More Project ORCA After-Action Reports by the Appropriately Named “Disaster”

This is from our comments section two days ago from someone who volunteered in the Boston headquarters. The wonderfully named “Disaster“:

I volunteered for Project ORCA for a while now in the Boston HQ. Please do not attack or take shots at me. I only did it so that I could help get Mitt elected our next president. The idea was conceived long ago before I joined. When I signed up, the concept seemed like a great idea to me and it was described as the wave of the future and a high tech solution to the outdated GOTV efforts of the past. I am not a campaign veteran nor am I a high tech guy, that said, I started noticing problems right away. There was poor organization and communication. The task force that I was on, had a responsibility for vetting and training volunteers on the ground in the battleground states. The internal system that we were using for tracking folks in the field was very poor. It was inefficient and poorly designed. It crashed on us many times. I felt like it was designed by amateurs. In fact, we saw lots of young interns involved in this project. They are smart and passionate but they have no real life expereince and they should have been managed better. Things were going well for a while and we met and even exceeded our numbers in terms of the field volunteers. Original goal was 17K volunteers, but we doubled that. There were about a 100 of us giving as much time as we possibly could and eating Domino’s pizza every single day. We were constantly told that things were going great and this is going to make the difference on the election day. However, as we were getting closer to the election day it was becoming more and more clear that the communication was handled poorly, volunteers on the ground did not know what to do, they had no idea when they would get an app, and the list goes on and on…We were told that there would be a test run before the election day, looks like it never happened. I was also at the TD garden on the election day, 1 of about 900 volunteers. It was a complete disaster from the moment I got there. Complete lack of organization, internet connection was very slow, phones were malfunctioning, and most importantly we heard nothing but frustration from the volunteers in the states. The system crashed all the time and the 900 people at TD Garden really had very little to do. We stopped getting calls, however we were told that ORCA is working and we are getting good information. They promised to us to put up the numbers on the TV screens so that we can track what is going on with the voting but that never happened. Our guess was that they either do not have the numbers or they don’t like what they are seeing. The entire state of NC was closed off to our volunteers because the campaign failed to work together with NC GOP (How can that possibly happen???). We were divided into state specific section and NC folks had absolutely nothing to do all day long. By early evening most of us felt like we are in a bubble. While we were at the command center, we had less information that anyone at home who had access to TV, and so we turned to internet to get the information. As more and more bad information started coming in, the whole place got quiet and some folks started leaving early. The whole day was surreal and very depressing at the end.

I feel that I did my part in helping get Mitt elected. I made financial contributions and worked with about 100 volunteers many late nights to do everything we possibly can. I was hoping that the system will work and there are competent folks on the organizational side of this project who would get us across the finish line. It did not happen. Whoever runs in 2016 should pay careful attention to this disaster…


  1. Derclaw86
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I don’t think they failed to work with the NC-GOP. I think the North Carolina GOP told the campaign to get out of the way. As result, Pat McCrory won the Governor’s race going away, the GOP also picked up three or four Congressional seats, Mitt got his only win in a contested state. I wonder what would have happened if all the states had told ORCA to “go to hell”? I don’t think I want to know, the answer may be too painful.

  2. Posted November 11, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Sorry to post this three times, but I want it at the top of a page so it gets seen. Promise I won’t do it again!

    You can thank the Democrats!

    Obama and the Democrats were hugely successful in tarnishing the brand of Republicans the last four years by blaming President Bush for damaging the economy so badly that Obama just could not fix it rapidly. It worked simply because there was the ring of some truth in it and the Democrats never tired of repeating the same mantra over and over and over again. Obama also damaged Governor Romney’s image so badly over Bain Capital in Ohio that no positive ads could fix the damage.

    Negative ads work. And once a candidate or party label is deeply damaged recovery is very difficult.

    Thus I propose that beginning right now and over the next four years the RNC and Super Pacs should run short fifteen second ads weekly or monthly on radio and TV “thanking” the Democrats for something they have done that is a “no brainer” for negatively impacting the voters.

    For example, run an ad that says: If you are upset at having to add a form of personal health information to your tax forms now because of Obamacare regulations, “You can thank the Democrats!”

    Or, run an ad that says: If you just got laid off by your employer or got reduced to part time work because of the impact of Obamacare on his business, “You can thank the Democrats!”

    Or, run an ad that says: If you just got pushed out of your Medicare Advantage insurance and forced into an Insurance Exchange, after Obama promised that “You can keep the insurance you have now,” “You can thank the Democrats!”

    Or, run an ad that says: If you just got forced to buy health insurance you don’t think you need or can afford, because Obamacare will fine you if you don’t do it, “You can thank the Democrats!”

    Or, run an ad that says: If treaty x,y, or z just got forced through the US Senate taking away gun rights or national sovereignty of America, “You can thank the Democrats!”

    Or run an ad that says: If your gasoline now costs you $5 a gallon because Obama won’t let us drill for domestic oil, “You can thank the Democrats!”

    Running these self-evidently true single-issue short ads constantly for the next four years will so damage the Democrat brand that in any race with any candidate, the Democrat brand name will be an anchor of doom to their candidacies even before the candidates themselves are selected! The content can keep changing as new issues arise, but constantly hammering at the responsibility of the Democrats for bad things happening is the key to damaging their party label. We must not wait again for four years to “invent” a new campaign for new candidates. The Democrat brand needs to be permanently damaged, since solely by moving many Democrats to the Republican ranks will assure our electoral success in the future.

