NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—In an extraordinary gesture of recognition for a losing Presidential nominee, Time magazine today named former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney Man of the Year 1912.
In a press release explaining its decision, Time’s editorial board wrote, “Even though his quest for the Presidency was unsuccessful, Mr. Romney’s ideas about foreign policy, taxation, wealth inequality, and women’s rights typified the year 1912 as no one else has.”
In giving Mr. Romney the nod, Time said that he beat out such other candidates for Man of the Year 1912 as Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany, and Edward Smith, captain of the Titanic.
“It was very close between but Romney and the Titanic guy, but we gave it to Romney because it took him slightly longer to sink,” Time wrote.
Mr. Romney could not be reached for comment, a spokesman said, because he was travelling around the world visiting his money.
The nation is heading toward the “fiscal cliff,” but have no fear: Mitt Romney is coming to the rescue — of Marriott International Inc.
In his first public comments since election night, the defeated Republican presidential nominee issued a statement Monday announcing his next step. An appeal to national unity? A charitable initiative?Loading…
It was emblematic of the tone-deaf, I-have-some-great-friends-that-are-NASCAR-team-owners moments that contributed to his loss. The country is in a crisis, political leaders in a standoff, and Romney is joining his buddy’s corporate board.
Romney is a private citizen now and free to do as he chooses. But it’s not as if he needs the money; the $170,000 in cash and stockthat Marriott directors received in the most recent year reported is but a sliver of the$20 million or so Romney takes in annually from his investments.
More to the point, Romney’s first post-election move served to confirm the exhaustive report my Post colleague Philip Rucker did on Romney’s “rapid retreat into seclusion.” Rucker, who covered the Romney campaign for this paper, wrote that in the former candidate’s disappearance he is “exhibiting the same detachment that made it so difficult for him to connect with the body politic through six years of running for president.”
Romney’s post-election behavior has been, in a word, small. Never again, likely, will his voice and influence be as powerful as they are now. Yet rather than stepping forward to help find a way out of the fiscal standoff, or to help his party rebuild itself, he delivered a perfunctory concession speech, told wealthy donors that Obama won by giving “gifts” to minorities, then avoided the press at a private lunch with President Obama.
Though keeping nominal residence in Massachusetts, the state he led as governor, he moved out to his California home and has been spotted at Disneyland, at the new “Twilight” movie, at a pizza place, pumping gas and going to the gym. In warm weather, he plans to live at his lakefront manse in New Hampshire. The man who spoke passionately about his love for the American auto industry has been driving around in a new Audi Q7.
A former adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, told Rucker that Romney will “be involved in some fashion” in public service. And nobody can begrudge Romney some downtime. But his failure to engage now, at a time when he could have the most clout, reinforces the impression that his candidacy was less about principle and patriotism than about him.
Romney wove through his campaign a sometimes stirring, sometimes corny patriotism, singing “America the Beautiful” and saying, “I ask the American people to vote for love of country.”
It’s understandable that Romney would now feel like shrinking from the scene: He offered the people a choice, and they chose otherwise. But this is a crucial time for the country and particularly for Romney’s Republican Party, which must unshackle itself from the far right or become irrelevant.
His campaign manager, Matt Rhoades, expressed regret in recent days that the candidate was drawn into taking a hard line on immigration during the primaries. No less a Republican than Karl Rove pleaded for tolerance in the Republican Party, where “moderates and conservatives had gone at each other and made victory impossible.”
Many in the GOP blame Romney for his defeat, particularly since his “gifts” remark. But his real problem was the positions he was forced to take. For him to speak out about this now could repair his party and help the country.
In the fiscal-cliff debate, it’s not clear that John Boehner, Mitch McConnell or anybody else is in control of Republican backbenchers. GOP lawmakers such as Sen. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.) and Rep. Tom Cole (Okla.) are treated as heretics for stating the obvious need to compromise. Even in defeat, Romney’s voice could be enough to return his party to reason.
When Romney met Obama at the White House last week, the administration released a statement noting the menu (white turkey chili and Southwestern grilled chicken salad) and saying the two men “pledged to stay in touch, particularly if opportunities to work together on shared interests arise in the future.”
Shared interests? Shouldn’t keeping the nation out of economic calamity qualify as one of those?
