EDITOR OF REDSTATE
To Beat the President
Even if you get pissed off, make it to the fourth paragraph below please.
I have spent five years and a few months loudly saying Mitt Romney could not win the Presidency and a month and a half actually thinking he could through no act of his own, but rather the act of the President failing miserably in the first debate.
I should have stuck to my guns and I’m sorry I did not. But the truth is, had I, most of you would have left RedState long ago in disgust and even now I’d be being burned in effigy by major voices within the GOP for talking down the nominee. In the past few months there has been little gained, with so much at stake, pointing out the failures of the Romney campaign. Pointing out the polls were not rigged has still left hard feelings with a number of you. But it turns out I was wrong about them being skewed too far to the Democrats.
But here’s the thing you all need to understand as you are convinced the United States has rejected conservatism and embraced liberalism — there have been ten American Presidents defeated at re-election. Nine of them were subjected to intra-party challenges in the year of their re-election. The tenth was Herbert Hoover who, unlike Barack Obama, Americans blamed for the Great Depression.
The odds were never with us historically. It has nothing to do with an embrace of one world view or rejection of another. It is just damn hard to beat an incumbent President who is raking in millions and laying a ground work for re-election while your side is fighting it out in a primary.
Primaries make challengers stronger. But they also let the other side lay groundwork your side will never have the time to lay.
In that vein, the Romney campaign outsourced a good bit of its ground game to state parties and others. It was a bad decision. Go back to Scott Conroy’s article from June 13, 2012;
While the Romney campaign now has a small presence on the ground, at its lone statewide office — in Metro-accessible Arlington — fresh-faced interns far outnumbered paid staffers on Tuesday.
The campaign largely outsourced its Virginia ground operation to the Romney Victory Fund (a joint committee shared with the national Republican Party), which maintains nine offices throughout the commonwealth. Romney aides suggest that the coordinated effort is an advantage, since the campaign does not have to compete for volunteers and other resources with the Republican committees.
As Ben Domenech noted that morning in The Transon, “That… that’s the plan?” It was the plan. It failed.
In 2008, faced with an entrenched consultant class within the Democratic Party, Barack Obama put his team — and it was his team — in Chicago. Mitt Romney relied on the usual suspects still in good standing with the campaign from the last time and now.
It did not work out.
To beat an incumbent President is historically a near impossible task. Romney’s campaign operation made it even more impossible. That’s just the reality.
It has nothing to do with a rejection of much of anything, but Republicans should now reject that model.