Romney to donors: Obama won because of “gifts” he gave to his base

posted at 9:43 pm on November 14, 2012 by Allahpundit

He told Hannity in early October that his “47 percent” comments were “completely wrong” but he doesn’t sound convinced of that here. Not exactly makers-versus-takers, but close:

In a conference call on Wednesday afternoon with his national finance committee, Mr. Romney said that the president had followed the “old playbook” of wooing specific interest groups — “especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people,” Mr. Romney explained — with targeted gifts and initiatives.

“In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,” Mr. Romney said.

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift,” he said. “Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.”

The president’s health care plan, he added, was also a useful tool in mobilizing African-American and Hispanic voters.

He went on to mention Obama’s decision to unilaterally impose a de facto DREAM safe harbor for young illegals. And don’t forget O’s “evolution” on gay marriage, which coincidentally came right around the time his campaign was shifting away from trying to win independents and towards maximizing turnout among his base, i.e. young voters. The question, though, isn’t whether O is guilty of “clientelism,” to borrow Jay Cost’s phrase, it’s whether clientelism was decisive. What say you, Bobby Jindal?

Asked about Romney’s comments at a meeting of the Republican Governors Association at the Encore Hotel here in Las Vegas, Jindal did not hold back. “That is absolutely wrong,” Jindal said. “Two points on that. One, we have got to stop dividing American voters. We need to go after 100 percent of the votes, not 53 percent — we need to go after every single vote. And second, we need to continue to show that our policies help every voter out there achieve the American dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children the opportunity to get a great education, which is for their children to have even better-paying jobs than their parents.”

“So I absolutely reject that notion, that description,” Jindal continued. I think it’s absolutely wrong. I don’t think that represents where we are as a party and where we’re going as a party. And that has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election. If we’re going to continue to be a competitive party and win elections on the national stage and continue to fight for our conservative principles, we need two messages to get out loudly and clearly. One, we are fighting for 100 percent of the votes, and secondly, our policies benefit every American who wants to pursue the American dream, period. No exceptions.”

That’s the sound of a man who’s running in 2016 and who has a better ear than Mitt Romney for how to talk to middle-class voters. If you buy the makers-versus-takers clientelism explanation, the GOP really might as well not field candidates in national elections going forward. In an age of fiscal crisis, it’ll never keep deficit hawks in the party fold by trying to out-”gift” Democrats; either the party will fracture or the crisis will hit and there won’t be any money for “gifts” anyway. There are three big reasons why Romney lost, I think, and none of them are about gifts. First, people just … didn’t like him that much. His favorable numbers improved towards the end after the Denver debate, but at best he was at rough parity with Obama. Not a good place to be with a vulnerable incumbent. More from Andrew Kohut at Pew:

Here is what the exit poll found. Mr. Romney’s personal image took a hard hit during the primary campaign and remained weak on election day. Just 47% of exit-poll respondents viewed him favorably, compared with 53% for Mr. Obama. Throughout the campaign, Mr. Romney’s favorable ratings were among the lowest recorded for a presidential candidate in the modern era. A persistent problem was doubt about his empathy with the average voter. By 53% to 43%, exit-poll respondents said that Mr. Obama was more in touch than Mr. Romney with people like themselves…

Mr. Romney was hurt by the perception—reinforced by Democratic attack ads and his secretly recorded comments about the “47%”—that he wasn’t for the average voter. With 55% of voters in the exit poll saying they think the U.S. economic system favors the wealthy, a large majority believed that Mr. Obama’s policies favor the middle class (44%) or the poor (31%). By contrast, 53% thought Mr. Romney’s policies would favor the rich.

Second, he got out-organized — badly. We’ve been over this already to some extent in wallowing over how ORCA failed and how Romney’s pollsters misread the electorate, but that’s the tip of the iceberg. Every day for the past week, some dispiriting new news story has appeared describing how Obama’s campaign team was doing something smarter or cheaper or more efficiently(!) than Mitt’s team. Here’s a NYT piece about Team O developing its own data-driven TV ratings system based on political leanings (“the Optimizer”) so that it could make more targeted ad buys. Here’s one about Team O hiring a “dream team” of behavioral scientists to help them figure out little things they could do that might encourage irregular voters to actually go down to the polling place. (Yes, it’s a little creepy.) Here’s one about Obama’s Super PAC using online media to maximize the number of views its videos got at a fraction of the cost Republican groups incurred to air their stuff on traditional media. I almost prefer to think that the election result was a demographic fait accompli because that hurts less than thinking Team Mitt and conservative groups might have left a winning margin out on the field simply because they didn’t know how to leverage it into turnout.

