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The GOP's Talent Gap
National Journal ^ | February 20, 2014 | Alex Roarty, Chief Political Correspondent

Posted on 02/21/2014 5:19:36 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet

The party doesn't have enough smart people working on its campaigns, and those who do are playing out of position.

Republicans who run campaigns gripe they lose races because of candidates and ideology. It's easy to understand why. Nominees who deny they belong to a coven or confuse—in the most offensive way conceivable—the basic biology of sex aren't ideal nominees. The more electable ones, like Mitt Romney, are forced to adopt such a rigid agenda that they irritate half the electorate before the general election even begins. So victories are hard to come by, just as they would be for a sprinter with two sprained ankles.

But those same Republicans who have shepherded countless Senate, House, and presidential candidates should add one more culprit to their list: themselves. Because there's mounting evidence that the party's political class simply isn't good at running campaigns anymore.

They're certainly not as good as the Democrats. The turnout experts, TV whizzes, and all-around gurus of the Grand Old Party have been outnumbered and outsmarted by their adversaries, who have spent a decade retrofitting their entire political infrastructure. The result is a dizzying talent gap between the two parties' political classes, one that shows few signs of closing as the 2014 midterms begin. In some ways, the GOP is years behind on solving a problem that has no quick fixes.

The chasm is widest in technology, an area where Democrats have innovated heavily while Republican tactics ossified. But the data and digital divide, while getting most of the attention, is only a symptom of a larger problem that cuts fundamentally to how the Republican Party operates—not just at a tactical level but also a philosophical one. The well-worn pathways of the party's operatives, in which every low-level staffer commits his or her career to becoming a well-paid TV specialist, must change. The party's best and brightest need to emulate the career arc of their Democratic counterparts, who devote themselves to data and fieldwork, areas where races are increasingly won or lost.

A party that celebrates individual achievement must learn to better share information and work together to form a new way of politicking—a practice Democrats have emphasized for years. For conservatives, that will smack of a collectivist mind-set they detest as a matter of public policy. But a top-to-bottom change in how the GOP's political leadership thinks is exactly what many of its own strategists argue is necessary to catch up to Democrats.

"If you think [the] reason you lost to Obama is because you didn't have a database, that's just a fundamental misunderstanding," said Patrick Ruffini, one of the party's foremost digital consultants. "The problem lies not so much in not having those specific things. The problem lies in a culture."

Tech-savvy consultants use the word "culture" a lot as they try to convince party leaders that closing the gap isn't about finding the next technological widget. It's about transforming how the party conducts its campaigns, from operations that rely heavily on TV and conventional wisdom to data-driven efforts that reach across all media. Most important, it requires that staffers on those campaigns, from campaign manager to rank-and-file workers, overhaul not just what they do but how they think.

And changing that culture will take more than a single election cycle, or even two. That worries some Republicans, who gaze at the 2014 landscape and see a year in which the party could easily capture the Senate majority while extending its grip on the House. The GOP will win those races because of Obamacare's unpopularity or a sagging economy, but that won't mean the party has suddenly figured out a better way to run its campaigns.

Republicans like Ruffini say short-term success could cost the GOP in the long run. "Say we do win in 2014; say we do win in 2016. I still think without a systematic review or systematic uprooting of how we operate, we're going to be swimming against the tide of history," he said. "Did Democrats have a better campaign infrastructure in 2010? Yes, they did. They still lost. As a result of that campaign, we took wrong lessons out of that."

SHALLOW BENCH

The biggest deficit Republicans face isn't the skills of their operatives or the absence of newfangled campaign technology. It's their numbers: The GOP simply doesn't have enough people—or a wide-enough variety of them. And even those men and women who are working are often fitted into the wrong kind of job.

A December study by the progressive political firm New Organizing Institute found a wide chasm between the number of staffers on Democratic versus Republican campaigns—nationally, the ratio was close to 3-to-1 in favor of Democrats. In swing-state Nevada, where Republicans had hoped the housing bust and vibrant Mormon community would lift Mitt Romney to victory, the totals were even more lopsided: 498 Democrats worked the state, to only 20 Republicans.

While the study isn't perfect—it doesn't offer a full count of staffers who worked for a consultancy, for example, and it doesn't differentiate between those who worked on a campaign for three months and those who were there for just three days—its findings rang true for many plugged-in strategists who work on campaigns. "The end of our pool is smaller than the end of their pool in a lot of vital areas," said Rick Wilson, a Florida-based Republican operative.

