Sometime before Election Day, before the debates, people already knew Stuart Stevens and his team were in over their heads. From the utter fiasco of Romney’s convention speech, which he stripped down to a thin gruel of bland forgettable pablum (and of course, stripped of any mention of America’s servicemen and women abroad), throwing aside Bush’s micro-targetting programmed wholesale, allowing his Hollywood aspirations to make him give the prime speaking slot at the RNC to Clint Eastwood (without any vetting) instead of people who would humanize his candidate, I just thought at the time, that Stu Stevens was simply disorganized.
Then, we found out about ORCA, and the fact that Stevens and his team (Moffat, et al.) still thought the system performed well because … “metrics”. Then came the revelation that Stevens had no concept of the idea that what voters tell pollsters is often quite different from what would actually influence them in favor of candidate A or B.
Then we discovered the wide disparity in both quality, quantity and reach of advertising (in Obama’s favor), despite the fact that this was supposed to be where Stevens was going to dominate and make up for months of unanswered attacks – down the home stretch the Obama Campaign and its allies outperformed Romney and every single Conservative SuperPAC on every possible measure; “[Obama] spent less on advertising than Romney and his allies but got far more — in the number of ads broadcast, in visibility in key markets and in targeting critical demographic groups, such as the working class and younger voters in swing states … Romney not only paid more for his ads but also missed crucial opportunities to advertise, for instance during the political conventions and on Spanish-language television …“
When it came to online advertising, the graph to your right tells you the entire story.
Considering the horrendous amount of what was very rightly called campaign malpractice in that WaPo piece, there actually is a viable argument that Mitt Romney could take Stuart Stevens and Co. to court for fraud.
But as they say; never attribute to malice what can just as easily be attributed to abject stupidity.
Top Romney Strategist Stuart Stevens Says Media Not ‘In The Tank’ For President Obama
Ever since then-Senator Barack Obama first took a lead in the 2008 Democratic primary, the political news media has faced the accusation that they are “in the tank” for the now-second term President Obama. On Sunday morning’s Reliable Sources, the press got a qualified defense from a surprising source: Mitt Romney chief strategist Stuart Stevens. Host Howard Kurtz asked Stevens if ” much of the media is in the tank for Barack Obama,” to which Stevens replied, “In the tank? I would say no.”
“Do you believe, today, that much of the media is in the tank for Barack Obama?” Kurtz asked.
Stevens replied, “It’s not a yes or a no question. In the tank, I would say no. So, yes or no question, I would say no.”
Kurtz pressed the line of questioning several times. “Too sympathetic to the President? How would you put it?” he asked.
“I think after the election, you’ll have a lot tougher questions that will be asked because you’re out of an election environment,” Stevens replied. “I think you’re seeing that this past weekend with this whole golf outing. I think they will be more critical now.”
A surprised Kurtz asked, “You’re saying the press should be finally more critical about the fact that President Obama went golfing with Tiger Woods?”
“The degree to which there is not a choice between him and a Republican candidate makes it easier for them to be tougher on the President,” Stevens replied. “That’s natural.”
In hindsight; there was no way Mitt Romney could have won with the team he assembled, and I am truly flabbergasted that I was so wrong to assume that Romney would bring the same A-game he brought to selecting teams to turn around failing companies to his campaign.
The fact that Stu Stevens and his team do not see and actually never saw the media’s heavy bias in favor of the President during the campaign means there was not, at any point, any path to victory for Mitt Romney. People this blind and lacking in perception would have eventually snatched defeat from the jaws of victory no matter what had gone right; these are the people who quickly advised Mitt Romney to “tone it down” after his excellent performance in the first debate and go into prevent-defense to “appeal to Independents and women.”
Even worse is the fact that these people continue to give themselves high marks for the utter fiasco of a campaign they ran.
Considering what we went through with Steve Schmidt and prior to that, the tragedy that was the Bush White House’s political and communications operation, I’ve had to come to the sad conclusion that right now, when it comes to political operatives, electoral experts, campaign strategists, etc, Democrats get the cream of the crop, while Republicans are stuck with the slimy fetid fungus that feeds on the decaying scum encrusting the bottom of the barrel.