Categorized | Commentary/Editorial

Romney’s campaign consultants were incompetent, in it for the money

In too many posts to count, I’ve argued that the reason Romney was the overwhelming choice of the Washington campaign consultant class since the day after McCain lost in 2008 was that he was their dream candidate. He possessed the two qualities most prized by this insular population of political parasites who occupy the D.C. beltway: An enormous amount of money and an equally enormous dearth of core convictions. For this reason, they correctly recognized Romney as someone who could easily be fleeced for a virtually limitless amount of money. He’d shower them with tens of millions of dollars in return for their sage "advice" on what he should think and say. It was always in their financial interest that Romney be the nominee and that someone like Governor Palin, who they knew would never fund their lavish lifestyles, be prevented from winning the nomination by any means possible. For campaign consultants, the "best candidate" isn’t the one with the best message or best chance of victory, but rather the one from whom they’ll amass the most cash. That’s how they pay their bills.

Governor Palin’s was the undisputed leader of the conservative fight against Obama in the run-up to the  2010 midterms, and it was increasingly clear to the beltway insiders that she had to be stopped lest they lose their multi-million dollar meal ticket. Even before the election, they did everything they could to minimize her role in the upcoming Republican sweep by trying to discredit her in their usual, gutless manner: false narratives spread via anonymous leaks. I discussed this at length a few days before the election:

Who has the most to gain by minimizing Governor Palin’s enormous role in the mid-term elections? Far be it from me, Dear Reader, to speculate on such things. I’ll leave that up to you. But as you contemplate this, there are a few salient questions to consider.

First, for whom do these mysterious “insiders” work (or want to work)? Keep in mind that Washington political consultants are basically parasites whose foremost goal is to suck as much money out of a campaign’s coffers as possible. But they first have to get hired by a campaign and, to do this, they must ingratiate themselves to the candidate. Most of these insiders know that Governor Palin will not play their game and, consequently, won’t hire their incompetent, backstabbing a*ses, so it’s undoubtedly in their financial interest that she not win the nomination. Sure, they’ll be able to find work on House and Senate campaigns, perhaps a campaign for the local dog catcher, but the real money is in the big show: the presidential election.

Second, which potential candidate benefits the most by a concerted effort to marginalize the Tea Party in general, and Governor Palin in particular? It would have to be an establishment candidate, of course. A candidate the Tea Party would never support. One who has taken positions that are, shall we say, anathema to the limited government principles espoused by Governor Palin and the Tea Party movement. A candidate whose position on, for example, government run health care is less than pristine.

Third, which candidate has consistently been promoted by Washington consultants and insiders as being the “inevitable” Republican candidate in 2012? Hmmmmm. And finally, who is willing and able to hire as many of these campaign advisors as it takes regardless of how much they cost? In other words, which candidate will result in the most financial gain for the community of mercenaries known as Washington political consultants?

I’m certainly not clairvoyant, but things turned out pretty much as I thought they would over two years ago. And today, in an eye-opening, though not surprising, piece at Redstate, Ben Howe exposes just how accurate I was, and how much of a mess these high-priced leeches made of the Romney campaign (emphasis mine).

Stu Stevens of the Stevens and Schriefer Group was said to not be chasing poll numbers with the media buy strategy and appeared instead to be doing little more than “throwing darts at a dartboard.”  At best using false numbers provided by ORCA; at worst milking the cash cow of the Romney campaign.

Most of the more public players, like Andrea Saul and Gail Gitcho, were doing their jobs as adequately as possible given that the apparently the poll numbers, ground operations & virtually all statistics and data involved with GOTV efforts were inaccurate.  However, players like Richard Beeson, Romney’s Political Director, are said to have spent the first half of the year “traveling state to state settling scores” instead of doing crucial campaign preparation.

According to all the sources I spoke to, the breakdown of the campaign can be traced to the primaries. One source saying “they looked at the guy who could raise the most money in history as a ride” adding that “money no longer matters.  That’s the problem,” also referring to the campaign overall as “the biggest political flim flam of all time.”