(CNN) - The Secret Service said an unidentified man was arrested Thursday at the White House after running at the vehicle carrying former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to a lunch there.
The man reached into Romney’s open vehicle window as the SUV stopped at a White House gate. He was yelling the candidate’s name when he was hauled away, apparently by a security officer. “This afternoon an individual interfered with a motorcade,” the Secret Service said in a statement. “He became combative with uniformed Secret Service agents, and was arrested for assault of a police officer and unlawful entrance.”
The individual did not appear to physically contact Romney.
Romney was visiting the White House for a lunch with President Barack Obama. The White House said in a statement the “focus of their discussion was on America’s leadership in the world and the importance of maintaining that leadership position in the future.”
Contrary to reports, the Romney camp probably wasn’t terribly surprised by the election results.
November 19, 2012
The big chin-scratching story in the aftermath of the 2012 campaign is that the Romney-Ryan campaign was “shell-shocked” by its loss to Barack Obama. “I don’t think there was one person who saw this coming,” a senior adviser to the campaign told CBS. “There’s nothing worse than when you think you’re going to win, and you don’t,” said another. “It was like a sucker punch.”
The most likely explanation for that yawning disconnect is that the campaign figured it was better to appear to be entirely clueless about the race than acknowledge that it had been bullshitting its fat-cat donors about Romney’s chances of winning in order to keep the cash spigot open.
That’s not how most people saw it. Many attributed the campaign’s apparent surprise to “epistemic closure” – to a campaign deeply ensconced in a conservative media bubble that had been systematically “unskewing” the pollsand predicting a Romney victory for months. According to this view, Romney’s camp was surrounded by people who saw Barack Obama as an abject failure who was deeply unpopular and had little to no chance of being re-elected.
But that story really isn’t plausible. The right’s “unskewed” polling project was based on the notion that the 2012 electorate would look like that of the 2010 midterm, when Republicans enjoyed a “wave” election. While the dimmer lights of the right-wing blogosphere may have convinced themselves that this would likely be the case, no serious observer of American politics could really believe that a presidential election year – where around 60 percent of eligible voters go to the polls – could look all that similar to a midterm in which 41 percent turned out (older people and whites tend to be more reliable voters than younger voters and people of color).
It’s also true that Mitt Romney didn’t lead Barack Obama for a single day of the campaign in Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight forecast, the Princeton Election Consortium’s forecast, the Rand Corporation’s model or the Electoral College forecasts offered by poll aggregators like Talking Points Memo and Real Clear Politics. The base may have shrugged that off as widespread and systematic “bias” on the part of pollsters and numbers crunchers, but campaign hacks are news junkies and while they could have believed a comeback win was possible, the notion that they saw it as a sure thing – sure enough that Mitt Romney didn’t bother to even prepare a concession speech – just doesn’t pass the smell test.
If one believes the insiders’ accounts, the Romney campaign was basing its strategy on its own “unskewed” internal polls. CBS reported that “their internal polling showed them leading in key states, so they decided to make a play for a broad victory: go to places like Pennsylvania while also playing it safe in the last two weeks.”
A more likely scenario emerges when you consider how Romney’s campaign was financed, relying on a small pool of very deep-pocketed donors. As Michael Scherer put it back in July, “Mitt Romney is struggling to get everyday people to give small amounts to his campaign.”
By September, almost 90 percent of the donations to the Romney-aligned super-PACs – which were doing the heavy lifting in terms of advertising – exceeded $100,000, according to the New York Times. Only 23 percent of the campaign’s donations were under $200 (compared to 56 percent for Obama).
And by the time the conventions rolled around, it looked like the money was beginning to dry up. In September, the New York Timesreported, “Mitt Romney entered the final months of the presidential campaign with a cash balance of just $35 million,” and was “racing to find new large donors.” The Romney team “grew so short of available cash that his campaign borrowed $20 million and sharply curtailed advertising.” When that report came out – as Romney and Ryan were “racing to find new large donors” – Nate Silver’s model gave them just a 23.9 percent chance of winning. By the end of September, the likelihood of a Romney victory was down to 15 percent – hardly a good bet for a gambling man like casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.