    You can thank the Democrats!

    • Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Permalink | Reply

      With all due respect, McConnel’s strategy of only stopping Obama backfired. The electorate is smarter and tuned in more than ever. The “prevention” of any Obama success also pointed a big “obstructionist” label on we in th eGOP and that only underscored people’s opinions against the GOP led House.

  3. SpiritOF1776
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I want to give them the one finger salute when i see a sticker on their cars. This election will not be forgotten by me, a disabled veteran.

  4. Posted November 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

    and now we are getting reports of rampant fraud, of turnout exceeding 100% in blue precints, intimidation, ballots tossed, and so forth and so on…

  5. Billy Butch
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 6:59 pm | Permalink | Reply

    can someone please explain this North Carolina thing to me?

    • Billy Butch
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Oh yeah…Go Irish! Suck it BC.

  6. Dave
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Putting your elect-a-republican-for-president headquarters in the heart of democrat-central (boston, massachusetts) is a questionable strategy fraught with all kinds of risks.

  7. PeterJ
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Again a lot of the problem here is that something like this is too complex to get up and running smooth in just a few months after the nomination is clinched. The RNC is the one who was AWOL on the GOTV effort as they should be doing this between elections for all levels of candidates and not just the top tier. While candidates, especially more “moderate” ones like to distance themselves from others in the party when they find it convenient, that can be done with their individual platforms with all having mostly the same infrastructure for support.

    And how many ads did the RNC run touting the republican ticket as one to be voted straight up and down for core republican positions? Zero I bet. If we want to push the issues of fiscal prudence and small government, we need to let candidates know that is going to be pushed as for all the party’s candidates whether they like it or not.

    • Billy Butch
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink | Reply

      ^this. Presidential candidates should be plug and play into the GOP, RNC GOTV machine.

      • Kevin Paradine
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        The problem with this theory is that the staff on the ground changes every cycle and not everyone is going to be interested in working for every candidate. The creation of a national network is a very personal undertaking by a candidate. It’s a complex process that involves favors being exchanged for future influence. No one is doing anything for nothing. On that basis, ORCA could have been predicted to fail utterly. It seems to have been constructed with the intent of going over the head of local GOP officials. That doesn’t sound like a winner. Most of what I know has to do with Democrat politics, but that wouldn’t work well there. I can’t imagine it would work well here.

      • Billy Butch
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        A framework for GOTV should be candidate agnostic. While I agree that staffers/campaigns change, the reality is the Democrats have always done a better job and using their local functions to get out the vote.

  8. Kevin Paradine
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The pooch was mightily screwed by the Romney campaign on many levels. The whole RNC apparatus needs to be cleansed and renewed. The consultants used by said campaign need to find no similar employment in the future. This was an election that shouldn’t have been lost. If the Akins and Mourdocks aren’t drummed out of the party they’ll have lost me – both for funding and for voting. This one totally soured me on the Republican edifice. Complete fail, with no bright side at all.

    • Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:10 pm | Permalink | Reply

      why should they be kicked out?..for being prolife?..against the murder of the unborn…leave then…go to the party of baby killers…you wont be missed

      • Kevin Paradine
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

        That attitude will assure that the Republican party never wins another national election.

      • Dave
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

        “attitude will assure that the Republican party never wins ”

        Exactly.. just keep talking about baby killers and murder of the unborns and the like and watch republican market share plummet faster than the 2008 stock market(while your taxes go up, I might add). Those are religious views and forcing your relgious views on others is not cool. Nature supports the life of the mother over the potential life of the unborn or even new born. That’s just life on this planet.

      • Kevin Paradine
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        That’s why they should be kicked out.

      • jmar
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Kevin: Who’s going to “kick them out”? The Republican party platform is written from the ground up, not the top down method employed by the Democrats. There is no panel of individuals somewhere deciding who gets to “stay” and who has to “leave”.

        Dave: “forcing your relgious views on others is not cool.” Neither is it “cool” to force your views on others in the Republican party who don’t share your “Nature” position.

        If you are advocating a softening of the language in the pro-life position of the Republican party, then you might get some traction. If however, you believe that the Republicans’ pro-life stance should be reversed, then you have one heck of an uphill battle ahead of you. Those who believe in the sanctity of life, hold that belief deep in their heart and soul. It is foolhearted to believe that they studied the “laws of nature” and compared it to what their pastor said last Sunday and just decided to go with the latter.

        If you kick the pro-life folks out in order to appease young, pro-choice voters like the woman in Kevin’s link, who do you replace them with? How is that in keeping with the “Big Tent” narrative? Take a look at this Gallup survey of the nation’s abortion views:

        Non-whites are more pro-life than whites. Young people are pretty evenly divided.

        Clearly the Akin / Murdoch approach did not work well this election season. But, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. The pro-life stance of our party attracts a huge number of voters. Let’s refine the message if we need to in order to increase the size of our tent. If you ‘kick them out”, they’ll go somewhere…and it sure won’t be over to the Democrats. Their votes would probably end up in some vote splitting 3rd party. Then you’d really have a numbers problem.

  9. Kevin
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink | Reply

    There’s a lot of fingers to point blame at for the Romney loss.

