative campaigning: is Romney willing to take the party down with him?
“DES MOINES — A year ago, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney gathered his campaign team for the first time at his suburban Boston home,” writes Michael D. Shear with the apt and able assistance of sidekick and drinking buddy, Perry Bacon Jr., scion of the legendary Perry Bacon, in a Wapo release titled Romney Strategy in Peril With Huckabee’s Ascent; Bid for Early States Appears in Jeopardy
There were PowerPoint presentations, and Ann Romney made sandwiches. “It was like the first day of school,” said one senior-level participant.
It was then that Romney put in motion his strategy to become president: Win Iowa and New Hampshire by wooing fiscal and social conservatives, and use that momentum to overwhelm the competition in the primaries that followed. But with less than two weeks before Iowans vote, that strategy is in danger of unraveling because former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee has seized the conservative mantle and has emerged as the front-runner. His sudden rise in the past month — sparked by passionate support from the same Christian conservatives Romney has been unable to win over — has raised questions about Romney’s strategy.
Yes, well, we predicted all this weeks and weeks ago.
- Chris Cillizza provides further evidence against the success of the Romney von Schieffln plan
- Romney’s early state strategy; an investigation
- Romney’s early state strategy—an addendum
Back to Shear:
“In Iowa, someone was always going to challenge Romney as a conservative alternative,” said GOP consultant Scott Reed, who managed Robert J. Dole’s presidential campaign in 1996. “Huckabee has caught the eyes of social conservatives in Iowa, and the issue is if they have grown enough in numbers to deliver a win.”
Romney’s advisers bristle at the notion that he could have run his campaign differently. They are particularly sensitive to charges that the former governor changed his positions on abortion, immigration and gay rights to be more in tune with Republican voters, particularly in Iowa. They say his conservative credentials are genuine.
And, they say, they always knew Romney would face a challenge like this, though at the December 2006 meeting, the talk was about former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) and former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani — not Huckabee.
“We were sitting around with a PowerPoint,” a senior adviser, one of a half-dozen who were at the December gathering, said on the condition of anonymity. “We weren’t sitting around with a crystal ball.”
Question: About Team Romney’s sudden clarity about the misguidedness of their “strategy,” is this genuine, or is this a naive, transparent attempt to manage expectations. Several remarks:
(1) Whether Team Romney wins or loses Iowa analysts will publish abroad how much Romney spent for every poll number relative to his rivals, and so will his rivals. Romney has so overspent, so wildly missed the mark, and so badly botched his operation that he has denied himself in advance the possibility of a clear win, an unequivocal victory.
- Romney poised to fail in Iowa no matter what the outcome (iii)—Romney’s massive spending using his own money has denied Romney the perception of a clean win on fair and equal terms
- Sargent: “[Grrrr-Romney] was spending $100,000 a week through October, and he’s now upped the ante to $200,000 a week [in NH]” (The same applies to Iowa)
Conclusion: any degree of expectations management now is risible on its face.
(2) Team Romney has—unbelievably—overshot the mark playing down expectations!—Their frank depictions of dejection and disarray within the Romney organization are conditioning expectations too effectively—Romney supporters themselves are beginning to despair.
Back to Shear:
A year later, Romney’s top aides spend their time in meetings working to beat back Huckabee’s challenge.
“Are there moments of quiet and sometimes not-so-quiet desperation? Of course,” another longtime adviser said. “But . . . this is the strategy we have. We don’t have the option of doing anything else.”
Note the tone of cruel gloom and helplessness. Note the utter failure of imagination. We predicted the pain and paralysis of the Romney campaign too:
Back to Shear:
Campaign spokesman Kevin Madden described the mood at the Boston headquarters as “determined” and “poised” these past few weeks, even as Romney’s lead in Iowa has evaporated. He said staff members are following the lead of their candidate, who appeared calm as ever last week as he skipped across Iowa in a rented jet.
Team Romney’s mood is “determined” and “poised”—translation: Team Romney is “brooding in apocalyptic despair,” and it has been for weeks now, long before Gov. Huckabee’s rise:
Back to Shear:
On the campaign trail, Romney tells how a friend, Sen. Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah), told him in 2004 that he needed to start making preparations if he wanted to at least have the option of running for president.
Over the next year, Romney formed a PAC that he used to spread money to local candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire. In 2006, he became chairman of the Republican Governors Association, a position that gave him an excuse to travel regularly to those states.
And he began meeting with his brain trust: Spencer Zwick, his finance chief; Robert F. White, a partner at Bain Financial, the firm he started; Beth Myers, who would become his campaign manager; New Hampshire consultant Tom Rath; and Iowa consultant Gentry Collins, who headed the PAC. Benjamin L. Ginsberg was the PAC’s lawyer and also a confidant. Ron Kaufman, a top aide to President George H.W. Bush, was present, as were Mike Murphy, a consultant who ran Romney’s campaign for governor, and Dave Kochel, an Iowa strategist.
That group conceived the plan for Romney, who was hardly known outside of his home state and Utah.