Two weeks later, the campaign held a major “retreat” for those big donors at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York. According to the Washington Post, the luxurious three-day event gave deep-pocketed conservatives a chance to “mingle with Romney’s running mate, eat lunch with his wife, talk shop with his strategists, dine with his most colorful surrogate [Donald Trump] and talk jobs with entrepreneurs who are inspirations for his stump speech.” The Post called it “their reward for infusing a record-breaking amount of money into Romney’s operation.”
It’s far more likely that the campaign was telling these fat-cats that Romney had a great chance of pulling out a win if they’d just dig a bit deeper. They showed their supporters their unskewed internal polling and assured them that their money wouldn’t go to waste.
Reality re-asserted itself three weeks later, when Barack Obama won re-election with 332 Electoral College votes. And those deep-pocketed Republican sugar-daddies weren’t happy with the results. “The billionaire donors I hear are livid,” an unnamed Republican operative told the Huffington Post. “There is some holy hell to pay.”
Having sold them a bill of goods during the final months of the campaign, the Romney camp – including Karl Rove, who raised an estimated $300 million for his pro-GOP super-PAC – had no choice but to feign utter and complete surprise at the results. While Mitt Romney can slink off with Ann and the boys into a wildly rich retirement from public life, his running mate, Paul Ryan, his campaign staff and big GOP bundlers like Karl Rove need to go back to those donors again in the years ahead. Such is the reality for the GOP in the post-Citizens United era.
As Bob Biersack, senior fellow at the Center for Responsive Politics, told CBS, the GOP’s big donors “have to feel a little bit embarrassed,” which is “not a common experience for them. They’ll have to evaluate how they spent the money and what might be a better use of that kind of resource.” He added that “it’ll be a harder sell” for Rove and other big-money bundlers the next time around.
With so many big dollars at stake, it would have been disastrous for the GOP’s fattest cats to catch on to the fact that they’d been conned; that the campaign had intentionally exaggerated Romney’s chances in order to keep the cash flowing. So a few of Romney’s senior staffers went to a couple of reliable Beltway reporters and sold them a story of a campaign that had been utterly shocked to have lost – as shocked as they’d be to discover that there’s gambling in Casablanca.
That scenario is far more likely than the notion that they were completely suckered by their own rather obvious spin.
Video:Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is shoring up criticism from Republican party leaders after telling campaign donors that President Obama secured his victory by giving “financial gifts” to his supporters.
Ten days after failing to sail into the White House, Mitt Romney is already being tossed overboard by his party.
The former Massachusetts governor — who attracted $1 billion in funding and 59 million votes in his bid to unseat President Obama — has rapidly become persona non grata to a shellshocked Republican Party, which appears eager to map out its future without its 2012 nominee.
SHE THE PEOPLE | “I regret the Republican Party’s complete abandonment of Todd Akin,” he says.
Romney was by all accounts stunned at the scale of his Nov. 6 loss, dropping quickly from public view after delivering a short concession speech to a half-empty Boston arena. Then came a series of tin-eared remarks this week blaming his loss onObama’s “gifts” to African Americans and Hispanics, among others — putting himsquarely at odds with party leaders struggling to build bridges with minorities.
“You can’t expect to be a leader of all the people and be divisive,” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Friday on MSNBC, adding: “Someone asked me, ‘Why did Mitt Romney lose?’ And I said, ‘Because he got less votes than Barack Obama, that’s why.’ ”
It’s a remarkable fall from grace for Romney, who just 10 days ago held the chance of a Republican return to power at the White House.
The messy aftermath of his failure suggests that Romney, a political amalgam with no natural constituency beyond the business community, is unlikely to play a significant role in rebuilding his party, many Republicans said this week.
“He’s not going to be running for anything in the future,” said Rep. Raúl R. Labrador (R-Idaho), who sharply criticized Romney’s comments about Hispanics. “He’s not our standard-bearer, unfortunately.”
Romney adviser Stuart Stevens strongly disagreed, calling Romney “the most popular Republican on the national scene at the moment,” given the votes he received on Election Day. Views of defeated candidates can change dramatically over time, Stevens added.
“Even those who have been critical of the campaign on our side realize in the end that Governor Romney was resonating with millions of Americans and was running the kind of campaign we could all be proud of,” Stevens said. “I think the governor can have the political road of his choosing. I have no idea what that would be.”