The result of all of these false numbers and inaccurate ground reports is simple: Mitt Romney was ill-prepared for the actual numbers on election day and his false sense of confidence directly translated into how the campaign operated in the closing weeks.  In the words of one source, it was a con job.  As David Mamet famously said, “If you’re in the con game and you don’t know who the mark is … you’re the mark.”  Mitt Romney had no idea what was coming.

Shocking that. Romney’s army of over-priced campaign consultants and D.C. insiders were simply there to do as little work as possible while milking Mitt’s money machine for as much cash as possible. My decision to stick with my gut and not send these bloodsuckers any of mine is looking better and better. One of Romney’s self-touted selling points has been his great managerial ability. Shouldn’t a good business manager know when he’s being fleeced for a colossal amount of money by a bunch of high priced grifters? A rhetorical question, I know.

Governor Palin had these huckster’s number from day one, and they knew it. Mitt Romney? Not so much, and he got what he paid (handsomely) for. Anyone dumb enough to hire these con artists in the future will also get what they pay for. Maybe they’ll follow the example of former McCain staffers Steve Schmidt and Nicole Wallace and work for MSNBC. Who cares.

There’s a lot more to Howe’s piece and I urge you to read the whole thing.


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  • jharp

    Hilarious. The brilliant businessman candidate got slickered by the folks that HE hired.

    And the community organizer outmaneuvered, outsmarted, and soundly trounced the businessman.


    • socon

       That’s because the soulless community organizer used our money to buy the election.

    • lyndaaquarius

      Actually,David Axelrod and Plouffe and Messina were the architects of that scenario.Couldn’t you tell during the debates that Obama is not really slick and Romney is politically naive? It’s Sarah Palin who is shrewd and wily. What amazes me is that she is also pure hearted and sincere. Keep your eyes on Governor over the next few years. Romney was so foolish to so conspicuously marginalize Mrs. Palin. Well at least now the GOP establishment has passed into History.

      • Kathleen

        We can only hope they have. 

    • John_Frank

      Do you support Sarah Palin and what she stands for?

      Of course not. You are an Obama troll.

      While we are not enamored with Romney, we have absolutely no love lost for an individual whose re-election bid was supported by the Communist Party USA.

      The exist is that way ———————–>

    • lanahi

      If he’s smart enough to be considered presidential, he should be smart enough in hiring the best and smart enough to know when what they are telling him is BS.  Can you imagine Sarah hiring and following the advice of some of these consultants?

      I don’t consider Mitt a victim of listening to the wrong consultants but rather stupid for not knowing the difference.  Stupid man who is out of touch with the average person.

      • socon

        Mitt was the Republican candidate the Dems wanted in 2012.  He never had a chance.

        When will the RINO loons look at the truth?

    • spottedreptile

      I won’t be finding it delicious when your community organizer has screwed over the country enough that you will be fighting for scraps with all the rest of the rats and freezing to death because you have no heating.

      I will be sad. That’s the difference between you and me. Laugh and gloat all you like. You lost too, you just don’t know it yet.

  • patnatasha

    mitt is not to bright when it comes to politics.

    • socon

      Romney made up for his stupidity with his arrogance.

      • toughluck2

        Yeah, I thought it was idiotic. NOT ONE mention of the tea party in the republican convention, all speeches had to be censured/vetted (except Eastwood). They shot themselves in the foot.

        Now who are ‘they’? We need to clean house, replace the GOP leadership, place more Tea Party/conservative types in the senate and congress. We could not change it from the outside in, we need to change it from the inside out. ARGGGHHHHHH!
        How in the world could Mia Love lose and Rep Jackson win just to be forced to quit as part of his plea bargain on stealing funds? ARGGGHHHH!

        I want to see some heads roll (figuratively):  Boehner, McConnell, Conryn.. lets make a list, who else?

        • socon

           All of the RNC.  No more Bushes!

  • friskyness

    He should have known, because those same people worked for McCain……Maybe he thought they were on his side, because they fought so hard to ruin Palin……….Also, maybe it is a Republican rule that if you are the nominee, you have to use establishment consultants!