Worse, according to some Republicans, those who are working aren't in the right positions. "Anyone who has hung around GOP campaigns can tell you that this sounds totally intuitively right," Ruffini wrote in a blog post assessing the data. "Republicans concentrate their talent on the most traditional aspects of campaigning, while Democrats tend to blaze new ground in areas like data analytics, and focus more on [the] field."

Fieldwork might sound mundane, but it's where many smart campaigns are investing the most money. There's no better example than Obama's last campaign, which emphasized voter-to-voter contact among its army of volunteers and low-level employees. The ground game was the largest in presidential history.

To Ruffini and other Republicans, this misallocation tugs at a related and equally daunting challenge. GOP leaders have hemmed and hawed about the party's digital and technology gap since losing to Obama's technologically superior effort in 2012. They've invested millions of dollars, especially at the Republican National Committee, to remake their voter-outreach and political-analytics efforts. But as the NOI data show, money's not the big problem. It's people. And the GOP can't train, or retrain, a generation of operatives overnight.

"As far as this gap, we've been doing a lot in the last year to close it: buying the technology, buying the talent," said Alex Lundry, who served as Romney's director of data science. "But the thing you can't buy is the culture. And that's the place where we're struggling the most."

Some doubt that the GOP's leadership truly understands the breadth and depth of the challenge before the party. Vincent Harris, a well-known GOP digital strategist, points to last year's Virginia gubernatorial election between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli as evidence. While McAuliffe invested heavily in analytics and fieldwork, Cuccinelli's effort looked an awful lot like campaigns of the past. His investment in data, analytics, and voter-targeting paled in comparison to McAuliffe's. In the consultant's estimation, it's a sign that many of the Republicans running major campaigns still don't get it.

"I think the Republican Party is doing a lot of talk," Harris said. "But without a doubt, it has definitely not moved to where Democrats are."

BLUE-COLLAR POLITICS

Democrats had the help of a major ally in the quest to modernize their campaigns: unions. The labor movement might seem like an odd generator of cutting-edge tactics but, squeezed by declining membership and funds, it has turned into an innovation factory for the party. Michael Podhorzer, the AFL-CIO's political director, was a founder of the Analyst Institute, a group dedicated to testing the best methods for voter contact and persuasion.

Republicans don't hurt for allies. But many of them, like the Karl Rove-founded super PAC American Crossroads and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, follow a simple formula: Raise a bunch of money and spend it on TV ads. It's not exactly a revolutionary way to conduct campaigns. "What is the third-party group that is equivalent to the labor movement on our side?" Lundry asked. "Is it the chamber? Probably not."

Unlike unions, those GOP-leaning groups don't invest much in the ground game, which, to many GOP operatives who do work in the field, is part of a bigger problem. The GOP's political class simply doesn't value that kind of work, even if it's increasingly important in the 21st century.

Most young Republican operatives view organizing as a mere entry point to a career that will eventually lead to bigger, and better-paying, gigs. "Democrats actually set up and train people to think about those jobs as careers," said Brian Stobie, a partner at the GOP data-management firm Optimus. "A field-organizing roll can be a career over there. In our world, it's a $27,000-a-year job you can't wait to get out of."

"All you're thinking the whole time is, 'I can't wait to get out of this and be the political director,' " he added.

Other explanations are myriad. A few GOP consultants say the party's conservative philosophy hinders the sharing of its best ideas—both with other Republican campaigns and within individual campaigns themselves. "We are so individualistic on the Republican side, both in our philosophy and policy," Harris said. "It definitely bleeds over into how we are managing and structuring campaigns. And we have to break that."

Even the party's agenda can get in the way. As Robert Draper outlined in The New York Times Magazine in February, the party's conservatism on cultural issues might prevent it from recruiting the young operatives it needs from Silicon Valley and other places. The problems with these tech-savvy youths mirror the GOP's problem with young voters in general who might sympathize with the party's fiscal conservatism. As Draper wrote, the GOP's opposition to gay marriage and abortion rights alienates those would-be operatives. The talent pools the GOP must tap into, then, are running dry.

REINVENTING THE WHEEL

It's not that the GOP leaders don't get it. Most of them talk with guys like Ruffini, Lundry, and Harris all the time. They use the same language, too, urging the party to transform its political culture while overhauling its data capabilities.

