Top Romney strategist: No regrets, baby

posted at 5:11 pm on November 28, 2012 by Allahpundit

People are already tearing this up on Twitter and in the comments to the Headlines item. A few points. One: In which alternate universe was Romney not supported by “D.C.’s green-room crowd”?

I appreciate that Mitt Romney was never a favorite of D.C.’s green-room crowd or, frankly, of many politicians. That’s why, a year ago, so few of those people thought that he would win the Republican nomination. But that was indicative not of any failing of Romney’s but of how out of touch so many were in Washington and in the professional political class. Nobody liked Romney except voters. What began in a small field in New Hampshire grew into a national movement. It wasn’t our campaign, it was Romney. He bested the competition in debates, and though he was behind almost every candidate in the GOP primary at one time or the other, he won the nomination and came very close to winning the presidency.

It was the “green-room crowd” that insisted Romney would be, and had to be, nominated because he was the only guy in the GOP field who was sufficiently well funded, well organized, and moderate to give Obama problems in a general election. And they may have been right; for all his faults, I’m still not convinced that anyone else who ran last year would have done better than Mitt on November 6. Why Stevens feels obliged to ignore that chief credential, his alleged electability, in favor of some bizarre narrative here about a grassroots “movement” of Romneymania slowly building around the candidate, I don’t know. There was nothing resembling a movement until October, after the game-changing debate in Denver and the final frenzy of the campaign gave Republicans new hope that Romney really might find a way to torpedo Hopenchange after all. Before then, people were making jokes like this. In fact, the very truth of what Stevens says about Romney trailing virtually every other candidate in the primary field at one time or another puts the lie to the idea of Romneymania. The reason everyone else, including Herman Cain, did a stint as a frontrunner is because so many grassroots Republicans were loath to nominate the architect of RomneyCare. Eventually he simply outspent and out-organized the competition, and that was that. But let’s not use his own base’s ambivalence towards him for most of the campaign as some sort of testament to his resilience.

Two: I’m not sure what his point is here.

On Nov. 6, Romney carried the majority of every economic group except those with less than $50,000 a year in household income. That means he carried the majority of middle-class voters. While John McCain lost white voters younger than 30 by 10 points, Romney won those voters by seven points, a 17-point shift. Obama received 4½million fewer voters in 2012 than 2008, and Romney got more votes than McCain.

Here’s the data that I assume he’s using, from the national exit poll:

Would you consider a young adult making $40,000 a year “middle class”? If so then, per the data, the claim that Romney won a majority of the “middle class” becomes more complicated. Besides, to suggest that Romney was a hit with the middle class because he won a majority of the 50-99K crowd is misleading. He got utterly destroyed among black and Latino voters of all ages, which makes me think he almost certainly lost the black and Latino middle class by wide margins too. (There were no race/income crosstabs in the national exit poll.) Do these look like numbers you’d expect to see of a candidate who’d been a true winner among middle-class voters?

The split for Obama on that question was 10/44/31 by comparison. My strong suspicion is that Romney won the $50,000+ group because he won big with whites and whites comprise more of that group on balance than they do of the < $50,000 group. And even if I’m totally wrong about all this and Stevens is right, what’s his point? Should the GOP take comfort in having won the middle class if it continues to lose in perpetuity because poorer voters are turning out in higher numbers?

Three, this is awfully ironic: “In the debates and in sweeping rallies across the country, Romney captured the imagination of millions of Americans. He spoke for those who felt disconnected from the Obama vision of America. He handled the unequaled pressures of a campaign with a natural grace and good humor that contrasted sharply with the angry bitterness of his critics.” Why is it ironic? Because it was Stevens, more than any other Romney advisor, who was blamed for being too slow to trumpet Mitt’s warmth and generosity early in the campaign, when Obama was busy defining him as a Gekko-esque ogre to ruinous effect. Remember this Politico piece in early October about Ann and Tagg Romney allegedly staging a “mutiny” over the campaign’s one-note anti-Obamanomics message? Quote:

Chief strategist Stuart Stevens — whom the family held responsible for allowing Romney’s personal side to be obscured by an anti-Obama economic message — has seen his once wide-ranging portfolio “fenced in” to mainly the debates, and the television advertising that is his primary expertise, according to campaign officials. Tagg Romney, channeling his mother’s wishes, is taking a much more active role in how the campaign is run…

In public and private, Ann Romney made no secret of her frustrations. Candidates’ spouses often think the husband or wife is getting a raw deal, and that they are better than the political caricature being drawn. But Ann Romney’s agitation was palpable: She felt the Obama campaign had dishonestly made her husband out to be something he is not, and was eager to see a more forceful response, especially one that played up his humanity. She wanted to humanize her husband; play up his charity; and showcase how in politics, business and life, he has tried to do the right thing, even when it was not popular.

She wanted, in other words, to show off his “natural grace and good humor.” Erick Erickson was hearing complaints about Stevens weeks before that along the same lines: “Frankly, he is the senior strategy guy and the strategy clearly is not working. All you need to know is that the GOP had three nights of prime time television coverage and the people whose kids Mitt Romney helped before they died got speaking slots outside of prime time in a convention designed to make people like Mitt Romney.” Stevens’s op-ed today is titled, “A good man. The right fight.” The real right fight would have emphasized much more heavily that Romney is, in fact, a good man.

Finally, I don’t know what to say about this:

When Mitt Romney stood on stage with President Obama, it wasn’t about television ads or whiz-bang turnout technologies, it was about fundamental Republican ideas vs. fundamental Democratic ideas. It was about lower taxes or higher taxes, less government or more government, more freedom or less freedom. And Republican ideals — Mitt Romney — carried the day.

He carried the day at the first debate, yes. Not so clearly at the other two. But in the wake of Project ORCA turning into the fail whale, how can any campaign vet dismiss “whiz-bang turnout technologies” that blithely? Obama appears to have won because he figured out a way to identify and then deliver droves of “irregular voters” to the polls on election day. Sophisticated data-mining and GOTV techniques were certainly key to that; given all the election fundamentals lined up against him, the fact that he nearly duplicated his electoral-vote take from four years ago makes me wonder if they were, in fact, decisive. Maybe we shouldn’t fault Stevens, Romney’s chief strategist, for overlooking the tech gap, but when the campaign is built on the alleged managerial genius of its candidate, someone has to be faulted. The “green-room crowd” assured us Romney wouldn’t get beat on nuts-and-bolts stuff; that was one of the biggest reasons to nominate him. And yet here we are, with the consolation of Republican ideals to get us through four more years.


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The “smiley” is simply to let folks know I am happy with the comment..It has become my trademark..If it bothers you..Just use the ignore button..:)

Dire Straits on November 29, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Then you are happy with every comment you come across. That’s a pretty good feat. This is a discussion board. Do you really need a trademark? Shouldn’t your well thought out comments be your trademark and not a emoticon?

Where is this ignore button? It’s easy to say that one should use them when there isn’t one.

Plus, it would be easier to ignore what you had to say if it was more than “good post :)”. But you know this, I suspect.

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 2:26 PM

I’m telling ya, it’s personal with her when it comes to Palin. Kinda like all the libtards who hate her for no reason other than they hate her.

Tell her to list any substantial criticism of her public records, and its the same broken record on fast replay; ditz, unelectable, dumb, yada, yada, yada. No substance.

HerneTheHunter on November 29, 2012 at 2:15 PM

The libtards I can understand. They’ve bought into the feminist BS and Palin’s roundly discredits all of it.

However, someone who professes to be a conservative or at minimum a republican? That’s why we lose. You think someone of Palin’s quality on the left would be left high and dry by her own party. You want stupid, look at DWS and Pelosi yet their party doesn’t pull the same BS that the Rs do.

Either it’s personal or she’s a moron.

