….and how they will do it again if they’re not stopped. This is a review of the Dan Balz book about the 2012 campaign titled “Collision 2012.” The book spills the beans on both the Obama and Romney campaigns, but mostly focuses on the Republican Party primary battle of 2011-2012. Collision covers much of what was already known about the primaries, but left many controversial subjects out. The book is written by a liberal journalist, so it reads like a love letter to Obama and the Democrats. While Team Obama may know how to campaign and win elections, it’s clear they do not know how to run the country. Balz confirms what many conservatives knew then—Romney was not up for the job as the republican nominee. Romney even considered quitting the campaign in May of 2011, right around the time that Sarah Palin started up her bus tour. The book is somewhat of an indictment of the political consultant class. The GOP looks like it is capable of repeating the mistakes of 2012 all over again as it appears that they are currently coalescing around closet democrat Chris Christie for 2016.
Read 1776er comment about the book here: I don’t often agree with Peggy Noonan. More often than not I find her stuff too stuffy, if you know what I mean. A Reaganite turned Bushie. And mushie.
But once in awhile the old embers flare up and she delivers a pretty good analysis. Her latest is an example.
Don’t know if the WSJ will let non-subscribers read this so let me know if the link works or not.
In this piece Noonan reviews Dan Baltz’s latest book on Campaign 2012. She liked it.
“Dan Balz’s “Collision 2012” is the best presidential campaign chronicle in many years. It is a great book, in part because it isn’t about what happened as much as about how people in the campaigns were thinking. It is unusual in that it gives proper place to the impact of thought on political outcomes.”
Ok. I’ll bite.
So what were the combatants of 2012 thinking?
“Others around President Obama said he was no centrist like Bill Clinton. He saw no particular virtue in staking out the middle or splitting differences. Compared with Mr. Clinton, Obama “had less capacity to put himself in the minds of his opponents, to understand where they were coming from and why,”
Obama’s handlers knew they had a hard *ss ideological Marxist on their hands in no mood for compromising in a bi-partisan manner with Republicans. No compromise. No prisoners. Lawrence of Arabia. Barack of Chicago.
How to handle this? What to do? What to do?
“So the Obama campaign faced real challenges. But they loved research and data, which they used to help think it all through.”
As good little well trained Alinskyites they knew the key to the election was how to appeal to the vast silent Have a Little Want More class in American society. The American Middle. How do they con it? How do they confuse it? How do they manipulate and direct it? At the very least how do they successfully divide and polarize it? How do they plant thoughts in their heads? How do they shape Middle American opinions?
This is how they did it.
“They knew the economy was the president’s biggest obstacle to re-election, that they couldn’t win a referendum on his economic stewardship. They wanted a way to “leapfrog” the immediate economic debate. In Iowa they convened a focus group of independents who had supported Obama in 2008 but voted Republican in 2010. They found themselves fascinated by one frustrated man in his 50s. An Obama adviser summed up the man’s stated grievances: “I can’t send my kid to college next year. . . . I haven’t had a raise in five years. . . . I am sick and tired of giving bailouts to the folks at the top and handouts to the folks at the bottom. I’m going to fire people [politicians] until my life gets better.”
One little frustrated Middle American spoke for all of us. And the Obamunists listened to him. More than the Stupid Party did.
They shaped Obama’s 2012 campaign around this man’s rage, frustration and emotions. They found the keys to Alinsky Rule No. 13. Choose the Target. Freeze the Target. Personalize the Target. Polarize the Target.
“What followed was a “massive research effort” to help the Obama campaign develop a message. They came to see a long erosion, in the words of an aide, “of what it meant to be middle class in America.”
Oh, you Betcha! Mr. Obamunist. You know it. Pity Romney and the Stupid Party Brainiacs running his misbegotten nearly $1 billion campaign didn’t see it.
“What followed the journals was a series of focus groups in which members, according to an aide, “shared a strong sense that America was changing in a way that was out of their control.” They felt the old rules of the economy no longer applied. They didn’t know how to get ahead anymore, and they feared sliding behind.”
Interesting insight on Middle Americans to be properly exploited by Marxists don’t you think?
“The groups revealed that the American dream meant less to younger workers than to older ones.”
