Sunday, December 23, 2012

Probably Just a Massive Welfare Operation

LGM has some stories from the failed Romney campaign:
Rich Beeson, the Romney political director who co­authored the now-discredited Ohio memo, said that only after the election did he realize what Obama was doing with so much manpower on the ground. Obama had more than 3,000 paid workers nationwide, compared with 500 for Romney, and hundreds of thousands of volunteers.

“Now I know what they were doing with all the staffs and ­offices,” Beeson said. “They were literally creating a one-to-one contact with voters,” something that Romney did not have the staff to match.
Like the LGM guys, I too am curious what Beeson thought the Obama campaign was doing with all those workers. Did they think it was just a handout to layabouts -- "walking around money", as I believe the conservative conspiracy goes?

Anyway, the good news is that the corporate-style campaign Romney run is both (a) a terrible model and (b) culturally ingrained within the modern Republican Party. So I look forward to many more electoral spankings coming their way.

1 comment:

PG said...

Obama's national field director, Jeremy Bird, drew his inspiration from seeing volunteer community organizers and from his candidate's history as a paid community organizer. In recruiting the thousands of unpaid volunteers (not only people who got out the vote in their own community, but also many people who temporarily moved to swing states, getting a free place to sleep but otherwise paying their own way), the Obama campaign explicitly invoked the idea of being a "community organizer."

In fairness, it also should be noted that Obama had a huge head start. I got an email from Jeremy Bird on September 3, 2011 asking me to volunteer to organize in my hometown. At that point, the GOP was still sorting through their crazies.

The GOP still treats the phrase -- and concept -- of "community organizer" as a punch line.

From what I've seen, Republicans generally will concede that they should have done better on technology. Doing better on technology doesn't really challenge basic GOP thinking. However, having volunteer and paid community organizers is a more dissonant concept.

But some of them get it, sort of. I got this email from a conservative acquaintance (who was not a huge fan of Romney, basically due to a lack of personal disconnect, but absolutely loathes Obama), on the morning of Nov. 8:

After listening to the talking heads ramble on today about why the Republicans lost the elections, changing demographics, old philosophy, women's rights, etc., I didn't hear anyone mention the awesome application the President's resume.

He has spent his entire career as a community organizer, and organize the community, he did.

In this election there were more minority, FIRST TIME, and women who voted for him than in his first land slide victory.

There's an old adage that says he who gets out the vote, wins. Instead of attending morning security briefings and doing his presidential duties, as other presidents have always done, he spent his time applying his exceptional career skills leading his team to organize the communities to get out the vote.

The conventional wisdom that Ohio was the key to the election was totally wrong, and many millions of dollars were wasted chasing that ghost. Even if Romney had won Ohio and even Florida, as all the talking heads have been preaching for the last year, he would have still lost. He only won 23 of the 50 states.

The polls all told us that the majority of people didn't agree with the way Obama had run the government, didn't want higher taxes, etc., therefore he should loose the election. There was no recognition of what Obama and his team were doing to organize the people to get out the vote.

By ignoring Obama's basic career achievements, the Republicans neglected to apply what Sun Tzu said a couple of thousand years ago: "'Know your enemy."

For 2016, the Republicans don't need to radically change our basic philosophies, because the majority of voters agree with it. We need to steal the "community organizer" chapter out of Obama's play book, get out of our comfy chairs and learn how to go into the street to get the vote out.

Although it galls me to do so, I have to give President Obama his due. He skillfully applied his career learning experiences, organized the community and won himself four more years.

We need to minimize applying those things that have historically worked to win elections in the past and concentrate on what it takes to establish a ground game to get into people's homes and then get them in the voting booths.