What Team Romney Got Wrong in 2012
While there's something to be said for better use of technology and messaging on the Republican side, I don't want to see us copying the Democrats' cynical tactics. I want our messaging to be based on the truth - not what consultants say is popular. Sometimes poll results are based on misconceptions. A good politician goes about changing people's minds - not putting their fingers to the wind.
I agree with Joel that most of Obama's electoral success was due to an unequal playing field - a miserably biased media, and a willingness of the players on their side to use the most ruthless tactics to destroy their enemies.
We could have used some ruthlessness on our side.
Team Romney decided early on that they were going to go easy on Obama, personally, because his personal popularity rating was high, and they didn't want to make the low info crowd mad, or something.
Well, I think we can all agree, here -- Obama is not a nice guy. He's a ruthless, cynical, dishonest, corrupt, narcissistic, radical ideologue who doesn't play nice, himself.
So how did it make sense for Romney to say, Obama is a "nice guy who is just in over his head." It's not true. Obama's not a nice guy, and he knows exactly what he's doing. So when Obama sent his henchmen out to say Romney was a felon, Romney caused a Bain employee's wife to die, Romney was a tax cheat, etc, what could Romney say? When Obama said Romney and Ryan's honest criticism of his policies was politically motivated, when he said their economic plan was "trickle-down fairy dust", what could Romney say? Nice guys don't lie, right? Obama ran an outrageous, ruthless campaign because he couldn't run on his own accomplishments, and guess what? Half the people bought it. Why? Because Obama's such a nice guy.
And it continues to this day. Obama's approval rating is low on practically every issue, yet his personal approval rating remains high.
That's the key to why he was reelected, my friends.
And the NYTs is concern trolling.