The Obama campaign’s research produced three findings. The first was obvious: People were dissatisfied with the economy. Second, people hadn’t quite given up on the president. Third, they weren’t sure he was up to the job. They feared the nation’s problems were bigger than he was, and they criticized his failed negotiations with the Republicans in Congress. Amazingly, people in focus groups kept bringing up Lyndon Johnson, who knew how to knock heads and twist arms. A campaign aide told Mr. Balz, “I’ve never had so many damned references to Lyndon Johnson in my life!”
Amazing findings running counter to pre-election propaganda. People hadn’t quite given up on Obama. They wanted him to get tough. They wanted ANYBODY to get tough. They had concerns Obama wasn’t tough enough. It was a question of Mano a Mano toughness. Who could knock heads together to get something done? Romney or Obama?
Two wimps in a cat fight. Romney and Obama. The American Middle–yearning for a decisive and fearless and tough leader–was unconvinced by either lightweight nancy boy contending for the Presidency. The Obamunists saw that. And they crafted a campaign plan around that single salient mood in the American Middle.
“The Obama campaign decided not to make the campaign about the state of the economy, but about who could look after the interests of the middle class in a time of historic transition. At the same time they decided to go after Mitt Romney hard, and remove him as a reasonable alternative. His selling point was that he understood the economy and made it work for him: He was rich. They turned that into a tale of downsizing, layoffs and rapacious capitalism. An Obama adviser: “He may get the economy, he may know how to make money . . . but every time he did, folks like you lost your pensions, lost your jobs.”
Polarized Romney on what Romney and the Stupid Party multi-million dollar campaign consultant Brainiacs thought was there strong suit. This is exactly what Roosevelt did to Gov. Alf Landon in Roosevelt’s first re-election campaign in 1936. Exactly.
“Somehow the Romney campaign never saw it coming.”
Well, some of us here at C4P saw it coming.
“Republicans, now and in 2016, should remember the colorful but not at all high-minded approach of Obama campaign manager Jim Messina. “My favorite political philosopher is Mike Tyson,” he told Mr. Balz. “Mike Tyson once said everyone has a plan until you punch them in the face. Then they don’t have a plan anymore.” Obama’s people punched first, and hard.”
The Alinskyites running the Obama campaign saw what the customer wanted. Like good Madison Ave. dream makers they made up a persona that fit the bill. They made up the candidate that their data and research showed the American Middle wanted in a President. They wanted the Marlboro Man. And so they delivered the closest facsimile to the Marlboro man as they could with what they had in Nancy Boy Barack Hussein Obama, II.
They toughened him up. No compromise. They did not appeal to any mushy middle. They set out a hard Marxist agenda. Lied about what it could and would do for the American Middle.. And sold it.
In conjunction with that created false picture of toughness –“If Congress won’t act I will”–they turned Romney into an effete, mincing Nancy Boy of the Rich. A smiling bag of wind. They hit him as hard as they could right in the throat.
And the Multi-Million Brainiac political consultant Stupid Party response? Don’t fight back too hard because it might make Mitt look mean. Might make him look insensitive. Might make him look like he doesn’t care enough. Smile like a Nancy Boy and say nothing. Turn the other cheek. Take the high road. It’s the economy, stupid! Worked for James Carville didn’t it? Let’s play to the “undecideds”. Let’s play to the 2 or 3% of the electorate that is so daft and befuddled that they haven’t made up their minds as of election day. “Duh, Gee, I dunno who I’m gonna vote for.” That guy. That’s your key vital element of Stupid Party victory. At least according to the Brainiacs operating out of their years of “experience” and gut instincts. Some experience. Some guts.
Obama’s handlers stirred up the base. Obama sent out Biden to make a monkey out of Paul Ryan by jibbering jabbering laughing grinning maniacal mocking and aping like, well, a crazy man. That was deliberate. Come out swinging. Swarm him. Crowd him. Punch him in belly. The base saw it as a punch right in the mouth. So did that frustrated 50 year old Middle American. No Nancy Boy there on the Democrat side of that VP debate. Ryan? You tell me. And they say the VP debates don’t matter. That campaigned turned on a dime after Biden savaged the choir boy.
In contrast Romney’s handlers despised the base. Tamped it down. Didn’t need it. Embarrassed to be seen with it. Kicked it out of the Convention. Disparaged it. Disassociated itself from it. Demoralized it. Told it to stay home and keep its mouth shut. Well, it did.