  • Kathleen

    This makes me sick.  All the stress I went through, all the anguish over deciding whether I should vote for Romney or not, all the hype I was hearing about how their internal polls looked so good, ratcheting up false confidence going into the election…

    The weekend before the election, after the hurricane hit and the polls started staggering out, the truth began to show…Romney was either just below Obama or dead even.  My heart failed me then and I knew in my gut he was bound to lose. 

    I did my duty like a good little soldier and voted for Romney like I was pressured to do.  Fat lot of good it did me or our country.

    We’ve been saved from having Romney as president, but if Sarah had not been marginalized in the first place, we might have been looking forward to the inauguration of President Palin instead of the greater horror fully spreading out before us now–a re-elected Obama and a lost Senate, and the impending doom of Obamacare.

    • socon

       I wonder how soon the RINO bullying will start for the 2016 election?

      • Kathleen

        They’re already dancing their candidates out–Rubio, Jeb, Christie.

        • socon

           They’re dancing alone this time.

          • Kathleen

            I’m certainly not interested in taking on one of those partners.  :-P

            • socon

               You’re just afraid you’ll get squished by Chris Christie.  lol

        • Elwanda Burrell

           They will lose worse than 2012….if they pull that kind of thing.

        • Terrenceor

          Rubio is a Senator today because of the Tea Party. The first thing he did after the election was distance himself from the Tea Party. He is establishment all the way.

        • Christopher H Fromme

          Rubio when challenged by the Article II Super Pac about being a Natural Born Citizen said nothing.  If he had been a true patriot he would have come out with a statement saying that just as Obama’s father was not an American citizen Rubio’s parents were not citizens thus neither could run for POTUS or VP.   Had he done so he would have been a hero to all American’s.  Just call him Marco ‘Bush’ Rubio

          • socon

             I think Rubio’s a smoke screen for the real candidate the GOP will push:  Jebbie.

    • colint

      Romney cannot say that Sarah and people like you caused his loss. It is clear that he and the poor job he did, particuarly in his choice of advisors, caused his loss. As governor she chose good people to staff her administration. She surely is good at selecting candidates worth supporting. These are the skills a real leader needs.

      • Freempg

        colint, Romney is now irrelevant. The people who will say Sarah cost the election already are and will continue to do so along with repeating defamations. She remains the most dangerous politician alive — to both parties. There will be no let up in the storm, look for it to intensify. The only way for it to stop is for the Governor to get in the game and win it.

  • VADMCollingwood

    Stand by for the beltway jabberwockies and the media bobble heads to start pushing his Jebness as the only true conservative in the GOP.    

    • Terrenceor

      Already started and wait for Jeds book talking about how all we need to do is pander to Latinos and everything will be solved.

      Read Heather MacDonald’s column at National Review Online and listen to Mark Levin’s 11/8 show in the 2nd hour and you will understand the disaster of that thinking.

      • blueniner

        Heather MacDonald was spot on, I heard her on Levins radio show. C4P should post her work.

        • socon

           Rush was praising her work, too.

        • Terrenceor

          I don’t know if there are any "W" fans here, but if you look at his administration beyond the military and social issues you will find one big disaster. Google Bush + Food Stamps for starters. He opened food stamps up to non-citizens, college students, lowered eligibility standards. Try GM Bailout, Student loans etc.

          • socon

            GWB started a lot of programs Obama has used against us–Fast and Furious is one.

            I hold him in lower regard than Obama because he was supposed to be one of us.  It makes me ill when he is defended.

        • wisetrog

          heather macdonald is a palin hater.

  • goldenprez

    If true constitutional conservatives are going to prevail in 2014 and 2016, we are going to have to disassociate from and disavow the GOP. They are as much a part of, and have as much invested in the status quo as the Socialists/Democ-rats.

    The battle is going to have to be waged by conservatives against the Socialists. Removing the conservatives from the GOP, where they are not welcome anyway, reduces GOP to nothing  more than a third party, much like the Libertarians and Greens.

    Otherwise the United  States of America is lost.