The fate of failed presidential nominees varies widely in modern times. Republican nominee and former Senate majority leader Bob Dole still wields influence as a party sage since his failed 1996 run, while Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is still sparring publicly with the man who defeated him in 2008. Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), who lost to President George W. Bush in 2004, is now a candidate to be Obama’s secretary of defense or state in the second term.
Former vice president Al Gore (D) went into the political wilderness for a time after his 2000 loss to Bush before remaking himself as an antiwar and environmental crusader. The most famous loser of all might be Richard M. Nixon, who was defeated in a presidential bid in 1960 and a California gubernatorial race in 1962, only to come back to win the White House in 1968.
Romney, by contrast, appears well on the way to disappearing, with a not-so-gentle shove from his own party. The private-equity firm founder, who listed his profession as “author” on campaign disclosures, has no political stage from which to operate and few voices of support to spur him on.
It’s possible that the 2012 nominee could be headed for the kind of political ignominy occupied by another former governor and presidential candidate from Massachusetts, Democrat Michael Dukakis, who enjoyed little national stature after his drubbing by George H.W. Bush in 1988.
“There is life after presidential defeat in some cases, but not all,” said Stephen Hess, a presidential historian at the Brookings Institution. “There are still possibilities for service, whether public or otherwise. If you live long enough, there’s often a process of restoration.”
Romney aides and advisers have offered varying explanations for the Nov. 6 election results — which gave Obama 332 electoral votes and about 51 percent of the popular vote — including flawed polling and bungled turnout efforts. But much of the discussion has revolved around Romney’s heavy reliance on older, white voters and his overwhelming losses among blacks, Latinos, young women and other emerging demographic groups.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Romney’s running mate, has pointed to high turnout in “urban areas” as a key factor in the outcome. But Romney, in a post-election call Wednesday with some of his key donors, went further by arguing that young and minority voters supported Obama because of the health-care law, immigration reforms and other “gifts.”
“The Obama campaign was following the old playbook of giving a lot of stuff to groups that they hoped they could get to vote for them and be motivated to go out to the polls, specifically the African American community, the Hispanic community and young people,” Romney told hundreds of donors on the call, according to a Los Angeles Times account. “In each case, they were very generous in what they gave to those groups.”
He added that “it’s a proven political strategy” to “give a bunch of money to a group, and, guess what, they’ll vote for you.”
That theory — which fails to explain how Romney lost whiter and more rural states such as Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Iowa — was quickly condemned as offensive by figures in both parties.
The remarks were reminiscent of Romney’s comments during a Florida fundraiser in May that 47 percent of Americans are government freeloaders who see themselves as “victims” and cannot be persuaded to take personal responsibility for their lives. Romney later disavowed the comments as “completely wrong.”
First-term Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), who is calling on his party to tackle immigration reform, said Romney’s latest remarks amount to “blame and disregard” for voters.
“I don’t like the fact that we lost this election; there’s no doubt about that,” Gardner said. “But I’m not going to place the blame for this election on the shoulders of people who didn’t vote for the Republican Party. We need to figure out the reason why we lost the election honestly.”
Craig Shirley, a Ronald Reagan biographer and adviser to conservative groups, said the comments underscore Romney’s fundamental weakness as a nominee. “Conventional wisdom in Republican circles was that Romney was the best candidate,” he said. “In hindsight, he may have been the worst choice.”
Indeed, one of the few people who seems to think Romney should have a future on the national stage is the reelected president, who has said he will seek out his vanquished opponent’s advice on the economy. “There are certain aspects of Governor Romney’s record and his ideas that I think could be very helpful,” Obama said during his first post-election news conference Wednesday.
So far, though, the two haven’t been in touch. “We haven’t scheduled something yet,” Obama said. “I think everybody forgets that the election was only a week ago.”
It was supposed to be a “killer app,” but a system deployed to volunteers by Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign may have done more harm to Romney’s chances on Election Day—largely because of a failure to follow basic best practices for IT projects.
Called “Orca,” the effort was supposed to give the Romney campaign its own analytics on what was happening at polling places and to help the campaign direct get-out-the-vote efforts in the key battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Colorado.
Instead, volunteers couldn’t get the system to work from the field in many states—in some cases because they had been given the wrong login information. The system crashed repeatedly. At one point, the network connection to the Romney campaign’s headquarters went down because Internet provider Comcast reportedly thought the traffic was caused by a denial of service attack.