    Romney didn’t talk about the National Debt and how Obama added $6 Trillion to it in four years.
    Romney running an editorial headlined, “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt” instead of headlining it, “Let the Auto Industry Restructure Itself.”
    Romney not being aggressive in the second and third debate like he was in the first debate.
    Romney hiring some people that ran the McCain Campaign.
    Romney saying he would “Repeal and Replace Obamacare” instead of saying, “Repeal Obamacare And Let Americans Purchase Healthcare Across State Lines.”
    Romney or Ryan never pushed the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” strategy.
    Early in the campaign, around July/August, Romney was only making doing one campaign stop a day, instead of two or three per day. Look back to 92 and how aggressive Clinton was on the campaign trail.
    The people in charge of Romney’s campaign was content with winning back some of the Bush states from 04, and adding one more to get them just past the top.
    Not letting Paul Ryan run loose throughout Wisconsin on three day campaign bus blitzes every three weeks.
    Not utilizing the Obama 08 strategy of text messaging donations to the campaign at rallies.
    The ORCA fiasco.
    American Crossroads taking all of their millions towards tv, and radio advertising, and not one dime towards the Get Out The Vote in Swing States, and Swing Counties.
    And the list goes on, and on.

    The McCain and Romney campaign are learning lessons on how not to run a campaign. As much as I can’t stand Obama, his 08, 12, and the 92 Clinton campaign were very affective.

    Take the time and look at the 88 campaign results map. Then look at the 92 campaign results map. As much as I don’t like it admit it, Clinton changed the landscape of the political map to this day.

    The Republicans have only won New Mexico, Iowa and New Hampshire just once since 92, and Nevada, and Ohio just twice since 92. The Demographics “experts” will never mention that fact.

    Whoever the GOP nominee is going to be in 2016, they will need a three step plan to win.
    1. Work hard to get back Virginia, and Florida.
    2. Work ever harder to win Nevada, Ohio, New Mexico, Iowa and New Hampshire.
    3. Work very hard to expand their footprint into blue states, Oregon, Wisconsin, Maine, or which ever states they believe they can flip.

    Clinton and Obama worked hard at flipping states, and succeeded, the GOP will have to find a way to make it happen.

    • Kevin Paradine
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

      The states weren’t flipped. Perot was a stalking horse in 92 and 96. He succeeded in siphoning enough potential R votes to make sure Clinton got over the top both times. Meanwhile, the Gingrich faction was basically recasting the Republican party from its Northeastern roots into a party of the South and West, particularly the South, with all of its good and bad points. This was an election winner from 2000 to 2004, and has been a boat anchor around the Republican party since. It doesn’t work anymore, the numbers just aren’t there. The party changed, the states didn’t change much.

  10. Bryan
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The artsy Stu Stevens and the know it all Mike Murphy and their ilk blew it. I could feel that this was happening but I held out hope that Mitt Romney, the consummate manager and Olympics-turner-arounder would take charge and get it done. Obviously not. In my opinion, the blame rests with Mitt for “trusting” these advisers and refusing to attack Obama and call him out on the myriad of items that Obama was allowed to get away with. A small bit of anecdotal information: After I ordered my bumper stickers on line, IT TOOK TWO MONTHS FOR THEM TO ARRIVE, just two weeks before the election. That’s just PATHETIC, but it’s a small piece in a giant million+ piece puzzle that was left all over the floor by this TRAIN WRECK of a campaign. And now I have to face my idiot, dumb-ass, intolerant, obnoxious Obama-supporting family members at Thanksgiving AND Christmas. Thanks a lot, Mitt. Thanks for nothing. You gave it away, in my opinion.

    • Teapartypaul
      Posted November 11, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Took three weeks for me to get my romney sign and stickers oct4 i got them on site oct26 they came in…without the stickers! I ordered 8 and got none.

      • C'ville
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

        Well, at least, pray to God, ND will be shut out of championship if K State and Oregon win out from the looks of the BCS breakdown.

      • C'ville
        Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

        Akin and Mourdock are unimportant in the grand scheme. The other side says dumb stuff too – see Jennifer Granholm and Joe Biden.

      • Kevin Paradine
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:23 am | Permalink

        Same thing happened to me, except I bitched at the GOP store people and got them to ship mine at the end of September. Seemed like a very disorganized outfit and i’d never order from there again.

        In regards Mourdock and Akin, C’ville, – they are important. They are data points in a narrative. Why do you think that their missteps were so well-covered this campaign? The GOP lost because women broke decisively against the party. It wasn’t married women, it was single women, which is 50% of the female electorate nowadays. There’s your answer as to why they have to go, as well as all of the abortion and anti-gay crusaders. The party must be cleansed of the radical elements before it can prosper again. Otherwise, the Democrats will run social-issue campaigns against us over and over and over until we have nothing left. It’s the flip side of the 1980s situation. The social issues won election after election for Republicans back then. It isn’t happening anymore because the country has changed in significant ways, and those changes are beginning to erode core red territory and are making light blue states literally unwinnable anymore.

  11. Kevin
    Posted November 11, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Field Offices for Obama, 786.
    Field Offices for Romney, 284.

    Obama kept his 2008 Field Offices open, and kept them active throughout the four years.

    They had their act together, Romney and the GOP didn’t.

    The GOP has to put much, much more effort in Field Offices, and Data Mining. Most of all, the GOP must be very active in identifying, persuading, registering, and mobilizing voters at the grassroots level.

    • Kevin Paradine
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:00 am | Permalink | Reply

      You just don’t keep offices open, they were assuredly helping out selected local officials with their elections. This creates a ready pool of people who owe you favors and assures you of the bodies on the ground to win in an election like this one. Remains to be seen if they maintain the structure after 2012 or let it rot.