"Our challenge is less of a technology problem and more of a culture problem," read the report from the Growth and Opportunity Project, the RNC's recommended changes to the party after the 2012 election defeat. "We need to strive for an environment of intellectual curiosity, data, research, and testing to ensure that our programs are working. We need to define our mission by setting specific political goals and then allowing data, digital, and tech talent to unleash the tools of technology and work toward achieving those goals. And just as with all forms of voter contact, digital must be tested, and we must measure our rate of return."

And they bristle at the suggestion that their changes are little more than rhetoric. To be fair, they're right. The RNC has spent tens of millions of dollars upgrading its data operations and hired a former senior Facebook engineer, Andy Barkett, as its new chief technology officer. It has worked with recruiting firms to hire young Silicon Valley talent, and even set up what it calls a Para Bellum Labs, a kind of start-up firm within the committee designed to help the party innovate new ideas.

The National Republican Congressional Committee has established its own de facto boot camp for party strategists, a program called ELEVATE, to train them in the best practices for digital strategy. That helps amend problems at the individual campaign level, says Gerrit Lansing, the NRCC's digital director. But he's more excited about changes made to the leadership at all the committees, changes he says will infuse them—and, by extension, the party's establishment—with the mind-set necessary to catch up to the Democrats.

"Everyone agrees cultural change was needed throughout the party, which is why the committees who have the greatest influence over party decisions have made major structural changes to how they operate," Lansing said. "Those structural changes—not larger ad buys or flashy gadgets—are the quickest, most dramatic way to affect cultural change throughout the party."

Some Republicans are putting those words into practice. Mitch McConnell's team in Kentucky, for instance, has pledged to build the most tech-savvy GOP Senate campaign ever. And they've turned to a surprising source to help them do it: NationBuilder, a political firm that grew up helping Democrats merge different strands of a campaign's operation.

"We didn't want information siloed," said Jesse Benton, McConnell's campaign manager. "I've been part of so many campaign operations where you have a fundraising database, a voter-contact database, other forms of data coming in, and they're not talking to each other. We wanted to have everything in one hub that could be then looked at and analyzed to make smart decisions."

What all of their efforts can't do, however, is make up for lost time and people. A decade of ignoring its own political practices has left the GOP in a deep hole, one it can't climb out of in a single election cycle. Republicans will need a focused effort for years to catch up to Democrats—one the party will have to maintain even if it manages to win big in 2014 without it.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: democrats; gop; politics; republicans
Comments?
1 posted on 02/21/2014 5:19:37 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The National Journal is the one that has the big talent gap.


2 posted on 02/21/2014 5:21:10 PM PST by CivilWarguy
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Remember when character matter more than “The Message”.


3 posted on 02/21/2014 5:23:41 PM PST by Lets Roll NOW (A baby isn't a punishment, Obama is)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Let me see if I understand, If we use the same people
who taught the democrats, and do the same things the
democrats do, we can beat the democrats....

Right.


4 posted on 02/21/2014 5:31:13 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
When you think about their track record since Nixon . . .

.

.


5 posted on 02/21/2014 5:35:03 PM PST by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The 498 who worked the state are all paid to do so. It is business for the democrat volunteers, for republicans it is volunteer.


6 posted on 02/21/2014 5:37:17 PM PST by BRL
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

This writer is arguing that there aren’t enough RINOs in the GOPe and that the GOPe doesn’t have a ground game. The reason for that is easy to understand — they hate their base. Why don’t the libs help them out and share some of their low info voters. Better yet why not have the lot of the RINOs just join the dems. They’ll be a lot happier.


7 posted on 02/21/2014 5:40:06 PM PST by Waryone
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
There's a lot of truth to this, but the bigger point is this:

Most people who might be good Republican candidates for higher office really have no interest in politics. It's really beneath almost anyone who has an ounce of integrity and self-respect, which pretty much eliminates a huge segment of your most qualified conservative candidates.

8 posted on 02/21/2014 5:40:09 PM PST by Alberta's Child ("I've never seen such a conclave of minstrels in my life.")
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To: BRL

bump


9 posted on 02/21/2014 5:42:23 PM PST by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans!)
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To: Alberta's Child

Many Republicans can make good money in the private sector, much more than the $174,000 you make in Congress. Why bother?


10 posted on 02/21/2014 5:42:28 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Sarah Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
"The more electable ones, like Mitt Romney"

I stopped right there. Socialist ringer phonies like Willard are the epitome of UNELECTABLE.