    The 2010 landslide was not, in any way, a Republican landslide. It was a TEA Party/conservative landslide. That way too many of those elected in that landslide were pretenders, and soon disavowed the people who put them in office, to fall into lockstep with the GOP, should have been more than a lesson. It should have been a springboard to the formation of a Freedom Party.

    Undoubtedly, two years will not be enough time to organize on a national basis. But it should be more than enough time to organize on a local, state, and regional basis … if that organizing begins now!

    For my constitutional conservative tastes, there are still way too many people here who think of themselves as Republicans, or belonging to the Republican Party. Way too many who still think that, as conservatives, they actually have a place in the GOP. Everything that has been done to Mrs.Palin, the TEA Party, and conservatives across the land by the GOP has not yet taught them the lesson they need to learn if we are to prevail.

    If you plan to vote Republican because that candidate is the lesser of two evils, you are a sucker.

    We must find the "right" candidates for all offices, constitutional conservatives, and support them, and only them. And make it absolutely clear that those are the only candidates we will support.

    The Republicans have learned nothing in, at least, the last 60 years.

    Not incidentally, not only is a Freedom Party called for, but an entirely new strategy of campaigning as well. The internet, social media outlets, and talk radio does not reach anywhere the number of people needed to win a national election. And, for the most part, it is preaching to the choir.

    Believe none of what you hear, and only half of what you see.

    Illegitimi non carborundum.

    Barracudas Maximus.

  • n4cerinc

    In short, the biggest con job was pulled on the Republican electorate by the same people Gov. Palin has warned US about. Foxnews [and talk radio] was the mega phones used to manipulate the people. While Obama didn’t even need to put forth a platform. The magnitude of the shellacking says that Obama didn’t even need to lift a finger, because the GOPSmartSet were busy fleecing an electorate. They yelled and screamed about Obama’s $billion. But they were the ones raising the same or more.  If the Republican party continue to fall for this type of thing in 2016, it will be in permanent minority status.

    • generictrainee

      Tea Party 2 , the revenge. 

      • socon

         I love that!  2014/TP2–The Revenge!!   lol

  • Juli C

    Why am I not surprised??? These Schmucks are the reason that she was not included in the Convention. She also said not to alienate the Paul supporters and they didn’t listen and we needed all hands on deck for this operation but many decided to stay home or it was voter fraud. 

    • toughluck2

       I got chewed by an old friend of mine when I questioned her allegiance to Obama. She said that  she needed the government to provide her food, foodstamps, health care, etc, and would not mind paying more taxes for it. I tied to make the point that she had been unemployed because of the oppressive environment for business and if tax rates were lower there would be more jobs to go around.
      It was a losing argument, I was called a hypocrite, etc (by a very dear old friend). And things are going to get worse, more people will need the government the worse it gets and more people will vote for Obama’s policies the worse it gets, its self-feeding.  I dont know how to stop it.

  • pipam12

    well the bottom line is we are stuck with bozo for another 4 years , how depressing , I was under the impression that everyone wanted bozo out of office and would have at least showed up to vote in over whelming amounts to prevent the fraud , I guess I was wrong 

    • socon

      I guess a lot of people couldn’t vote for Romney after he insulted them.  Very unfortunate on both sides.

      • wodiej

        what a poor excuse for not saving one’s country.  petty.

        • socon

          I agree.  Romney was a poor excuse for a candidate.  Not only was he petty for excluding Sarah and the Tea Party from his campaign, he was stupid.

  • HuntingMoose


    Pointing fingers is an easy excuse and risk for repeat because we miss some real causes, how unpleasent they may sound.

    I think that Obama’s team did a superb job in getting the uninformed fools and santa claus crowd out to vote not because the came by themselves, but by relentless twittering calling and picking up these and bringing them to the polls.

    I hear comments that the polls were right. NO THEY WERE NOT RIGHT. They were biased for Obama and did not took the GOTV effect in effect. had they done that, thet would have had Obama up even more.

    Turnout is key and you need a grassroots organization, decentralized to make it happen. romney went big centralized and it was an utter failure.

    There are sufficient conservatives to win as long as they all vote. And regarding the ignorant fools who voted, we should not imitate santa claus but we need to educate them. Education as always is key.

