Green Room

Amateur Hour at the Romney Campaign

posted at 8:58 pm on August 8, 2012 by

I don’t think I have to tell you about what went down with Andrea Saul. AP already had a good post about this. However, upon reading this I just knew I had to write a post about this.

I just have to ask, is Romney TRYING to lose this thing? I sincerely hope Andrea Saul went off the reservation, because if Romney HQ is using this as a talking point they should have their heads examined. I mean why bring up Romneycare when you have the ENTIRE media on your side decrying this Super-Pac ad? I bet they just couldn’t resist.

What happened to the campaign that held an impromptu press conference at Solyndra? What happened to the campaign that countered Seamus with the dog-eating? Were these people kidnapped, lobotomized, or did they just get arrogant? I’m betting on the latter. They won the primary, the economy is lousy, and they think they can run out the clock. Well gents, you can’t just run out the clock. You need to do more and what you’re doing now isn’t going to do it for you. The Obama campaign is literally accusing you of killing people and yet you can’t muster a decent counter-response. In fact you give us what Andrea Saul gave us.

Now I realize that the Romney campaign can’t match the President dollar for dollar in ads…yet. Campaign finance laws being what they are, the Romney camp’s hands are kind of tied, but they can do better, much better.

But you know what the worse part is? You know what really makes me angry? It’s that there is a horde of people out there that are seemingly able to defend Governor Romney better than he himself can. I mean, look at the comboxes here at Hot Air. Read Ace of Spades, read NRO. For example, Avik Roy had a fantastic defense of private equity on NRO yet I didn’t hear any of that from Romney. Sarah Palin got blasted for not being able to identify a book she read. Yet Governor Romney would be well served if he scoured (or paid someone) to scour some of these blogs. He might learn a thing or two.

Alas, he won’t. He won despite these people. Why would his group listen to us? We backed the losers (although to be fair, I caucused for him in Missouri, so he didn’t win in spite of me)?. It’s that kind of arrogance that will doom him. He’s scared to do what needs be done. He’s lived in a world of numbers and data and while he successfully nuked his competitors on the right, he’s fighting in a whole other league. The people here, at Hot Air, we KNOW what we’re up against. We know how the other side operates. It might benefit the Governor to listen to us and yet I know he won’t.

There is almost nothing more upsetting than being angry about something and knowing there is nothing you can do about it. We (or at least I) want desperately for Obama to be out of office. Heck, many of us probably want it more than Romney does and yet there is nothing we can do. We can vote, but us voting isn’t enough. We can give money, but Romney’s got money. What, most of all, we want is to be able to change minds. I guess we can do that in our own small ways, but in the ways that REALLY matter, we can’t do a thing and that enrages me.

So all I can do is pray. I know some of you here (like AP) would laugh at that, but there isn’t much else I can do. Maybe somebody can get through to the Governor, but I’m not optimistic and I’m afraid if we lose this time around, there won’t be much left to fight for in 2016.

P.S.-If Andrea Saul went off the reservation, she should be licking envelopes starting about…now. If I was less charitable, I’d call for her to be fired, but people mess up. It happens and people in glass houses (like me) shouldn’t be throwing stones. Yet for those of you who are less charitable than me, a little something to cleanse your pallet. I think it sums up what many of us are thinking (Warning Language):

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“The Obama campaign is literally accusing you of killing people and yet you can’t muster a decent counter-response.”

“…when you have the ENTIRE media on your side decrying this Super-Pac ad?”

Does he have to mount a response, when the entire media is doing it for him?

One of the principles of successful strategy is timing, of knowing when to strike. The initial flurry of activity and rapier sharp responses we saw earlier came at a time when Romney was making a first impression and things were at a phase when people were paying more attention. Now, we’re in lull when most people are paying less attention and the campaign has to husband its resources before the convention. Still, we are seeing speeches being made and ads being released, so is it possible that the Romney campaign is merely responding where they think it most vital to respond, doing so with a pool of limited resources? Are those responses merely of lower national visibility?

I think this is a possibility, since it would be a reasonable plan at this phase, and as you yourself note, the Romney campaign has shown nimbleness in the past. Which is more likely: that Romney, steady by nature, decided to ditch a strategy that’s working, or that they are operating on a game plan that takes into account their limited resources? The Obama campaign is chucking everything and the kitchen sink at Romney, hoping to see what sticks. With any concerted response costing time and money, and posing a risk of of being soundbitten, to which attacks is he suppose to respond? Also, I myself have seen stories about a step-up in ad-buys in certain markets, so that lends a little bit more evidence to the theory of lesser visibility.

Of course, I could be entirely wrong and you may be entirely right.

David Marcoe on August 9, 2012 at 9:45 AM

David Marcoe

It’s not about the *lack* of response. It’s more about the response that this spokestwit gave. There’s a *lot* of people already unenthused about Romney. Given that he’s a rino squish, why the hell would one of his spokespersons go out there and basically *endorse* Romneycare (thereby, indirectly endorsing Obamacare)? Seriously, do they *want* to depress the base? I mean, O-care isn’t popular and WTF was this idiot thinking?

The worse part? That response was obviously not on the fly. That means it likely was the “official” response from team Mitt. In other words, vetted by the squish himself.