As one Orca user described it to Ars, the entire episode was a “huge clusterfuck.” Here’s how it happened.
Develop in haste, repent at leisure
The Romney campaign put a lot of stock in Orca, giving PBS NewsHour an advance look at the operation on November 5. But according to volunteers who saw and used the system, it was hardly a model of stability, having been developed in just seven months on a lightning schedule following the Republican primary elections. Orca had been conceived by two men—Romney’s Director of Voter Contact Dan Centinello and the campaign’s Political Director Rich Beeson. It was named in honor of the killer whale as an allusion to the Obama campaign’s own voter identification program, code-named Narwhal; orcas are the top predator of narwhals, Romney campaign staffers explained, and they were preparing to outshine the Democratic voter turnout effort.
As Romney’s Communications Director Gail Gitcho put it in the PBS piece, “The Obama campaign likes to brag about their ground operation, but it’s nothing compared to this.”
To build Orca, the Romney campaign turned to Microsoft and an unnamed application consulting firm. The goal was to put a mobile application in the hands of 37,000 volunteers in swing states, who would station themselves at the polls and track the arrival of known Romney supporters. The information would be monitored by more than 800 volunteers back at Romney’s Boston Garden campaign headquarters via a Web-based management console, and it would be used to push out more calls throughout the day to pro-Romney voters who hadn’t yet shown up at the polls. A backup voice response system would allow local poll volunteers to call in information from the field if they couldn’t access the Web.
But Orca turned out to be toothless, thanks to a series of deployment blunders and network and system failures. While the system was stress-tested using automated testing tools, users received little or no advance training on the system. Crucially, there was no dry run to test how Orca would perform over the public Internet.
Part of the issue was Orca’s architecture. While 11 backend database servers had been provisioned for the system—probably running on virtual machines—the “mobile” piece of Orca was a Web application supported by a single Web server and a single application server. Rather than a set of servers in the cloud, “I believe all the servers were in Boston at the Garden or a data center nearby,” wrote Hans Dittuobo, a Romney volunteer at Boston Garden, to Ars by e-mail.
Throughout the day, the Orca Web page was repeatedly inaccessible. It remains unclear whether the issue was server load or a lack of available bandwidth, but the result was the same: Orca had not been tested under real-world conditions and repeatedly failed when it was needed the most.
All tell, no show
Before Election Day, volunteer training at Boston headquarters amounted to a series of 90-minute conference calls with Centinello. Users had no hands-on with the Orca application itself, which wasn’t turned on until 6:00 AM on Election Day.
“We asked if our laptops needed to be WiFi capable,” Dittuobo told Ars. ”Dan Centinello went into how the Garden had just finished expansion of its wireless network and that yes, WiFi was required. I was concerned about hacking, jamming the signal, etc…Then we were told that we would not be using WiFi but using Ethernet connections.”
Field volunteers also got briefed via conference calls, and they too had no hands-on with the application in advance of Election Day. There was a great deal of confusion among some volunteers in the days leading up to the election as they searched Android and Apple app stores for the Orca application, not knowing it was a Web app.
John Ekdahl, Jr., a Web developer and Romney volunteer, recounted on the Ace of Spades HQ blog that these preparatory calls were “more of the slick marketing speech type than helpful training sessions. I had some serious questions—things like ‘Has this been stress tested?’, ‘Is there redundancy in place?’, and ‘What steps have been taken to combat a coordinated DDOS attack or the like?’, among others. These types of questions were brushed aside (truth be told, they never took one of my questions). They assured us that the system had been relentlessly tested and would be a tremendous success.”
In a final training call on November 3, field volunteers were told to expect “packets” shortly containing the information they needed to use Orca. Those packets, which showed up in some volunteers’ e-mail inboxes as late as November 5, turned out to be PDF files—huge PDF files which contained instructions on how to use the app and voter rolls for the voting precincts each volunteer would be working. After discovering the PDFs in his e-mail inbox at 10:00 PM on Election Eve, Ekdahl said that “I sat down and cursed, as I would have to print 60+ pages of instructions and voter rolls on my home printer. They expected 75 to 80-year old veteran volunteers to print out 60+ pages on their home computers? The night before election day?”