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 2:30 PM

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 2:26 PM

LoLz..You are over analyzing this..This is a comment board that I have been happy to be “commenting” for a while..:):)

PS..The “ignore” button is at the bottom left of your keyboard..:)

Dire Straits on November 29, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Don’t look now, but wasn’t that Ann Romney and family on Dancing With The Stars on Monday, sons in tow?

HerneTheHunter on November 29, 2012 at 2:08 PM

I wouldn’t know. Let me ask my Gramma, she likes that show.
I watch Football Monday nights.

Meow on November 29, 2012 at 2:36 PM

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Just consider me a happy warrior..:)

Dire Straits on November 29, 2012 at 2:37 PM

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 2:26 PM

LoLz..You are over analyzing this..This is a comment board that I have been happy to be “commenting” for a while..:):)

PS..The “ignore” button is at the bottom left of your keyboard..:)

Dire Straits on November 29, 2012 at 2:35 PM

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Just consider me a happy warrior..:)

Dire Straits on November 29, 2012 at 2:37 PM

Not sure why it needed two posts, but okay.

No, I will stick with my original assessment and my unspoken opinion. Laters!

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 2:40 PM

I wouldn’t know. Let me ask my Gramma, she likes that show.
I watch Football Monday nights.

Meow on November 29, 2012 at 2:36 PM

My cat likes watching TV too.

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 2:41 PM

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 2:40 PM

No problem..Carry on..:)

Dire Straits on November 29, 2012 at 2:52 PM

My cat likes watching TV too.

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 2:41 PM

Well Big Cat Diary is pretty awesome.

And Lions and Panthers and Bengals oh my

Meow on November 29, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Well Big Cat Diary is pretty awesome.

And Lions and Panthers and Bengals oh my

Meow on November 29, 2012 at 3:11 PM

You’d think the Ravens would be popular too.

Mine likes video games too. Just stares. It’s good. It distracts her from clawing something.

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 3:22 PM

rrpjr, none of the losers that backed Romney (Coulter, Hannity, Rove) are ever going to apologize. The response from the Romneybots on losing has either been silence or doubling down, by blaming everyone from Sarah Palin to Santa Clause for their drubbing.

Faramir on November 29, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Faramir on November 29, 2012 at 4:50 PM

and don’t forget rush. he kept telling us not to believe the polls. romney was going to win big.

fatso selling weak tea.

renalin on November 29, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Good God. Palin didn’t run in the primary but we are to believe that one, she is troglodite for having an opinion, and that her very existence doomed Romney.

Sure, that makes sense. The fact another so called conservative, Pat Robertson, who is a big idiot, still walks the earth, he too is responsible for Mittens’ royal eff up. Pat Buchanan borders on World War II historical revisionism. So we can blame Pat Buchanan as well for tarnishing the brand.

As for blaming the voters who stayed home. Excuse me, but it was Romney’s job to get them out to vote. He failed to inspire or even present a cogent reason to vote for him.

Faramir on November 29, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Yes, Rush was so damn clever, renalin. I’m done with all those assholes.

Faramir on November 29, 2012 at 5:20 PM

If the Republican Party doesn’t deal with the MSM quickly, they’re going to just be a minor cog in the big government machine. Look at the debate over the fiscal cliff, what is the Republican plan? If you’re watching the MSM you don’t know where the Republicans stand, all you know is they’re in favor of tax-cuts for the rich.

bflat879 on November 29, 2012 at 7:43 AM

The GOP should escalate the war with the media. The media can’t do anything more than it already has.

bw222 on November 29, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Yes, renalin, Rush too. I’m done with all of them. I’m not turning Hannity on again. Or Rush. Or putting money in Coulter’s piggybank.

I will stick with Mark Steyn and Michelle Malkin.

Faramir on November 29, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Hey, if Sarah Palin is such a loser and toxic. Why is it the Mittbots are complaining now that the ultimate, electable (HAHA!) figure Mitt Romney NEEDED her to win? That does not compute.

