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If you don't mind visiting right-wing web sites, then please venture here. It's worthwhile:

Apparently, the ORCA GOTV app that Romney had planned to use on election day was a colossal failure, and many campaign workers suspect it was a big part of their loss on Tuesday. Key quote:

So, the end result was that 30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help. Like driving people to the polls, phone-banking, walking door-to-door, etc. We lost by fairly small margins in Florida, Virginia, Ohio and Colorado. If this had worked could it have closed the gap? I sure hope not for my sanity's sake.

The bitter irony of this entire endeavor was that a supposedly small government candidate gutted the local structure of GOTV efforts in favor of a centralized, faceless organization in a far off place (in this case, their Boston headquarters). Wrap your head around that.

Highly recommend reading this, and checking out the comments as well. They're low on anti-Obama sentiment, and high on insider looks into the mismanagement of the Romney campaign. Many of the Romney poll watchers were clearly impressed with the OFA GOTV effort, as they struggled desperately to figure out their own.

After reading this, the idea of President Mitt Romney should give even Republicans the chills.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The problem is quite clear: an orca is (16+ / 0-)

    black and white; the electorate is much more colorful.

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

    by cassandracarolina on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 04:03:04 PM PST

  •  Seriously? They thought that this one (12+ / 0-)

    app on Election Day was going to make all the difference? Do they have any idea how many years were spent putting together the OFA machine?

    ... when they could have been doing anything else to help.  Like driving people to the polls, phone-banking, walking door-to-door, etc.
    Somebody should tell them it wouldn't have helped. Even if they had been doing those things, they should have spent months planning and organizing for Election Day.

    “Mitt Romney is the only person in America who looked at the way this Congress is behaving and said, ‘I want the brains behind THAT operation.’ ” — Tom Perriello

    by hungrycoyote on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 04:07:07 PM PST

    •  I found my way to this website a couple of hours (6+ / 0-)

      ago (linked to a tweet from Ana Marie Cox) and was coming here to write a diary about it. Glad to see it already diaried.

      The comments are also highly instructive. Some of the early ones are fairly coherent, bemoaning the inefficiency, diversion of resources and overall incompetence. The posters seem to come from professional backgrounds, and did not seem to be wingnuts. A few even question how a so-called turnaround specialist could run such a goat rodeo. But then the comments start to devolve. At first it was just the standard GOP talking points: the electorate should have been ready for an experienced businessman; we need to keep taxes low and cut entitlements, blah blah blah. Then you start seeing conspiracy theories about high voter turnout in African-American precincts (must be voter fraud) and then the inevitable references to Obama's Marxism, socialism, Nazism and Islamism.

      For a moment I thought I'd hit upon an interesting conservative blog that was a cut above Freeperville or Red State to lurk at when I wanted insight into the conservative mind.

      But no. Same old shit.

    •  What is truly laughable... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bellyofthesun, wwjjd, llywrch, Xtatic

      was the story that people who thought they had an app, were actually supposed to be going to a website and that volunteers (some of them) were sent what proved to be a 60-PAGE PDF file of instructions.

      Sixty pages to volunteers?  You gotta be kidding me.  Only a software engineer could design something like this.  These are folks too deeply in love with their really cool technology to stand back and ask just how it would work in real life.

      Worse yet, when people called a supplied number for help, nobody answered.

      Morans aplenty it appears.

      Free markets would be a great idea, if markets were actually free.

      by dweb8231 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 05:47:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A 60-pg packet that they didn't bother e-mailing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JeffW, distraught

        out to volunteers until 4pm Monday night...the night before the election. Lol! Pure incompetence and political malpractice. As the guy who wore this pointed out

        They expected 75-80 year old veteran volunteers to print out 60+ pages on their home computers? The night before election day? From what I hear, other people had similar experiences. In fact, many volunteers never received their packets at all.
        Such fail couldn't have happened to a bigger group of douchebags.
    •  Big corporations love cheap magic apps that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      are supposed to save big big money... allied with off-shoring and other bottom line enhancers where they buy into the hype and just look at the promised benefits and the projected profits. Probably like Orca was for Romney...

      Somehow it reminds me of the idiot who got cruise control installed on his motor home... and the first time he tried it out was on the highway... when he decided he needed to get up to use the bathroom... apparently he did not read the instructions or really think things through... and of course quickly went off the road and overturned... He lived to try and sue the company... Will Romney try and sue the developers of tools his campaign used for crashing his presidential dreams?