Obama’s handlers went hard, Romney’s Brainiacs went soft. Soft as a wet noodle.
Obama’s handlers built a false image of the Marlboro Man to sell Obama as the Marlboro Man that they properly discerned Middle Americans were searching for.
Romney’s handlers built a mostly true image of a soft wishy washy Rich Boy dilettante whose son even said his dad wasn’t interested in being President. During the campaign! A nerdy mincing simple smiley Rich Boy hobbyist who didn’t want to appear too tough. Wouldn’t even go after Obama on Benghazi in the debates. Wouldn’t want to appear too muscular. Too tough. Too abrasive That 2 or 3 percent “undecided” key vital ingredient to victory might think he was too harsh and uncaring. So he wasn’t harsh. He wasn’t abrasive. He was nice. He smiled a lot. Did he care much about anything? Not so’s anybody could tell.
Obama was no Roosevelt. Weakest incumbent in American history.
One properly packaged and sold to the American Middle. Hid his true nature. Created the product the American Middle craved. A guy and his VP fighting for their lives. Painted a polarizing, demonizing monster cartoon of the opponent. Cold, remote, insensitive to American Middle’s fears and insecurities. Alinsky style.
The other catastrophically mismanaged by million dollar consultants with no clue. Packaged as a nice boy with a big heart. A guy who knew the economy, trust us. Dump the base. Too nasty smelling. Appeal to the clueless “independents” and “undecideds” that never existed in fact.
Obama won by 5 million votes. Out of 120 million cast. It is said that just a few hundred thousand votes in a few states like Ohio and Virginia and a few others would have turned the tide for Romney.
ANY other candidate in the Stupid Party would have cleaned Obama’s clock.
ANY candidate that would have put the gloves on, gone in to hit the body, and kept on punching Obama in his throat would have cleaned Obama’s clock.
The most infuriating thing? Imagining Sarah Palin “vetting” Barack Hussein Obama on a daily basis. Right in the throat. All out. Full war cry. No holding back. Just keep hitting him with the unbelievable truth of his “felled” socialist policies. Unafraid to attack. Seeing things as they actually are. Decisive. Knocking heads together.
The Marlboro Lady. The Real Deal. The thing that frustrated 50 year guy was looking for all along. No need to create a false image. Just let loose the real authentic deal.
Didn’t even have to run her as the candidate. All they had to was enlist her good will and that of her Conservative base following. They just had to recognize that she and we exist. Couldn’t bring themselves even to that minor concession.
Where are we now? The same Brainiacs in the Stupid Party that hand delivered Obama to us for a second failed term are telling us we have to pander to illegal aliens or face political death. Go easy. Fake it. Maybe some of those hispanics will be fooled and vote Republican. Go away you Conservative Lunatics. You are too smelly for us.
Harry Reid: If it gets to Conference we win. Cong. Gomez–we have the votes in the GOP caucus to win a floor vote
Defund Obamacare: Let’s not be hasty. It’s the law of the land. We don’t want to be seen as cruel. We don’t want to be seen as the party “That simply doesn’t want 30 million Americans to have health insurance”.
Benghazi: Did Boehner know about and approve Gun Running in advance? No Select Committee. Let it die in Committee.
NSA Spying on Americans: Let’s not get too hasty here either. Spying is good for us. Listening in on everybody’s telephone calls and building a comprehensive data base on what everybody in America is doing, thinking, saying and even eating is necessary and good.
La plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.
The Stupid Party will never learn.
It’s pathological. It’s fatal. Death by wishy washiness. Death by failure of Principle in the face of the enemy. Death by moral cowardice. Death by cronyism and elitism. Death by tone deafness. Death by incredible inside the Beltway arrogance and disdain for the will of the people.
That 50 year old guy and millions like him got fooled and tricked by Obama’s data mining and Madison avenue dream machine. Once again. But he is still mad. Perhaps even more angry if that’s possible. Gallup says he is down to 41% and sliding this week.
Think the Stupid Party would get the hint? Think they might develop the spine that the American Middle is so thirsty for in its leader? Any leader? Think the Stupid Party is ready to throw a punch, or a torrent of punches, at Obama’s throat on the debt ceiling, the sequester, Amnesty, defunding Obamacare, the 2014 Budget, Benghazi, NSA, IRS or anything else at all? Anything? Anything at all?