Guess what, I have a feeling the inverse is not true – Sarah Palin wouldn’t need anything help from a guy who couldn’t even win his own state, or the state he governed…

Sharr on November 29, 2012 at 5:24 PM

This is not about moderate versus conservative. This is about qualified, serious candidate versus incompetent, unqualified, unprepared ditz.

Thank you.

bluegill on November 29, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Kind of like intelligent people trying to have a conversation with you?

bw222 on November 29, 2012 at 5:27 PM

Here is Obama allowing Mitt to walk around the Oval Office today.

Poor Mitt. If only Sarah Palin hadn’t denied him his victory as President. Why is Palin so selfish? Why didn’t she campaign for him?

portlandon on November 29, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Faramir on November 29, 2012 at 5:21 PM

yep. completely agree.especially Levin. the only one of the radio hosts that still retains his integrity.

and he’s a Sarah supporter too. two peas in a pod.

renalin on November 29, 2012 at 5:32 PM

This is not about moderate versus conservative. This is about qualified, serious candidate versus incompetent, unqualified, unprepared ditz.

Thank you.

bluegill on November 29, 2012 at 10:42 AM

i let you in on a secret. heres why i mock you. you know very well they vetted Sarah’s 30K emails and even the huffpoop http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/13/sarah-palin-writing-level_n_874790.html says her emails are written at the level of CEO.

meanwhile your boy is licking obamas toes today. did he tell you how they taste? LOL severely conservative mitt licking a guy who eats dog. sweet revenge for ol’ Seamus.

SP2016

renalin on November 29, 2012 at 5:39 PM

portlandon on November 29, 2012 at 5:31 PM

mitts so excited he’s peeing down his left leg.

renalin on November 29, 2012 at 5:41 PM

SP2016

renalin on November 29, 2012 at 5:39 PM

:)

Schadenfreude on November 29, 2012 at 5:42 PM

portlandon on November 29, 2012 at 5:31 PM

Lincoln fell off the wall.

Schadenfreude on November 29, 2012 at 5:46 PM

Here is Obama allowing Mitt to walk around the Oval Office today.

Poor Mitt. If only Sarah Palin hadn’t denied him his victory as President. Why is Palin so selfish? Why didn’t she campaign for him?

portlandon on November 29, 2012 at 5:31 PM

I see Mittens is getting his door prize, and pat on the back. I do love how the Mittbots are demanding that Sarah Palin should have hit the stump for him.

Perhaps if he didn’t kick her to the curb, she might have. But they can’t have it both ways.

Sharr on November 29, 2012 at 5:52 PM

This is not about moderate versus conservative. This is about qualified, serious candidate versus incompetent, unqualified, unprepared ditz.

Thank you.

bluegill on November 29, 2012 at 10:42 AM

.
Kind of like intelligent people trying to have a conversation with you?

bw222 on November 29, 2012 at 5:27 PM

.
( rim-shot )

: )

listens2glenn on November 29, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Quit trying to paint people who recognize that Sarah Palin is a clown candidate as people who want to trash her family. I wish her the best, but I don’t want her as the face of the party or conservatives.

bluegill on November 29, 2012 at 11:32 AM

.
‘gill, I think you’ve got something against HARD-CORE evangelical Christianity.

listens2glenn on November 29, 2012 at 6:27 PM

I liked Romney, but his campaign didn’t fight hard enough, IMO. There’s nobody else to blame for the loss. Other pols aren’t the reason Mitt lost. The Romney campaign team bears most of the blame, but not all of it. The team underestimated the Barky GOTV machine, they didn’t counter Barky’s invective effectively and they didn’t present our Conservative platform convincingly and clearly enough.

Romney is a nice guy. He’s smart, capable and probably would have done a decent job of turning our economic plight around, but his campaign strategists did him no favors.

Are there other candidates who may have represented Conservative values and principles better than Mitt? Yes, but who knows whether their campaign strategists would have or not. It’s easy to say that if only we had a more Conservative candidate then we could have won. Maybe, but the strategy, timing and messaging has to be just right as well.

