we ask about Ames: does Romney fail to plan, or does Romney plan to fail?—whither the storied Romney competence?—because the Romney campaign could sure use some of that Romney turn-around magic about now!

“On August 11, the eyes of the political pundit class will be focused on Ames, Iowa, smack in the middle of the first state in the nation to cast its votes for President of the United States,” reports the estimable Reid Wilson in an article suprisingly titled Ames Matters.

… “I anticipate Mitt Romney wins,” says Republican strategist Bay Buchanan, currently working for Congressman Tom Tancredo, echoing what many strategists and pundits believe. “If he doesn’t come in with numbers equivalent to what George Bush came in with,” Buchanan said, “he’s got something to answer for.” Bush won 31% of the vote in 1999. Even if he does win with an impressive total, says Selzer, Romney is unlikely to earn the large bounce that would ordinarily accompany the win. “If you win something where some people have chosen not to compete, it’s sort of like winning the Moscow Olympics.” If Romney wins, she said,” he’s not going to get as big a bounce because that’s expected.”

Romney has the money and organization to continue should the worst happen. “Ames is an important part of cultivating our organization as we make our way towards January,” said Romney spokesman Kevin Madden. Does he worry about failing to meet expectations? “Worrying is only for people without a plan” … more

The maddeningly inarticulate Kevin Madden’s testimony is inconsistent with Fraser Bullock’s fawning account of Romney’s managerial technique.

I vividly recall [recounts Bullock] a conversation with Mitt regarding what each of us would do after the Games. After speculating on different possibilities, Mitt said, “It doesn’t really matter what we do next, we just need to focus on putting on great Games.” His focus was singular. He was working on the task at hand. Only near the very end did he seriously begin to consider alternatives … more

Madden claims to have a plan. Only a former Romney flunky, Fraser Bullock, remembers “vividly” Romney making things up as he went along.


Did Romney plan to position himself such that even an overwhelming victory at Ames would achieve him nothing but a record of massive spending for no clear gain?—as reports Romney-rube Kevin Madden?


Did Romney tell his hirelings that it “doesn’t really matter what we do next, we just need to focus on developing a sense of electoral spectacle,” or something like that, as reports Romney-sycophant Fraser Bullock?

In other words, did Romney fail to plan as Fraser Bullock tells the story, or did he plan to fail, as Kevin Madden tells the tale?

2nd Question: does anyone care?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


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