      Mitt believed! Believed what he wanted to be true. just like the hucksters selling stuff on TV or a do everything overpriced impossible weapon systems to the Pentagon. So in that sense Orca is a fire and forget missile, a Ginsu knife set, a foolproof IT fix or app, a roomba... a fix everything, do everything tool, everything seemingly taken into account with no loose ends, misdirection, missed corners or wasted time/fuel or systems crashes allowed for or even imagined.... a people and task organizing tool that Cures all ills, cuts out the middleman, saves money, regrow hair, helps you lose weight, restores sexual function.... But in the real world if an incompletely thought out organizational tool that cuts out too many thinking, hands on people out of decision loops and they will not be there to fill in the organizational and functional gaps and deficiencies. Sort of like the way US industry has been downsized or off-shored by Mitt and his buddies.... great on paper and for short term profits...

      Buying a turnkey tool or software suite is great for many needs... especially services and capacities that have a long development history where most of the shortcomings are well known and have been reduced or fixed to a large extent and where it is inherently flawed or insufficient the problems are either allowed for or bridged with temporary human mediated processes. Control freak Romney seems to have turned on his guaranteed money fueled cruise control operation (he'd been at it for years) and then saw no reason to pay much attention to the old fiddly details which he believed would take care of themselves now...

      Maybe the whole effort was like a more authoritarian-style CEO runs his operation where for the little people to just do what they were told and sort of like free-enterprise that lower level stuff would just take care of itself... while he micro managed the centralized ego stuff... and through his team of central sycophants ran the rest via remote control... just how top down was the whole campaign? And how many times did they have clueless people do something on their own initiative when they shouldn't have and equally how often were good ideas or fixes ignored and only orders from on high were to be followed, good bad and indifferent... And how often were bad ideas from Romney Central pushed on the national campaign with little feedback from the field listened to or even encouraged unless it already echoed what was already decided or expected?

      Did they heed warnings from below or understand and answer important questions? And did that include reports of ORCA not being everything it was imagined to be for their effort?... figuratively speaking, did the troops complain that the new "assault rifle" was prone to "jamming" or had quality or design faults?... and in this case did the generals blame the troops for complaining or worrying when everything was already under control and all contingencies foreseen... Those little people even when they are on Romney's team... very annoying...  and he likes to be able to fire them... fire and forget or just ignore...

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 03:40:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm so tired of his supporters saying over and (23+ / 0-)

    over what an "extraordinary person" and manager he is. I guess they are easily impressed. Just because he could do one thing well. Playing three card monte at a high level. NOTHING in his past indicates he has superior managerial skills. The one good thing about our campaign process is that people without managerial skills are weeded out.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 04:10:01 PM PST

    •  Also thinking back to Dubya being touted as the (18+ / 0-)

      "MBA President" - when even a casual glance at his business career made it painfully obvious that MBA in his case stood for Miserable Business Acumen.

      When that camp said they created their own reality they weren't kidding.

      Anxiously awaiting TrueTheVote's report on all the buses full of illegal voters who managed to elect Obama on Tuesday.

      by here4tehbeer on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 04:22:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agree. I never understood the claim that Romney (17+ / 0-)

      "knows how to run a business".  He has never run a business.  Knowing how to harvest the value from a business someone else built has nothing to do with knowing how to run a business.

      “when Democrats don’t vote, Democrats don’t win.” Alan Grayson

      by ahumbleopinion on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 04:23:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mitt is merely a beneficiary of the old adage, (11+ / 0-)

      "Money comes to money."  

      I don't see that he is a skilled executive.  I see that he has been very lucky to have the large sums of cash that make possible the high-stakes gambles that pay extremely big rewards, whilst always having a big nest egg to fall back on if one of his big punts fails.  He's not subject to the same constraints as ordinary people, which is why it's so easy for him to look like this amazing money-maker.

      Romney's just a fortunate son, that's all.

      •  Double recommend your comment Loquatrix (0+ / 0-)

        Exactly my views.

        Without the money, this bloke would have been employed by a a tree removal service in Michigan.

        Okay, that was mean to tree removal services .... but you get the drift?

        Just a small-minded 'merican that wants to see the Romney 2009 FBAR

        by griz4u on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 11:25:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  If Obama had been running against someone (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina, JeffW

      with the business skills of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, he quite possibly would have won nevertheless - but the discussion the day after sure as hell would not be about this.

