Did Romney ever really believe he could win the election?

posted at 1:01 pm on January 20, 2014 by Allahpundit

Byron York, having just watched the new documentary “Mitt,” looks back over his notes and wonders.

Then came the debate. Romney gave a dominating, near-perfect performance, while Obama struggled. The president didn’t even hit Romney on “47 percent.” It was a smashing victory, a big, big win for Romney.

Such a clear-cut triumph would seem a huge confidence-builder, but afterward, Romney seemed mostly concerned that Obama would come back and beat him badly the next time. “Sitting presidents have a very hard time in these debates,” Romney told the family. “They feel like, who is this whippersnapper coming up here who knows nothing? And so they don’t prepare, and they just think they can waltz through it. Then they get crushed in the first debate, and then they come back.”

George Romney, a self-made man, would have gotten the best of Obama, Mitt seemed to think, but a guy like him who’d started life on third base might not have what it takes to make it to home plate. Then, on election night, when the writing’s on the wall, we get this:

“To get up and soothe [in my concession speech] is not my inclination,” an obviously anguished Romney continued. “I cannot believe that [Obama] is an aberration in the country. I believe we’re following the same path of every other great nation, which is we’re following greater government, tax rich people, promise more stuff to everybody, borrow until you go over a cliff. And I think we have a very high risk of reaching the tipping point sometime in the next five years. And the idea of saying ‘it’s just fine, don’t worry about it’ — no, it’s really not.”

Given what has come before it in the film — Romney’s defeatism in the debates — the scene leaves the impression that perhaps in his heart of hearts Romney never really believed he could win. That also seems the message of one of the last scenes of “Mitt,” the day after the election, when Romney addressed staff at his Boston campaign headquarters. The old lack of confidence came out again as Romney suggested he never felt comfortable in the race. He passed on something someone at headquarters had told him: “In some ways, we kind of had to steal the Republican nomination. Our party is Southern, evangelical and populist. And you’re Northern, and you’re Mormon, and you’re rich. And these do not match well with our party.”

Would a better attitude have mattered? There’s a whiff here of the idea that more optimism and a little well-timed righteous anger towards O onstage might have changed the race down the stretch. I doubt it. I remember seeing a graph from a statistical model somewhere after the election, probably on Nate Silver’s blog, showing that Romney never once reached 50 percent odds to win after becoming nominee. Not once. That’s a remarkable quasi-fact about a president whose first term was defined by a grinding jobless economic “recovery” and a huge new health-care boondoggle that’s never been popular with the public: In spite of all of it, if the model I saw was right, Obama was always the favorite, start to finish. Romney thought he had a chance (otherwise, why obsess about the debates?) but he was a longshot — and evidently he knew it. In fact, his finest hour, the first debate, was memorable not because he projected some sort of Reagan-esque sunniness or because he got in Obama’s face over his failures but because he was composed and engaged while O was lethargic and missed easy opportunities. It was, per the model, Obama’s race to lose. And after the first debate, he made sure not to lose it.

I think Romney lost for three reasons. One: He’s right that Obama isn’t an aberration. There’s a huge constituency for the European/blue-state model in the U.S., whether it’s fiscally sustainable or not, and demographic change is more likely to expand it than shrink it. I don’t think it’ll be many years before we see another Republican president but I do think it’ll be many years before we see another Republican landslide. Two: He got out-organized. The irony of the passages from the movie flagged by York is that Mitt was, understandably, worried about his obvious weaknesses (his ability to communicate with voters, his unjust image as a rich guy who’d inherited all his successes) but not worried about his supposed strengths, i.e. his managerial acumen and organizational efforts. He should have been. Obama’s data-crunchers and behavioral analysts evidently ran rings around Team “Project ORCA.” Oh well. Three: Romney suffered from the same problem McCain did, albeit to a lesser extent — there was no real point to his campaign. Bush had “compassionate conservatism” and then the war on terror. Obama had Hopenchange and then protecting the liberal gains he’d made in his first term like ObamaCare. Romney’s message was … “you did build that,” I guess? Makers versus takers? That’s a hard message to sell to middle-class wage earners after a giant recession. The boldface part above, about averting a coming crisis, looked like it was going to be a major theme when he chose Paul Ryan, but then Ryan all but disappeared on the trail — for good reason, as Team Mitt apparently concluded that fighting the battle over entitlements wasn’t likely to be a net winner for them. Maybe all of that would have been blunted by a change in attitude from the candidate himself. But overcome?


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No, I don’t believe he did…

OmahaConservative on January 20, 2014 at 1:05 PM

I remember we all laughed that a ham sandwich could beat Obama…. Maybe we should have run the sandwich…

sandee on January 20, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Nah

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2014 at 1:07 PM

I think Romney lost for three reasons.

1. White
2. Rich
3. Wimpy

fogw on January 20, 2014 at 1:07 PM

This article really struck me. I can’t believe someone as accomplished as Romney would have such a crisis of confidence.
Regarding the debates: “You don’t believe, that is why you fail.”–Yoda

Donald Draper on January 20, 2014 at 1:07 PM

OT: Prayers requested for all involved…
Multiple injuries reported in industrial accident

OmahaConservative on January 20, 2014 at 1:07 PM

George W. would never have had such an attitude.

