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Judgment of Romney's Top Strategist (Stewart Stevens) Questioned
National Review ^ | September 18, 2012 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 09/18/2012 9:00:52 PM PDT by Steelfish

Par for the Course Jonah Goldberg September 18, 2012

But what bothers me more about Romney’s statement isn’t the faulty analysis — though it is faulty — but the reliance on “analysis” like this at all. What I mean is, Romney comes across as a guy who thinks elections are simply a numbers game (and for a numbers guy, it’s pretty infuriating he botched the numbers).

According to his analysis, the folks in Obama’s camp are just write-offs, except for a few silly, “emotional” people in the middle who he hopes to sway with appeals that are less than wholly rational. I understand that Romney is speaking in shorthand, and for all we know he was just keying off premises laid out by the questioner. But even so, Romney’s remarks reinforce the overriding problem with his campaign: It is bloodlessly non-ideological. And that is by design. Stewart Stevens, Romney’s top strategist has made it abundantly clear he doesn’t much care about ideas or philosophy. That showed in his convention strategy and in Romney’s speech, which he apparently wrote.

Responding to complaints about his stewardship, Stevens told Politico: “Politics is like sports. A lot of people have ideas, and there’s no right or wrong. You just have to chart a course, and stay on that course.” Not only is that not true of politics, as best I can tell it’s not even true of sports either.

Even the campaign’s ostensibly ideological ads and soundbites seem offered not as statements of conviction but as carefully — and sometimes not so carefully — crafted slogans aimed at telling the silly swing-voters what they most want to hear. I’m not naive; focus groups and poll data are part of politics, like it or not. But when conviction politicians use such tools it’s often.........

(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...


TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: underthebus

1 posted on 09/18/2012 9:00:56 PM PDT by Steelfish
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To: Steelfish

I’ve seen way too many hit pieces against Romney from Jonah Goldberg lately.

He must be angling for a job at CNN.


2 posted on 09/18/2012 9:06:26 PM PDT by o2bfree
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To: o2bfree

Also some of us liked Romney’s comment. We and learned Romney is a pretty darn convincing conservative behind closed doors. If he does that during the debates he’s going to win this election.

Hey Jonah, screw you!


3 posted on 09/18/2012 9:08:27 PM PDT by o2bfree
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To: o2bfree

I’ve seen way too many hit pieces from so called ‘conservatives’ in general.


4 posted on 09/18/2012 9:09:19 PM PDT by tatown ( FUMD, FUAC, and FUGB)
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To: o2bfree

Here’s an interesting piece in the WSJ that throws a dig at Romney’s Chief Strategist at the end of the article.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444450004578004421263428686.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_opinion


5 posted on 09/18/2012 9:10:11 PM PDT by Steelfish (ui)
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To: Steelfish

That was a very good read.


6 posted on 09/18/2012 9:10:29 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: Steelfish
We are really in trouble when the conservative media including for now NOR accept he liberal media narrative (like they did in 2008). Romney said that "47% are currently for Obama."

1) According to polls this is true.

What Romney did not say was these are the same 47% who currently pay no income taxes.

Romney was making a different although similar point. The media, who for years have failed to report the numbers concerning who pays income tax and connected the dots on a point that Romney was not making.

If only he would. The point is this exchange shows two things:

1) That 47% of the nation profit from the fruit of another man'd labor; 2) Thr media normally hides this fact but will bring it out if they thank they thank it will hurt the GOP.

7 posted on 09/18/2012 9:15:30 PM PDT by HapaxLegamenon
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To: Steelfish

Romney was NOT giving a speech in public or for public consumption. He was speaking to a group of PRIVATE donors. It is against the law to tape record anyone without their consent. But law breaking which favors the lefty liberals is never questioned by the MSM.


