At around 6:30 p.m., as I was driving down to the Queen in Wilmington to meet my fellow DL and Democratic compatriots to watch the results and hopefully celebrate our victory, I was listening to MSNBC on XM, and one of their reporters embedded with the Romney campaign said that Mr. Romney had only prepared one speech for the night, a victory speech, while President Obama had prepared both a victory and a concession speech. Now, when I heard that, I thought it was pure puffery on the part of the Romney campaign, yet another attempt to project strength and momentum in line with what they had done the entire campaign. Of course Mitt Romney, a prudent businessman, would prepare for any eventuality, and that meant that he and his family and his running mate and his running mate’s family, and of course his campaign… all of them… would be prepared for any eventuality. And that means preparing two speeches and being emotionally prepared for a result one way or the other.
But, as we learn from this stunning CBSNews article, that was not the case. They really believed their own bullshit.
Romney was stoic as he talked with the president, an aide said, but his wife Ann cried. Running mate Paul Ryan seemed genuinely shocked, the adviser said. Ryan’s wife Janna also was shaken and cried softly.
“There’s nothing worse than when you think you’re going to win, and you don’t,” said another adviser. “It was like a sucker punch.”
Their emotion was visible on their faces when they walked on stage after Romney finished his remarks, which Romney had hastily composed, knowing he had to say something.
Both wives looked stricken, and Ryan himself seemed grim. They all were thrust on that stage without understanding what had just happened.
“He was shellshocked,” one adviser said of Romney.
Why were they shellshocked? Aren’t these people professional politicians? I mean, my God, how could they have not been prepared to lose? All the national and state polls throughout the campaign showed they were going to lose. Indeed, on our own DL Polling Report, and on other poll tracking sites like the Huffington Post and TPM, Mitt Romney did not lead the Electoral College at any point during the campaign. So why were they so shocked? Because they all bought into the bullshit unskewed polls nonesense, and then they built their whole campaign turnout operation on the unskewed poll theory posited by an angry amateur conservative named Dean Chambers who just did not like reality, so he created a new reality to make him feel better.
And a major party nominee bought into it!!!
I thought all the bravado and the “Romneymentum” stories from the Romney campaign was pure poker face for the purposes of the campaign, to keep supporters energized and to keep their big money donors signing checks. But deep down I thought they all had to know the reality. They had to know.
“They thought intensity and enthusiasm were on their side this time — poll after poll showed Republicans were more motivated to vote than Democrats – and that would translate into votes for Romney. As a result, they believed the public/media polls were skewed — they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn’t reflect Republican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney. That was a grave miscalculation, as they would see on election night.”
Well, some polls showed that Republicans were more enthusiastic than Dems, but those polls were taken back in January. Once the campaign began in earnest, most polls showed the enthusiasm gap to be shrinking or they showed it to be even and some polls showed the gap to favor the Democrats. You would think that a competent campaign would prepare for the worst, and the worst from the Romney’s campaign’s perspective would have been what the reality was: that Dems were enthusiastic to vote and that we all would turnout at 2008 levels. It would be one thing if Romney lost this election because his own base of Republicans and evangelicals did not turn out to vote. It is quite another to assume that your opponent’s base would stay home or that the electorate would somehow go back in time to 2004 and 2000.
It is just pure incompetence. Not only did they believe their own bullshit, but the meme that Mitt Romney was and is a competent businessman was also pure bullshit. He doesn’t know how to run things. Thank god he was not given the chance to run our country.
And in what I hope will be my final word on Mitt Romney and his campaign, there is this:
From the moment Mitt Romney stepped off stage Tuesday night, having just delivered a brief concession speech he wrote only that evening, the massive infrastructure surrounding his campaign quickly began to disassemble itself. Aides taking cabs home late that night got rude awakenings when they found the credit cards linked to the campaign no longer worked.
God, what a prick. The exact nanosecond his own staffers were of no use to him, he cut them off.