  12. Kevin Paradine
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:05 am | Permalink | Reply

    Key sentence: “To build Orca, the Romney campaign turned to Microsoft and an unnamed application consulting firm.”

    So let’s get this straight: we want to build a cutting edge smartphone application and we call…Microsoft? WTF? Where is the Microsoft presence in smartphones that do anything but suck compared to the competition? Where is the Microsoft presence in anything Internet-related that does anything but suck? Why wouldn’t you call IBM or Oracle/Sun or…literally anyone but Microsoft to engineer a net-centric smartphone application in a short timeframe?

    After reading that, the failure of the entire campaign comes into clear focus. Lack of imagination and inability to stick to core competencies. People working the campaign more interested in their ultimate post-election landing site rather than winning the campaign. Failure to understand politics. It all makes sense now. I’m sorry I wasted my money.

    • Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Kevin. First of all let me I pretty much agree with you on the complete total screwing up of the GOP in many, many areas including this ridiculous fail on the GOTV effort. It sounds like you and me share an intense passion for having the GOP win (or at least not have leftists win) elections. I’m trying to find solutions like anyone else.

      It seems clear to me that you think the GOP needs to get rid of its’ “radicals” on social issues. What do you define as “radical”? I really do get so very, very tired of having my beliefs on being pro-life and against gay marriage as being called radical. I STRONGLY believe that anyone who is OK with having babies burned in the womb with saline or ripped by limbs (and that is exactly what it is) are the “radicals”. I also believe that those who want to redefine the institution of marriage after thousands of years are also the radicals. At the very least I don’t think it’s asking too much to not be thought of radical because I’m against these very ghastly and/or extreme procedures/beliefs.

      I know we’re all very frustrated right now with what has happened, especially myself included. However I just don’t want to jettison my core beliefs because we are losing some elections right now. In the end you have to believe what is right is right and not say OK I won’t account for this because right now we’re losing elections. I promise you this as sure as anything, for every voter one thinks they’re gaining by now not emphasizing/promoting, etc social issues, one at minimum will be lost. Yes we may be losing let’s say two million voters for being pro-life but you’ll lose at least that many but probably many more by jettisoning them, of that you can be absolutely sure.

      Now if we want to discuss tone, how things are emphasized, solutions, etc. GOP candidates have to be smarter and Republican stragegists have to find a way to turn the Democrats extreme positions on social issues back against them.I’m all for that.

      I was more infuriated with Todd Akin than anyone when he wouldn’t drop out of his race. Sometimes you have to see when you’ve made a mistake and admit and take one for the team and he simply didn’t do that so I understand when strategy comes into play. Mr. Akin did more harm than good with his stance. However once we’ve completed our capitulation on social issues will come the attacks on our fiscal conservatism and eventual surrender on that as well. European conservatives followed this kabuki dance as well and it hasn’t turned out very well for them either.

      Arnold Schwarzenneger seemed to have been the ultimate embodiment of what you see to be espousing what the GOP should now be. A big fiscal conservative who is completely down with the left on social issues. He was clearly pro-choice and made no bones of his agreement with gay rights. That didn’t work out too well did it? Yes he won one more election but Arnold did what so many fiscally conservative but socially liberal Republicans do — he wound up being a fiscal liberal as well chained to fund the social liberalism that he was also bound to as well.

      Finally I’m not going to take advice from a 20 year old on what our parties future strategies should be. I was for gay rights and abortion when I was her age too but yet even was a strong Republican. Most young people always have and probably always will be socially liberal, that’s just the way it is. The GOP just has to (like the Democrats) find a way to wedge them back to the GOP.

      • Kevin Paradine
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Listen, if you don’t see the problem, you have a very limited circle of contacts outside red America. I lived in New Jersey for 35 years, Georgia and Iraq for one year apiece and now i’m in Maryland for the last 6. The last time a state I lived in voted Republican while I was there was 1988. The Republican party cannot win in any blue state at the Presidential level. Gubernatorial and Senatorial elections are possible, given local candidates with high charisma and a bad year for the Democrats, but the state will never flip in a Presidential year. The reason is simple and to the point. There’s nothing wrong at all with the low tax and freedom message of Republicans. That sells anywhere, even in the deepest blue places like California and New York.

        No, the problem with the Republicans is the fact that well over half the country finds the social values that Republicans stand for to be repugnant and frankly fear-inducing. Anyone who is on this board who lives in a blue state knows exactly what I mean. No one wants to enable a return to Ed Meese in the 1980s. No one wants to refight the war over abortion from that era. No one wants to open their mind to a message which is superficially (and I argue, deep down) exclusionary and regressive. The fact that I don’t personally like the idea of abortion is meaningless. The issue isn’t important enough to me for single issue voting, but I can guarantee that the 20 year old girl you won’t take advice from, her compatriots will. You will find that in blue states, even the old men will defend abortion on pragmatic grounds. I had a lawyer once tell me (while we waited for a judge) in a courtroom in a rather conservative county in New Jersey (60+% R votes, every time) that any attempt to restrict abortion just increases the number of welfare recipients. I was asked, “Would you rather pay for them, for life”? This guy was a lifelong Republican, by the way. You should hear the Democrats talk… The gay marriage thing is just icing on the cake and one more minority group to send to the Democrat coalition.

        You are conscious of what Blue Dog Democrats are, right? You should try being the mirror image as a Republican in blue territory. We are anathema. We do not share majority social values. There is no way to change the perceived values of the coastal blue states. They’ll be what they are. The problem is that they own enough electoral votes to dictate our national destiny from now on.