8 posted on 09/18/2012 9:15:57 PM PDT by entropy12
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To: ansel12

Agree. Romney needs to sack his chief strategist. We can’t have our candidate campaign in this anodyne style. Romney needs to go for blood. Run no-stop a video in all battleground states of the Rats booing God at their convention, ads where Obama says that if he doesn’t get the unemployment down he deserves to be thrown out, ads in PA calling rural folk as being bitter who cling to their guns and religion and are suspicious of immigrants. Run ads on Obama’s attack on Catholic core beliefs. “You didn’t build that” ads. Where the ads showing the middle-east in flames interspersed with excerpts from his Cairo speech?

This is what we need. Romney won’t succeed running a McCain-type campaign.


9 posted on 09/18/2012 9:17:54 PM PDT by Steelfish (ui)
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To: tatown

Including here at FR.


10 posted on 09/18/2012 9:23:46 PM PDT by Emperor Palpatine ("On the ascent of Olympus, what's a botched bar or two?" -Artur Schnabel)
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To: entropy12

Romney did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy. He has to assume his speech may be recorded. That said, we shouldn’t condemn him for what he said. It was partially true.


11 posted on 09/18/2012 9:29:42 PM PDT by goseminoles
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To: entropy12

“It is against the law to tape record anyone without their consent.”

No. If this were true, there would be no paparazzi.


12 posted on 09/18/2012 9:39:30 PM PDT by Krameri
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To: goseminoles

Our country is very close to “takers” becoming a majority. When those voters figure out they can vote in power those politicians who will keep giving them more free goodies, that is the beginning of end of any democracy.

Greece is where democracy originated. Look at Greece now!


13 posted on 09/18/2012 9:40:11 PM PDT by entropy12
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To: Krameri

Paparazzi do not tape record speeches. They snap pictures.


14 posted on 09/18/2012 9:41:24 PM PDT by entropy12
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To: HapaxLegamenon

The thing is, that there is no such thing as that 47% that Romney claimed, that are Obama voters because either they don’t owe taxes in a given year, or because they receive a government check.

That is not how Obama voters can be defined.

Obama easily won the $200,000 income and above, by a 52 to 46 margin!

Obama lost the $50,000-$75,000 income group by a single point!

Obama won the $75,000 to $100,000 income group by a solid 51 to 48 margin.

Obama lost hugely from those 65 and older all of them collecting SS, and tons of them not owing taxes. They were the ONLY age group that voted against Obama.

There is no neat little package of 47% of Americans for a President to write off because they don’t vote for him.

Besides, Presidents don’t even speak in those terms, that is why no republican president will denigrate the Catholic vote, or the Jewish vote, or the black vote, or the female vote, or the Hispanic vote, (sadly Mitt did that also).

This is a bad insight into the political inadequacies and shallow political thinking of a candidate who has been running for office for 20 years, and for president for seven years.

This campaign needs someone to take it over and lead it.


15 posted on 09/18/2012 9:47:18 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: entropy12

I agree. Scarey stuff..


16 posted on 09/18/2012 9:51:50 PM PDT by goseminoles
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To: Krameri

“No. If this were true, there would be no paparazzi”

Paparazzi act illegally often, and their trade is illegal altogether some places. I don’t really care in this instance. Romney ought to act like he’s being taped any time he’s in public. Of course he should be free to speak differently depending on the venue. Obama isn’t chastised for dropping hus usually needy delivery for the Barak from the Block act he pulls out in front of the NAACP.

I for one think Romney’s words were barely notable, accurate or not. He confuses the share of income tax consuming citizens with Obama voters. It isn’t the same group. For instance, Wall Street broke for Obama last time and many will stick with him. But this is no reason to treat it as a “gaffe,” or to report it much at all.


17 posted on 09/18/2012 9:54:25 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: Steelfish

What Romney was, in a way, talking about is the Alinsky formulation that Obama adhered to and still does. Make middle class people think they’re victims of “the rich” if you want to bring about socialist revolution, because there aren’t enough poor people in the U.S. to do it.

Notice that Romney didn’t say they really are victims, but that they have been made to feel as if they are.

Bottomline: Obama needs to answer questions about why so many people are so poor in his economy that they can’t pay income taxes.