Third, I’m echoing other conservative writers in saying this — Ramesh Ponnuru, Ross Douthat, and Reihan Salam, for starters — but the GOP needs a more dynamic pitch to working families, a.k.a. the middle class. That’s what Jindal’s rejection of Romney is all about. “Class” talk tends to make righties nervous for good reason; coming from the left, it’s almost always a prelude to calls for redistribution. But it’s a useful way to define people whose lives are consumed with familiar problems of everyday life — work, pay, debt, tuition, gas prices. Address those basic concerns and they’ll pay attention. Besides, if the GOP is doomed under normal demographic metrics like race and gender, then it urgently needs to try to reshape how voters define themselves. Emphasize the middle class and you can compete across demographics that might otherwise view you coolly. This is all basic stuff, I know, but those numbers in Kohut’s piece means it’s not basic enough. More from Ponnuru:

The Republican story about how societies prosper — not just the Romney story — dwelt on the heroic entrepreneur stifled by taxes and regulations: an important story with which most people do not identify. The ordinary person does not see himself as a great innovator. He, or she, is trying to make a living and support or maybe start a family. A conservative reform of our health-care system and tax code, among other institutions, might help with these goals. About this person, however, Republicans have had little to say…

The perception that the Republican party serves the interests only of the rich underlies all the demographic weaknesses that get discussed in narrower terms. Hispanics do not vote for the Democrats solely because of immigration. Many of them are poor and lack health insurance, and they hear nothing from the Republicans but a lot from the Democrats about bettering their situation. Young people, too, are economically insecure, especially these days. If Republicans found a way to apply conservative principles in ways that offered tangible benefits to most voters and then talked about this agenda in those terms, they would improve their standing among all of these groups while also increasing their appeal to white working-class voters. For that matter, higher-income voters would prefer candidates who seem practical and solution-oriented. Better “communications skills,” that perennial item on the wish list of losing parties, will achieve little if the party does not have an appealing agenda to communicate.

He goes on to note that, for all his alleged unpopularity, Romney still ran ahead of lots of other Republicans down ballot in various states. Poor perceptions of the party can’t all be blamed on him, in other words, even if the rhetoric about “gifts” isn’t doing would-be nominees like Jindal any favors for 2016. But like I say: If that’s our working theory, that there’s no way back to power without buying off constituencies, then what exactly is the path back? How do you win an election again under those circumstances? Or have people just given up?

Update: Oh, and in case anyone’s inclined to beat up on Jindal for what he said, rest assured that someone will be running on a platform of middle-class outreach in 2016 and whoever does is bound to be competitive. Huckabee, who talks about this endlessly, might very well have been competitive this year with Romney if he’d run; Santorum ran partly on that message instead and got further than anyone thought. If anyone’s going to surf to the nomination four years from now by championing the middle-class, I’d much rather it be Jindal or Paul Ryan.


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…TRUE…!!!

KOOLAID2 on November 14, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Very true. If we get comprehensive comprehensive reform (aka amnesty) passed, we will spend billions more on entitlements when the newly legalized aliens become eligible.

bw222 on November 14, 2012 at 9:47 PM

continue to fight for our conservative principles

You didn’t sound like this to me yesterday, Bobby.

INC on November 14, 2012 at 9:47 PM

he is right, Romney played to all of America and Obama played to 50.8% of the country.

rob verdi on November 14, 2012 at 9:47 PM

…Romney was a good man for these times…the party sucked!

KOOLAID2 on November 14, 2012 at 9:47 PM

If Romney begins today to start a great conservative movement, we will know that we voted for the right guy (not you Honda). Otherwise, not so much…

faraway on November 14, 2012 at 9:50 PM

He’s right. I am so sad for our country. I can only pray for a miracle. Crash and burn is coming, and we warned you.

Philly on November 14, 2012 at 9:50 PM

Obama appeals to those whose brains are located between their legs.

burrata on November 14, 2012 at 9:50 PM

AP, I have to say that your comments and Ponnuru’s strike me as awfully patronizing words from Northeasterns who think the middle class is benighted bitter clingers who don’t recognize principles of freedom and can only be appealed to by talking sanitized class warfare.

INC on November 14, 2012 at 9:50 PM

…Romney was a good man for these times…the party sucked!

KOOLAID2 on November 14, 2012 at 9:47 PM

Romney’s campaign also sucked. When you align yourself with losers like Kevin Madden and Mike Murphy, you are bound to lose.

bw222 on November 14, 2012 at 9:51 PM

“So I absolutely reject that notion, that description,” Jindal continued. I think it’s absolutely wrong. I don’t think that represents where we are as a party and where we’re going as a party.”

The party, why don’t you think about the nation Jindal? Try worrying about that instead of “the party”.

lowandslow on November 14, 2012 at 9:51 PM

Santa Claus wins every time- Rush

Mr. Arrogant on November 14, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Wait so idiots like Jindal are asserting that entitlements and hand outs like Obama phones don’t appeal to millions of people around this country? I guess they all disagree with Rush to then because like he said, with the media lies it’s hard to overcome one guy who is seen as a cool Santa Claus when you’re telling them that this can’t go on anymore and we need to act like adults and turn this country around.

That seems quite illogical and me. But hey just keep pandering away…I’m sure the media will love you and honestly portray your views next time…!

jaygatz33 on November 14, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Very true. If we get comprehensive comprehensive reform (aka amnesty) passed, we will spend billions more on entitlements when the newly legalized aliens become eligible.

bw222 on November 14, 2012 at 9:47 PM

And the road to millions and millions more Democratic votes will be secured.

CW on November 14, 2012 at 9:52 PM

Obama went after his base and won. Romney abandoned his base to go for the “independent” vote and lost.