        So as Republicans, what is most important?

        1, Do we want a strong private sector economy and the smallest government possible?
        2. Do we want a strong national defense?
        3. Do we want to restrict immigration and deport illegals?
        4. Do we want to dictate social norms?

        We’ve been advocating 3 out of the 4 on this list for a long time now. #4 is the reason why we can’t make inroads into blue states. It started in the 1980s but first came into sharp focus for me in 1992. #3 is a strong contributor to the various Latino peoples’ dislike for Republicans, but is the one the party hasn’t embraced fully, thankfully. #2 is a winner politically, but it costs a lot of money. #1 is the best of the bunch, but it’s totally meaningless while pitching social values that are anathema to half of the country. As long as you scare people, people who would otherwise be responsive to a Republican message will pull the lever for the Democrats year after year.

        Anyway, as long as all four are on the table, the Republican party is a permanent minority party. Get used to it. The numbers get worse and worse every year, which is what that girl was trying to tell you. It isn’t just a young thing, it’s an old thing too and everywhere in between thing.

      • Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        So basically it doesn’t matter anymore then. Because we either then become a socialist society slowly by fighting the impossible numbers or quickly by just capitulating. You do understand that the GOP will just be taken out of existence if we just follow #’s 3 and 4 then, right? If you allow unfettered immigration and allow whatever anyone wants on social norms we might as well not even exist as an opposition party then.

        I’ll go ahead and talk to my kid’s friends now to see how I should vote.

      • Kevin
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        If you think that the pro abortion crowd is going to jump the Democrat ship for the Republican ship because the Republicans are going to move in that direction, you’re sadly mistaken. You honestly think if the Republicans move for this so called “gay rights” that all of a sudden the gays and young people are going to jump ship from the Democrat party to join the Republican party?

        Giving Amnesty to those who crossed our border unlawfully is going to make Hispanics make them Republicans? Really? The same people that have fake Social Security numbers, since they have to have obtained them under the table since their foreigners here illegally. Reward people with fake Social Security cards with Citizenship?

        I guess ignoring our laws, or allowing certain people to be exempt from our laws is the new America, in some peoples minds.

      • Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        PS What difference does it make my circle of contacts makes outside red America? I think it’s pretty obvious looking at a map what states are blue and why.

      • Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

        I’m assuming you read my whole post then. I didn’t say the GOP shouldn’t be open to how they talk about abortion (ie like Blue Dog Democrats talk a conservative game at home then vote liberal doing the opposite being a blue state Republican) is fine with me). Tone, placement how you talk about it I’m completely open to. Also if you read my whole post you never really addressed the already failed experiment of trying what you’re advocating of socially liberal but in the short-term fiscal conservative Republicans such as Schwarzenneger and that extinct form of NE Republican of Scott Brown being the latest example.

      • Kevin
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        My post wasn’t towards your comments, but was towards someone else.

      • Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        No no I know that. Thank you for clarifying though Kevin (who posted at 2:31 pm).

  13. Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    Not to be paranoid here, but… were any Democrat moles involved in making ORCA so spiffy?

    • Prescient11
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink | Reply

      Political Hat, absolutely my first question. This thing stinks on many levels.

      • Kevin Paradine
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        OK, quick answer, anyone competent in the field plans in beta testing and full up acceptance testing. Anyone serious about a rollout sets up appropriate training resources weeks or months in advance. A test ORCA should have been available for the campaign volunteers to hammer, while the real ORCA was held back The test platform would be a honeypot, to detect just the sorts of attacks that you are assuming would come from the Obama supporters. The real ORCA would be prepared to withstand those, whether distributed denial of service (DDoS), security exploits, OS vulnerabilities or application-specific attacks. The real ORCA would have come online say on Friday – all of the campaign volunteers would have tested their PINs over the weekend and Tuesday would have been operational.

        That’s how competent people would have done this. None of this was done. Any questions?

      • valleyforge
        Posted November 14, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Kevin, no one competent in the field would hold back a production system until 3 days before its biggest test. It would be in the field for weeks if not months working out any kinks. The campaign would be contracting security experts to probe its weaknesses. Hackers would be waiting until Election Day to attack, not giving away their tactics weeks in advance.

        Political Hat is referring to possible moles sabotaging the design, implementation, or organization from the inside, not hackers on the outside.

        Unfortunately I think we should be loathe to ascribe to malice what can easily be explained by incompetence.

  14. Posted November 12, 2012 at 11:41 am | Permalink | Reply

    Add my wife and her friend to the list of people who never received any contact. Both signed up in early October, but never got any of the paperwork they were promised.

    • Barf
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Permalink | Reply


      If you want to kick is Christian pro lifers out of the party, go ahead. I already left the GOP. I am proudly independent.

      • Barf
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        GOP will never win without Christians. I do agree Mourdock and Akin were flawed candidates.

      • Kevin
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        If you think Christians are the problem, then you have no clue or concept of what being a Conservative is. The media has made the Christian right out to be the boogeyman of America.

        And your suggestion is to replace them with who, and how? if you think that the pro abortion crowd is going to jump the Democrat ship for the Republican ship because the Republicans are going to move in that direction, you’re sadly mistaken. You honestly think if the Republicans move for this so called “gay rights” that all of a sudden the gays and young people are going to jump ship from the Democrat party to join the Republican party?