    • lanahi

       Education involves also HEARING the truth, which is why we have to get conservative TV networks.

  • TSM_Admin

    I made a post way back in (February I think) just before the FL Primary.  Newt and Mitt both showed up in my area and both were just 2 days apart and within 20 minutes drive of my house. I had never seen each in person.  I had heard the stuff about how well "orchestrated" Mitt’s campaign was.

    Newt showed up first and if I hadn’t seen Mitt 2 days later, I wouldn’t have thought much more about it.  But here is the in person comparison simplified.

    Newt was in a rectangular carpeted hotel conference room with many chairs and good sound.  Mitt was in an aerospace hangar with about 2 dozen chairs and bad sound.

    Newt’s event started 5 minutes late.  Mitt’s was 15 minutes late – after changing the location once and then the time once.

    Newt had a program.  An intro, a lady sang a patriotic song, several local folks spoke for maybe 30 seconds, then Bill McCollum (his state coordinator) spoke for 4-5 minutes then introduced Newt.  Calista was with him and he spoke for 25 minutes.  Mitt had no program.  There was some taped music before hand and then an unseen announcer gave a 2 sentence intro like, "Here’s the next president, Mitt Romney".  He was alone and spoke for 15 minutes.  Nobody else before or after on the stage with him.

    If I had not been at both events and someone described to me the programs, I would have guessed the candidates at the opposite event they were at!

    Doug, I had been trashing the Mitt mailings all summer also.  I also considered late in the campaign, like after the first debate, sending some money, but decided against like you.  Lucky us.

    p.s.  I DO NOT have a problem with the fact that SarahPAC sent in a check the last week and she make a big Facebook post.  If she had done nothing, folks would probably said something about it.  I suspect she was waiting to be asked so she wouldn’t be seen "interfering" with the campaign.  But she did her duty and I am ok with that.

    p.p.s.  Interesting how in 2008, it was all Sarah’s fault after the loss.  Looks like this time the whole crew is getting blamed, from the articles I have read the last few days!  Ha ha.  Don’t get me started on that ORCA thing.  I am an IT guy and what little I have read about it, If Bain Capital had an IT department like that, Mitt would never have made even one million dollars.

    • socon

       Blaming Sarah for 2008 was a joke, but blaming Romney for 2012 is righteous.

      • wodiej

        No, you can blame conservatives for that.  They had a choice w Palin and when she seen she did not have the support needed, I am guessing that was what finalized her decision to not run.  Then we had Gingrich but conservatives didn’t want him either. He would have been a great alternative.  Instead voters split their vote w sanctimonious, self righteous Santorum who didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning. Like the fisherman story, God sent us 2 great conservatives, and Republican VOTERS passed on both.  So, no it is not Romney’s fault that he lost.  It is conservatives fault for not choosing the right nominee when they had a chance. 

        • Elwanda Burrell

           Without Sarah we didn’t have a candidate to support…..Romney didn’t want us, but I held my nose and voted anyway…….never again will I vote for a Rino.  And never again will I vote for someone that throws me under the bus… way no how.

          • socon

            Right on!

            I wonder when they’re going to start shilling for the next "sure thing" RINO candidate.

        • socon

          No, it’s RINOs like you who are to blame for shoving a lousy candidate down our throats.  You were wrong.  An honorable person would admit it.

    • wisetrog

      yeah, it was all sarah’s fault but ryan is not even getting mentioned anywhere.

      • friskyness

         Ryan didn’t even bring his own state of Wisconsin…and he isn’t being blamed for anything….GOPE get use to losing all elections because you just don’t learn anything!

  • conservativemama

    Romney wasted a fortune.  All he had to do was travel to Wasilla.  Time spent with Sarah would have been fun, enlightening, entertaining, and worth every moment.  She knows how to win.  She knows who Obama is.  And she loves her country.

    That’s all he needed.  So blind.  So gullible.  A fool and his money……………

  • Lemuel Vargas

    Or maybe it was a conpiracy in which they want Mitt to lose so that they could put up Jeb Bush to run in the 2016 election. Think that conspiracy has some credence to it especially due to the fact that they did not invite Sarah to the convention because that would give her exposure and thus would be a serious competitor to Jeb.