Wino on November 14, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Obama is the one that divided Americans by splitting people off into these various interest groups and, yes, making cynical political gifts to each one. That’s what the whole war on women was about, the “evolution on gay marriage, etc…he pandered to these different parts of his base in order to drive up their turnout. And it worked.

changer1701 on November 14, 2012 at 9:53 PM

If Romney is saying things such as Obama won because of “gifts” he gave to his base. That is why he lost.

INC on November 14, 2012 at 9:53 PM

amabO tuB enoynA

*Corrected to be seen in your rear view mirror since the country kicked him out of the car*

Electrongod on November 14, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Obama appeals to those whose brains are located between their legs drip from their nostrils!

burrata on November 14, 2012 at 9:50 PM

…I don’t know why…but I had to change that!

KOOLAID2 on November 14, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Obama appeals to those whose brains are located between their legs.

burrata on November 14, 2012 at 9:50 PM

All In.

Electrongod on November 14, 2012 at 9:54 PM

We have to be there to catch this country as it falls, and it hurts me to know it’s going to fall even further. No wonder there are secession petitions circulating in all 50 states now.

Philly on November 14, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Earth to Romney: Pour yourself a nice tall cool glass of STFU, loser.

You lost. You dragged the whole party down with you. Hey, you even suck as a “numbers guy” when everyone on the planet but you and your kool-aid quaffing claque of flatterers thought you had the election in the bag or something. Get over it, and move on.

Andrew Kohut: Misreading Election 2012; The GOP might be out of step with some voters, but Mitt Romney was an unusually unpopular party standard-bearer.

casuist on November 14, 2012 at 9:56 PM

The Romney Campaign Autopsy has been intriguing.

Romney can now join the Rest of the GOP losers who meet every year at the IHOP in Boca Raton on the 6th Of November and complain to the waitresses how they were robbed of their Presidencies.

portlandon on November 14, 2012 at 9:56 PM

Hail Obama.

King of Fools.

fogw on November 14, 2012 at 9:57 PM

True dat!! The Panderer in chief promised everything except free weed and video games to the unwashed masses. They already have free homes, free food, free phones, computers, cars and cable, plus a gubmint check. Not much left to promise except to bring down the wealthy and successful. Unfortunately, the joke is on them. The producers can’t sustain providing for the promises they were given.

Rockshine on November 14, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Barako Claus

Ellis on November 14, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Obama went after his base and won. Romney abandoned his base to go for the “independent” vote and lost.

Wino on November 14, 2012 at 9:53 PM

…he went to Tea Party functions during the Republican primary…and I didn’t recall him doing it during the Presidential primary….ummmmm!

KOOLAID2 on November 14, 2012 at 9:57 PM

Obama’s base are stupid, uneducated morons.

These “gifts” will never appear nor can they be paid for. In fact, they will be cut.

sentinelrules on November 14, 2012 at 9:58 PM

I’m thinking we concentrate on 2014…

… What Obowma will do in the next two years should make 2010 look like a tea party.

Oh, wait…!

Seven Percent Solution on November 14, 2012 at 9:58 PM

Obama went after his base and won. Romney abandoned his base to go for the “independent” vote and lost.

Yes, and he lost mightily, he last against the most vulnerable incumbent president in a generation. But who needs those pesky conservatives with their obnoxious scruples about limited government when you’re a super-rich progressive with a snarling disdain for those you consider your social inferiors.

casuist on November 14, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Well then they all get to test the theory that Barky really does care.

Bishop on November 14, 2012 at 9:59 PM

Romney lost to Santa Claus.

HotAirian on November 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Earth to Romney: Pour yourself a nice tall cool glass of STFU, loser.

casuist on November 14, 2012 at 9:56

From where I sit..

We The People make the final choice on who wins or looses..

He made is case..
America decided to vote for the un-American.

Electrongod on November 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Sorry Allahpundit, these are some pathetic opinions on your part…

Romney said all the same things that Jindal said and that actually is what our party is about, but that’s not the way the media portrays it and that’s why we lost.

People voted for Obama for the exact reasons Romney stated AND the fact that many people are brainwashed to think false things about the GOP. Also it’s funny that Allah plays it off like people didn’t like Romney, hell you yourself always harped about Obama’s likability factor…Romney basically tied him in this respect even with the media lies and you blow it off like it’s no big deal. Talk about some lazy/shady analysis.

jaygatz33 on November 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM

If anyone’s going to surf to the nomination four years from now by championing the middle-class, I’d much rather it be Jindal or Paul Ryan.

No one’s going to win by pandering to any specific group. Forget it. That’s so 2011.

ddrintn on November 14, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Romney lost to Santa Claus.

HotAirian on November 14, 2012 at 10:00 PM

And most of the college students that Obama campaigned to..
Still believe in Santa..

Well of course.

They are there listening to him speak..

Electrongod on November 14, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Romney to donors: Obama won because of “gifts” he gave to his base

Hey Willard – maybe you should have thrown a bone or two to your own.

HondaV65 on November 14, 2012 at 10:02 PM


Romney can now join the Rest of the GOP losers who meet every year at the IHOP in Boca Raton on the 6th Of November and complain to the waitresses how they were robbed of their Presidencies.

