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Hullabaloo


Thursday, November 08, 2012

 
Romney's cryin' (poor)

by digby

No really ...

The GOP nominee emerged late last spring from a long and bruising Republican primary season more damaged than commonly realized. His image with voters had eroded as he endured heavy attacks from Republicans over his business record. He also felt compelled to take a hard line on immigration—one that was the subject of debate among his advisers—that hurt his standing with Hispanic voters.

More than that, Mr. Romney had spent so much money winning the nomination that he was low on cash; aides, seeing the problem taking shape, had once considered accepting federal financing for the campaign rather than rely on private donations.

The campaign's fate led on Wednesday to second-guessing and recriminations among Republicans chagrined that a seemingly winnable race slipped away. Some Republicans wondered whether the Romney campaign had misjudged the power of President Barack Obama's coalition, while others were questioning Mr. Romney's and the party's approach to immigration.

Back in spring, the Romney campaign's biggest worry was money. So the campaign's finance chair, Spencer Zwick, huddled with political director Rich Beeson to craft a complex schedule that took Mr. Romney to the cities that were prime real estate for fundraising.

It meant visits to places like California, Texas and New York—none of which were important political battlegrounds—while only allowing for quick side trips to swing states that Mr. Romney would need to win to become president.

Spencer Zwick, the Romney aide who scrambled to raise enough money for the campaign.

On one level the strategy worked: Mr. Romney ultimately garnered some $800 million or more, putting him in close competition with Mr. Obama's robust fundraising effort.

But Mr. Romney paid a deep political price. The fundraising marathon reduced his ability to deliver his own message to voters just as the Obama campaign was stepping in to define the Republican candidate on its terms. Mr. Romney's heavy wooing of conservative donors limited his ability to move his campaign positions to the center, to appeal to moderate and independent donors.

The search for cash led him to a Florida mansion for a private fundraiser where Mr. Romney would make the deeply damaging, secretly recorded remarks where he disparaged and dismissed the 47% of Americans who don't pay taxes.

In the end, Mr. Romney lost nearly every swing state. Other factors contributed to his defeat, of course, including difficulty making voters warm to him and a dearth of support among Hispanics.

But in the eyes of top aides in both campaigns, that early summer period when Mr. Romney was busy fundraising was perhaps the biggest single reason he lost the election.


Gosh, maybe Mitt should have cashed out a piece of that hundred million dollar IRA. (In fact, did he put even one penny of his own money into this thing?)

I don't even know what to say. The idea that they and their deep pockets Super PACs lost for lack of money has to be the silliest rationalization for his loss yet.

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