11 posted on 02/21/2014 5:46:41 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

He’s won one election in his whole life, right?


12 posted on 02/21/2014 5:48:25 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Sarah Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The problem is this guy. A list of every single ‘moderate’ in the country won’t provide the volounteers to win a campaign LOL!
No wonder Huffpost and National Journal love him.

Without the Tea Party there isn’t anyone to work for Republican candidates.


13 posted on 02/21/2014 5:49:41 PM PST by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat Party!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Ensure that the elections are not rigged. Everything else is a waste of time and money if you can’t be sure the other side isn’t cheating.
Ask yourself, “Would the Democrats cheat to win?” If you answer “yes”, then move under the assumption that they are cheating.
Ask yourself, “Would the Democrats lie to win?” If you answer “yes”, then move under the assumption that they are always lying.
If they are crowing about how good their “get out the vote effort” was, then you can be sure that had little to do with their victory.


14 posted on 02/21/2014 5:51:43 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Yeah, I have a comment. This rag is the same rag that said McCain was
the most conservative Congresscritters in 2010. Need I say more?


15 posted on 02/21/2014 5:56:07 PM PST by tennmountainman (Just Say No To Obamacare)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Sending this to a friend.


16 posted on 02/21/2014 5:59:43 PM PST by Darren McCarty (Abortion - legalized murder for convenience)
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To: tennmountainman

It’s also the home of Bob Shrum, and you know what that means.


17 posted on 02/21/2014 6:01:51 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Sarah Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

They are so scared witless of Ted Cruz that they don’t even want to mention his name.


18 posted on 02/21/2014 6:02:54 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Moslems reserve the right to behead anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: mrsmith
Without the Tea Party there isn’t anyone to work for Republican candidates.

You make a good point, the writer isn't looking for the "talent" in the rights places.

In two cycles tea party people are winning major upsets over the GOPe and then the democrat party, there is evidently a lot of good, new talent, involved in those many campaigns.

19 posted on 02/21/2014 6:06:33 PM PST by ansel12 (Ben Bradlee -- JFK told me that "he was all for people's solving their problems by abortion".)
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To: ansel12

According to wiki: “Ruffini was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v. Perry case”.

This guy, and many in the Party apparatus, “Don’t want no Tea Party people ‘round here!” for various reasons.
Blaming their failure on ‘tchnology’ or ‘organization’ is a convenient self-delusion.


20 posted on 02/21/2014 6:18:51 PM PST by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat Party!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Won one general election for Governor in 2002, won two other nominations for Senator in 1994 and his coronation for President in 2012. He didn’t run for reelection in 2006 because he would’ve probably lost. Calling him “electable” is ludicrous by any stretch. Now, if he ran as the Democrat he has always been...


21 posted on 02/21/2014 6:51:01 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Party nominations are not elections. How many elections, on the other hand, has Governor Sarah Palin won? Yet she’s considered unelectable.


22 posted on 02/21/2014 6:54:12 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Sarah Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
The more electable ones, like Mitt Romney.........

Really???

23 posted on 02/21/2014 7:02:30 PM PST by Holly_P
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

City Council, Mayor, Governor. Aside from VP, the only race she lost was when she ran in 2002 for Lieutenant Governor and failed to get the nomination. As for an individual considered electable or unelectable, you have to see exactly whom is calling them that. The only people who call Palin unelectable are those terrified that she could win. Those that call Willard electable are those that know he can’t.


24 posted on 02/21/2014 7:07:30 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: Holly_P

That’s why he’s President now, y’know.


25 posted on 02/21/2014 7:08:17 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: fieldmarshaldj; 2ndDivisionVet

Precisely right.


26 posted on 02/21/2014 7:12:58 PM PST by onyx (Please Support Free Republic - Donate Monthly! If you want on Sarah Palin's Ping List, Let Me know!)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Yes.


27 posted on 02/21/2014 7:16:03 PM PST by originofstrength
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
A friend of mine who's a GOP county chair looked at this. His response to this article was under "Dan's comments" followed by my comments.

Because there's mounting evidence that the party's political class simply isn't good at running campaigns anymore.

Dan's comment - Part of the problem is that the high level consultants who keep getting jobs do a bad job but get rehired time and time again. They were not that good in the first place, and their clients listen to them too often.