“There are two ways to run: run as the front-runner, or you play the breakthrough/early-state strategy,” said one of Romney’s longtime advisers, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “You don’t get to choose.”
What leadership. What moral courage. What political-moral imagination.
Why are the Romneys always telling us—and telling themselves!—what cannot be done?
The adviser added: “You burrow down deep and spend time building these organizations, going back over and over and over again. You are really playing for three years for about three weeks.”
The idea from the beginning was to focus on Romney’s business credentials and his reputation as a pragmatic problem-solver, as the savior of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and as governor of Massachusetts. It was assumed that Romney would have to work hard for acceptance in Iowa, where as many as 85 percent of likely Republican caucusgoers are against abortion rights.
Yet Romney could never develop within himself the courage, the focus, or the intention necessary to stay on topic. See:
Luo: “Ever since Mr. Romney began his presidential bid, his campaign has oscillated between two distinct, some would say contradictory, themes—Mr. Romney as a conservative standard-bearer and him as a pragmatic problem-solving businessman”
Further: Romney’s attempt to position himself as “conservative standard bearer” has failed miserably:
Rasmussen Reports: “Romney is now viewed as politically conservative by 38% of Republican voters and moderate or liberal by 43%—Those figures reflect an eight-point decline in the number seeing him as conservative and a ten-point increase in the number seeing him as moderate or liberal”
Back to Shear:
“He’s a Midwestern guy. He’s from Michigan. His family was always well received in Iowa,” a longtime adviser said. “We felt pretty good that we could do well in Iowa. And it was self-evident that if you are going to be running against John McCain, who was known in the party, and Rudy Giuliani, the fifth most famous man in the world, an early-state strategy was really the best — and perhaps only — way to establish a rationale.”
But Romney advisers concede their candidate has spent more time than they planned talking about social issues. They say that is because rival campaigns have forced him to react, and because of the rise of Huckabee, who has coalesced more of the Christian vote than past candidates.
If Huckabee wins the Iowa caucuses Jan. 3, Romney’s campaign will have four days to recover before making a stand in New Hampshire, where he is leading in recent opinion polls. Romney aides claim a potential upside for their candidate: Huckabee’s meteoric rise has reset expectations for Romney, who will be credited with a meaningful win in Iowa should he pull it off.
Romney no longer talks about Giuliani on the stump. His advisers barely mention former senator Fred D. Thompson (R-Tenn.). The message has become “all Huck, all the time,” though in the past several days Romney also has had to contend with a resurgence by McCain in New Hampshire. Romney last week began a barnstorming of three early-voting states by assailing Huckabee as a liberal, adding his own voice to new negative television ads and to mailings that his campaign has begun churning out every day.
On immigration, Romney cited Huckabee’s support for a bill that would have granted in-state tuition to illegal immigrants. On crime, he highlighted the 1,033 pardons and commutations Huckabee granted as governor. On the economy, he told reporters that Huckabee presided over a state budget that grew from $6 billion to $16 billion.
“I’m convinced that as people take a close look, that the good, conservative Republicans of South Carolina will be supporting a conservative candidate like myself and they won’t be supporting Governor Huckabee,” Romney said, campaigning in South Carolina on his way to Iowa. “But time will tell.”
Romney received a boost last week when Rep. Tom Tancredo (Colo.) dropped out of the presidential race and endorsed him, saying he believed Romney would protect the country’s borders.
Huckabee spent the week basking in newfound popularity in Iowa. A month ago, he was having events in pizza parlors with 40 people and almost no press. Last week, 200 people packed into a raucous event in West Des Moines, with 50 more waiting outside.
Huckabee has described Romney as “desperate,” and his descriptions of Huckabee’s record as “dishonest,” “misleading” and “unfair.” For the moment, Romney’s advisers insist, they feel apprehension but not panic. “Would we like it to be different? Of course,” said one adviser who has been with Romney for years. “You have to trust the team. You have to trust the strategy. You have to trust what your original instinct was. I think that’s where the governor is.”
Note the tone of abject despair. “You have to trust what your original instinct was. I think that’s where the governor is.”—groupthink, is what they call it.
How else do you account for Team Romney’s complete failure of the imagination?
“It isn’t surprising, really, that the NRO has decided to annoint Romney as the next Bush (and what a compliment!),” writes John Cole for Balloon Juice in a post titled Romney, The Establishment Candidate
“John McCain must be causing Mitt Romney some serious heartburn in New Hampshire,” writes Jay Carney in a Time-Blog Swampland post titled Romney Blames…McCain??
How else to explain Romney’s magnificently absurd claim that the recently-reported push polls attacking Romney’s Mormonism are somehow the fault of…that’s right, John McCain — more specifically, the campaign finance reform law known as McCain-Feingold, which passed in 2002. Politico’s Jonathan Martin has the story here. Of course, push polling existed long before McCain-Feingold became law, as Mark Salter, McCain’s senior aide, alter ego and co-author points out in this lacerating riposte:
It is appalling, but not surprising, that Mitt Romney would seek to take advantage of this disturbing incident to launch yet another hypocritical attack. It’s the hallmark of his campaign.
