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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Perry and Romney: A Contrast in Campaign Quality

At Politico, Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman write that the Allbaugh team took over the Perry campaign from the much-touted Carney team and found incompetence:
"There has never been a more ineptly orchestrated, just unbelievably subpar campaign for president of the United States than this one,” said a senior Perry adviser. 
...
In a blistering indictment, sources close to the operation describe a new team that was stunned to arrive in October and find a campaign that wasn’t executing the most rudimentary elements of a modern presidential campaign: no polling or focus groups, no opposition research book on their own candidate to prepare for attacks and debate prep sessions that were barely worth the name.
Also at Politico, Reid J. Epstein paints a radically different picture of the Romney campaign:
The events start when they’re supposed to. The candidate says what he’s supposed to. The staff does what it’s supposed to.

To watch the Mitt Romney operation in action is to see Swiss precision applied to the campaign trail and it helps explain how he finds himself contending for victory in Iowa, a state he ignored for much of the campaign.
At CNN, former Romney adviser Alex Castellanos offers a backhanded compliment:
Whether Romney has run a brilliantly passive race or a fortunate one does not matter. Passionless, but not hollow, his campaign has been as buoyant as Styrofoam. Romney may continue to float downriver to the nomination, full of holes, on a rigid structure of air....
This gives us a preview of November 2012. Romney's noncampaign campaign may also be a brilliant strategy for the general election, the perfect way to receive a billion dollar's worth of negative bullets from Team Obama. Styrofoam is light but stronger than it looks. A few more holes won't sink it. And styrofoam runs neither hot nor cold: It is hard to love but, for the same reason, hard to hate. A Romney candidacy is more likely to make the general election a referendum on Obama's economy, not a choice between the candidates.