At 7:46 PM EDT on the 16th of September 2012 POLITICO published the first unofficial post mortem for the Romney campaign. This means that 8 weeks before the election on November the 6th there are a significant amount of aides and advisers in the campaign that have concluded that Willard Mitt Romney will lose the 2012 Election for the President of the United States!
The article heavily relies on an extensive Interview with Stuart Stevens, Romney's top strategist.
Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s top strategist, knew his candidate’s convention speech needed a memorable mix of loft and grace if he was going to bound out of Tampa with an authentic chance to win the presidency. So Stevens, bypassing the speechwriting staff at the campaign’s Boston headquarters, assigned the sensitive task of drafting it to Peter Wehner, a veteran of the last three Republican White Houses and one of the party’s smarter wordsmiths.Why?
Not a word Wehner wrote was ever spoken.
When asked about the various versions of the convention speech, Stevens said: “The governor writes his speeches.” Pressed on whether he does so with no help, Stevens added: “He reaches out to a lot of people. … We don’t discuss who works on what. It’s all just the Romney campaign. Everything is just the Romney campaign.”Right...
Much of the article is about Stevens defending his role and the campaign in general, but what is a running theme and not really highlighted by the POLITICO article is the shadow of Bush II hanging over the whole campaign
Instead, eight days before the convention, at a time when a campaign usually would be done drafting and focused instead on practicing such a high-stakes speech, Stevens frantically contacted John McConnell and Matthew Scully, a speechwriting duo that had worked in George W. Bush’s campaign and White House. Stevens told them they would have to start from scratch on a new acceptance speech. Not only would they have only a few days to write it, but Romney would have little time to practice it.
POLITICO has learned when Romney was gearing up for his 2012 run, he made never-before-reported overtures to Ken Mehlman, the manager of Bush’s campaign, and Mike Murphy, a top strategist who remains close to Romney.
Campaign officials said most parts of the Romney operation run in the rigid, metrics-driven style of Rhoades, a veteran of the buttoned-up Bush operation of2004. These parts include finance, voter contact, legal and communications. This stands in contrast to the hazy controls over things in Stevens’s domain, the officials said.
There are a lot more really interesting nuggets in the article, so I suggest you read the whole thing. Highlights includes the reaction of senior advisers to Clint Eastwood's rambling primetime "Stand-up routine" and details about a proposed "Route-66 Campaign Tour" (WTF?).
I think this is only the first of many "obductions" of the miserable campaign the "CEO extraordinaire" Willard Mitt Romney has run and a sign that the 2012 election in the last 8 weeks is clearly moving in the forward direction.