        So, in your world, dump the Christian right, and in a snap of a finger, the pro abortion crowd, and the “gay rights” crowd are going to sign up to be a Republican?

        Try again.

      • Kevin Paradine
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Stop being a Christian political party when the country is now majority nonreligious. Bottom line, it’s a loser. You wouldn’t see all those empty church parking lots in blue America if the polity wanted religion. Shut up about your damned religion if you want to win elections. That’s it in a nutshell.

      • Kevin Paradine
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

        If you keep reminding people how they don’t share your values, how do you expect to get any of them to vote for you?

        A fleetingly small minority in the Northeast wants bible belt values. If all they see from your candidates on a national level is that kind of talk, they aren’t going to vote for your guy, regardless of how many times your guy insists he’s not one of those people. (Romney, for instance)

        If you can’t peel off even a few blue states, you can’t win the Presidency. I think we have to be honest now and say CO, VA, FL and OH now have a D+1 PVI at least at the presidential level. 2 in a row lost there and the two before were pretty close in all four.

        It’s not a GOTV vote problem. It’s a lesser numbers problem. Times changed. You need to change with the times. If the religious values are more important than the economic message, fine, but don’t expect those who know that said values are poison in the places where the election is won and lost to put much effort forth in a futile cause.

      • jmar
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Kevin Paradine: Please see the link below which completely disagrees with your statement that “the country is now majority nonreligious”.

        The Pew data agrees with that of the 2012 Census. I understand how frustrated we all are with the election results, but if your winning strategy involves having those who disagree with you “shut up about their damned religon”, then you are going to be a part of a very small political party. The % of religiously unaffiliated registered voters who vote with the Democrat party is only 24%!

        I’m with you on your ORCA criticism, but I would encourage you to reconsider your assessment of the value of religon with respect to the Republican party. I’m also concerned about the position you take in post #8 above, see my comment.

  15. Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Anyone wanting to run for president on the GOP side for 2016 should be using these failures RIGHT NOW to raise money to establish a GOTV system across the 50 states. Your first wave of fundraising is to recruit the best, build and TEST TEST TEST the GOTV system with adequate manual backup if needed. This will establish among the money elite you are dedicated to this NEVER happening again (ie GIVING AWAY the race on election day). Then you test it in each state each year between now and 2016. I mean for EVERY election. Get a system going in Cleveland and test it int he muncipal elections of 2013. Then a major national test in 2014 midterms. Tweak and build and make better for the show in 2016.

    That is #1 in terms of investment the GOP needs to make in infrastructure. #2 is messaging, content, vision, direction. Decide where we want to go and what we want to do. Do we give up opposition to abortion, no. But tackle it like guns on the left. It is the law of the land. You are against them when asked but do notihing overt o ban or regulate. If an opportunity arises to do so, you do it but you do not talk about it. Do we give up small government, lower taxes and cutting spending, HELL NO. But you have to have a visions. We thought we could win being NOT OBAMA. We have to have a clear, concise message to the people of A) what is wrong B) why C) why it needs to be fixed D) how that fix relates to you (upper class, middle class, lower class) and E) SPECIFICALLY and eloquently how we will fix it and when.

    • Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink | Reply


    • Billy Butch
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Not 50 states. Only the states we need for the “tipping point” to EC victory. A lot of us seem to be fired up on GOTV efforts, as well as pushing for platform changes. Can we not borrow a page from the Tea Partiers and enact change at a grassroots level?

      • Kevin Paradine
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

        The tipping point argument is a recipe for failure. The last demonstration that 50%+1 EC votes can go for a Republican is 2004. It is just that small strategy that resulted in the last two defeats. It’s the difference between a regional and a national party.

      • Billy Butch
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        The reality is you can only focus finite efforts in those states most likely to give you an EC advantage/win. Bush and Rove did it in 2000 and 2004. Obama perfected it in 2008 and really in 2012. The likelihood of an overwhelming popular vote win by Republicans in four years is slim unless the world goes off a cliff. Further, if I’m a Marco Rubio or other aspiring candidate what states am I going to start with? It’s not regionalism it is playing the map to win Kevin. Play the map to win.

      • valleyforge
        Posted November 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        The problem with Tipping point states is they only help the Presidential candidate, and they are not set in stone.

        After 2004 the DNC launched a 50-state strategy. They ran candidates in red states that fit the local electorate and it worked in 2006 and 2008. The political environment was already moving in their direction, but they expanded their reach much further than they would have otherwise. And they are still benefiting from it – holding on to Mattheson’s seat in Utah and Barrow’s in Georgia, the Montana and North Dakota Senate seats, making the Arizona Senate race close, etc. Without the gerrymander they may have taken back the House.

        Likewise the RNC should be aggressively recruiting candidates that can win in blue areas of Colorado, Illinois, New York, California, New England, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and Maryland, and in Hispanic areas in Texas, Arizona, and Florida.

        When Obama and the Democrats stumble, as they certainly will in the next two years, the GOP needs to be positioned to capitalize.

  16. Kevin
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    When a fight is lost, some people kneel down, submit, and say, “don’t beat me anymore, I’ll do what you say, I’ll get along with you.” While others stand and fight for the principals they believe in.

    Thank God our Founders and the Minutemen didn’t kneel down to the British after they were losing one battle after another and say, “don’t beat us anymore, we’ll do what you say, we see times have changed.”

    They were men that fought for what they believed in, and won.

    • jmar
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Absolutely, Kevin.

