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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

GOP & Conservative After-Action Reviews

Robert Costa reports at National Review:
National Review Online has learned that the Koch brothers will postpone their semi-annual meeting, which was originally scheduled to be held next month. It will now be held in April. In an e-mail to friends, Charles Koch says he wants to reflect on the results, and on election data, before he huddles with fellow business leaders.
Here’s what Koch wrote to his inner circle:
Despite November’s disappointing election results, I am convinced that America’s long-term decline is far from a foregone conclusion. Our goal of advancing a free and prosperous America is even more difficult than we envisioned, but it is essential that we continue, rather than abandon, this struggle.
We are working hard to understand the election results, and based on that analysis, to re-examine our vision and the strategies and capabilities required for success. Although some of the needed changes are already evident, it will be several months before the state data necessary to complete this analysis is available.
The Kochs were a major force during the campaign. They donated millions to conservative causes, and Americans for Prosperity, which they founded, was active in many races. David Koch was also a Romney delegate at the GOP convention.
Yesterday, Maggie Haberman and Jonathan Martin reported at Politico:
The Republican National Committee is rolling out a plan to review what worked and what didn't for the party in the 2012 cycle, appointing five people at the top of a committee that will make recommendations on things like demographics, messaging and fundraising.
The Growth and Opportunity Project is going to be chaired by RNC committee member Henry Barbour, longtime Jeb Bush adviser and political operative Sally Bradshaw, former George W. Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer, Puerto Rico RNC committee member Zori Fonalledas, and South Carolina RNC member Glenn McCall. Priebus, who is running for a second term, is holding a call with committee members to roll out the plan this afternoon.
The plan is to focus on: campaign mechanics, fundraising, demographics, messaging, outside groups, campaign finance, the national primary process and, last but not least, what the successful Democratic efforts revealed about the way forward, and recommend plans for the way forward, sources familiar with the plan said.
Priebus had told a large group of donors in New York last week that the review would be conducted outside the building and would not be led by RNC staff. But sources familiar with the project said that there are 2 RNC senior staffers, Ben Kay and Sara Armstrong, assigned to the project as support staff, saying the goal between them and the RNC members involved was to have, as one source said, "both inside and outside influence" to bring in a several different points of view
The review may take place "outside the building" but the reviewers are all inside the GOP establishment.  Will they really provide a fresh, disinterested analysis?  Andrew Kaczynski notes:  "But during the election, two of its members — former Bush spokesman Ari Fleischer and Republican committeeman Henry Barbour — pushed the narrative that the polls were skewed and Mitt Romney would ultimately prevail."