I am not going to lie, I was crushed when I heard that we would be subjected to four more years of Obama. But surprisingly, I did not feel myself slip into despair. There were some silver linings in defeat. We retained the House (with a large margin), we picked up State governorships, and we gained control of some State legislatures. This means that our grass roots efforts are working and that we are winning at the state and local level.
Now to where we have problems. The national stage. I know that many of us are hesitant to do a post-mortem on the Romney campaign. I know I am. I appreciate Romney's hard work and effort to win. I thought he carried himself well for most of the campaign and receives an A+ for effort. But effort does not always guarantee victory. If we are to truly learn and correct our mistakes, we must be willing to go through the painful examination process. So here are some key mistakes I feel the Romney campaign made:
1). Insufficient Ground Game: While Romney got out the vote better than McCain did, it was not enough. When I heard the reports of the disparity of the campaign offices in Ohio between the Obama campaign and Romney's, I was concerned. But I believed the reassurances of Team Romney. Turns out EE was right on this one.
2). 47%: What I am going to say here may surprise some, but here it goes. The gaffe was not the bad part, it was the strategy behind the gaffe that was the problem. Romney did not make concerted efforts to go after these people, especially Hispanics. He should have explained to them that simple, limited government will aid them and make their lives better. Instead, he focused on the Independents which was not enough.
3). The Media: It is no secret that we have the most corrupt, vile media in US history. They have lied, shilled, and deceived in order to get Obama re-elected. They were successful. While Romney cannot change this, I do believe he could have been more aggressive with them. He played not to lose to the media, instead of trying to beat them.
4). Conservatism...: I have respect for Romney, but he is a moderate and not a conservative. He failed to draw distinct lines between himself and Obama. People chose who they knew. Limited government was not the front and center platform it should have been. While I commend Romney for keeping the focus on jobs and the economy, he was almost too focused. It left him little room to talk about things like immigration reform, small government, and fiscal policy. More Paul Ryan, please.
There are many other things that could be listed. Other diarists have penned many points on which I agree ( a better response to Sandy, being too mute on Benghazi). But at the end of the day, we must learn from these errors and keep up the good fight. Despair and hand-wringing does us no good. We can do this together. Remember nothing has changed, we just did not get the "change" this country needed. Keep up your spirits!
*Repeat with me, "no more establishment moderate Republicans!"