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 1:08 PM

I remember we all laughed that a ham sandwich could beat Obama…. Maybe we should have run the sandwich…

sandee on January 20, 2014 at 1:07 PM

In a sane country, a ham sammich would have beaten him.

But in a sane country, black Chicago Jesus, someone with zero accomplishments throughout the course of his life, would never have gotten elected in the first place.

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Palin had a great line about Obama, something about how the presidency shouldn’t be used as a vehicle of self-discovery for a know-nothing novice.

Similarly, a presidential candidacy shouldn’t be undertaken by someone who doesn’t really want the job.

And let’s face it — Mitt was ambivalent at best. That might be a great quality for a President, but it’s probably insurmountable for a candidate.

Kensington on January 20, 2014 at 1:10 PM

Romney’s message was … “you did build that,” I guess? Makers versus takers?

If that had been his message…consistently…he would have won. If he would have shown a hint of a spine he would have won. If there had been a ground game on election day he would have won.

It’s not that he didn’t believe. It’s that he didn’t want to.

ElectricPhase on January 20, 2014 at 1:11 PM

In fairness it didn’t help that Romney had to fight the media slurs everyday while Obama skated

sandee on January 20, 2014 at 1:11 PM

“President obama is a nice man. He’s just in over his head.”

“You have nothing to fear from an obama presidency.”

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 1:14 PM

I’m currently reading “The Gamble” which delves into the primaries and the general election. I think Romney could have won, but he was the underdog the whole way. He would have had to do just about everything right to win, and he didn’t. It was Obama’s election to lose. An incumbent’s advantage, the economy was growing even though only slightly means that Romney had a hill to climb. Here’s to 2016, which hopefully will mean a built in advantage to the GOP

Donald Draper on January 20, 2014 at 1:15 PM

obama didn’t win in 2012. He was a charlatanic thug who covered up a lot and harassed his opposition. He is like Mugabe, as legitimate.

Romney lost. obama did not win.

Romney and his idiotic team made it so.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2014 at 1:15 PM

I think Romney believed that the voters were as nice as he and his family were/are. Romney’s optimism and optimistic outlook, his most admirable characteristics, were his political weakness because the world isn’t a good place filled with good people.

One must persist in representing those who are Good and that which is Good, I believe, but it’s a failing to believe that the world isn’t under corrupted and corrupting influences, goaled with destroying the Good.

Lourdes on January 20, 2014 at 1:17 PM

Lets face it right now we are a Nation of takers….. Nobody wants to lose their free “stuff.”

sandee on January 20, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Lourdes on January 20, 2014 at 1:17 PM

That’s just a euphemistic way of saying that Romney was a chump.

ElectricPhase on January 20, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Lets face it right now we are a Nation of takers….. Nobody wants to lose their free “stuff.”

sandee on January 20, 2014 at 1:19 PM

What ‘free’ stuff? I’m a white, non-gay male!

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Romney’s message was … “you did build that,” I guess? Makers versus takers?

If that had been his message…consistently…he would have won. If he would have shown a hint of a spine he would have won. If there had been a ground game on election day he would have won.

It’s not that he didn’t believe. It’s that he didn’t want to.

ElectricPhase on January 20, 2014 at 1:11 PM

His economic message should have been “this is how I will put more money in your wallet”.

Instead it was “the unemployment rate is high”. Which says nothing to the large majority that are employed.

The makers vs takers rhetoric is too negative a message – Americans don’t like to think of themselves as divided.

kcewa on January 20, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Did Romney ever really believe he could win the election?

The question is, “Did Mittens even care if he won the election?” … and the answer is, “No.” You knew that every time Mittens would open his mouth and had to slip that “replace” in at the end of his repeal talk about BarkyCare. Mittens just couldn’t stop himself from doing that and thought it more important to sneak that in than to worry about winning the election and ridding America of the most serious threat this nation has ever faced. Mittens didn’t understand that that was the absolute last chance America had to be restored. It’s all gone, now. Gone for good.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 20, 2014 at 1:21 PM

If the GOP rehashes the same people they’ve used since Clinton years for the next election/s, it’s the GOP’s loss.

Obviously, the GOP in it’s eagerness “to be liked by the middle” has resulted in far too many Progressives in the GOP, hired by the GOP, used by the GOP as “advisers,” to make the GOP candidates and elections into some sort of farse.

Clean out the loitering ‘talent’ from the last election cycles (go back to the GOP vs. Clinton years) and stop bashing Conservatives. That’s the best advice I can give to the GOP.

But they don’t listen to me while they persist in running after the Progressive hires as advisers. It’s like the GOP just has to lose, no matter what.

Lourdes on January 20, 2014 at 1:21 PM

FARCE not “farse”…

…some sort of farse.
Lourdes on January 20, 2014 at 1:21 PM

Lourdes on January 20, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Romney wasn’t arrogant enough to win.

OldEnglish on January 20, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Lourdes on January 20, 2014 at 1:17 PM

That’s just a euphemistic way of saying that Romney was a chump.

ElectricPhase on January 20, 2014 at 1:20 PM

Perhaps but it’s usually the polite person who holds opne the door for somene else who gets slapped by the ‘outraged liberated’ crowd.

Lourdes on January 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM

The makers vs takers rhetoric is too negative a message – Americans don’t like to think of themselves as divided.

kcewa on January 20, 2014 at 1:20 PM

I’d like to live in your America. Unfortunately, I’m stuck with the real one.