  17. mr Dave
    Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    what republicans should say about abortion:

    Roe v wade is a bad ruling; Abortion should be a state issue, we would be against any federal law banning it because it should be states issue. We are in favor of parental consent laws and do not think religious organizations should be forced to pay for them. We are against tax dollar being used for them as well.

    We fought the issue on Democrat terms and looked like idiots with Akin and Murdock. We can find common ground with many people in the middle on this issue. But we have to sound like rational people. Murdock and Akin probably lost Romney tens of thousands of votes maybe hundreds of thousands.

    when the questions comes up would you ban abortion at the federal level? We should say Roe V wade is law of the land. The battle I want to fight now is religious freedom and how tax dollars are used.

    • Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I second that.

    • jmar
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

      I’m in.

    • Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      We need to be balanced and not so bleepin’ extreme. We can lower taxes and get much more agreement if we don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. A surgical approach is necessary. When we make statements like “get rid of the EPA and Dept of Education” we only hurt ourselves. This approach is just too extreme. Use a scalpel… not a chainsaw. Show some class and take the high ground. Show care and we will gain credibility. We cannot do anything without that credibility. We will continue to lose elections if we do not appear credible. We will continue to look like we are two psychotic personalities… one that cares about America versus the personality we seem to have instilled, the one that cares about only guns, God and gays!

      • valleyforge
        Posted November 14, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Romney was very balanced and showed a lot of “class”. He praised parts of Obamacare. He endorsed Obama’s immigration executive order. He endorsed most of Obama’s foreign policy. He explicitly said in the debates we need regulations. He praised Obama’s Race to the Top education initiative.

        Our candidate was not Gingrich, Santorum, Perry, Bachmann, or Paul. The platform was not abolishing the DoE and the EPA.

        So the message of moderation failed. Trying to blur the differences with Obama and focus on competence failed.

        In fact, the message of extremism succeeded. Only it was Obama who was being extreme. He just sold it so well you thought the traditional moderate position Romney took was now the radical view. You know, like balanced budgets, no public funding of abortion, enforcing immigration laws, not driving industries out of business, not funneling hundreds of billions in loans and bailouts to donors and favored constituencies.

        The Overton window moved in the wrong direction this year. What was once unacceptable is now mainstream. What was once mainstream is now “right-wing extremism”.

  18. Posted November 12, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink | Reply

    The election went the way it did simply because our GOP is not the GOP it once was. Extreme policies will always hamper success. Foot in mouth and large gaffs will seal the deal. We in the GOP must instil more respect and decorum to communications and appear less stubborn. The “my way or the highway” approach just will not help the party succeed and advance. The hate must be toned down. Rush L, Sean H, Ann C… and anyone else with your level of hate… YOU ARE NOT HELPING US! We have lost countless mounts of respect because we don’t show respect! Let’s face it, 8 years of Bush really did not do us anything but harm. And we did not voice any concern about the deficit when we were in charge. That makes us look silly when we only care about it when the lefties are in the White House!

    And Romney was not the candidate we should have had. We need to think like the vast electorate we have and stop putting the wrong candidate forward (Palin as the VP choice in ’08, how incredibly stupid was that?!?). Let’s get a clue… I’m talking to you Karl. WE DID NOT LOSE BECAUSE WE WERE NOT CONSERVATIVE ENOUGH. THAT IS WHY WE LOST… PANDERING TO EXTREME TEA BAG INTEREST WILL KILL THE GOP. THIS IS FACT. If the dems want to hurt themselves with social issues, let them. Let’s stick to issues that REALLY matter and leave women’s body’s out of the political arena.

    • Kevin
      Posted November 12, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Please define hate, and where you get the definition from?

      “Extreme Tea Bag Interest” Well, sounds like you’re spewing out hate that you’re talking about getting rid of. Maybe hate is defined as something someone says that you don’t like.

      • Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        To clarify…(just my perspective as a public relations professional and brand consultant) …what I mean by hate is that we can do better by more tactfully expressing our policy and be more inclusive. Power in numbers. Take the high road and win the argument with facts and smooth dialog. Yelling the way Rush, Sean and Ann does narrows the audience and in many cases narrows the mind. It tunes a lot of listeners off in my opinion. I guess what I mean is we can draw more bees with honey than we can with vinegar. The Tea bag folks “brand” represent some of the more extreme policy views and therefore do not appeal to the larger numbers. Simple as that. There is no doubt in my mind they hurt us in the election.

      • Kevin
        Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        The “Tea bag folks” have help recruit and elect Marco Rubio, Senator Florida, Nikki Haley, Governor South Carolina, and they help elect Susana Martinez, Governor New Mexico. Their latest successful ploy was help recruit and election Ted Cruz, Senator of Texas. They’ve help diversify the Republican party. Not bad for a group of extremists.

      • valleyforge
        Posted November 14, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Tom, there are as many obnoxious liberal personalities as conservatives. People who listen to them do so for a reason. The only time they become a problem is when the media blows some comment out of proportion, which of course they only due to conservative personalities. Even that is rare. They are entertainers primarily and the media and voters put a lot more weight on what candidates say.

    • valleyforge
      Posted November 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Tom, it’s obvious you don’t agree with many conservative (“tea bag”) positions. And that’s fine, the GOP is a big tent party. But recognize that most of the party are fiscal conservatives or social conservatives or libertarians and have very deeply held beliefs. Asking them to let the Republican party become Democrat-lite is not only futile but stupid as if you succeed they will simply stop supporting the party.