Slainte on November 29, 2012 at 6:44 PM

The Mittler Youth are complaining that Sarah Palin didn’t campaign for him so Mitt lost.

I thought Palin was irrelevant.

SparkPlug on November 29, 2012 at 6:58 PM

Slainte on November 29, 2012 at 6:44 PM

Nice post..:)

Dire Straits on November 29, 2012 at 6:59 PM

This is not about moderate versus conservative. This is about qualified, serious candidate versus incompetent, unqualified, unprepared ditz.

Thank you.

bluegill on November 29, 2012 at 10:42 AM

i let you in on a secret. heres why i mock you. you know very well they vetted Sarah’s 30K emails and even the huffpoop http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/13/sarah-palin-writing-level_n_874790.html says her emails are written at the level of CEO.

meanwhile your boy is licking obamas toes today. did he tell you how they taste? LOL severely conservative mitt licking a guy who eats dog. sweet revenge for ol’ Seamus.

SP2016

renalin on November 29, 2012 at 5:39 PM

SparkPlug on November 29, 2012 at 7:01 PM

Sarah Palin. July 17 2007 We cant afford it, the Feds won’t pay for it, the general populace isn’t placing it as a high priority … can you diplomatically express that?! Of course we want infrastructure — and this is NOT a “bridge to nowhere” (that is so offensive), but as it stands today with the highest-cost bridge design selected by the Ketchikan community, we need to find a lower-cost alternative [if] a bridge will be built.”

“She’s very concise. She gives clear orders. Her sentences and punctuations are logical,” Payack said. “She has much more of a disciplined mind than she’s given credit for.”

to bluegill in case you didn’t want to read teh whole tingy.

SP2016

renalin on November 29, 2012 at 7:02 PM

WAIT THERE’S MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“I’m a centrist Democrat, and would have loved to support my hunch that Ms. Palin is illiterate,” said 2tor Chief Executive Officer John Katzman.

“However, the emails say something else. Ms. Palin writes emails on her Blackberry at a grade level of 8.5.

“If she were a student and showing me her work, I’d say ‘It’s fine, clear writing,’” he said, admitting that emails he wrote scored lower than Palin’s on the widely used Flesch-Kincaid readability test.

“She came in as a solid communicator,” said Paul J.J. Payack, president of the Global Language Monitor. The emails registered as an 8.2 on his version of the test. “That’s typical for a corporate executive.”

See gilled one. katzman went into it wanting Sarah to look like an idiot. he came out knowing otherwise.

your type is the problem with the gop. you swallow the lefts propaganda like a whole fish.

renalin on November 29, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Mitt lost and bluegill is acting like a little biatch.

We need Flora to smack her around so more.

SparkPlug on November 29, 2012 at 7:09 PM

renalin on November 29, 2012 at 5:41 PM

You’re an idiot.

Solaratov on November 29, 2012 at 8:22 PM

“She has much more of a disciplined mind than she’s given credit for.”

to bluegill in case you didn’t want to read teh whole tingy.

SP2016

renalin on November 29, 2012 at 7:02 PM

AND SHE DIDN’T RUN!

Solaratov on November 29, 2012 at 8:24 PM

Hey moron, Palin’s still standing, Romney not so much…LOL

idesign on November 29, 2012 at 11:03 AM

At least Romney had the stones to get into the arena…

Sarah…not so much.

[And she won't enter the arena in 2016, either.]

Solaratov on November 29, 2012 at 8:34 PM

AND SHE DIDN’T RUN!

Solaratov on November 29, 2012 at 8:24 PM

and your point is…..

idesign on November 29, 2012 at 8:36 PM

[And she won't enter the arena in 2016, either.]

Solaratov on November 29, 2012 at 8:34 PM

and your point is….

idesign on November 29, 2012 at 8:37 PM

At least Romney had the stones to get into the arena…

Sarah…not so much.

[And she won't enter the arena in 2016, either.]