ElectricPhase on January 20, 2014 at 1:25 PM

Romney, like every RINO I have ever known, is TERRIFIED of being called a racist. It is his greatest fear. It likely keeps him awake at night. And THAT is why he lost the election. He was running against a black guy, and he could never, ever take the gloves off because of that fear.

Rational Thought on January 20, 2014 at 1:25 PM

based on his performance in the 2nd and 3rd debates,
I would say No.

ToddPA on January 20, 2014 at 1:26 PM

Why do we keep going over the Romney Autopsy?

We already know the cause of loss.

portlandon on January 20, 2014 at 1:27 PM

The only reason Christie is popular among the Moderate/Middle/Progressive GOP crowd is that he’s crude. He’s rude, crude, he’s loud, he’s bombastic, he’s not someone who’d be easily if at all called “nice, polite, a gentleman” and that’s his appeal.

His only appeal, from what I can see.

We on the Right don’t want Suckers, Metrosechuals, Libbies, Liberated Doodads, Victims, Feminazis, Petas, Ponies or Bearcubs as candidates.

But we on the Right haven’t yet coalesced around any standard of our own that works, otherwise. “Works” as in, what works for the Left to win elections.

Lourdes on January 20, 2014 at 1:27 PM

Obamacare was largely theoretical at the time, which was a very smart move by Obama — beyond conservatives, very few actually knew how harmful this law would be for the middle class.

Romney also never connected with the base — there was the first debate, but he never managed to connect with the sense of outrage the base feels at how far left Obama has pushed the country. Yes, this would have ad a downside, but Obama in 2008 was able to successfully connect with the Dems anger at Bush and use it.

blue13326 on January 20, 2014 at 1:30 PM

One of the issues, Mitt’s “supporters” were just happy to have him nominated…after that they left in droves and went back to work.

He lost primarily because of his lack of grass roots organization, his grass roots left him hanging.

They spend all their effort getting him nominated, and abandoned him when he needed them. They never really believed in him…

right2bright on January 20, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Romney-bashing notwithstanding, Obama is still the first incumbent president (either party) since Woodrow Wilson to be re-elected with a smaller margin than his original victory.

It was the disaster of the senate races in Missouri, Indiana, and North Dakota that really hurt us. Think of the odds of recapturing the senate if the net gain this fall were +3 instead of +6.

matthew8787 on January 20, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Romney seemed mostly concerned that Obama would come back and beat him badly the next time.

Absolutely pathetic.

Confirms everything I’ve said about Romney for eight years, through the ersatz “sunny” Reagan impersonation of 2006 to 2008, the diffidence and averted eyes during his debates with Huckabee and McCain, the re-tooled Romney in 2012, and the covert viciousness aimed at Gingrich and Santorum. The problems with Romney were only partly policy-related. The real problem was CHARACTER. That is, all the talk about Romney being a “good man” was beside the point. He had no political character at all — no understanding of America or this time in history or what it means to be a political leader and warrior or how to fashion a argument into a narrative and drive it through the storm on behalf of a political vision of Anmerica. A stunningly inadequate human being to ever serve as the nominee of a party at this moment in history. May he retire to his mansions and his multiplicitous brood and never bother politics again.

rrpjr on January 20, 2014 at 1:33 PM

A candidate who did not believe he could beat the president in debate, who always felt second-best to his father, who believed the country was moving away from him, and who didn’t even feel at home in his own party. The Romney campaign faced many uphill battles in the 2012 campaign. “Mitt” shows us that some of the most intense were in the candidate’s mind.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Anybody who thinks that this should have been an easy election for the GOP to win is delusional and out of touch with the reality of how far left the country has moved.

Romney did better than Reagan did with white voters and still lost. Even a perfect GOP candidate would have had an uphill climb.

Jon0815 on January 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

But we on the Right haven’t yet coalesced around any standard of our own that works, otherwise. “Works” as in, what works for the Left to win elections.

Lourdes on January 20, 2014 at 1:27 PM

It’s because we’re split on the axiomatic definition of what “the right” is. We don’t have a united party. We’re more like a coalition of parties that are opposed to the Democrats for their own reasons.

Doomberg on January 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Romney had nothing to lose if he lost…in fact I would bet that he gained what he feels is so valuable, more assets.

To win something like the President you have to have a hunger, a driving force…he had none.

right2bright on January 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Did Romney ever really believe he could win the election?

If Debate 1 Romney were Mitt Romney at all times, we wouldn’t be asking these questions.

nobar on January 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Two: He got out-organized. The irony of the passages from the movie flagged by York is that Mitt was, understandably, worried about his obvious weaknesses (his ability to communicate with voters, his unjust image as a rich guy who’d inherited all his successes) but not worried about his supposed strengths, i.e. his managerial acumen and organizational efforts. He should have been. Obama’s data-crunchers and behavioral analysts evidently ran rings around Team “Project ORCA.” Oh well.

F-. Romney had 2 months to organize and run against a campaign organization supported by 90% of the media and which had been organizing for 4 years. He’s brilliant, but he’s not God.

Three: Romney suffered from the same problem McCain did, albeit to a lesser extent — there was no real point to his campaign

G-. There was no point to restoring fiscal sanity to the country or defending its borders or place in the world? Good grief.

