My Previous Post: Romney Camp Chaos as Insiders Diss Stuart Stevens
The Stink of Defeat Has Descended on Romney HQ
. . . Romney has had a rough summer, capped by a listless convention and polls showing Obama starting to open a substantial lead in swing states. The stink of defeat around Romney HQ these days is probably strong enough to make hardened sewer maintenance workers turn tail and run away.
~ Kevin Drum on Mother Jones
He (Romney) ought to be killing Obama, and he's clearly not doing that. He should be doing better.
~ comment byR.J. Robinson, participant at the Values Voters Summit in Washington D.C. this weekend, via RealClearPolitics.
If Romney loses this election, the party really needs to do some soul-searching.
~ Mike Garner, a 27-year-old selling "Reagan was right" buttons at the Values Voter Summit
If the Republican Party loses this election, conservatives will have had it. They will be done, finished.
~ Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association
Infighting within Romney campaign: "I'm more broken inside!" "No, I am!" "I've wasted my life more!" "No, I have!"— Frank Conniff (@FrankConniff) September 17, 2012
Unlike the Summer Campy, Kool-aid drinking junior staffers, the top brass of campaigns is mostly made up of professional political consultants who move from campaign to campaign over their career and whose reputations, and thus employability, rise and fall with the very public success or failings of the candidates for whom they work. When a candidate starts to lose, there’s a point where the workaday operatives stop believing in their boss and start to worry more about their own future employment.
. . . In 2008 . . . as it became inevitable that Obama would likely win, the McCain campaign became a a black market of Palin slams, as advisers unloaded on the vice-presidential nominee, hoping to scapegoat her for McCain’s loss. That was a week before the election. Now it seems Stu Stevens is the new Sarah Palin, and we’re ahead of schedule on sacrificial bloodletting.
~ Alex Seitz-Wald on Salon "Romney in Panic Mode"
Poor surrogates: Where are the best voices, and why are they not day in and day out coordinating on a single message? John Bolton on foreign policy. New Gingrich on radical jihadism. Paul Ryan on anything. John Sununu on Obama criticism. They are all top-flight and too rarely seen. Week by week and day by day, the campaign lacks a coordinated and consistent message presented by the most forceful advocates. Put the policy people out to explain policy. Let the Obama team put out the hacks.
~ Jennifer Rubin in Washington Post "Boston Molasses"
Lucky for you and me the election is not today. But something needs to happen in Boston and I am less and less hopeful anything will happen.
It would be easy to dismiss me by saying I never cared for Romney or I’m somehow actually rooting against him. So let me put it to you this way: Jenn Rubin and I are on the same page. That’s either a sign of the apocalypse or there is something really dysfunctional happening within the Romney campaign.
. . . the very simple truth is that Mitt Romney has failed to close any deal with the voters and his message is so muddled no voter really knows what they are getting.
Consider last Friday’s economic news. The Romney campaign has let every North African nation distract them from reminding voters of that data. Even the North African mess has rendered the Romney campaign a rudderless messaging mess. His message is not selling. His ads are not very good. He has hundreds of staffers in Boston and I’m guessing too many cooks in the kitchen.
~ Erick Erickson, CNN conservative pundit and owner of Red State
Chuck Todd: What do you say to the conservative hand-wringers?
Bay Buchanan: You know, you have to remember, Erick Erickson has never been with us. There's many people, as conservatives, they didn't like us in the primaries, and we do what you can, you send the message that we think is right. This is Governor Romney's campaign and he is running it and it is his message.
~ Discussion on MSNBC via Mediaite and Talking Points Memo
Bay Buchanan says I was never with Team Romney.True.But I prefer him to Obama & dare say I'm more objective about the campaign than her.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) September 17, 2012
NORAH O'DONNELL: Well, John, I was struck by a Wall Street Journal piece today that lays out all the different polls - four different national polls that show that Obama now has the lead on the issue of taxes over Romney. I mean, that has traditionally been where most people trust Republicans more than Democrats - when it comes to the issue of taxes. And then, this Politico piece – I mean, what do you make of that there's now this finger-pointing that's going on about what happened at the Republican convention, which was so key to Romney, and whether or not they mismanaged the messaging in terms of Romney's big convention speech?