Dole. McCain. Romney. Doubtless Romney will stiff them on the cheque. I also hear he’s a lousy tipper.

casuist on November 14, 2012 at 10:02 PM

The elves do not send you a bill after New Years

faraway on November 14, 2012 at 10:02 PM

All low minority get obamaphone. Keep obama in president….

wolly4321 on November 14, 2012 at 10:03 PM

The elves do not send you a bill after New Years

faraway on November 14, 2012 at 10:02 PM

After 2014….
It’s a tax.

Electrongod on November 14, 2012 at 10:03 PM

Here is what the exit poll found. Mr. Romney’s personal image took a hard hit during the primary campaign and remained weak on election day. Just 47% of exit-poll respondents viewed him favorably, compared with 53% for Mr. Obama.

Ok, does anyone really believe that is the actual poll result considering Romney’s 47% comment? Seems a wee bit too coincidental if you ask me.

xblade on November 14, 2012 at 10:03 PM

But like I say: If that’s our working theory, that there’s no way back to power without buying off constituencies, then what exactly is the path back? How do you win an election again under those circumstances? Or have people just given up?

You do this, not by pandering, but by going after the D candidate, and right at and through his jugular, a no-prisoners approach. It’s exactly what Team Obama did to Romney for months and months before the conventions, which kept a lot of weak Rs and Indies at home. Bottom line, in the future, you have to make the other guy less acceptable than you.

There’s been an evolution of politics in this country, a sea change, where personal and policy attacks work, unlike in the past where they might have turned people off. Politics today, as Team Obama understood, has become a video game of sorts, where destruction of your opponent is the only way to win. Say goodbye to “Morning in America” messaging.

TXUS on November 14, 2012 at 10:04 PM

AP, I have to say that your comments and Ponnuru’s strike me as awfully patronizing words from Northeasterns who think the middle class is benighted bitter clingers who don’t recognize principles of freedom and can only be appealed to by talking sanitized class warfare.

I have no earthly idea where you got that or why you’re bringing “Northeasterners” into it. Ponnuru’s not saying that people don’t care about freedom, he’s saying that they no longer see how Republican principles of freedom help them pay their bills. When most people go to bed at the end of the day, they’re worried about grocery bills and tuition. Ponnuru’s point is that the GOP needs to develop economic policies based on freedom that directly address those concerns.

I don’t mind disagreement but I have nothing to say to someone intent on reading in bad faith.

Allahpundit on November 14, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Hey Willard – maybe you should have thrown a bone or two to your own.

HondaV65 on November 14, 2012 at 10:02 PM

I didn’t want anything from him..
other then tell Government to get their boot of my neck.

And I think Willard did articulate that.

Electrongod on November 14, 2012 at 10:05 PM

We paved the road to Hell with what we believed to be the democracy is – first killing the poll tax, then abolition, followed by giving the voting candy to women and 18-year old kids. All that sounded righteous and good, and probably was. but lo and behold, the result somehow isn’t – the country ends up steered by the whims of paupers, African Americans, women, and college students.

Gives some food for thoughts, doesn’t it?

Archivarix on November 14, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Third, I’m echoing other conservative writers in saying this — Ramesh Ponnuru, Ross Douthat, and Reihan Salam, for starters — but the GOP needs a more dynamic pitch to working families, a.k.a. the middle class. That’s what Jindal’s rejection of Romney is all about.

And Jindal is one of the few who’s made any damn sense in the past couple of days.

Poor perceptions of the party can’t all be blamed on him, in other words, even if the rhetoric about “gifts” isn’t doing would-be nominees like Jindal any favors for 2016.

No, but the majority of them can. A party of an out-of-touch rich snobs that will say and do anything for power. That’s deadly stuff to a party.

If that’s our working theory, that there’s no way back to power without buying off constituencies, then what exactly is the path back? How do you win an election again under those circumstances? Or have people just given up?

In every election you “buy off” a constituency — not necessarily with promises of a handout, but with promises of accomplishing a policy objective. For social conservatives, this is banning abortion and preserving traditional marriage. For neoconservatives it’s about proactively defending American interests around the globe. And for the GOP to be successful on economic issues, it should be about putting as many Americans back to work as possible, for as much pay as possible, and that we should help all Americans. What’s the key to victory?

1.)Engage on all issues.
2.)When engaging, don’t employ the weakest argument available, or the most centrist argument available. Rather, employ the most morally compelling argument available.
3.)Get the economic conservatives to shut up once they start sounding off like corporate worshippers who are willing to send the working and middle classes out to pasture

Stoic Patriot on November 14, 2012 at 10:05 PM

And that has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election. If we’re going to continue to be a competitive party and win elections on the national stage and continue to fight for our conservative principles, we need two messages to get out loudly and clearly. One, we are fighting for 100 percent of the votes, and secondly, our policies benefit every American who wants to pursue the American dream, period. No exceptions.”

Jindal GETS IT.

Everyone else whining about “We wuz robbed by teh Santa” has their head buried in the sand and you’ll continue to lose elections because you refuse to learn from your mistakes.

How many fu$king times you need to nominate an establishment Republican and have your asses whipped before you finally realize that’s not a good strategy?

Seriously folks. Time to grow up – sack up – and learn from the mistake.

Or not – you’re choice.

HondaV65 on November 14, 2012 at 10:06 PM

I would suggest that the GoP has forgotten why the Tea Party came to be. Big bailouts for banks and Wall Street shysters who worked arm and arm with the corruptocrats in Congress to make it happen. The ones who destroyed the Golden Goose wound up getting the big payoff, all the while the GoP said nothing about it during the election. Mitt was a poster boy for big business.