Basilsbest on January 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Romney makes Adlai Stevenson look like Teddy Roosevelt.

rrpjr on January 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

I’m surprised at AP’s conclusion because GOP positions on essentially every issue get higher ratings than Democrats. I’m surprised because Obama won the election primarily because of overwhelming support from African-American voters in both of the last go-rounds, and would have lost to Romney with historical win-rates among those voters. I’m surprised because GOP governors have continued to rack up wins in state elections, indicating strength all over the place, and now even GOP Senate candidates look surprisingly strong in purple/blue states for the 2014 mid-term.

If AP is right though, we should make a State Article V Convention our very first priority, and pass the Liberty Amendments, before our state advantages disappear.

MTF on January 20, 2014 at 1:37 PM

G-. There was no point to restoring fiscal sanity to the country or defending its borders or place in the world? Good grief.

Basilsbest on January 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Mitt did not articulate that, he was even afraid to broach the Greek economic problem during the campaign.

He was milquetoast…he was afraid to call Obama’s economic principles dangerous and hopeless…

right2bright on January 20, 2014 at 1:37 PM

There’s a huge constituency for the European/blue-state model in the U.S., whether it’s fiscally sustainable or not, and demographic change is more likely to expand it than shrink it. I don’t think it’ll be many years before we see another Republican president but I do think it’ll be many years before we see another Republican landslide.

Electorates experiencing a tarumatic ecnomic crisis, as the US did in 2008-09, are going to turn to government for a sense of security. This is as predictable as the sunrise. It does NOT mean the country has turned permanently toward European socialism.

The great, great victory for Barack Obama was that he ran for reelection with an electorate that still blamed the recession on his predecessor and felt inclined to give him more time to fix things. Whether that was his doing or not, he had no chance of being reelected without it, no matter who the Republican candidate was.

Romney’s first mistake was assuming that the voters blamed Obama for the bad economy and not Bush. The second was assuming that he was a known quantity to most voters and did not need to spend time or money defining himself or fighting Obama’s effort to define him.

rockmom on January 20, 2014 at 1:39 PM

I think his biggest setback was that tape of him talking about the 47%. He couldn’t deny it, explain it, backtrack from it, and it painted a picture of him voters didn’t want. The media jumped all over that likes wolves on a fresh kill. Meanwhile, they let Obama skate through unscathed after he was negligent and lied about Benghazi.

scalleywag on January 20, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Romney seemed mostly concerned that Obama would come back and beat him badly the next time.

Absolutely pathetic.

Yes, it is a pathetic thing to say about Romney, but when it comes to Romney no opinion is unfair, no matter how ridiculous.

Basilsbest on January 20, 2014 at 1:39 PM

That’s a ton of gibberish, Allah.

I think you got maybe one or two points correct, like ORCA.

1. Obama was the favorite because he was the incumbent, not because of some Euroesque shift. Tah-Dah.

The guy in charge sets the table and people are willing to go along with that setup unless you prove, through detail, otherwise.

Romney never made that case because he and his team were split in different directions.

…and that’s what did Mitt in; his refusal to detail any possible policy, because he wanted the caveat when walking into office.

So it becomes a game of “Devil You Know”, which is how W won re-election because people do not want risk in bad times.

That’s the advantage of incumbency. If things are good, you’re bullet-proof. If things are bad, the onus is on the challenger to prove how they can fix it, which become shooting targets.

Romney seemed managerial and executive in every way, but his refusal to explain exactly what he was going to do, said you either couldn’t trust him because he was hiding his intentions, or he really didn’t know wtf he was getting into and was a puppet.

That was my complaint from the primaries. It’s the one thing Newt really understood.

budfox on January 20, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Basilsbest on January 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Bottom line is America wasn’t suffering enough yet at that point.

Add in states that had black districts with more than 100% turnout, such as here in Florida, and voter fraud in general, and quite likely Mittens is President today.

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 1:41 PM

Obama got the vote out…Romney didn’t…

Am I wrong that McCain did better than Romney? Heaven’s, I am pretty sure McCain did a better job at getting the vote out than Romney did.

right2bright on January 20, 2014 at 1:42 PM

F-. Romney had 2 months to organize and run against a campaign organization supported by 90% of the media and which had been organizing for 4 years. He’s brilliant, but he’s not God.

You’re basically arguing that any Republican at any time can never win an election. The Democrats have had these advantages for decades. I don’t buy this argument and I don’t think it whitewashes the fact that managerial competence, which was supposed to be his strength, turned out to be a major weakness.

G-. There was no point to restoring fiscal sanity to the country or defending its borders or place in the world? Good grief.

Basilsbest on January 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

There weren’t really any central organizing themes that were communicated in an effective way.

Doomberg on January 20, 2014 at 1:45 PM

G-. There was no point to restoring fiscal sanity to the country or defending its borders or place in the world? Good grief.

Basilsbest on January 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Mitt did not articulate that, he was even afraid to broach the Greek economic problem during the campaign.

He was milquetoast…he was afraid to call Obama’s economic principles dangerous and hopeless…

right2bright on January 20, 2014 at 1:37 PM

He made it over and over throughout the campaign. People like you were to busy calling him names to listen.

Basilsbest on January 20, 2014 at 1:46 PM

I think his biggest setback was that tape of him talking about the 47%. He couldn’t deny it, explain it, backtrack from it, and it painted a picture of him voters didn’t want.

scalleywag on January 20, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Wrong. I doubt seriously that anyone in the 47% would admit openly or to themselves that they were part of the 47%.

