“The most striking data we saw early on was on the ‘understands problems of people like me’ question,” said a senior White House official involved in the discussions. “Into the summer, Romney was in the teens in this category.”
The choice was made. The onetime campaign of hope and change soon began a sustained advertising assault that cast Romney as a heartless executive, a man who willingly fires people and is disconnected from how average Americans live their lives — an approach reinforced by Romney’s mistakes along the way.
While the Obama campaign bet it could set the campaign’s course in the summer of 2012, Romney’s senior staffers in Boston put their money on winning a decisive autumn, when it believed voters would tune in to the race in earnest and their jobs-first message would convince the nation it was time for a change.
But, as the attacks mounted, so did concern within the Romney camp.
“Ann would come to me and say, ‘Eric, what are we going to do about this? It needs to be addressed,’ ” said Eric Fehrnstrom, Romney’s senior adviser, referring to the candidate’s wife. Romney’s family longed to tell the story of the “real Mitt,” but advisers told them that the time for that would come later, during the convention and debates.
Another Romney adviser said: “The group think today is if we were to go back and change one thing, we’d spend more money and more strongly defend Mitt and push back on the ‘rich guy,’ the tax rate issue, the Bain Capital issue. We knew it was coming and we should’ve done more positive ads to get his favorables up.”
This happened during McCain and now to Romney. How the hell could you think a summer of sustained vicious attacks wouldn't have an effect on Romney's image? Its the Obama campaign + Mainstream Media against Romney. Get a clue.
The campaign bore almost no resemblance to the expansive one Obama waged in 2008 — by strategic choice and by financial necessity. Without the clear financial advantage it had last time, Obama’s campaign relied more on the tools of micro-marketing than on the oratorical gifts of the nation’s first black president.
Gone were the soaring speeches that clarified Obama’s candidacy four years ago. Instead the president focused on Romney. Meanwhile, his campaign spoke early and often with “persuadable” voters, selected for targeted e-mails and doorstep visits through demographic data unavailable last time.
“We turned a national election into a school-board race,” a second senior Obama campaign official said.
He turned to Karl Rove 2004 playbook.
Even inside Romney’s campaign, some advisers worried Ryan would be identified too closely with his proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher program, an idea that could alienate seniors critical in Florida.
Those concerns translated into disagreements between Ryan and the leadership in Boston. One week after his selection, Ryan, on his own, gave a speech about Medicare to residents of the Villages, a city-size retirement community in central Florida.
“We want this debate. We need this debate. We will win this debate,” he declared.
To the relief of Romney’s advisers, the debate never materialized. But they did not allow Ryan to set the agenda again.
As part of his role, Ryan had wanted to talk about poverty, traveling to inner cities and giving speeches that laid out the Republican vision for individual empowerment. But Romney advisers refused his request to do so, until mid-October, when he gave a speech on civil society in Cleveland.
As one adviser put it, “The issues that we really test well on and win on are not the war on poverty.”
Ryan did not complain publicly. But he later had reason to.
Again the advisers who micromanaged everything screwed up. Read the whole thing, You can see openings for the Romney campaign they refused to do against Obama that was right there for the taking. Romney ran a nice campaign but he didn't run a winning Presidential Campaign.
Just a bunch of missed opportunities.
Blitzkrieg: “Political campaigns sometimes seem small, even silly,” the newly re-elected president said in his late-night victory speech in Chicago after Tuesday night had morphed into Wednesday morning. Obama blamed unnamed “cynics” for this unhappy state of affairs, but he might more properly look in the mirror — or at his own longtime Chicago-based political operatives.
Beginning last summer, Obama and his surrogates embarked on an ambitious plan to erode Romney’s image and reputation with a series of relentless personal attacks. This asymmetrical warfare — Romney criticized Obama’s record while Obama savaged Romney’s character — cost Democrats more than $100 million in eight battleground states. But it worked.
One negative TV spot portrayed Romney as a heartless corporate raider responsible for killing a steelworkers’ wife while running Bain Capital. When questioned about these claims, an Obama spokeswoman said she didn’t know the former steelworker at all. Actually, the same Obama press aide had put him on a campaign conference call with reporters where he pitched the same story — one that turned out to be false in most of its particulars.
This kind of thing continued apace, whether it was the president’s aides attacking Romney over his tax returns; the family dog’s accommodations on a long-ago family vacation (the roof of the station wagon); attacking Ann Romney as a woman who does not work; also attacking her, a breast cancer survivor who also has MS, for having an Olympics-ready dressage horse; and in the waning days of the campaign surreptitiously trying to slime the Mormon faith.
To a measurable degree, this strategy succeeded in its goal, which was to make Romney an unacceptable alternative to a president who hadn’t been successful.
WE had two "nice" guys go up against Obama and were totally unprepared to deal with Chicago style politics.