Time to remember jettison abortion from the Republican platform, and start focusing on the real welfare cheats…..banks and Wall Street and their Congressional enablers before going off about the woman with the Obamaphone.

rickyricardo on November 14, 2012 at 10:06 PM

But it’s a useful way to define people whose lives are consumed with familiar problems of everyday life — work, pay, debt, tuition, gas prices. Address those basic concerns and they’ll pay attention. Besides, if the GOP is doomed under normal demographic metrics like race and gender, then it urgently needs to try to reshape how voters define themselves. Emphasize the middle class and you can compete across demographics that might otherwise view you coolly.

No, no, NOOOOOOOO. Talk about “hair of the dog that bit you”. The pont of Jindal’s remarks were that you don’t pander to groups and try to get this or that sliver of the electorate. You get the message down right, which is principles-based, and the electorate will come to YOU. Sorry, it’s been proven. No one other than a Democrat will EVER out-pander a Democrat. NO. ONE.

ddrintn on November 14, 2012 at 10:06 PM

I like Jindal. Romney had a point and I think it’s all of the above though. Not like Jindal can agree, however.

mrscullen on November 14, 2012 at 10:07 PM

Romney is absolutely right!

All that “pandering” to these special groups is about to run smack into reality in the next two years when the bills come due for all these “freebies.”

One of the hardest lessons in life is to learn that nothing is ever free.

moonsbreath on November 14, 2012 at 10:07 PM

I appreciate Jindal’s posture, but Romney is right.

Obama is ushering in the American Era of Leftist Clientelism. Let’s hope it’s not permanent.

BocaJuniors on November 14, 2012 at 10:08 PM


Ok, does anyone really believe that is the actual poll result considering Romney’s 47% comment? Seems a wee bit too coincidental if you ask me.

Hey, I find it implausible bordering on impossible that Romney’s “favourables” register at higher than whatever percentage of the country is related to him by blood or marriage. I know Romney styles himself as a patriarch–he has a lot of heirs–but they don’t combine to equal 47% of likely voters in the U.S.

casuist on November 14, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Jindahls conservative social views will be his undoing. He is an easy target.

rickyricardo on November 14, 2012 at 10:08 PM

Ponnuru’s not saying that people don’t care about freedom, he’s saying that they no longer see how Republican principles of freedom help them pay their bills.

Allahpundit on November 14, 2012 at 10:05 PM

People don’t see it becuase Republicans don’t act like they f***ing BELIEVE it, that’s why.

ddrintn on November 14, 2012 at 10:09 PM

The Romney Family Political track record is not good.

George Romney Runs for Governor 1962: WIN
George Romney Presidential Campaign 1968: LOSS
Lenore Romney Michigan Senatorial Run 1970: LOSS
G. Scott Romney Michigan Attorney General Run 1998: LOSS
Ronna Romney Michigan Senatorial Run 1994: LOSS
Ronna Romney Michigan Senatorial Run 1996: LOSS
Mitt Romney Massachusetts Senatorial Run 1994: LOSS
Mitt Romney Runs for Governor: WIN
Mitt Romney Runs for Republican Presidential Nominee: LOSS
Mitt Romney Runs for President of United States: LOSS

Their private sector successes are great. But their political track record is terrible.

Romney is 1 of 4. That means Romney has a 25% success rate in politics.

This is who was suppose to beat Obama?

A Corporate Big wig during a political season that Corporate Big Wigs are so unpopular that they probably rank lower than congress?

The GOP should have known better than to back a guy who is a success in the private sector, but a failure in the political world.

portlandon on November 14, 2012 at 10:09 PM

For people like me who see Obama as the Emperor With No Cloths, we totally misunderstood how Obama supporters saw him…

… pretty tough to win against Santa Claus.

.

Lawrence on November 14, 2012 at 10:09 PM

In every election you “buy off” a constituency — not necessarily with promises of a handout, but with promises of accomplishing a policy objective. For social conservatives, this is banning abortion and preserving traditional marriage. For neoconservatives it’s about proactively defending American interests around the globe.

Romney’s pretty clearly talking about economic goodies, though, not wider policy concessions. It’s more makers-versus-takers.

No, no, NOOOOOOOO. Talk about “hair of the dog that bit you”. The pont of Jindal’s remarks were that you don’t pander to groups and try to get this or that sliver of the electorate. You get the message down right, which is principles-based, and the electorate will come to YOU. Sorry, it’s been proven. No one other than a Democrat will EVER out-pander a Democrat. NO. ONE.

I’m not talking about “pandering” to any discrete “group.” I’m talking about reaching out to the majority of the electorate, which is in fact middle class. My point is that that term is a good shorthand for everyday people’s problems — bills, food, rent. Jindal’s making the same point: We need to reach out more broadly and address issues that everyone’s worried about. By framing the pitch in terms of working families, you reach working families of every race and you reach women to. It’s not just a “messaging” thing but that’s one benefit of it. If Democrats manage to lock in perceptions that part of what it means to be a minority or a woman is to be a liberal, we’re in deep trouble. A middle-class message outflanks that.