It would be like a person admitting that they were one of the stupid people.

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 1:46 PM

I am pretty sure McCain Palin did a better job at getting the vote out for the ticket than Romney did.

right2bright on January 20, 2014 at 1:42 PM

Paul Ryan was not Palin. He inspired no one the way she did.

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Remember….Romney forgot/failed to get the vote out. His top secret cellphone program that was to coordinate getting the vote out on the local level did not work on the day it was to work. (They never tested it…same guys probably did the website for ObamaCare.)
That was why Romney lost.
He screwed up and did not make sure everything was working.

Obama’s get-the-vote-out program did work and he still got over 10,000,000 fewer votes in 2012 than 2008.

albill on January 20, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Wow, a Romney what-if. Might as well pull out the Lincoln what-if.

Limerick on January 20, 2014 at 1:49 PM

Basilsbest on January 20, 2014 at 1:39 PM

What’s pathetic — a pathos that lingers — is that you and others can look over the last 10 years and miss the truth about Mitt Romney. The man was NEVER suited to politics, even in the best of times. That he could take the feast of opportunity, the embarrassingly fetid riches of Barack Obama’s presidency, and so singularly fail to even pull out a dull soupspoon in response, should be a lesson that no conservative or Republican EVER forgets or allows to happen again.

“It’s unfair, Mitt’s a nice guy and good man and he would have been a real keen President because he knows how to manage stuff.”

The puling will go on, I suppose, perhaps forever, because it reflects a failure to grasp certain primordial realities of politics, and of the Left. Politics and the Left — indissoluble truths now in our political culture, a culture Mitt Romney, good man and exemplary Christian that he is, had no business ever dabbling in.

rrpjr on January 20, 2014 at 1:50 PM

Unfortunately,and perhaps tragically,I don’t think it’s possible for “conservatives” to rally behind one standard bearer.The conservative movement has become “balkanized” with the emergence of the “cons”-social,fiscal and neo,and the growth of the libertarian movement.There are too many issues that divide us,too many issues that are deal breakers for us to unite and save the country.I share Mitt’s pessimism,if not his ambivalence.

redware on January 20, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Basilsbest on January 20, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Feel free to reenact the Alamo on Romney’s behalf. Nobody cares.

ElectricPhase on January 20, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Bottom Line…Romney was a Lukewarm firgure who did not connect to average Americans here in the Heartland. And, as Lanceman said, He did not have a Palin to drag his rear over the finish line.

kingsjester on January 20, 2014 at 1:53 PM

Romney suffered from the same problem McCain did, albeit to a lesser extent — there was no real point to his campaign.

Wrong-o.

The real point of the campaign was to keep the GOP Ruling Class ruling the GOP.

Their freak-out over the Fat Man’s recent pratfall only reinforces that the GOP doesn’t’ play to win the Super Bowl, they just want to keep being invited to the owner’s parties on game weekend.

Bruno Strozek on January 20, 2014 at 1:54 PM

why the hell doesnt anyone ever mention she sheer amount of voter fraud during the election. thats the real reason Romney lost. over 80000 reported observations of voter fraud is a really BIG DEAL.

mrks on January 20, 2014 at 1:55 PM

There’s a whiff here of the idea that more optimism and a little well-timed righteous anger towards O onstage might have changed the race down the stretch.

He had Obama on the ropes in the first debate but refused to finish him off in the second. If Mitt would have taken it to him, it could very well have been game-changing.

I doubt it. I remember seeing a graph from a statistical model somewhere after the election, probably on Nate Silver’s blog

Let’s just forget actual voting on Election Days, wait a month to check somewhere on the internet to see who somebody thinks might have won (if people had voted a month before) and announce the winner based on that. Would be easier.

whatcat on January 20, 2014 at 1:55 PM

why the hell doesnt anyone ever mention she sheer amount of voter fraud during the election. thats the real reason Romney lost. over 80000 reported observations of voter fraud is a really BIG DEAL.

mrks on January 20, 2014 at 1:55 PM

I thought I did?

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 1:56 PM

I share Mitt’s pessimism,if not his ambivalence.

redware on January 20, 2014 at 1:52 PM

Then neither of you should enter any Presidential primaries just to knock out those who are not so pessimistic and not ambivalent about this nation and where it needs to be headed. It is the height of obnoxious idiocy for someone with such an attitude to run in a primary.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 20, 2014 at 1:56 PM

Romney’s message was … “you did build that,” I guess? Makers versus takers? That’s a hard message to sell to middle-class wage earners after a giant recession

Reagan did it.

tommyboy on January 20, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Why do people continue to gloss over or ignore the obvious?

Romney wasn’t a conservative. You don’t become the Gov. of Mass if you’re even a little bit of a conservative. The same people who elected Ted Kennedy for all those years would never have elected a conservative. Never.

Bigbullets on January 20, 2014 at 1:59 PM

“President obama is a nice man. He’s just in over his head.”

“You have nothing to fear from an obama presidency.”

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 1:14 PM

I can’t really reconcile those statements with:

“I cannot believe that [Obama] is an aberration in the country. I believe we’re following the same path of every other great nation, which is we’re following greater government, tax rich people, promise more stuff to everybody, borrow until you go over a cliff. And I think we have a very high risk of reaching the tipping point sometime in the next five years. And the idea of saying ‘it’s just fine, don’t worry about it’ — no, it’s really not.”