My comment - I couldn't agree more. Those consultants always blame someone else after the election as well to protect themselves.

The chasm is widest in technology, an area where Democrats have innovated heavily while Republican tactics ossified. But the data and digital divide, while getting most of the attention, is only a symptom of a larger problem that cuts fundamentally to how the Republican Party operates—not just at a tactical level but also a philosophical one. The well-worn pathways of the party's operatives, in which every low-level staffer commits his or her career to becoming a well-paid TV specialist, must change. The party's best and brightest need to emulate the career arc of their Democratic counterparts, who devote themselves to data and fieldwork, areas where races are increasingly won or lost.

Dan's Comment - Technology is important and more important than the TV ads, but is still overrated. Data in the field is extremely important and we're playing catchup here. That said, campaigns aren't exotic. It just takes organization, good candidates, good campaigns, and hard work.

My Comment - I know Dan's definition of a good candidate, but most of all it is someone who works hard, is trustworthy, and knows how to carry himself. People vote on competence and attitude more than ideology. Before we ask if someone is conservative enough, we need to ask ourselves if we can trust this person and if this person is capable of doing the job. People didn't trust Romney.

It's about transforming how the party conducts its campaigns, from operations that rely heavily on TV and conventional wisdom to data-driven efforts that reach across all media. Most important, it requires that staffers on those campaigns, from campaign manager to rank-and-file workers, overhaul not just what they do but how they think.

Dan's comment - See my consulting comments above. TV is diminishing returns at best. The message on the TV with corporate-speak is worse. It doesn't say anything most of the time. Another political ad. Click.

My comment - Good luck with that, Dan.

A December study by the progressive political firm New Organizing Institute found a wide chasm between the number of staffers on Democratic versus Republican campaigns—nationally, the ratio was close to 3-to-1 in favor of Democrats. In swing-state Nevada, where Republicans had hoped the housing bust and vibrant Mormon community would lift Mitt Romney to victory, the totals were even more lopsided: 498 Democrats worked the state, to only 20 Republicans.

Dan's Comment - The GOP relies on volunteers. The dems rely on unions. Worse, the GOP relies on the 2004 Karl Rove phone call playbook which I refuse to use as those calls hurt more than help. When I had the landline, I was getting 8 calls a day. People get tired of the political calls. We need to microtarget and concentrate on quality as much as quantity. I need to get 65% in my county to have a good shot to win statewide. These candidates need to sell to my increasingly frustrated county citizens. I'm seeing potential changes, but need to see it to believe it.

My comments - I'm in a democrat stronghold county. The dems can do knock and drag operations in the big cities like Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. It doesn't work as well in rural areas like mine, or even Dan's.

Unlike unions, those GOP-leaning groups don't invest much in the ground game, which, to many GOP operatives who do work in the field, is part of a bigger problem. The GOP's political class simply doesn't value that kind of work, even if it's increasingly important in the 21st century. Most young Republican operatives view organizing as a mere entry point to a career that will eventually lead to bigger, and better-paying, gigs. "Democrats actually set up and train people to think about those jobs as careers," said Brian Stobie, a partner at the GOP data-management firm Optimus. "A field-organizing roll can be a career over there. In our world, it's a $27,000-a-year job you can't wait to get out of." "All you're thinking the whole time is, 'I can't wait to get out of this and be the political director,' " he added.

Dan's comment - My state senator is a country guy who beat everybody in his first election by knocking on 15,000 doors. He won. The bigshots usually send a 20 year old yesman for the field work. These kids know what they are told by HQ, and at the same time the top field staff are usually about 25 and look down on us. One of them was threatening volunteers, and I called him out right there. He didn't understand that the guys in that room knew a lot more than he did. The problem isn't him, but the culture from HQ, especially national HQ. If you want stuff done right here, you hire the locals and let us do our jobs. Give me a candidate worth selling, too. I did everything in one recent election with only a months notice. I stretched every dollar, raised $3000, and we won our race 3-1. I have good political experience, but I had 25 years in the township as well, and the major neighborhood affected was my own.

My Comment - From what I'm hearing GOP-E still doesn't get it.

"We are so individualistic on the Republican side, both in our philosophy and policy," Harris said. "It definitely bleeds over into how we are managing and structuring campaigns. And we have to break that."

Dan's comment - I can't agree with that. The problem is that HQ doesn't trust people to do their jobs. They try to fit a collectivist structure on a very individualistic county.