Allahpundit on November 14, 2012 at 10:12 PM

As Rush put it- You can’t run against Santa Claus.

And make no mistake. Obama supporters are nothing but worthless mooches. There was something that he promised them at taxpayer expense that they could not or (usually the case) demanded that somebody else would have to pay for. De facto amnesty to a bunch of young illegals who should be sent back home. Contraception for slutty college students. The promise of forcing society to sanction the “marriage” for sodomites. Just one thing after another for the mooches of society. How does a challenger compete against that?

Happy Nomad on November 14, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Thurston Howell, III took on Boss Hogg out of Chicago and lost.

Millions upon millions of voters had no interest in which one of them emerged victorious.

sharrukin on November 14, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Gifts: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/lifestyle/2012/11/14/latino-poverty-rate-climbs/

L.i.B

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 10:04 PM

So, Latinos have the highest povery rate of any ethnic group in the US. Government entitlements mucho gracias!

Of course giving them amnesty will make all of these poor Latinos vote Republican.

sentinelrules on November 14, 2012 at 10:13 PM

Wrong. Its because we need to pass amnesty. Once we do, the GOP will win elections again.
/

El_Terrible on November 14, 2012 at 10:14 PM

And that has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election. If we’re going to continue to be a competitive party and win elections on the national stage and continue to fight for our conservative principles, we need two messages to get out loudly and clearly. One, we are fighting for 100 percent of the votes, and secondly, our policies benefit every American who wants to pursue the American dream, period. No exceptions.”

Jindal GETS IT.

HondaV65 on November 14, 2012 at 10:06 PM

Sorry, no he doesn’t and apparently either do you. Romney said those exact things thousands of times in the campaign. They don’t help enough when you have a corrupt media saying Republicans believe in rape and hate minorities every other damn segment during their newscasts.

Romney’s mistake is what Jindal and other dunces are attempting to do now…Pander to the media and people about being nice and populist and hoping they will like us this time. You gotta take it at them because we don’t have a chance in hell in getting this country back on track with the way the media is now. Only chance is to make them obsolete. Hell look at today’s BJ of a press conference. We have no shot if we let that continue.

jaygatz33 on November 14, 2012 at 10:14 PM

When the dems got shellacked in 2010 did they come back in January all set to capitulate on enforcement of immigration law? Hell no!

If 340K Republicans had got off their asses, voted and put Mitt in office would Obama have shut down his agenda in deference to the next President? Hell no!

Do the liberals ever change direction for any reason whatsoever? Hell no!

Going gooshy that’s just for Righties. ***** that!

It not time to cut and run its time to kick’em in the nuts!!!

Speakup on November 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Wrong. Its because we need to pass amnesty. Once we do, the GOP will win elections again.
/

El_Terrible on November 14, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Grahamnesty, the tough guy: http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2012/nov/14/graham-obama-i-hold-you-responsible/

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Leeches won, worker bees lost.

Get used to it, it’s carved in stone now. Doesn’t matter who the GOP candidate is.

fogw on November 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

I have no earthly idea where you got that or why you’re bringing “Northeasterners” into it. Ponnuru’s not saying that people don’t care about freedom, he’s saying that they no longer see how Republican principles of freedom help them pay their bills. When most people go to bed at the end of the day, they’re worried about grocery bills and tuition. Ponnuru’s point is that the GOP needs to develop economic policies based on freedom that directly address those concerns.

Allahpundit on November 14, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Fair enough, but this is where it seems like Mitt was fighting a battle he could never win. His wealth made him an easy mark for the Dems’ smear campaign of Romney being an out-of-touch vulture capitalist. And the GOP brand itself is still recovering from the anti-Bush sentiment that’s still out there.

I do think Romney could’ve and should’ve gone after Obama way harder than he did in trying to tie his failed policies directly to the economic stagnation we’re mired in. It’s almost criminal how 51% of this country actually voted for an incumbent with an economic record this bad because they actually thought he better understood their pain(no sh-t, he’s directly responsible for most of it).

But it’s frustrating to think that maybe he was doomed regardless. The one thing I can take comfort in is that this was a fairly close election in the end, another 4 years of Obamanomics will make Bush a distant memory in the minds of many voters, and the 2016 GOP nominee is all but guaranteed to be worth far far less than Romney which will limit the success of the “GOP favors the rich” narrative the Democrat/media complex will inevitably run with.

Doughboy on November 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Jindal GETS IT.

HondaV65 on November 14, 2012 at 10:06 PM

The last thing conservatives need is advice from an Obama voter. If Jindal gets it or not is not your business.

Gelsomina on November 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Of course Obama bought his base off. I’m not talking about Obama phones.

Student Loans? Debt Forgiveness? Getting on your parents insurance until your 26?

Also, Part time work is a popular thing amongst the lazy class. They want European style hours. Long vacations. working 4 to 6 hours per day. They love that Obama is crashing our economy and laying off people to ensure more part time jobs.

portlandon on November 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

let’s face it…the biggest gift of all was barry and the barry.press gift of unicorn dust to the masses of, well math-challenged, people that vote

http://floppingaces.net/2012/11/12/the-obama-lemmings-reader-post/

an existential problem is that we have a dim-bulb press corpse and a dim electorate headed by a guy who’s kinda proud that he’s a little over his head with HS math

i’m sure there was a time when a rumpled newspaperman would ask an impertinent question…but now we have the monied high-style gilded press

or as orwell would put it…2 plus 2 equals 5 says the barry.media

r keller on November 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

“And second, we need to continue to show that our policies help every voter out there achieve the American dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children the opportunity to get a great education, which is for their children to have even better-paying jobs than their parents.”