Fenris on January 20, 2014 at 2:01 PM

I thought I did?

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 1:56 PM

errr… why dont any of the pundits ever mention it?

it was the real reason Romney lost but it is taboo for the alternative media pundits to even mention it these days.

mrks on January 20, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Romney’s message was … “you did build that,” I guess? Makers versus takers? That’s a hard message to sell to middle-class wage earners after a giant recession

Reagan did it.
tommyboy on January 20, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Reagan believed in himself and in America.

whatcat on January 20, 2014 at 2:04 PM

G-. There was no point to restoring fiscal sanity to the country or defending its borders or place in the world? Good grief.

Basilsbest on January 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

IN REALITY, the issue of “fiscal” ANYthing is lost on the majority of today’s voters. They tune out all campaign speeches — considering them ‘lectures’ and “condesending, snooty, uncaring” — that are focused on “fiscal” issues.

Candidates today who make their campaign focused on “fiscal (anything fiscal)”), despite being VERY GOOD SENSE, VERY ACCURATE, even emergency efforts to save and reconstruct the nation, are rejected by THE MAJORITY of those who vote today.

The Right, and I include myself in this cautionary warn, need to realize that the majority of those who vote in the US today are NOT interested in “what’s best for the nation” and especially when that is identified as “fiscal (anything fiscal)”. The “movable middle” who vote today want to hear what’s in it for them if they vote for whomever.

I don’t like this any more than anyone else does but I do think that that is today’s reality as to who it is who votes, on the overall majority, and why. There are segments of voters who DO support fiscal-reformation-salvations plans but they’re only segments among the voting population.

Obama, for all his ugliness and disasterously insane doings and plans, captured this irresponsible essence among those who vote and managed to disqualify just enough of the responsible ones such that he’d win.

For the Right, though, I don’t advocate becoming “more Left” to accommodate or court-an-spark with these more irresponsible, self-focused voters BUT the Right has to recognize that they must package BIG TICKET, BIG ISSUE candidates who get that “new, affordable, popular, big, big, big” popsizzle effect, at least as to public personna. Not that candidates need to be vapid from the RIght, but that they need to present — to those middle/self-interested voters — some sort of SIZZLE/popular effect and not get too far into details about how they’ll go if elected. Leave the details to the party and/or voting loyalists, which, for the RIght, means stop bashing Conservatives.

Lourdes on January 20, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Reagan believed in himself and in America.

whatcat on January 20, 2014 at 2:04 PM

Right on.

kingsjester on January 20, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Romney had NO trouble round-housing his fellow GOP candidates in the primaries, but obviously had trouble hitting the real enemy when it counted.

SouthernGent on January 20, 2014 at 2:06 PM

I can’t really reconcile those statements

Fenris on January 20, 2014 at 2:01 PM

Can you reconcile them with

“They have not led, we will!”

or

“A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose your job. And a recovery is when President Carter loses his.”

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Say what you want about W, he was fighter. Neither McCain nor Romney were fighters and had no business getting the GOP nomination. The Dems will do WHATEVER it takes to win. These peace activists that the GOP nominate will never have a chance.

Tasha on January 20, 2014 at 2:07 PM

G-. There was no point to restoring fiscal sanity to the country or defending its borders or place in the world? Good grief.

Basilsbest on January 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

IN REALITY, the issue of “fiscal” ANYthing is lost on the majority of today’s voters. They tune out all campaign speeches — considering them ‘lectures’ and “condesending, snooty, uncaring” — that are focused on “fiscal” issues.

Candidates today who make their campaign focused on “fiscal (anything fiscal)”), despite being VERY GOOD SENSE, VERY ACCURATE, even emergency efforts to save and reconstruct the nation, are rejected by THE MAJORITY of those who vote today.

The Right, and I include myself in this cautionary warn, need to realize that the majority of those who vote in the US today are NOT interested in “what’s best for the nation” and especially when that is identified as “fiscal (anything fiscal)”. The “middle” who vote today, and who are movable as to their voting preferences, want to hear what’s in it for them if they vote for whomever.

I don’t like this any more than anyone else does but I do think that that is today’s reality as to who it is who votes, on the overall majority, and why. There are segments of voters who DO support fiscal-reformation-salvations plans but they’re only segments among the voting population.

Obama, for all his ugliness and disasterously insane doings and plans, captured this irresponsible essence among those who vote and managed to disqualify just enough of the responsible ones such that he’d win.

For the Right, though, I don’t advocate becoming “more Left” to accommodate or court-an-spark with these more irresponsible, self-focused voters BUT the Right has to recognize that they must package BIG TICKET, BIG ISSUE candidates who get that “new, affordable, popular, big, big, big” popsizzle effect, at least as to public personna. Not that candidates need to be vapid from the RIght, but that they need to present — to those middle/self-interested voters — some sort of pop/celeb/popular effect and not get too far into details about how they’ll go if elected. Leave the details to the party and/or voting loyalists, which, for the RIght, means stop bashing Conservatives.

Lourdes on January 20, 2014 at 2:09 PM

Scuze the double posting — my comment was trapped in moderation delay and I tried posting second time upon a return visit.

