Posts Tagged ‘barack obama’

[…] In fact, even when Mike Huckabee began his ascendance in Iowa, one that culminated in his convincing victory in Thursday’s caucuses, New Hampshire was still viewed as a firewall for the Romney campaign,” writes CBSNews.com political reporter David Miller in an article titled Mitt Romney’s Rebound Plan; Stung By Iowa Loss, Republican Takes Up Banner Of Change While Going After McCain

Polls there showed him with a solid lead – but that collapsed in the two weeks preceding the caucuses, when John McCain, once beleagured, quickly caught up to Romney, and in some surveys, even passed him.

Winning in Iowa would have been the best way to reverse that situation – and since that did not come to pass, the Romney campaign is now shifting gears by borrowing a page from the book of an unlikely candidate: Barack Obama, whose message of change helped him win Iowa’s Democratic contest.

At an event in Manchester on Friday, Romney seemed to work the “c-word” in at every possible opportunity.

“If you really want to have change, you don’t just want to have a gadfly or somebody fighting for this or fighting for that,” Romney said. “You want to have somebody who will bring change, who will sell the company America has – it’s going to have to be somebody from outside Washington, not a Washington insider […]

We’re sorry, but what?—what does Romney mean by “sell the company America has?”

Romney has spent a year insisting he was Ronald Reagan. Now he wants to be Barack Obama. Has this man ever tried being Willard Milton Romney?

[…] But for all the talk of change, some aspects of Romney’s campaign haven’t. Take his advertising. In New Hampshire, the target is different – it’s McCain instead of Huckabee – but in terms of look and structure, his spots in the two states are identical. In both cases, there’s an initial nicety, describing Romney and, most recently, McCain as “two good men.”

After that comes harsh criticism of McCain’s views on immigration and tax cuts – a method McCain has said didn’t work in Iowa and wouldn’t work in New Hampshire.

But the Romney campaign believes the ads weren’t why Romney lost in Iowa, and the results there should not be seen as proof of their ineffectiveness.

“I don’t agree that we lost to Huckabee because we ran ads,” said Romney spokesman Kevin Madden. “I think Huckabee won because he identified with a lot of the core voters out there, such as evangelicals, on a lot of social conservative issues. He had a lot of voters he identified with, with what is a traditional, conservative part of that base out there. He did a good job doing that. We competed with Mike Huckabee on those votes, and we met our vote goals pretty much.” […]

We met our goals? Did we? We met our goals and lost Iowa decisively? Boy, we must be geniuses! Perhaps—and this is just a suggestion, Mr. Madden—we need to review our current goals and performance standards before we get our heads handed to us on a platter in New Hampshire too.

This is more evidence of Romney’s predict-and-control operational method.

About Romney’s ugly “contrast” ads and their effectiveness, opinions differ:

Luntz: “Romney made a ‘big mistake’ by going negative against Huckabee”—how a Faustian Romney rages against the laws of physics

Opinions differed at the posh waterfront headquarters of a besieged Team Romney too.

[…] Internally, the Romney campaign began to debate and disagree, a sharp contrast to the campaign’s usual organized and by-the-books culture,” writes Monica Langley in an Online.wsj article titled owa Touches Off a Free-for-All; Romney’s Best-Laid Plans Mugged by Political Realities

Two speechwriters were let go. Although the master plan had anticipated that negative ads might be necessary, the campaign was hit with internal dissension about whether to continue the “branding” plan or “go negative” in campaign commercials and direct mail.

Campaign operatives fought over when and how to “draw contrasts” between Mr. Romney and his chief rivals. Mr. Castellanos, Mr. Romney’s chief media adviser, pushed to shift message as needed to focus on changing rivals and issues. Others argued the merits of keeping the focus on a single overarching message. […]

History has proven those two lowly speech writers right. Kevin Madden—the maddeningly inarticulate Kevin Madden, Romney’s least effective helper-monkey—should immediately telephone those two speechwriters, apologize profusely, and offer them their jobs back at twice what they were paid before.

Everyone else should go to the wall, starting with Madden.

Back to Miller:

[…]“You’ve only got one guy running for president who’s signed the front of an employment check,” Romney said Friday.

Compare that with a line delivered by Huckabee only hours earlier: “One of the reasons I did well in Iowa, and I’ll do well here, is that people realized that they want a president who reminds them of the guy they worked with, not the guy who laid them off.”

The disparate messages may be emblematic of a growing divide in the Republican Party, which is seeing the coalition built by Ronald Reagan – between blue-collar workers, the business community and Christian conservatives – put under severe distress, said GOP consultant Mike Collins.

“I think it’s more of a universal problem than a Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee or Fred Thompson solution. We’re battling for the soul of the Republican Party,” he said. “You have very discrete elements of this party that are coming apart at the seams.”

Yet Romney’s campaign maintains that they, alone among the GOP field, have support that is deep and broad enough to keep Republicans unified – an essential for winning in November. […]

Here is the problem: Romney insists that he has “support broad and deep enough to keep Republicans unified.” But he has yet to demonstrate that support in any way or form. Precisely the opposite is the case: Romney has thus far unified no one constituency behind him; he has only managed to unify the other candidates against him. In fact, Team Romney has failed at every task it has set for itself, Iowa was only the latest. Besides: Who is Romney’s base? Who is his natural constituency? Who has he even convinced that he is a conservative?—oh, wait, now he wants to be the agent of change candidate.