Solaratov on November 29, 2012 at 8:34 PM

There’s such a thing as discretion being better part of valor and taking one’s self out of the equation, when you’d not only being fighting Obama but the GOP party elite. In this case, letting Romney fail was probably the wiser choice on her part. Now the GOP elite own the failure – Or they should, but they’ll pull an Obama when it comes to this sort of thing.

Though, explaining this to the Mitt is our savior crowd is a waste of time.

Sharr on November 29, 2012 at 9:04 PM

[And she won't enter the arena in 2016, either.]

I bet she does, now that she has an object lesson to point to her GOP detractors in doing the same dumb thing over and over gets a bad result. In any event its entirely HER CHOICE. It was pretty clear on election night she was horrified by what was taking place.

Sharr on November 29, 2012 at 9:07 PM

renalin on November 29, 2012 at 7:08 PM

And then there’s Elaine Lafferty, a democrat and former Editor of Ms. Magazine, who got tired of hearing the second-hand sludge written about Palin and called her up and asked for an interview. Lafferty met her and wrote a piece that earned her the bile of just about every leftist in the world as she concluded that Palin was “a brainiac”… “I’d heard rumors around the campaign of her photographic memory and, frankly, I watched it in action. She sees. She processes. She questions, and only then, she acts.”

http://www.maggiesnotebook.com/2011/09/sarah-palin-a-brainiac-thoughtful-knows-who-she-is-her-time-will-come/

rrpjr on November 29, 2012 at 9:13 PM

At least Romney had the stones to get into the arena…
Sarah…not so much.
Solaratov on November 29, 2012 at 8:34 PM

In order to have stones there needs to be some considerable risk. What did he risk? He’s only slightly less super rich than before. That’s the result. I’d be more impressed if, say, he had to stand up to accusations of being an accomplice in a killing spree with zero support from his party. I mean really. He didn’t have to deal with half the crap Palin did.

Dongemaharu on November 29, 2012 at 9:34 PM

meanwhile your boy is licking obamas toes today. did he tell you how they taste? LOL severely conservative mitt licking a guy who eats dog. sweet revenge for ol’ Seamus.

SP2016

renalin on November 29, 2012 at 5:39 PM

Maybe Obama was trying to get pointers on how to kill people’s wives after cutting off their healthcare and masking it as a “wait list”.

It is really just one big country club, isn’t it?

kim roy on November 29, 2012 at 9:41 PM

At least Romney had the stones to get into the arena…

Sarah…not so much.

[And she won't enter the arena in 2016, either.]

Solaratov on November 29, 2012 at 8:34 PM

What Dongemaharu said. Oh yeah, it really takes the stones to bask in all that Mr Electability Only Adult In The Room Death Star bullshit for 4 years and then become this cycle’s designated GOP Gracious Loser complete with photo ops with Obama a few weeks later. As for 2016, who knows? It sure as hell won’t be Mr Electability next time around. Which GOPe mannequin are you going to pimp? Decisions, decisions. Show some stones yourself and commit before the groupthink sets in, will ya?

ddrintn on November 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM

‘No Regrets, Baby’

At least this idiot had the guts to say it aloud. It’s what our brilliant ‘conservative’ pundit class implicitly sez…instead of taking responsibility for their idiocy in supporting a loser like Romney (who lil’ ol’ me and a lotta other people without fancy blogs, radio shows or consultant positions were able to figure out would lose and lose big to Obama), they blame Mexicans, they blame food stamp queens, they blame social conservatives…

Of course, these same s*&t-for-brains ‘conservatives’ don’t blame people like Obama’s Wall Street supporters, his wealthy 8-out-of-10 supporters and his ‘urban educated and well-off’ supporters, because given the economic libertarian idiocy that has infected the American right, we can’t dare criticize anyone with money because that would be waging class warfare…never mind that they’re using their money to ruin our countries and affect everyone else’s lives.

Short version: American conservatism is taking its cues from a bunch of self-indulgent, self-impressed, can’t-take-responsibility, can’t-see-the-truth dolts. And it’s killing us.

avgjo on November 30, 2012 at 11:45 AM

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