Lourdes on January 20, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Elections = Demographics… In the current demographics the Republicans need to get at least 65% of the White vote in order to win the Presidency… Right now they are around 60% in this demographic… They need to work on get 5% more vote among the whites…

mnjg on January 20, 2014 at 2:12 PM

errr… why dont any of the pundits ever mention it?

mrks on January 20, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Because they are afraid of being tarred with the conspiracy brush.

There was no conspiracy in the traditional sense of the word. It was outright cheating and the Republicans being too afraid of the black man to do anything about it.

Remember the black panthers? How much cheating went on in that precinct.

And like that one b!tch up in Ohio said when caught cheating, she said she was well within her right to cast those votes on behalf of the names for president obama. She’s black and had no fear of being held accountable in her mind. Wonder how many were not caught?

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Reagan did it.
tommyboy on January 20, 2014 at 1:58 PM

Reagan believed in himself and in America.

whatcat on January 20, 2014 at 2:04 PM

The Right needs to realize that, although a genuine hero, a wonderful President, Reagan WAS a cultural icon.

Just as Obama was from among those who went crazy over him.

Different culture, but both still icons.

Which is why they were quite so popular and still are among their “fans”.

Lourdes on January 20, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 2:07 PM

Wish we could go back in time and warn Reagan to pick a conservative VP. Oh well, missed opportunities.

Fenris on January 20, 2014 at 2:15 PM

He made it over and over throughout the campaign. People like you were to busy calling him names to listen.

Basilsbest on January 20, 2014 at 1:46 PM

Your tears aside, Mitt lost with silky gloves to a fascist thug, who had nothing to prove after 4 years. The following years are displaying it all and then some.

Schadenfreude on January 20, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Hey RINOs this is why we hate your sorry azzes! Boehner is named speaker and he bawls, Romney and Ryan are wimps. They are afraid to fight. We must stop them from nominating another loser for 2016. I mote than half believe that they think Killery is unbeatable. We don’t need more wimps we need warriors. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee come to mind.

neyney on January 20, 2014 at 2:16 PM

mrks on January 20, 2014 at 2:03 PM

Because they are afraid of being tarred with the conspiracy brush.

There was no conspiracy in the traditional sense of the word. It was outright cheating and the Republicans being too afraid of the black man to do anything about it.

Remember the black panthers? How much cheating went on in that precinct.

And like that one b!tch up in Ohio said when caught cheating, she said she was well within her right to cast those votes on behalf of the names for president obama. She’s black and had no fear of being held accountable in her mind. Wonder how many were not caught?

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 2:13 PM

Remember Howard Dean’s rallying — and well supported rallying from among Dean’s Democrats and nearly everyone else on Left — for the Black Panthers? His enthusiasm for their complaints and activities?

See, that’s how the Left has trashed common sense and elevated group-hysteria to elected office.

Lourdes on January 20, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Romney had NO trouble round-housing his fellow GOP candidates in the primaries, but obviously had trouble hitting the real enemy when it counted.

SouthernGent on January 20, 2014 at 2:06 PM

Very good point.

mnjg on January 20, 2014 at 2:12 PM

Once the candidate is no longer black and that idiotic ‘coolness’ factor is gone, I suspect the young white vote will go back to what it was.

obama got elected primarily by young, stupid white voters who really understand things like rap and black culture. I weep for America when I see them on Facebook posting in that idiotic piglatin.

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 2:17 PM

“President obama is a nice man. He’s just in over his head.”

“You have nothing to fear from an obama presidency.”

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 1:14 PM

::: the point McCain revealed his true intent: to elect Obama.

Lourdes on January 20, 2014 at 2:21 PM

Once the candidate is no longer black and that idiotic ‘coolness’ factor is gone, I suspect the young white vote will go back to what it was.

obama got elected primarily by young, stupid white voters who really understand things like rap and black culture. I weep for America when I see them on Facebook posting in that idiotic piglatin.

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 2:17 PM

Romney won the young white vote (18-29) in 2012 by 55% to 44% for Obama… Romney won every category in the white vote and by large margins but it was not enough… In fact Romney won the largest share of the white vote (59%) since Reagan but he still could not make it… It is a must that the Republican nominee gets at least 65% of the white vote in 2016 in order to win…

mnjg on January 20, 2014 at 2:25 PM

He passed on something someone at headquarters had told him: “In some ways, we kind of had to stealbuy the Republican nomination. Our party is Southern, evangelical and populist. And you’re Northern, and you’re Mormon, and you’re rich. And these do not match well with our party.”

Fixed it…

One doesn’t have to be Southern, Evangelical, & populist to win the R nomination & presidency. However, at least 1-2 would be nice.

And if you try to win with the support of a base with these characteristics, it’s helpful to agree with (or at least not openly despise) many of the positions taken by these constituencies IMHO.

cs89 on January 20, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Would a better attitude have mattered?

No. It would have been a departure from reality.

Say what you want about Mr. Romney as a candidate. But given the landscape prior to the election combined with what we know now, one would be hard-pressed to make an argument he would not have been a better president.

We see the despair in comments at Hot Air every day. Where do you believe sentiment such as “let it burn” comes from?

To me, it comes from the obvious realization that a majority of voters in this country don’t recognize the serious nature of our challenges and how voting for people like Barack Obama puts us one step closer to the end. That’s not melodramatic or political. But based in real, tangible, factual evaluation of our fiscal and governmental issues.