How can this primped, powdered, and pampered non-entity pretend to unify our party when he has yet to unify himself?

[…] “A lot of the other candidates seem to be working on a slingshot effect – do well in one state and hope it builds momentum for other states,” Madden said. “We have a greater ability to motivate our organization as well as deploy the resources across several states in order to compete.”

But ironically, Romney may now be reliant on the same slingshot effect, even as they maintain they could survive a second-place finish – one that most observers agree would be a devastating loss, given the high expectations driven by campaign’s large organization and vast financial resources […]

Madden is projecting. To “slingshot” early victories into performance gains in other states was always the organizing principle of Romney’s now inoperative early-states von Schlieffen plan. Now Romney has now been beaten back to a regional stronghold strategy. Only Romney keeps withdrawing from his strongholds. Team Romney’s stronghold used to New Hampshire until Sen. McCain deprived them of their lead there. Now they say it’s Michigan.

We predict that their last redoubt will be the floor of a brokered convention. This would be where targeted donations may actually produce an effective return. To try to buy off an angry and fragmented coalition—undoable. To try to buy off the elites of a corrupt party organzation—easily achievable; in fact, the groundwork is already laid in.

To simply stay in the game now becomes the object of the Romney Tribe.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

[…] “Advisers to Mr. McCain and Mr. Romney said they believed that Mr. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, was already weakened before Iowa and was now even more vulnerable,” write Adam Nagourney and Carl Hulse for the NYT in an article titled McCain May Benefit From Huckabee’s Jolt to G.O.P.

Evidence of that could be seen in a furious exchange of attack advertisements between the two men Friday.

Complicating Mr. Romney’s life even more, Mr. Huckabee’s campaign manager, Ed Rollins, suggested he was entering something of a temporary alliance of interest with Mr. McCain against Mr. Romney. Mr. Rollins said Mr. Huckabee would be using the next several days to present what he said would be an unfavorable comparison of their records as governor.

“We’re going to see if we can’t take Romney out,” Mr. Rollins said. “We like John. Nobody likes Romney” […]

We long ago predicted that other candidates would concert their efforts against Romney.

Romney bravely—or unwittingly—faces the gathering storm, er, we mean swarm

We evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy here:

In show of solidarity and support. Gov. Huckabee defends Sen. McCain against Romney’s false, unfair, and highly personal attacks—also: how the concerted efforts of the McCain-Huckabee axis gets more for a more minimal investement

Romney’s new theme post-Iowa?—change, a theme Romney steals from Barack Obama’s Iowa message. Romney’s message post-Iowa? Romney is an agent of change; McCain is an agent of the status quo. Only here is the problem for Romney: once again Romney will advance a message that requires audiences to

(a) interpret facts as their opposites [Romney himself has praised Sen. McCain as an agent of change]

-and-

(b) construe events not on their face, but according to a tormented casuistry [Romney has spent a year depicting himself as an agent of continuity and social conservative orthodoxy]

Evidence? Nagourney and Hulse provide it:

[…] Mr. McCain may prove to be an elusive target, at least in this state.

Mr. Romney began seeking on Friday night to portray Mr. McCain as a Washington insider, a criticism that seemed to be intended to strip away from him independent voters who were critical to his victory in 2000. (Independent voters here are permitted to vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary).

Several Republicans suggested that strategy might be difficult to pull off. “They are going to try to make him the Washington insider,” said Sara Taylor, a former White House political director. “He spent 10 years as the iconic guy in Washington fighting the status quo; so that is going to be hard” […]

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

“We’ve all heard about return on investment (ROI) as well as search frequency research” assumes Curtis Dueck in an Epiar Market Research blog post titled Presidential Candidates & ROI: An Unusual Popularity Poll

But what happens when we combine the two to see which of the 2008 US Presidential candidates have the highest levels of public interest (as measured by the number of online searches for each candidate’s name) compared to each campaign’s expenditures? Do we arrive at a rudimentary form of a Presidential campaign ROI?

[Please go to the post and see this graphic!—Romney has out-spent everyone for a return that ranks as pitiful.]

Early estimates indicate that, while Ron Paul and Hillary Clinton share a similar number of daily online searches, the amount of money they have spent differs wildly. Big spenders Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have yet to capture the curiousity of online citizens despite already spending tens of millions of dollars. Alternately, small spenders Mike Huckabee and Dennis Kucinich have disproportionately high levels of public interest compared to their undersized budgets. Perhaps the over-achieving campaigns of Huckabee, Kucinich, and Paul are a good early indicator of identifying this election’s most potent dark horse candidates?

While charting the online searches for a candidate may not be the most important metric for predicting the outcome of the 2008 Presidential election, I sure would not be happy if my campaign showed an imbalanced ROI like Romneyetc., etc.

We have harped upon this string for weeks and weeks. See: Kleefeld: “High Burn Rate Puts Romney Behind Rudy In Cash On Hand”—more evidence of the scarily low ROI Romney gets for his every campaign dollar

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

P.S. “Epiar is an Edmonton-based internet market research and search engine optimization company. Please contact us for more information or to commission your own research reports.”