Vancomycin on August 9, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Well and passionately stated. For many of us who spotted these qualities (or lack of) in Romney years ago, it is doubly frustrating. To be at this moment in history, with such opportunity to redefine our politics, and realize we have such a weak and uncomprehending “champion” at the top of our ticket can be spirit-crushing. But the awareness and energy of so many others may carry us over the line, or at least otherwise multiply and fortify our ranks.

rrpjr on August 9, 2012 at 10:00 AM


I responding to the issue that the bulk of the article was focused on. It only opens and ends with her statement, but talks about the overall operation of the campaign throughout. As to whether it was off-the-cuff or official, Mike doesn’t seem certain of it himself, and I certainly don’t know. That it will be forgotten in a few days for some other issue for the chattering class to obsess over–their attention is already split between that and speculation over his VP pick–is likely.

David Marcoe on August 9, 2012 at 10:06 AM

If the author of this blog post really thought Romney could get to election day without having to defend Romneycare in a debate, he’s kidding himself. Better to do it now before the convention and before people really start paying attention. And before Obama cuts an attack ad to put Romney on the offensive. No one, and I mean NO ONE who will still be convinced to change their vote, gives a damn what surrogates say because those kind of people are completely off the radar for the undecided voter.

Political pundits have a habit of being habitually wrong yet still get respect anyway. Please, stop with the BS.

BigWillieStyles on August 9, 2012 at 10:10 AM

*Romney on the defensive

BigWillieStyles on August 9, 2012 at 10:10 AM

*those kinds of people

BigWillieStyles on August 9, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Why isn’t Kevin Madden fronting this campaign on TV? He’s a Mitt guy, he’s smart, a pro, good looking. I don’t get it. I half think they picked Saul to do TV because she has a Southern Accent and doesn’t look like a Male Model like Mitt and Kevin. But you need pros on camera at this level.

AYNBLAND on August 9, 2012 at 11:18 AM

I know that in the (Over)Information Age we are obsessed with every word ever uttered by anyone important or even remotely connected to anyone important…

However… take a deep breath. Calm down. Relax. Chin Up. Stiff Upper Lip… and all that.

Ms. Saul clearly said something that was, quite frankly, dumb of her to say.

It was especially egregious considering that she is the Campaign Press Secretary. However, I would rather have Andrea Saul on my side than the gaffe-tastic Robert Gibbs or Jay Carney. (Perspective is important here).

Let’s not slay Ms. Saul for a mistake.

Better to be constructive and point out to the Romney Campaign that that particular strain of thought which Ms. Saul went down is not helpful.

RightWay79 on August 9, 2012 at 12:22 PM

If you were with the Romney campaign from the outset as an insider, you might not have the same “I-hate-my-own-side-more-than-the-Democrats” attitude Steve Schmidt and Nicole Wallace had on display in the McCain campaign four years ago. But at the same time, you are still going to have both disdain for some aspects of your party’s own voters base, and support for Mitt’s past actions, including, unfortunately, RomneyCare®.

Saul made the mistake of saying what she thinks, which is “What’s the big deal about RomneyCare®?” While others on the right are willing to look past Mitt’s Bay State boondoggle because he’s still better than four more years of Obama, there’s going to be a core group that not only is willing to look past the health care plan, but actually see nothing wrong with RomneyCare®. That’s why if Mitt’s elected and the GOP takes back the Senate, Romney’s feet are stilling going to have to be held to the fire to roll back ObamaCare®, because given the choice, Team Mitt would try and kick the can down the road all the way to at least the 2014 midterm elections and possibly beyond.

jon1979 on August 9, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Ms. Saul clearly said something that was, quite frankly, dumb of her to say.

RightWay79 on August 9, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Everything Ms. Saul said was idiotic. She kept repeating her same three talking points, despite the easy lines being hand-fed to her by the interviewer. [When she strayed off-topic on the very first question, and never gave the easy, obvious answer the interviewer sought, he actually gave it to her, asking , “Isn’t it true?” She looked surprised, agreed, and then returned to her “the depths to which this Obama campaign will go” attack points, over and over.] I had to turn it off after three minutes – I couldn’t bear the Cringing any longer.

momodoom on August 9, 2012 at 12:47 PM

Ms. Saul was not ready for prime time. That said, she was just going on a morning show that isn’t really a show, just a continuous Open Mike all morning on Fox.

I think one reason conservatives get all riled up, is that there is no presentation of our candidate or our point of view on the MSM channels. At all. No one friendly had Romney on to talk, it is always a challenge if he is there (Soledad Obrien) and they never talk to Obama that way.

So I guess Romney will have to pay for spots for his daily message on the big networks, and he can appear in person on the morning Open mike with Bill Hammer, and get the message straight, or hire someone good, like Dana Perino.

Conservatives are used to articulate reason, not Andrea Saul, sorry, you only get one chance, the conservatives out here feel the circumstances are too dire to waste on bringing her up to speed. She doesn’t even have a screen presence.

I don’t think she knew we were listening, the base is hungry to hear from the campaign, and a lot of people don’t have anything but tv in the Obama New Normal, especially the elderly.

Fleuries on August 9, 2012 at 4:56 PM

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