Those same people are now poising themselves to vote for Hillary of all people. Do you believe they have learned anything in these last 7 years? Hardly.

Yet people continue to treat politics without the seriousness it deserves- like it is a football game or American Idol. It is not.

We need talented people with fresh ideas, leadership skills and the ability to bring people together as Americans. Not some hyped up, empty suit with a catchy jingle, continually and disingenuously morphing into “everyman” who really lacks the talent, courage and ability to work in the best interest of our nation.

Until people understand that, which I believe they do not, the cliff is rapidly approaching.

Marcus Traianus on January 20, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Romney won the young white vote (18-29) in 2012 by 55% to 44% for Obama

mnjg on January 20, 2014 at 2:25 PM

Get out! You gotta link?

Lanceman on January 20, 2014 at 2:26 PM

He lost primarily because of his lack of grass roots organization, his grass roots left him hanging.

They spend all their effort getting him nominated, and abandoned him when he needed them. They never really believed in him…

right2bright on January 20, 2014 at 1:31 PM

Romney never had a “grass roots” following, and far too often seemed to be actively trying to discourage such to develop.

cs89 on January 20, 2014 at 2:28 PM

F-. Romney had 2 months to organize and run against a campaign organization supported by 90% of the media and which had been organizing for 4 years. He’s brilliant, but he’s not God.

Basilsbest on January 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

Oh, come off it. Romney had six years to build an organization, and in fact that was one of the selling points his followers were mouthing for most of those six years: Romney’s organizational “genius” and that top-flight team of his. Which team seemed to have no problem at all savaging Romney’s GOP rivals in the primaries, but (as predicted) went flaccid against Obama.

ddrintn on January 20, 2014 at 2:29 PM

F-. Romney had 2 months to organize and run against a campaign organization supported by 90% of the media and which had been organizing for 4 years. He’s brilliant, but he’s not God.

Basilsbest on January 20, 2014 at 1:35 PM

They had 4 years to organize … Wow! You’re talking abotu the same group of dingbats who couldn’t even get a working web portal after 3 years and almost a billion dollars. Those are the idiots Mittens took a dive for.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 20, 2014 at 2:31 PM

Romney…too nice a guy, surrounded himself with lightweights, not conservative or power hungry, didn’t feel the”need” to be President. Unfortunately, he didn’t learn that if he could emulate the first debate by getting in obama’s face, that he could win. And, afraid to take the media head on, let them erroneously define him.

bhawknine on January 20, 2014 at 2:38 PM

Oh, come off it. Romney had six years to build an organization, and in fact that was one of the selling points his followers were mouthing for most of those six years: Romney’s organizational “genius” and that top-flight team of his. Which team seemed to have no problem at all savaging Romney’s GOP rivals in the primaries, but (as predicted) went flaccid against Obama.

ddrintn on January 20, 2014 at 2:29 PM

This.

They had 4 years to organize … Wow! You’re talking abotu the same group of dingbats who couldn’t even get a working web portal after 3 years and almost a billion dollars. Those are the idiots Mittens took a dive for.

ThePrimordialOrderedPair on January 20, 2014 at 2:31 PM

And this!

The managerial turnaround genius chose that collection of sh!tforbrains as his team?! It’s almost as if he wanted to throw the whole thing, eh?

ElectricPhase on January 20, 2014 at 2:38 PM

You play to win the game…

joey24007 on January 20, 2014 at 2:39 PM

Well, just answering the question in the headline with an observation of the execution of the milquetoast campaign, I’d have to say “no.”

Which leads to question #2:

Why did he absolutely firebomb his GOP primary opponents with 1,000 times the firepower that he ever aimed at Obama?

IOW, why didn’t he fight to win when it REALLY counted?

hrh40 on January 20, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Why did he absolutely firebomb his GOP primary opponents with 1,000 times the firepower that he ever aimed at Obama?

hrh40 on January 20, 2014 at 2:45 PM

Moreover, why did he continue to firebomb them even after it was a done deal?

Questions no one will ever answer.

rrpjr on January 20, 2014 at 2:48 PM

I was at the premiere and personally know the Director. The film is good, but not nearly revealing enough for York to come to such conclusions. Six years of footage boiled down an un-narrated 90 minutes is not sufficient. It’s easier to make the case that tactical mishaps correlate closer with his loss than him being human with his family (e.g., ORCA).

If every presidential candidate had a documentary maker follow him and his family around (and film them, largely independently from staff) for their entire crusade, I’m sure we’d see similar doubts expressed; it’s human nature. (Also, we’d see some huge dysfunction compared to the Romneys.)

bhj on January 20, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Three: Romney suffered from the same problem McCain did, albeit to a lesser extent — there was no real point to his campaign.

A desperately and reverberatingly tragic statement — tragic that anyone running against Obama could believe this.

rrpjr on January 20, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Romney like all RINOs has one major problem. He’s in the wrong political party. I’m still waiting for the deathstar blitz of ads from Romney to take out the WH Marxist.

bgibbs1000 on January 20, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Romney killed that lady with cancer in PA because he took away her healthcare- and he didn’t ever pay his taxes……Rich and evil.
.
And I’m gonna vote for him instead of voting for Ofreebie who wants to give me free food stamps and free WiFi ?
.
are you nuts or sumpin?

FlaMurph on January 20, 2014 at 2:57 PM

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