    •  Or he is just good at selling the meme to those (0+ / 0-)

      he surrounds himself with... ass kissers who also readily swallow the personality that Mitt is selling... kindly, wise, successful patriarch who keep them on their toes too... pats them on the heads and keeps them guessing.

      If he only surrounds himself with those who will be impressed at how well he gives orders will only increase the size of the Romney Bubble and not bring anything contrary to the space... Romney space is a self referential (or is that reverential?) reality and he believes he is extraordinary and while obviously intelligent and experienced in many things... his downfall may be a bit of hubris about the things he does not know, things and people outside his bubble. He is only human and ALL of us have our own bubble... but many of us have a smaller more permeable bubble that we can see beyond fairly well. His bubble is probably is more mirrored on the inside and big enough to hold his ego and business model and his religious beliefs to the point that it is like the classical Chinese empire... (or most empires actually) what is outside of it is unimportant, inferior and a distant second to the important things inside the empire's very large but still limited bubble...

      Emperors can be "extraordinary" to those that defer to them but they are in the end still autocrats running a very large bubble... and even though their admirers may have many solid reasons for their regard what is their yardstick?... they too are in the bubble and may not have enough awareness of other people and things beyond the bubble that would cause them to reconsider their notions just how marvelous their leader really is... like people in a modern day form of empire like North Korea in an odd way....

      Mitt is of course light years better than North Korean leaders and looks like a progressive compared to them and his followers all socialist progressives compared to the brain-washed citizens of North Korea... but being way over on the good side of the leadership spectrum does not mean he totally escapes the defects of a bubble dictatorship. North Koreans have no choice but to absorb the reality they live in and believe the hokum about their dear leaders etc... Mitt's followers and admirers have their own more voluntary bubble that they do not challenge and their own kinder gentler brainwash system (FOX etc, their church and so on),and Mitt cannot see how his very vanilla lite, lite version of an imperial mindset appeals to  his fans and how he keeps it that way for both them and himself.

      In the end he has always been a quick return confidence trickster... getting the most out of any relationship or deal by saying anything that will achieve his goal... and part of that is selling yourself which he seems to have needed to do his whole life... from being the Mormon outsider in his rich boy boarding school where he found how to get people to like him, follow him, look up to him and through his adult career from being the flim-flam Bain man to Governor and perennial candidate.

      All though this he has succeeded with superficial personal conquests that serve to grease his real need to be so rich that he gets respect more automatically. From the days where he envied the other rich kids who had fancier houses and flaunted more trappings of wealth... he went over to the dark side of wanting to be that kind of rich person and be richer and more successful than his dad too. The inner truth is that he has always been a ruthless salesman out for himself... and like the most successful of that type he gets people to like him, one to one, while they give him more than he deserves or get fooled into signing away their well being.

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:31:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Priceless, especially the comments! (8+ / 0-)

    Life is a shipwreck. But we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats. — Voltaire

    by agrenadier on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 04:27:12 PM PST

  •  dems had similar apps (8+ / 0-)

    for Elizabeth Warren we were doing similar things with apps. I guess ours worked, though!

    Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

    by mattinjersey on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 04:28:16 PM PST

  •  This is an astounding read. Thank you so much (7+ / 0-)

    for bringing us this!

    I really, really, really hope that this information gets a massive circulation amongst the GOP base.  They have a LOT to learn about their own leadership, and it's effin way past time for them all to wake the eff up.

    What. a. nightmare.

    "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

    by Unduna on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 04:28:27 PM PST

    •  Hmm...I don't want the GOPs to know this chestnut (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I have to wonder if this ORCA snafu is related to Rove's meltdown on Fox over not being done yet in getting out the vote in Ohio and running up their vote count. And that amazing overconfidence on the part of most of the GOP leadership.  It seems like they bet huge on this and didn't really do any risk analysis of possible failure. Probably sold their big dollar donors on their prospects for success due to their secret weapon ORCA.  I really want them to try this again. don't suppose Anonymous could have intervened per their threat...nah.  Didn't really seem necessary given the failure to Q/A check their work, test, train and manage deliverables.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 05:13:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  ORCA sounds like a good idea (5+ / 0-)

    And, frankly, I'm surprised OFA didn't have something similar.

    As for the actual implementation, I'm guessing they outsourced it.

    And had management consultants running it.

    Man, I want to read a tell-all about this campaign.

  •  unbelievable (9+ / 0-)

    in line with the other commenters, OMG!.

    I went to the RW website, and from the description, ORCA was very amateurish. The idea that one could simply and quickly slap together a functional app, and with that app, build a GOTV organization, is simply amazing.