18 posted on 09/18/2012 9:56:09 PM PDT by bronxville (Margaret Sanger - “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,)
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To: ansel12

Agree. You begin by sacking the campaign strategist. This is what Bush pere failed to do and how Clinton won via Stephanapoulos and his young turks. Get rid of the old Bush crowd that’s running the Romney campaign.


19 posted on 09/18/2012 10:01:46 PM PDT by Steelfish (ui)
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To: Steelfish

I don’t know, Jonah. Seems to me a lot of people are praying for an Obama victory. I don’t know how anyone can hang in there, working as hard as Romney does, shooting as straight as he does, and have his own constantly nipping at his heels. That goes for Mark Levin too...but of course Mark just does it on a daily basis to make Mitt a better candidate....even though he’s flawed and all. It stinks. Ronald Reagan would not have approved of speaking ill of your fellow Republican. Whatever, if we lose, we can just crank up that patriotic music, write stinging articles and sell books.


20 posted on 09/18/2012 10:02:37 PM PDT by FryingPan101 (2016 looms.)
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To: ansel12

It is shallow thinking, but it’s not as anybody in the MSM is savy enough to correct him. To most people Pubs are the party of the Rich and Dens of the Little Guy. And that’s the way this “scandal” is thoughtlessly being spinner: Romney caught in rich guy lovenest complaining about those pesky poors. If they knew what they were doing they’d say he’s right for the wrong reasons or wrong for the right reasons, or whatever.

Anyway, Obama says gaspingly ignorant things about our basic system of government, let alone economic minutiae, every day. And while both stir up class warfare, Obama does it flagrantly in front of Greek columns on prime time tv, as opposed to Mitt’s small talk behind closed doors. This shouldn’t be a one day story, let alone a campaign shaking scandal.

And no, he is not shallow for a guy who’s been running for 20 years. Who do you think gets to be president? Not philosophers, or at least not since Jefferson. Wilson was a professor and wrote political science, but no one reads it anymore. Obama is nade out to be a constitutional law scholar, but I’ve heard him from the old days. I can tell why he became a community organizer. They’re politicians, not thinkers.

I’ve read Reagan the Great’s old radio addresses, and they show remarkable insight for someone in his position. You know, actor, union rep, GM pr guy, radio announcer. Not an intellectual. Shows he took the time to think things through, but next to the luminaries of our movement, some of whom he met and was informed by, he deserved at most an “attar boy, now go upstairs while the big boys talk.”


21 posted on 09/18/2012 10:13:12 PM PDT by Tublecane
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To: entropy12

They record video, too, which includes audio. But if my paparazzi example doesn’t work, consider what news reporters do when they do those “undercover stings”.

What you may be talking about is if the audio/video can be presented to a jury in a trial.

Or maybe since a speech is a performance of sorts, can it be recorded by a 3rd party and be presented for sale (such as bootlegging a concert).

But I’m pretty sure that it’s not a crime to simply record a speech, or anything else of the nature, without permission. What you do with that recording may have civil repercussions, but not criminal.

Just my $.02


22 posted on 09/18/2012 10:16:46 PM PDT by Krameri
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To: o2bfree
Maybe he just wants to be able to say "I told you so" when Obama wins.

Maybe that's why there we no really good candidates running in the Republican primary.

The only reason Clinton became president was because he had no real competition. Folks like Cuomo stayed out because they thought Bush was a lock, but not after Perot stayed in.

The Republicans with name recognition stayed out for the same reason: they believe Obama is a lock.

Should we believe differently?

Thank God for the electoral college and the fact I live in California. I don't have to vote for Obama or Willard.

23 posted on 09/18/2012 10:26:07 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
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To: Tublecane

Reagan was a deep and complex thinker, and an avid reader , a brilliant man, a man who earned his college degree in economics, and he brought that depth and intelligence to everything that he did, that is why people kept seeking him, even in Hollywood to settle union disputes, it is why he could breeze through 4 Soviet leaders and change the world and has an historical record of a life spent always prevailing, always winning, and appearing effortless when doing it, although we learn from his SS details that as soon as the public or visitors went away, that Reagan went directly to study or to work, or reading.

No one sent Reagan away with an atta boy.