Invalid passwords, crashing servers
When the Romney campaign finally brought up Orca, the “killer whale” was not ready to perform. Some field volunteers couldn’t even report to their posts, because the campaign hadn’t told them they first needed to pick up poll watcher credentials from one of Romney’s local “victory centers.” Others couldn’t connect to the Orca site because they entered the URL for the site without the https:// prefix; instead of being redirected to the secure site, they were confronted with a blank page, Ekdahl said.
And for many of those who managed to get to their polling places and who called up the website on their phones, there was another, insurmountable hurdle—their passwords didn’t work and attempts to reset passwords through the site also failed. As for the voice-powered backup system, it failed too as many poll watchers received the wrong personal identification numbers needed to access the system.Joel Pollak of Briebart reported that hundreds of volunteers in Colorado and North Carolina couldn’t use either the Web-based or the voice-based Orca systems; it wasn’t until 6:00 PM on Election Day that the team running Orca admitted they had issued the wrong PIN codes and passwords to everyone in those states, and they reset them. Even then, some volunteers still couldn’t login.
In Boston, things weren’t much better. Some of the VoIP phones set up for volunteers were misconfigured. And as volunteers tried to help people in the field get into the system, they ran into similar problems themselves. “I tried to login to the field website,” Dittuobo told me, “but none of the user names and passwords worked, though the person next to me could get in. We had zero access to Iowa, Colorado, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Seems like the only state that was working was Florida.”
As the Web traffic from volunteers attempting to connect to Orca mounted, the system crashed repeatedly because of bandwidth constraints. At one point the network connection to the campaign’s data center went down—apparently because the ISP shut it off. “They told us Comcast thought it was a denial of service attack and shut it down,” Dittuobu recounted. “(Centinello) was giddy about it,” he added—presumably because he thought that so much traffic was sign of heavy system use.
As the day wore on and information still failed to flow in from the field, the Romney campaign was flying blind. Instead of using Orca’s vaunted analytics to steer their course, Centinello and the rest of Romney’s team had no solid data on how to target late voters, other than what they heard from the media. Meanwhile, volunteers like Ekdahl could do nothing but vote themselves and go home.
This sort of failure is why there’s a trend in application testing (particularly in the development of public-facing applications) away from focusing on testing application infrastructure performance and toward focusing on user experience. Automated testing rigs can tell if software components are up to the task of handling expected loads, but they can’t show what the system’s performance will look like to the end user. And whatever testing environment Romney’s campaign team and IT consultants used, it wasn’t one that mimicked the conditions of Election Day. As a result, Orca’s launch on Election Day was essentially a beta test of the software—not something most IT organizations would do in such a high-stakes environment.
IT projects are easy scapegoats for organizational failures. There’s no way to know if Romney could have made up the margins in Ohio if Orca had worked. But the catastrophic failure of the system, purchased at large expense, squandered the campaign’s most valuable resource—people—and was symptomatic of a much bigger leadership problem.
“The end result,” Ekdahl wrote, “was that 30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help. The bitter irony of this entire endeavor was that a supposedly small government candidate gutted the local structure of [get out the vote] efforts in favor of a centralized, faceless organization in a far off place (in this case, their Boston headquarters). Wrap your head around that.”
Republican campaigners will undoubtedly try to wrap their heads around it for some time to come.
After Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney was soundly defeated in the 2012 election, the hits kept coming. The billionaire Koch brothers were huge contributors to his campaign, both directly and indirectly. It seems they aren’t happy with the result and are holding Romney responsible. Immediately after Romney conceded, the Koch boys emailed an invoice to Romney demanding 500 million dollars for what they termed “services not rendered.”
Thanks to the Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court, unlimited amounts of money were poured into the Romney campaign by obscenely wealthy contributors who felt that they could buy the election. Like good capitalists, they of course expected a return on their investments in Mr. Romney.
That his campaign failed so miserably even though so much big money was used against him said that wouldn’t happen. Objective observers point out that there is just far too much money in politics on all sides. They also will point to the fact that backers of the Republican candidates threw huge amounts of money at the election and got very little in return. That’s the line of reasoning which brought the Koch brothers to seek reimbursement.