    The degree of ill-numeracy, technological incompetance, and head up the * respect for scientific analysis and fact-based approaches is astounding. It is no wonder that his numbers never quite added up. I am truly releived that Obama won.

    Rmoney is/was an "extraordinary" candidate and person - just not and "extraordinarily good" one.

    (btw - I'm not sure Menken would appreciate having his wit quoted by these people).

  •  hahahhahahahahah (9+ / 0-)

    they were told to take TWO CHAIRS with them to the polls.... obviously, they one of the chairs was supposed to be empty in order to sway voters at the last minute by reminding them of Clint Eastwood's brilliant speech.

  •  They Were Much Farther Behind in Ohio Than They (6+ / 0-)

    knew as late as the time the state was called. Certainly by reports, they were misinformed about it in the early evening Tuesday.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 04:41:00 PM PST

  •  I had an ORCA poll watcher (18+ / 0-)

    Come to my precinct in Florida, Pinellas county. I had to turn him away because their organization apparently didn't get him and several others registered as poll watchers. The disorganization was obvious.

    not all those who wander are lost - J.R.R. Tolkien

    by Lilith on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 04:49:51 PM PST

  •  Rmoney's managerial expertise turns out to be (8+ / 0-)


    Across the board, he and his team told each other what they wanted to hear.

    Does he have any kids named Splat?

    "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" - Dick Cheney 2/14/10

    by Bob Love on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 04:55:51 PM PST

  •  This is why I laugh... (12+ / 0-)

    ...every time I hear Republicans mock Pres. Obama for having been a "community organizer." They say it with such disdain - then wonder why they keep getting their asses handed to them in GOTV and the ground game.

    I vote we run Rick Scott out of Florida on a high-speed rail.

    by ObamOcala on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 05:05:51 PM PST

  •  Mitt Meet Obama, The Community Organizer (3+ / 0-)

    "Here comes the landslide" Dick Morris

    by wild hair on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 05:10:13 PM PST

  •  It's worse than managerial incompetence (8+ / 0-)

    IMHO the heart of the problem is that the GOP simply can't attract the best talent. Some of the best programmers out there worked on the Obama campaign. Some decided to forgo high paying jobs to re-elect the president. The GOP has been trying to suppress the college educated youth vote. They're fighting against comprehensive edication reforms. Most of the best colleges are in blue states or blue counties. The best talent, programmers in this case, have no incentive to work for the GOP!

    As a result, they outsource (and overpay) the tech stuff. The outsourcing hasn't always worked for them actually. Alternatively they hire people who are simply not good enough. apparently ORCA was built using some closed corporate system that was never going to efficient. OFA is using ruby on rails I think. The GOP programmers didn't scale the application for high use, and scaling is so complex most programmers can't do it right. It takes a really talented programmer. The ORCA failure shows they didn't have the smartest tech team around and probably didn't realise it until it was too late.

    any serious programmer will tell you ORCA didn't seem solid enough.

    Their fight against intelligence and education is actually costing them elections. Their own policies are crippling them. They're not ready for 21st century campaigning. Not ready to govern either.

    •  Mistake - I meant software engineers (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina, wwjjd, JeffW

      Instead of programmers.

    •  Yes, there are some things money can't buy... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      sure, love, happiness... etc.

      BUT now we know, it cannot buy a campaign full of people who are there for more than a paycheck... and even for no paycheck... from top to bottom.

      Many Romney volunteers may have just as much fervor and inspiration as Obama campaigners but if they are being run by mercenaries at the top or in the middle... there will inevitably be a focus and communication gap... oops... missed chances, blind spots, 9 to 5 mentality in key places...

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 04:36:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this link - it is a real find! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myboo, Over the Edge, Xtatic

    Remember how wingnuts would talk nonstop about Obama being a failure?

  •  I started feeling sorry for them (0+ / 0-)

    Not who they supported, but for any citizen to work hard for a candidate and then find they are not being properly trained, that management is disorganized, is very disheartening. I was around in North Carolina when the Edwards campaign came apart, and it really hurts people to find they are busting their tails, neglecting everything else in life for a candidate who is not up to the task.

    In the future, people in political science will study the contrast between the two campaigns.

    George W. Bush: the worst Republican president SO FAR.

    by Chun Yang on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:05:43 PM PST

  •  This one is telling (3+ / 0-)
    65 Absolutely serious non-snark question: How can a party consistently front ideas, especially economic ones, that are proven to work, and consistently fuck up the process part?