Back when Governor Romney was calling for public financing and taxing political donations, and before McCain-Feingold was passed, push polling was, regrettably, alive and well in American politics. Anyone who spent a day in South Carolina in 2000 can testify to that. It is not a surprise that Governor Romney would use even an attack on him to make yet another hypocritical statement. It is the hallmark of his campaign … etc., etc.
Liz Mair offers her take on why Romney wants to blame the victim in a post titled Romney and the religion bashing calls
… I’ve been less impressed with the Romney camp’s swift move to tie all of this to McCain-Feingold. The issue here is one of religious bigotry being shopped to voters– not of the utility of campaign finance reform, of which I personally am no great fan. And, it’s interesting that the Romney camp has moved in this direction so quickly. Sure, they never miss an opportunity to beat up on McCain, so it’s not surprising that they’re doing it here. Still, it seems as though this whole incident has thus far proved pretty beneficial to Romney. He is now in the victim/underdog role that one of his campaign aides indicated a couple months back could prove helpful to his campaign. He’s also been given another prime opportunity to denounce an initiative that has been widely unpopular with conservatives, and make himself out to be the anti-McCain (something that still has a lot of appeal with some members of the GOP base). Despite the fact that it’s Romney’s religion that’s been beat up on here, he’s looking like the overall winner from the whole episode … etc.
We were wondering how Romney would botch his response to these events.
Romney!—dude—your negatives are soaring!—a more effective response strategy to the push-poll revelation would have been to:
(a) Praise Sen. McCain for his integrity; infer your confidence that neither the Senator nor any of his people were involved. If later events undermine that confidence you can express surprise etc.
(b) Praise the Attorney General for his swift response; infer your confidence in the US justice system etc.
(c) Praise the American people—in particular, the voters in Iowa and New Hampshire—for their tolerance; infer your confidence in their wisdom, temperance, moderation, and sense of fair play, then segue into your own commitments to those values by means of a personal story.
Then, and only then, and without naming any names, decry dirty tricks, dishonest campaigners, and the laws and loopholes that enable them. This way, Romney, you would appear larger than you are, as opposed to smaller—and you still get to say everything that you want to say. This is how you affect to appear statesmanlike, even presidential, as opposed to, say, affecting the pose of an angry department of motor vehicles clerk (Romney’s usual pose). This, Boy Romney, is how you address the world when your own negatives are somewhere in the stratosphere.
Otherwise, you get responsa like Carney’s, Mair’s et al.—which is precisely what you got, and precisely what you will continue to get until you dismiss your entire communications staff down to the last unpaid-intern fetcher of coffee. Speaking of which, is there anyone in Team Romney that has any actual experience in, or any actual training or study in, rhetoric or communications?—we’re just wondering. So far, Team Romney has provided us with between 12 and, we think, 15 separate case studies for how not to develop and manage a message campaign.
Our students will be grateful to Romney for years to come.
“Your friendly neighborhood campaign spot correspondent, yesterday: ‘This reminds me of Romney’s constant touting of that state police program regarding illegal immigration as an accomplishment, even though his successor, Democrat Deval Patrick, rescinded it before it went into effect'”—writes Jim Geraghty in an NRO Campaign Spot post titled Team Romney Objects; I Object to Their Objection
Each time Romney cites it, I’m muttering to anyone in earshot, why are you doing this? Why?”
Romney campaign helper-money Kevin Madden then issues a hair-splitting instance of casuistry that Geraghty calls an “objection,” the text of which Geraghty provides etc., etc.
Yet again the Romneys get into a spitting contest with friend and ally, Jim Geraghty.
Note to the Romneys: the man is trying to help you. Please believe us: you need all the help you can get.
AIKEN, S.C. (TPS) – “Rumors that Republican State Senate candidate Shane Massey has a hidden liberal record have been circulating the Internet amidst claims that his campaign has been working to silence critics only hours before voters head to the polls for Tuesday’s primary election runoff in district 25. The Aiken County-based blog Kaolin Kronicle, who has had in-depth coverage of the race, had a posting on its website Monday that said Terry Sullivan, a partner in the Tompkins, Thompson and Sullivan political consulting firm which is running Massey’s campaign, demanded an e-mail attacking his candidate be taken down,” writes the editor of the Palmetto Scoop in a post titled Massey campaign up in arms over ‘outing’ of alleged liberal record.
Fascinating. Where does Romney find these people?—we mean, seriously. Are all the Romneys and their hangers-on ideological cross-dressers? Are they all corrupt? Do they all wax indignant when confronted with proof of their duplicities and inconsistencies? Do they all behave like petty criminals?
We lived in Charleston SC for several years—our mother was born there, and our father is from Mt. Pleasant—and we never met anyone like any of these people.
- USA TODAY cites Thompson aide: “Romney will ‘do anything, say anything, flip-flop on any position’ to win”
- Romney and Tompkins throw junior “associate” Donahue “under a bus” to cover up their dirty tricks