That is not the American Dream. My perspective, the people I know who vote Democrat, they don’t care about economics or education. They care about gay rights or women’s rights. Or even if they are Conservative in principle and lifestyle, they are still hostile to the Republican Party on social issues. Targeting every voter with the same message is only half the battle. The GOP must also strive to poison the Democrats with voters by exposing their Leftist ideologies which will only lead to ruin.

It’s time to get negative to the point where voters are as instantly repulsed by the Democrats as they are by the Republicans.

Scopper on November 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Of course giving them amnesty will make all of these poor Latinos vote Republican.

sentinelrules on November 14, 2012 at 10:13 PM

That’s what Newt Gingrich, John Boehner and Ed Morrissey believe.

bw222 on November 14, 2012 at 10:17 PM

I’m not talking about “pandering” to any discrete “group.” I’m talking about reaching out to the majority of the electorate, which is in fact middle class. My point is that that term is a good shorthand for everyday people’s problems — bills, food, rent. Jindal’s making the same point: We need to reach out more broadly and address issues that everyone’s worried about.

Allahpundit on November 14, 2012 at 10:12 PM

But the way you do that is NOT by targeting any group. The GOP is forever trying to pin down some grouping that they think will put them over the top. You don’t tailor a message to any group. You run on principles that are applicable to all groups. Given that route, the “middle class” will become just 2016′s version of 2012′s “independents”.

ddrintn on November 14, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Good Lord, people, and Allah in particular.

Someone tell me exactly what percentage of the African American voters Obama received versus Romney.

What would the election have looked like without Obama on the ticket?

Thought so.

Tenwheeler on November 14, 2012 at 10:18 PM

The last thing conservatives need is advice from an Obama voter. If Jindal gets it or not is not your business.

Gelsomina on November 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

No, actually the last thing conservatives need is a bunch of Romney pimps telling them how they can REALLY win next time.

ddrintn on November 14, 2012 at 10:19 PM

What would the election have looked like without Obama on the ticket?

Thought so.

Tenwheeler on November 14, 2012 at 10:18 PM

So all the democrats have to do is keep running African Americans for President and they’ll win indefinitely?

Sounds about right.

portlandon on November 14, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Jindal says that, no, Republicans should not divide the electorate into interest groups. The problem is that is not what Romney is saying, that is not what Romney was doing, and that is not what the 47% comment ever meant. Romney was pointing out that is what Democrats do. That is all.

That the meaning of the comments has been reversed to indicate that is what Romney stood for all along is a legacy media smear. If Jindal buys that interpretation then he isn’t much of an independent thinker.

Resolute on November 14, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Also, Part time work is a popular thing amongst the lazy class. They want European style hours. Long vacations. working 4 to 6 hours per day. They love that Obama is crashing our economy and laying off people to ensure more part time jobs.

portlandon on November 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Many people accept part-time work because that is all that is available. And many companies, like Darden Restaurants, are cutting employees back to part time so they don’t have to pay for employee benefits, including the cost of ObamaCare.

bw222 on November 14, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Here’s something even more awesome.

2012 Voter Turnout was lower than….2004!

http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/national/election-results-2012-voter-turnout-lower-than-2008-and-2004-report-says

sentinelrules on November 14, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Obama went after his base and won. Romney abandoned his base to go for the “independent” vote and lost.

Wino on November 14, 2012 at 9:53 PM

Especially after the 1st debate. I gagged hearing about ” working with good democrats”. No such thing, and the sooner our, ahem, leaders admit that the better.

SouthernGent on November 14, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Romney’s right, USA RIP.

netster007x on November 14, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Obama ran a better convention…Obama ran a better campaign. Romney was outmatched and outclassed. Romney’s arrogance believed the phony polls. Romney promised lower taxes, lower deficit, bigger military, and no-preexisting conditions covered. He had no way to pay for anything. Talk about your Santa Claus. Good riddance to the sore loser.

ZippyZ on November 14, 2012 at 10:22 PM

So no more “Rubio 2016″ around these parts?

Bishop on November 14, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Hey, I find it implausible bordering on impossible that Romney’s “favourables” register at higher than whatever percentage of the country is related to him by blood or marriage. I know Romney styles himself as a patriarch–he has a lot of heirs–but they don’t combine to equal 47% of likely voters in the U.S.

casuist

See, even the mental patients here see this poll for the contrived nonsense it is.

xblade on November 14, 2012 at 10:22 PM

The last thing conservatives need is advice from an Obama voter. If Jindal gets it or not is not your business.

Gelsomina on November 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

I’m getting pretty ticked off at Romney haters (or even though that were luke warm supporters) thinking that they have a right to lecture the right on all the give-aways we should have done to attract [fill in special interest group here]. It’s bad enough having a RINO governor all but french kissing Obama for the cameras days before the election. But it is getting ridiculous.