    I mean, you would think that the whole "choose ideas because they have a history of success" thing would bleed over into the campaign at some point.

    As you see, this fellow thinks their economic ideas are 'proven to work' if not for the consistently fucked up process part. The real reason that 'choose ideas because they have a history of success' thing isn't bleeding over into the campaign is quite simple: their ideas do NOT have a history of success. Their ideas have a history of making bad situations worse.

    "The problems of incompetent, corrupt, corporatist government are incompetence, corruption and corporatism, not government." Jerome a Paris

    by Orinoco on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:06:09 PM PST

    •  yes... no reality to bleed over in the first place (0+ / 0-)

      since they are reality challenged to start with... the arithmetic going to naturally be zero plus zero and therefore is not going to = either 270 EV or 50.1% of the electorate... if not both... or any sort of policy or logic that is > than 0.

      They got a big fat nothing that they believe is actually something, so they will naturally still end up with still more nothing that still by golly sure seems like some sorta solid something... and equally there must be some powerful counter-force used to negate their seemingly massive (but actually imaginary) strengths.


      And rather like pre-Copernicans trying to explain why the earth is the center of the universe in the face of increasing evidence to the contrary and resorting to ever more complex constructs like platonic or medieval Chrystal Spheres or epicycles to explain why the sun revolves around their earth. So too the core ideas of the right these days are never questioned as the root cause of failure... no Romney lost due to bad luck (Sandy), Traitors (Christie etc.) Dem cheating or making Romney look bad (by actually mentioning stuff he did and repeating what he said)... and above all the great private sector business super powers that their hero had going for him and his campaign were somehow negated by some sort of socialist pandering Kryptonite that warped voters minds with visions of giveaways...

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:23:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dashboard (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, IreGyre

    Whenever I hear that a new system will be implementing a "dashboard" that will summarize everything on 3 dials and 2 graphs so that bigwigs can "maintain situational awareness", I start looking for a new job.  The entire dashboard concept is based on the idea that managers and executive don't have to dig into and know the details of their business - and that way lies ruin.


    •  and even if it sort of works NOW... (0+ / 0-)

      it is probably already out of date, does not have enough reporting and feedback is based on incomplete or flawed models and if it works by accident for the time being

      they will run out of luck and definitely be obsolete sooner or later... and probably sooner than even the pessimists think.

      The lazy way, solve everything, cheaper solution always rewards the take the money and run people who help set it up... and bites the others who are stuck with it... hard.

      Idiot lites on the dash means less real feedback... and that's fine IF everything is functioning properly goes according to plan... when it doesn't there is just the STOP car red light... get service notice... ya get watch pay for... millions for a poorly thought out, incomplete exercise in wishful thinking. And inherent in the outsourcing, downsizing everything mindset which cannot see when they go past the safe limit to reliable function.... fat long gone... working on muscle, nerves, brain tissue and even bones....

      There are those who just don't get the corollaries and extensions of things like "Murphy's law" or "Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom"... and even "No Free lunch" also applying to doing without safeguards, reporting, regulations and two way feedback with responsibility and initiative at every level... built into IT overviews... and not farmed out to someone in a call center or IT fix center in Bangalore... or built on a software tool bought  along with the company that developed it adapted and rushed into use somewhere to fill a contract... and when it all goes wrong, fire the original creators and contract workers and give bonuses to the CEOs and execs who are actually to blame.

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 06:39:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If anybody is interested (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    peggy, raboof

    Ars technica reported on the technical mistakes they made with ORCA.

    It's a bit on the geek side but it's quite interesting. And alarming. Such! A software engineer friend sent me the link and he kept making fun of them. They managed to get the basics wrong and just really had no clue whatsoever. Can you imagine they never tested this thing properly! They're a laughing stock right now. I think the wider media isn't appreciating how bad they failed on this. Really they should be relentlessly mocked for this.

  •  ORCA & the Manchurian candidate (0+ / 0-)

    Just posted another diary, more from the perspective of the damage ORCA did to other GOP candidates. I mailed links to some political sites, including The American Conservative.

    I think that this should be a very big story. It made many of those committed Republicans question the basic competence of the man they were working so hard to elect President. It is going to help tear the party apart because Romney actively damaged the organization's voter encouragement. And the centralizing, top down management style outrages basic states rights conservatives.

    People have been asking what would happen if Romney were in charge of FEMA. It's not a pretty picture.

    Conservation is green energy

    by peggy on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 01:59:58 AM PST

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