It’s hard to imagine any court rewarding the Koch’s wish and granting them payment in lieu of their expected services, but that isn’t apparently stopping them. What is accomplished by the invoicing of Romney is that Americans get to see that there are expectations in the political arena when very wealthy patrons contribute huge sums of money.
There was no immediate response from the Romney campaign.
The United States 2012 Presidential Election concluded with a gracious concession speech in which Mitt Romney passed well wishes on to President Obama and his family.
“It seemed really sincere, ” said Vice President Joe Biden. “Though can you really believe anything that lying bastard says, though?”
“Look guys, I’ve been losing elections for years. I’ve had great practice. I know what I’m doing. This is exactly how you lose. I have a 54 point plan for losing elections, ” declared Romney. “You say a bunch of bad stuff about the other guy. You change your positions frequently. And when people catch on and vote for the other guy, you wish him well.”
“Hey, losing is still pretty lucrative. I crashed a ton of companies at Bain and still got paid. No worries, my friends. And I assume after this, Fox News will be calling to sign me up for something. Heck, they gave that Palin lady a job. Though I hope they didn’t hear me say those nice things about the President. That might be a deal killer.”
No details existed for a Fox News job offer to Romney at the moment this piece went to press.
BOSTON (The Borowitz Report)—America cast its historic vote today, sending Barack and Michelle Obama back to the White House while sending Mitt and Ann Romney back to 1954.
The election meant the end of the road for Mr. Romney, who had been actively seeking the Presidency for the past sixty-five years.
Addressing supporters at the Boston Convention Center, Mr. Romney called his defeat tonight “bittersweet”: “On one hand, I lost the election. But on the other hand, I’ll never have to show anyone my taxes.”
If he had won tonight, Mr. Romney would have become the first man elected President after telling half of the country to screw themselves.
Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan addressed the subject of his defeat in characteristic style, telling supporters that he had won.
Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were more gracious and eloquent after the election than during the long campaign. They each sent the right signals Tuesday night, but will anything change?
The real news of the ’12 election is that the nation is more sharply divided than ever.
Chris Weyant / The Hill
“At a time like this,” Romney told his Boston audience, “we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing.” He said things in America are at a “critical point,” and he appealed to citizens as well as politicians to “rise to the occasion.”
For once, it didn’t sound like political-speak. It was the conclusion of a man who loves his country and had just lost an election despite winning the male vote, the white vote, the married vote, and the vote of people over age 45.
In Chicago, President Obama told an enthusiastic crowd, “What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth.” Obama won a remarkable 93 percent of the black vote, plus over 70 percent of the Hispanic and Asian vote. He won among females, unmarried people, and those earning less than $50,000 a year.
In truth, Obama and Romney were each victorious — among the distinctly different segments of our population for which each party’s platform was designed. Voters, for the most part, were over-informed. Rich folks knew that Obama wanted to raise their taxes; poor people knew that Romney hoped to cut their government assistance. And so forth and so on, through a long and contentious list of issues from reproductive rights, to gay rights; from energy to environment.
Perhaps the clearest sign of how sharply divided the nation is on economic and social issues is that war — usually a flashpoint in presidential elections, especially when we’re in the middle of one — seemed to matter very little. Indeed, the candidates were hard pressed in their final debate on foreign affairs to find points on which they disagreed.
“The recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock,” the president said, “or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward.”
Hours later there was a slight hint at progress, as House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans are now willing to “accept new revenue” as a means to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”
Sen. Olympia Snowe, the moderate Republican from Maine who is stepping down, cautions, “Our leaders must understand that there is not only strength in compromise, courage in conciliation and honor in consensus-building — but also a political reward for following these tenets.” Alas, Snowe believes things won’t change in the foreseeable future.
The nation entered the 2012 election with only a handful of “battleground” states not clearly defined as red or blue. Based on Tuesday’s results there will be even fewer such battlegrounds in the years ahead.
The encouraging news for Democrats is that the population continues to expand in their direction. The frustration for Republicans is that no amount of campaign spending or sophisticated marketing will change people’s minds about certain core beliefs. Thus, the GOP can’t broaden its base without fundamentally altering some of its positions.
When all was said and done, the nation decided to pretty much leave things exactly where they’ve been.
To borrow an old cliche from the legal profession, President Obama seems to have won the equivalent of a pie-eating contest, in which the prize is more pie.