Romney on the other hand is a shallow man, out of touch, an untalented politician, with no complex thinking and no seeming knowledge of or interest in life outside of his little world, that is why he is always caught flat-footed, is awkward and seems to be speaking with difficulty or memorization when addressing conservative issues, or global issues, or again, anything out of his tiny personal experience in life.

Romney has little to show for his 20 years of running for office, and always spending record breaking amounts of money on his campaigns, he has a single term, won by less than 50%, and left that office with no chance of reelection, and being forced out with a 34% approval rating.

Romney better turn this campaign over to someone with leadership skills and know how, who can instruct and guide Romney, someone who can create an image that Romney has a reason for running for president, because so far, no one really knows what his campaign is about or his politics, or why he even wants the job so bad.


24 posted on 09/18/2012 10:39:33 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: HapaxLegamenon

I didn’t hear anything on the tape that sounded conservative. He stated a fact that is true. He did not offer any solutions or claims that he would change it. His point was that these people would not vote for him. He mentioned people expecting free health care but he is proud of RomneyCare which provides free health care. How can he give people free health care than complain that they have free health care.


25 posted on 09/18/2012 10:44:09 PM PDT by brightright
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To: tatown

You noticed that too? They’re falling for the media spin. The sole purpose of all of these hit pieces is to demoralize the enemy (us). People have already decided who they’re going vote for. The only way to skew the vote is to convince the other side that their vote is an exercise in futility, that other guy winning is inevitable. And people fall for it every damn time, including people on FR.


26 posted on 09/18/2012 10:49:42 PM PDT by factoryrat (We are the producers, the creators. Grow it, mine it, build it.)
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To: Steelfish
from the article: ‘It is bloodlessly non-ideological.’


And therein lies the man's problem.

What would inspire a majority to vote for him and turn from Obama, would make his “citizens of the world” financial backers and the National socialists scream bloody murder. It's too American. He'd be embarrassed. It's something Reagan believed in and could convey. Liberals used to call it America's civil religion. Romney rejected Reagan.

Seeing himself as an international business man cutting deals, he's lacking an anchor in America's founding and Western cultural ideals because he's not interested in all that. He does what he has to do socially operate within his little Mormon church leadership and globalist limo liberal business circle to cut the deals.

His peers are into global warming (huge “investment” money from governments and power), population control, no standards of character - politically correct liberalism, and global economic power and gain. They look at the “masses” as widgets to ignore, manipulate and get around. Ann probably is the human being of the two and I'm not sure she steps outside the circle's international and social ideology.

It appears that they are a stable couple and family and that has been conveyed pretty well.

I don't see how that could be fixed. He's just doesn't believe in all that podunk “nationalistic” freedom ideology crap. He's so much more worldly, bigger and progressive than that. All who are going to screech now that I want Dear Reader to stay in power, screw you ahead of time. This is the problem we face with Romney and I don't pretend real well.

27 posted on 09/18/2012 11:45:20 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: Steelfish

Jonah is the one way over analyzing what was a perfectly sensible comment by Romney.


28 posted on 09/19/2012 12:13:36 AM PDT by Andrei Bulba (No Obama, no way!)
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To: ansel12

My bringing up Reagan was based on the assumption that people here at least would immediately perceive his superiority to Romney. Which is to say of course politicians aren’t intellectuals. We don’t expect them to be. Reagan certainly wasn’t.

As for your ecomium, show a little restraint, please. I’m not comparing him to Joe Biden. Reagan is a politician. There have been smarter and dumber, lazier and more dedicated. But come on; he was just a politician. We don’t expect them to be philosophers, because they can’t be. That takes genius, but beyond that time and almost fanatical devotion. It is exceptionally rare among politicians, and that goes double for politicians in democratic times.

Pretty much the only president who rise to that level are Adams, Jefferson, and Madison. Wilson was an actual political scientist/historian/whatever, and actually was influential way back when. That’s about it. Because, and this is my main point: we don’t expect that from politicians.


