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Tue Nov 13, 2012, 12:45 PM


On Election Day, Money and Magical Thinking

Forty years ago, as a young, aspiring political operative, I was a staff member on Senator George McGovern’s presidential campaign. We thought we could beat Richard Nixon, but famously lost every state in the union except Massachusetts (with the District of Columbia thrown in as a forlorn consolation prize).

To commit to the presidential campaign lifestyle — endless hours and damn little charm — you really have to believe, no matter what, that your candidate will win. So last week I wasn’t surprised by the many stories about how the Romney team was convinced they would emerge victorious, polling evidence to the contrary, to the point where they reportedly had a fireworks display poised for ignition above Boston Harbor when the requisite electoral votes were achieved.

But what I don’t understand is building a castle in the air and, even in defeat, trying to keep paying rent on it, almost all evidence to the contrary. For years, the right wing has been living in its own version of Tolkien’s Middle Earth in The Lord of the Rings: an alternative and fanciful, fierce universe rarely bearing resemblance to real life but for odd, embittered moments like the one at President Obama’s victory celebration in Chicago on Election Night, when Fox News’ Ed Henry dourly announced, “The crowd is near pandemonium now, despite the fact that unemployment is hovering near eight percent.”

Talk about a party pooper. This all has been going on since at least 2004, when an unnamed aide to George W. Bush — widely thought to be Karl Rove — told journalist Ron Suskind, “We create our own reality… We’re history’s actors… and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”


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Reply On Election Day, Money and Magical Thinking (Original post)
JRLeft Nov 2012 OP
ffr Nov 2012 #1

Response to JRLeft (Original post)

Tue Nov 13, 2012, 02:02 PM

1. 40 years ago was much different

At least you have a justifiable excuse. Information flowed vastly slower, there was no digital anything and campaigns weren't focused like they are on their specific voter demographic.

Romney & Co. on the other hand, ran their operation with gross incompetence, fluffing a losing hand and espousing of a huge, (but unjustified) landslide to all who would listen. He became MIA to anyone who wanted to ask him questions and his internal operations were in complete chaos.

Mitt wasn't surprised on election night. I don't buy that for one second. For him to know anything different would only impeach his said credentials as a CEO mastermind of the highest caliber.

So which one was he? Mastermind or masterfully incompetent?

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