JOHN DICKERSON, CBS News Political Director: Most people will see that article as totally inside baseball, but here's what's important about it. In other campaigns that have had trouble - the McCain campaign, Hillary Clinton's campaign - we heard about the infighting after the campaign was over. You get – it bubbles up a little bit, and I'd heard some of these reports. But what's extraordinary about this, is that it's all happening in public. They're going to have to tamp that down.
~ CBS News Report: "Conservatives waiting for Romney vision to rally around"
David Frum's Ten Part Tweet About the Romney Campaign:
(1) This AM's Politico story about Stuart Stevens being to blame for Romney campaign's troubles utterly misses the point.— davidfrum (@davidfrum) September 17, 2012
(2) The Romney campaign has a messaging problem because it has a policy problem.— davidfrum (@davidfrum) September 17, 2012
(3) The policy problem is that the Romney campaign offers nothing but bad news to hardpressed Americans and the broader middle class.— davidfrum (@davidfrum) September 17, 2012
(4) How do you message: I'm doing away w Medicaid over the next 10 yrs, Medicare after that, to finance a cut in the top rate of tax to 28%?— davidfrum (@davidfrum) September 17, 2012
(5) I don't care if you hire the people who produce the ATT ads that make my wife cry, there's no lipsticking that pig.— davidfrum (@davidfrum) September 17, 2012
(6) The problem isn't the campaign leadership; it's the party's followership— davidfrum (@davidfrum) September 17, 2012
(7) Over course of campaign, Romney has changed from a pragmatic, capable manager into a dog-whistling culture warrior.— davidfrum (@davidfrum) September 17, 2012
(8) Candidate cd have and shd have resisted that pressure - but it's rich for ppl who demanded the change to complain about consequences.— davidfrum (@davidfrum) September 17, 2012
(9) I thought Stevens' - drafted Tampa speech did good job of humanizing the man, Mitt Romney— davidfrum (@davidfrum) September 17, 2012
(10) But voters do care about the q: what will this presidency do for me? And "dick you over" is not a winning answer— davidfrum (@davidfrum) September 17, 2012
Oh - and happy Rosh Hashonah everybody.— davidfrum (@davidfrum) September 17, 2012
@davidfrum OK who are you and what have you done with the real David Frum. I'm checking the basement for pods right now.— Jasun Mark (@jasunmark) September 17, 2012
@davidfrum is tweeting truth to power. Must read!— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) September 17, 2012
@davidfrum Then, leadership of the GOP has failed. The inmates have taken over the asylum, and you all let it happen. What now?— Maggy (@Maggyw519) September 17, 2012
The Re-Messaging of Mitt and Paul
Paul Ryan Interview with David Brody on Christian Broadcasting Network
David Brody: There are some conservatives that have spoken out saying they want to see some more specifics from the Romney/Ryan team and one thing that comes up, at least from the liberals is tax loopholes. Is there a reason you guys aren’t naming specific tax loopholes?
Paul Ryan: Yes because we want to get it done.
. . . we have to be able to work with Congress on those details, on how to fill it in and, more to the point, we don’t want to cut some backroom deal that they did with Obamacare where we hatched some plan behind the scenes and they spring it on the country.
We want to do this in front, in the public, through congressional hearings with Congress so that we can get to the best conclusion with a public participation. That’s the process that works the best to ultimate success gets this done. That’s why we’re doing it this way.
Ummm...So what is being said here is we should just "take your word for it"? No specifics, details at all? That sounds very much like a "backroom deal" to me. Anyone else?
~ comment by Neil on CBN
Meet the new Mitt Romney. Same as the old Mitt Romney. #butlouder— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) September 17, 2012
Breaking: Romney Campaign announces it will now spend more time not talking about the policies it didn't talk about before. #Reset— William K. Wolfrum (@Wolfrum) September 17, 2012
Had a hilarious dream where Mitt Romney changed his campaign to focus on god and patriotism, then realized it was actually happening.— Joe (@anamericangod) September 17, 2012