  19. Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    All red states so no surprise. except Florida now… which really needs to get it’s act together on election day snafu’s. I do not believe the tea-party/Fundamental far right will never be embraced by enough votes or Elect. count. The 1950s is gone. We must get into the 21st century.

  20. Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink | Reply

    … will “ever” be embraced. (my typing mistake)

  21. Posted November 12, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Like I wrote, power in numbers. We just won the election for the President for the United States of White Men. We lost the election for the United States of America. The extreme policy folks will not budge on anything. That lack of any form of compromise has and will continue to backfire for us. There is some common ground areas we could get passed quickly and score political capital for the near future. Effort should be put there to help the GOP brand or its going to be many election cycles before we get full control.

    • Posted November 13, 2012 at 9:36 am | Permalink | Reply

      Blah, blah, blah, extreme, extreme, extreme, tea bag, tea bag, tea bag. Are you conservative? If not get off our board troll, if you say you are I’m calling BS on you then.

      The problem of you saying the GOP should keep its’ focus on non-social issues is that the Democrats won’t allow that. You do remember George Stephanopolous bringing up whether birth control would be outlawed by the GOP if they won the Presidency way back in January during the Republican debates?

      Please do tell where the Tea Party (by the way if they are Tea Baggers what would you call yourself?) is “extreme”. I seem to recall that it started because of and is still mainly focused on expansive government. Earlier you stated that the GOP looks silly when it complains about spending. Well if one takes away complaining about spending and “extreme” social issues, what should the GOP’s issues be?

      Give me a break on the GOP bringing up hate, the Democrats are masters at it. They are the ones responsible for this poisonous atmosphere :

      Romney being accused of being responsible for a woman’s death from cancer is not hate? Obama talking about revenge isn’t hate? Asking companies to hold off on their layoff letters till after the election isn’t dishonest? Harry Reid accusing Romney of tax evasion isn’t hateful? Joe Biden saying “they’re gonna put you back in chains” isn’t hateful?

      The GOP’s problem is that they don’t fight back hard and/or dirty enough.

      • Kevin Paradine
        Posted November 13, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Painful as it is, i’m going to have to sit on the sidelines and watch the Democrats trounce people like you over and over again, if this is what the Republican party is.

      • Posted November 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        get out of the fox news bubble and experience what the rest of the country does.Or keep believing what Fox sold us through the election. They were not accurate and we lost believing we were ahead. It was horsecrap. And so is your argument. History shows moderation gets the numbers. Obama looked moderate compared to tea bag BS and we lost because of that. Keep fooling yourself. Time will prove me right. But how much damage to our party happens beforehand??? Time will tell that too.

      • Posted November 13, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        And we displayed none for Clinton? Gore? And Obama? Keep fooling yourself. Step into the world of reality. An example: As long as ignorant rednecks wear shirts to rallies saying “let’s get the white back in the white house” the press will be all over that and we will always lose the black vote. While we wrap our logic around Grover N, we appear as obstructionist. EVERY BLEEPIN poll says we are the problem! Let’s get some legislative wins and we can start to eliminate the bad PR we have and start looking like part of the solution and not part of the problem. Oh wait, you would rather play more hardball. Yeah, that worked.

      • Posted November 14, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      • valleyforge
        Posted November 14, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        Tom, your comments don’t seem like those of a PR professional.

        Your solution is capitulate on everything substantive so the GOP can look more “moderate”. That is completely wrong. The solution is to do what the Democrats do: redefine the window of acceptable policies to include your own and exclude your opponents. Then, voila, you suddenly seem “moderate” while those crazies advocating balanced budgets are “extremists”.

    • Posted November 13, 2012 at 9:42 am | Permalink | Reply

      Also give us a break on the “white men”, etc, etc, etc. How many minorities and/or women were featured at the RNC but yet weren’t broadcast by the networks. The problem with these theories of the GOP being too (fill in the blank of white, old, male) is that the MSM and DNC do all they can to propagate that myth. It’s not true but many perceive it as that. The problem the GOP is they need to camp out in minority communities including online and every other way they can, quit being afraid of who they are and massively engage ALL minority groups with a full-court press for four years, not two months before an election.

      • Posted November 13, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        Drinking the cool aid? Blame it all on the media because they did not show people of color during our convention. It doesn’t boil down to who we show on screen at the convention. The audience is already going to vote our way. Do you really thing libs watched our convention? Do some real research on media bias and you will see mainstream media are biased… on social issues. Take those out of the equation. On your “give us a break on the “white men”…Look at the percentages. We won the office for the Pres of white men. Go ahead, BS yourself. Yeah, let’s follow the fundamentalist and lose some more seats. You and the other “know it alls” are screwing up our GOP.

      • Posted November 13, 2012 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      • Posted November 14, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      • valleyforge
        Posted November 14, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Tom, for a PR guy your denial of media framing is pretty surprising. It is not confined to social issues. Look at how decreases in projected future spending are reported. Look at how tax issues are reported. Look at the (lack of) reporting on Benghazi, on Fast and Furious, on Sandy’s aftermath, on the scandal in the global warming community, on the Bin Laden leaks. Look at Stephanopoulos’ injection of contraception into the campaign, or even the way pro-life people are described as “anti-abortion-rights”.

        Media framing is very real and needs to be part of any GOP messaging strategy.

  22. Posted November 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Bill Kristol and Bobby Jindal agree with me. And tea baggers like you cost us the election and likely at least one Supreme Court seat.

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