29 posted on 09/19/2012 2:34:40 AM PDT by Tublecane
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To: Steelfish
I think I was the first to say a while back, he speaks conservatism as a second language. So when he tries to express his ideas he either sounds too detached or as if he’s parroting the idiom of a language he doesn’t fully understand.

Actually, Jonah, Sarah Palin said it in the middle of the primaries - Mitt just doesn't have the 'there' there.
30 posted on 09/19/2012 4:37:59 AM PDT by time4good
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To: Krameri

Paparazzi issue, aside, was there anything that Romney said was untrue? It is indeed what is happening in this country. People are getting addicted to government checks just like a dope user. Romney should keep repeating his speech. We are at critical crossroads.


31 posted on 09/19/2012 8:28:09 AM PDT by entropy12
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To: Tublecane

You just don’t know Reagan.

You seem to lack the depth to see where he stands in history, and in winning the disastrously unfinished WWII which was heading to our eventual defeat, and which would eventually end in our final suicidal spasm of resistance called WWIII, he is our greatest war time president, and he barely fired a shot, the man was a genius, far superior to the lesser minds that you think superior to his.

Before Reagan we knew the world was doomed, that communism was eating the world, and that at some unknown point, total global, thermonuclear war would end what we knew was a forever stalemate, that could only end in Communism’s victory, or in mutual destruction, a total reset of the human race.

Reagan knew better, he knew that he could undo the Gordian knot, if only he could make himself the most powerful man on earth. Thankfully Reagan knew how to out smart and defeat everyone who ever stood in his path.


32 posted on 09/19/2012 8:39:12 AM PDT by ansel12
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To: Steelfish; Jim Robinson

Romney, and Team Romney (which may or may not be the same thing) decided a LONG time ago that a frontal assault on Obama (character, origins, belief system) would lose those precious “independents” and that women would think he was “mean”.

They have pinned their hopes on “nice guy, swell dad, not up to the job”.

In order to win the right to deploy this strategy, they had to DESTROY Gingrich, Bachmann, Cain, and Santorum, and make sure Our Lady of Wasilla stayed out. OK, they won, they have the right to play their game their way.

We reviewed, endlessly, why this was a strategy of failure in the Winter and Spring. Nothing any of us said about this then matters now. After November 7, if the only strategy that could possibly lose this election in fact results in defeat, there will be time - four long years, in fact, if not (God forbid) more - to purge the GOP or crush it under the wheels of a legitimate party.

Now is not the time. My Romney signs are up. My donations are in. I’m selling as hard as I can, every time I get the chance.

Between now and November 6, with regard to Team Romney, give peace a chance.


33 posted on 09/19/2012 8:50:27 AM PDT by Jim Noble (Diseases desperate grown are by desperate appliance relieved or not at all.)
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To: ansel12

Ugh. You don’t get. You can be a genius and never do anything with your life. To specifically be an intellectual, to understand and traffic in ideas, you have to be cultured. You have to devote an awful lot of time to “the best that has been thought and said.” Reagan had time to read and think and write, but not for that.

If he wad a genius, it was in practical politics and public relations. Not in higher culture. In transmitting the thoughts of others to the masses, not in thinking them up himself. If you don’t believe me try reading his stuff then reading something by a man of culture along similar lines, like “The Road to Serfdom.” It’s like going from preschool to law school.


34 posted on 09/19/2012 8:50:49 AM PDT by Tublecane
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To: ansel12

Just curious...do you know Romney personally?


35 posted on 09/19/2012 9:00:06 AM PDT by Jane Long (Soli Deo Gloria!)
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To: Jane Long

Do you have a point you want to make?


36 posted on 09/19/2012 9:14:35 AM PDT by ansel12
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To: Tublecane

Good luck with your crusade, but in time history will place Reagan among all of history’s greats, Reagan’s mind created that, his mind literally shaped a world, he was not the simple tool being sent upstairs with an atta boy when the smart people finished with him.

Or as you said it “”he deserved at most an “attar boy, now go upstairs while the big boys talk.”””


37 posted on 09/19/2012 9:22:53 AM PDT by ansel12
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