Happy Nomad on November 14, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Romney ain’t entirely wrong, I dont care what Jindal says. If you can shower those gifts on certain groups, favor them more than others, its a heck of alot easier to get them to come out.

Zaggs on November 14, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Especially after the 1st debate. I gagged hearing about ” working with good democrats”. No such thing, and the sooner our, ahem, leaders admit that the better.

SouthernGent on November 14, 2012 at 10:21 PM

The Dems reach across the aisle, and there are 15 Repubs who jump at the chance to hold hands.

The Repubs reach across the aisle, and it’s cut off and thrown back at them.

WHY DO WE NOT GET THIS?

portlandon on November 14, 2012 at 10:23 PM

Also, Part time work is a popular thing amongst the lazy class. They want European style hours. Long vacations. working 4 to 6 hours per day. They love that Obama is crashing our economy and laying off people to ensure more part time jobs.

portlandon on November 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Heh. That’s why I drive a school bus.

That and the kids:

Many of you know I drive a school bus in a pretty tough town. The kid on the left rode my bus:

http://media.kmov.com/images/470*261/granite_city_Juveniles_mugshots_111312.jpg

Full story here: http://www.kmov.com/news/local/3-teens-charged-in-54-year-old-mans-murder-in-Granite-City-179169131.html

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 9:27 PM

davidk on November 14, 2012 at 10:23 PM

But the way you do that is NOT by targeting any group. The GOP is forever trying to pin down some grouping that they think will put them over the top. You don’t tailor a message to any group. You run on principles that are applicable to all groups. Given that route, the “middle class” will become just 2016′s version of 2012′s “independents”.

But I’m not targeting “any” group. I’m talking about the group to which most Americans belong. Jindal’s and Ponnuru’s whole point is that talking about principles in the abstract won’t be enough to win voters. Explain to them how your principles will directly help them to pay their bills. People do prefer freedom, but you won’t get far if they think your version of freedom is simply a racket to help the rich save on taxes. That’s Kohut’s point.

Allahpundit on November 14, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Obama ran a better convention…

ZippyZ on November 14, 2012 at 10:22 PM

Yes, a Death to Israel and Death to God convention.

Something to be proud of.

sentinelrules on November 14, 2012 at 10:24 PM

“And second, we need to continue to show that our policies help every voter out there achieve the American dream, which is to be in the middle class, which is to be able to give their children the opportunity to get a great education, which is for their children to have even better-paying jobs than their parents.”

It’s time to get negative to the point where voters are as instantly repulsed by the Democrats as they are by the Republicans.

Scopper on November 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Yep, now we’re talking! After 8 years of Bush and decades of Media bias all these pseudo serious talks about targeting this group or that group is unmitigated hogwash that will never be effective enough on a national level especially.

We have to start actually fighting fire with fire and kneecapping leftists and exposing them to the voters who actually would switch to our side. Good news is we don’t have to lying hacks like the Dems to do this, we just need to be honest and aggressive.

jaygatz33 on November 14, 2012 at 10:24 PM


Especially after the 1st debate. I gagged hearing about ” working with good democrats”. No such thing, and the sooner our, ahem, leaders admit that the better.

Oh, even before the first debate. Do you remember the conventions? We had a Democratic party convention, and a generic no-name convention where you hardly ever heard the word “Republican” and I’m told that only speaker even dared to mention the Tea Party, though I personally missed it. The grass roots activists–Palin first among them, after them the Paulists–were banished altogether. Good work, Willard. Way to bring people together. Way to build a governing coalition or something.

casuist on November 14, 2012 at 10:25 PM

But the way you do that is NOT by targeting any group. The GOP is forever trying to pin down some grouping that they think will put them over the top. You don’t tailor a message to any group. You run on principles that are applicable to all groups. Given that route, the “middle class” will become just 2016′s version of 2012′s “independents”.

ddrintn on November 14, 2012 at 10:17 PM

Obama just proved that the opposite is true. He pinned down the groups perfectly.

Gelsomina on November 14, 2012 at 10:26 PM

The problem is not that Romney is wrong, but the media won’t even consider he has a point and instead use it to propel class warfare.

Romney and conservatives need to frame it like this:

What incentive to Democrats have to fix unemployment, reliance on food stamps, and the inner city?

The answer is none. Look at all that stats. These problems grow their power. They have no incentive to fix them. Republicans need to throw this at the democrats. Don’t alienate that voting block, educate.

MechanicalBill on November 14, 2012 at 10:27 PM

Also, Part time work is a popular thing amongst the lazy class. They want European style hours. Long vacations. working 4 to 6 hours per day. They love that Obama is crashing our economy and laying off people to ensure more part time jobs.

portlandon on November 14, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Many people accept part-time work because that is all that is available. And many companies, like Darden Restaurants, are cutting employees back to part time so they don’t have to pay for employee benefits, including the cost of ObamaCare.

bw222 on November 14, 2012 at 10:20 PM

Exactly. I dare portlandon to say I’m “lazy” for getting part time work (possibly only seasonal at that) when there is literally nothing else available. And THAT after two 2 of my 3 recent previous part-time jobs went out from under my feet with no warning, and I had nothing to do with either.

Businesses are literally dying every month; I lost count of the ones I personally have seen gone under in the past year.

MelonCollie on November 14, 2012 at 10:28 PM

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