    What do the fellow bloggers here think about this? Plausible, possible or probable?

    • n4cerinc

      I have always suspected that, but when I saw Karl Rove’s meltdown on Fox, I think the article is right, it is about the money. These consultants should be blacklisted. Of course the Stupid Party will always have work for them.

    • otto

      Jeb Bush may well be a good man. But he is a non issue and a strawman argument.

      JEB BUSH WILL NEVER BE PRESIDENT. Take that to the bank.

      That would be the definition of insanity after the first two.

      And i believe George W is a good man, But…As presidents they were sorely lacking.

  • wodiej

    Surprise, surprise.  A critical commentary from Doug on Romney.  Romney may have been the preferred candidate in DC but the voters elected him-not insiders.  As for payoffs, that is just your opinion.  It is not only reflective of your inability to be objective about this matter, it is non-productive.  

    • socon

      Strongly disagree!  Self introspection is crucial if we don’t want to repeat Mitt’s disastrous loss to Obama.

      You missed the point entirely.  Color me not surprised.

    • n4cerinc

      "non-productive" to what? unseating Obama? that ship has sailed. If you never learn from your mistakes you are doomed to repeat them. 

      • socon

         We might never win another presidential election.  God help us.

  • tp517

    Nailed it!
    Let us not forget to mention "The Achitect" whose PAC also fleeced willing contributors of their bucks and delivered little more than "The Archiects" face on Fox News.

  • bongobear

    I believe that Karl Rove is more culpable in the GOP loss than anyone.  The man has too much influence and is not nearly as smart as he thinks he is.

  • otto

    Agreed. I think they are worse than Con artists. They are souless parasites.Remember these people are not patriots.

     The lesson here is that if somebody has an iron in the fire, or are willing to profit off the misery of others. Question Boldly every move they make.

  • mder4thegov

    It looks like Romney & Co. let their pride, ego and fear get the best of them…when it came to Gov. Palin.
    They convinced themselves Sarah was too toxic, and chose not to have her speak at the convention. I gave three reasons for this slight in an earlier comment: 1) Sarah would’ve brought down the house–had she been invited, thus taking attention away from Romney and Ryan, 2) Kevin Madden and his buddies rationalized, the very sight of the governor on that stage, would’ve fired up a demoralized democrat base, and 3) Romney and gang thought the media would’ve used the opportunity to repeat ad nauseum–how Palin was chosen over Mitt–in ’08, for McCain’s VP.
    In hindsight, having seen post-election results, which revealed nearly three million less republicans bothered casting a vote in this election (even with Obamacare on the table), it’s obvious the campaign’s decision to exclude Sarah bit them you know where.
    IMO, Kevin Madden is this year’s Steve Schmitt, and I didn’t think that could happen.

    • PalinIsGodsGift2USA

      Or was it Ann Romney, who I believe previously donated to Planned Unparenthood and seems to be the more liberal of the two. Perhaps jealousy? Ego?

      After 2 losses with "moderates," perhaps the RINOS learned their lesson. Fat chance. It will be a dogfight to defeat them. But it must be done.

      SARAH 2016

      • socon

        I tried to like Ann, I really did.  Couldn’t do it though–she’s the archetype of the elitist country club Republican I loath.

        I think she did more than donate to PP though; I think she volunteered for them.  Laura and Barbara Bush are both pro-aborts, too.

  • Quiet_Righty

    If Sarah runs in 2016, can she go national without using consultants of ANY kind? I think the trick is knowing which "professionals" are bad.

    • socon

       I think Sarah knows by now, don’t you?  Unfortunately, I think they’re all bad.

    • lanahi

      I think she already has her own consultants.  She doesn’t need them to tell her what to think or do, like some politicians do, because she isn’t interested in telling people what they supposedly want to hear.  She just needs to get her own message out loud and clear.

      • Elwanda Burrell

         I think Todd is her best consultant!!!

        • socon

           True, but he’s second to the Lord. 

  • Rebecca Socorso


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