Saturday, December 01, 2012
The first one is not a surprise. We all know, for instance, that Mitt Romney didn't even prepare a concession speech because he was so sure of victory.
"Romney genuinely believed that he would become the nation's 45th president, and was "shellshocked" by his landslide loss. "I don't think there was one person who saw this coming," one senior adviser told Jan Crawford at CBS News. Why was Team Romney so certain of victory? They simply did not believe that younger voters and minorities would turn out the way they did in 2008. "As a result," says Crawford, "they believed that the public/media polls were skewed" in Obama's favor, and rejiggered them to show Romney with "turnout levels more favorable to Romney." In essence, Romney "unskewed" the polls, mirroring widely mocked moves by conservatives to show their candidate with a lead, epitomized by the now-infamous website UnskewedPolls.com. Romney's defenders say he had plausible reasons to believe Obama's turnout would be lower; less charitable commentators say Romney and his aides were stuck in a conservative media echo chamber at odds with reality."
Yes, of course, living on planet- wingnut will do crazy things to your sense of reality.
"Another -not surprising- little gem coming out of the last election was the sophisticaion of the Obama ground game.
Obama's ground game relied on "an extraordinarily sophisticated database packed with names of millions of undecided voters and potential supporters," says The New York Times. The database allowed Obama's army of field workers to target new voters, register them, and get them to the polls. On Election Day, it became clear that the Obama campaign had altered "the very nature of the electorate, making it younger and less white," says The Times. "The power of this operation stunned Mr. Romney's aides on election night, as they saw voters they never even knew existed turn out in places like Osceola County, Fla."
That explains all the cries of cheating coming from the right.
Then there was the flip side.
"The Romney campaign "came up with a super-secret, super-duper vote monitoring system that was dubbed Project Orca," says Byron York at The Washington Examiner. The so-called "mega-app for smartphones" was supposed to "link the more than 30,000 operatives and volunteers involved in get-out-the-vote efforts," in a bid to coordinate everyone's efforts and maximize turnout, say Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns at Politico. But Project Orca was a complete and utter failure. The program crashed on Election Day, which meant that "workers on the ground didn't know what doors to knock on," say Haberman and Burns. The campaign was flying blind, relying on CNN and other media outlets to track turnout. "The end result," says John Ekdahl, a Romney campaign worker, at Ace of Spades, "was that 30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help."
Kind of like the rest of his supporters.
Of course there were less than flattering things about the president as well.
"In the run-up to the first presidential debate, Obama "displayed little concern" about the challenge ahead of him, and "his impatience with the exercise was evident," says The Times. He ended up walking "into a trap that Mr. Romney's advisers had anticipated: His antipathy toward Mr. Romney — which advisers described as deeper than what Mr. Obama had felt for John McCain in 2008 — led the incumbent to underestimate his opponent as he began moving to the center before the debate audiences of millions of television viewers." As a result, the president spent the rest of the campaign making up for "what was arguably the most dismal night of Mr. Obama's political career."
I am still having a hard time believing that he survived that performance.
The other revelations are not so surprising:
"Romney was desperate for money
"The GOP nominee emerged late last spring from a long and bruising Republican primary season more damaged than commonly realized," say Sara Murray and Patrick O'Connor at The Wall Street Journal. Romney "had spent so much money winning the nomination" that he had to spend the first weeks and months of the general campaign touring fundraising meccas in "California, Texas, and New York — none of which were important political battlegrounds." Romney raised about $800 million, but "paid a deep political price,"
Romney was beholden to Donald Trump
Perhaps the Romney campaign's "most fatal mistake was its tortured, 16-month quest to win the affection of rank-and-file conservatives via their most boisterous mouthpiece — at the expense of everything else," says McKay Coppins at BuzzFeed. That would be Donald Trump, the country's most famous birther. "Trump's appeal to the Republican base was undeniable," and Romney spent a fair amount of effort winning his endorsement. But the "Trump stunt did not end up sending Tea Partiers marching en masse to the primary polls," and Romney's new ties to birtherism "became, increasingly, a political headache." The Obama campaign linked Trump with Romney at every opportunity, and Trump "required constant maintenance by the campaign to keep him from going completely off the rails."
Finally, probably the saddest bit of information to come out of the elections:
"Ann Romney cried when Obama won
When it was all over on Election Night, the GOP nominee called Obama to concede defeat. "Romney was stoic as he talked to the president," says CBS News' Crawford, "but his wife Ann cried." His running mate Paul Ryan "seemed genuinely shocked," while "Ryan's wife Janna also was shaken and cried softly."
They weren't alone. [Source]