My comment - Couldn't agree more.

Even the party's agenda can get in the way. As Robert Draper outlined in The New York Times Magazine in February, the party's conservatism on cultural issues might prevent it from recruiting the young operatives it needs from Silicon Valley and other places. The problems with these tech-savvy youths mirror the GOP's problem with young voters in general who might sympathize with the party's fiscal conservatism. As Draper wrote, the GOP's opposition to gay marriage and abortion rights alienates those would-be operatives. The talent pools the GOP must tap into, then, are running dry.

Dan's comment - BS. The general population I talk to rarely bring up that issue one way or the other, and I'm in one of the most socially conservative parts of Michigan. We expect people to mind their own business here. That means I don't invade your bedroom, and you don't bring it to the town square. As far as abortion goes, a lot of the younger generation is pro-life. There are pro-life libertarian republicans as well. If my party caves on abortion, 75% of my volunteers will walk, and I along with them. This is an issue to us on par with the evils of slavery. If you go bad on life, you're politically dead here. If you go bad on guns, you're even more politically dead here. Also, why go to Silicon Valley? There's a lot of tech talent in Texas, Loudon County, and Troy Michigan. This is looking like a Hail Mary pass attempt instead of proven old fashion boring hard work. Miracles don't happen without people doing what it needed to make it happen.

My comment - Flip on abortion and I walk.

It's not that the GOP leaders don't get it. Most of them talk with guys like Ruffini, Lundry, and Harris all the time. They use the same language, too, urging the party to transform its political culture while overhauling its data capabilities.

Dan's comment - Do your consultants get it? That's your biggest problem. I'm hearing the RNC gets it and PARTS of the MIGOP get it. What about the consultant class? Rove. Fred Davis. Stuart Stevens. Steven Schmidt. Those types are the ones that always eff up everything. I'll believe it when I see it.

My comment - All the talk about this is great, but at the end, you need to sell a candidate. There's one fatal flaw here at the beginning of this article. The more electable ones, like Mitt Romney Mitt Romney lost to John McCain. How was he electable? He wasn't. Give me a candidate to work with.

Candidate quality is still the most important part of an election. The media can't pick our candidate.

28 posted on 02/21/2014 7:16:19 PM PST by Darren McCarty (Abortion - legalized murder for convenience)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Yes, MA Governor in 2002.

Lost 1994 USS vs. Kennedy
Lost 2008 GOP POTUS
Lost 2012 USA POTUS


29 posted on 02/21/2014 7:17:42 PM PST by originofstrength
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Bob Shrum is the Stuart Stevens of the democrats.


30 posted on 02/21/2014 7:18:03 PM PST by Darren McCarty (Abortion - legalized murder for convenience)
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To: Darren McCarty

Exhibit A: Steve Schmidt. Exhibit B: Nicole Wallace.


31 posted on 02/21/2014 7:18:27 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Sarah Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: originofstrength

Yet Gov. Palin has won at least five elections and tried to drag Senator McCain, kicking and screaming, across the finish line in 2008.


32 posted on 02/21/2014 7:22:22 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (I will raise $2M for Sarah Palin's next run, what will you do?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Until the consultants are addressed, the problem will always be there. If candidates listen to people like Schmidt, Stevens, and Wallace, they will get the results of Schmidt, Stevens, and Wallace.
33 posted on 02/21/2014 7:28:25 PM PST by Darren McCarty (Abortion - legalized murder for convenience)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’ll tell you our number one problem. Churches. I read that only 50% of people who call themselves Christian vote. Pastors have also backed off speaking out against moral issue that are political. I emailed Ted Cruz and reminded him of how churches would probably love to hear him speak. I hear he’s quite the speaker of truth to evil. It’s just want this country needs.


34 posted on 02/21/2014 7:36:33 PM PST by Linda Frances (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.)
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To: Linda Frances

I meant to say how churches would love to hear his father, the pastor. speak.

I’ll tell you our number one problem. Churches. I read that only 50% of people who call themselves Christian vote. Pastors have also backed off speaking out against moral issue that are political. I emailed Ted Cruz and reminded him of how churches would probably love to hear him speak. I hear he’s quite the speaker of truth to evil. It’s just want this country needs.


35 posted on 02/21/2014 7:42:59 PM PST by Linda Frances (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Yep, you’re right.


36 posted on 02/21/2014 8:09:18 PM PST by originofstrength
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