Con Artists Getting Conned

I don’t know that I’ve ever recommended reading something at RedState. But this is fascinating — “Campaign Sources: The Romney Campaign was a Consultant Con Job.” It sounds as if some of the consulting firms working for the Romney campaign were just faking it. The article claims they were running a con job on Romney.

They say that the truth is the consultants essentially used the Romney campaign as a money making scheme, forcing employees to spin false data as truth in order to paint a rosy picture of a successful campaign as a form of job security.

Zac Moffatt, Digital Director for the Romney campaign, was specifically named as having “built a nest egg for himself and co-founder of Targeted Victory, Mike Beach,” and that they “didn’t get social” media and ignored objections from other consultants and staffers in the campaign.

You may have seen some of the criticism of ORCA, a smartphone app that was supposed to be Mitt’s high-tech poll-monitoring system. Apparently it was an epic fail.

Sources also said that arrogance played a big role, saying that the Romney campaign was a hostile battlefield of egos in which these consultants viewed any opposition to their world view as coming from an enemy. This apparently led to the ORCA program “receiving no stress test, no usage during super saturdays and no ability to have a Plan B or C when everything hit the fan.”

“The brain trust of the Romney campaign was so arrogant that they refused to change strategy. It was clear in June were SOL,” said one email.

Another source that closely studied the Obama campaigns GOTV efforts as compared to ORCA said bluntly that “the Obama training manuals made ORCA look like a drunken monkey slapped together a powerpoint” adding that we must duplicate and improve what they accomplished to have any hope for the 2014 & 2016 ground game.

But the failures in what was described as a “tightly wound consultant culture” didn’t stop there.

Stu Stevens of the Stevens and Schriefer Group was said to not be chasing poll numbers with the media buy strategy and appeared instead to be doing little more than “throwing darts at a dartboard.” At best using false numbers provided by ORCA; at worst milking the cash cow of the Romney campaign.

Can’t you just see it? By the way, we won Florida. See also “The Oracle’s Debacle.”

21 thoughts on “Con Artists Getting Conned

  1. That’s the way it is with these phony management consultants. They sucker the 1%– who really have no skin in the game because they get their bonuses whether the company succeeds or fails- but the actual workers know that when Arthur Anderson, or Bain, or any of the other snake oil vendors arrive, no good will come of it.

  2. Hmm, highly priced contractors promising big results but really delivering bupkis, while fattening their own bank accounts, and in the process leading to failure and defeat? Where have I heard that before?… for some reason I’m hearing a Texas accent, and a four-letter word starting with I and ending with ‘raq’?

    Just imagine how well this pattern would have worked with Mitt’s goal of expanding defense spending! We really would end up with horses and bayonets, except they’d be advertised as advanced bioengineered personnel deployment vehicles at $5 million a hoof.

  3. How ironic that Willard’s campaign was done in by the con-artist consultancy looting culture that made his fortune. Hoist by his own petard, indeed.

  4. How sad is this? A man trying to con his way into the Oval office got conned?No way!
    Mittwitt couldn’t run a campaign but he wanted to run the country? Yikes.

    Rove and pals thought they could repeat the con they pulled on this country with bush. And it just might have worked if mittwitts daddy had not been too much of a loser himself to make it to the Oval office like little georgies daddy did- so if anyone is to blame it is mitts daddy.(Since we ARE running out of people and things to blame).

    The entire GOP is one big con game.Lil lulu’s readers were correct, she IS just trying to sell books, ect and thats why she wants readers to “stay in the fight”- so she stays rich.It’s just a con. Faux news- just a con. Hell hannity didn’t even finish college and he has a program on a “news channel”? CON. How many millions has he made off of book sales, mini blinds and free steak dinners @ ruths chris?CON to keep his family rich. O’really? He used to host a tabloid tv show before faux. CON. Rove? Go read about his watergate days..or his direct mail . The man didn’t even finish college but he sure has run some good scams.The entire GOP was conned because it is what the whole party is based on.Everyday people who think of themselves as conservatives have been scammed, conned,flim flammed and they have been buying the bridge for decades. The right wing think tanks and noise machines are getting rich off of people buying the con, so why bother, as a party to stand for anything?(well except hate and fear, which sells if the money these folks make is any indication). This is the capitalist kinda move on the move of ORCAS creators that the GOP stands for- Promise them everything, give them a nothing that doesn’t work and over charge em like hell…Mittwitt got bained.

  5. Key Kyle, you stole my comment. Almost word for word. But this is a whole new chapter. It wasn’t the campaign duping the right. It wasn’t the corporate elite duping the right. It was the corporate elite duping the campaign. I always thought they were working together. Or at least Romney was aware they just wanted someone who would fulfill their interests. But my God. It’s been four days. Imagine what kind of stuff is going to be trickling out in a month. Was anyone on the up and up in this campaign???

    • I always thought they were working together.

      Some of these creatures of the “tightly wound consultant culture” don’t know how to do anything else but bluster and thump their chests, and they get paid handsomely for putting on a show. And I think a lot of them are in so deep they’ve convinced themselves the corporate world couldn’t run without them. They themselves don’t see they aren’t providing anything of real value to anybody. In the business world, their non-effectiveness isn’t laid bare so starkly as in a national election.

  6. The party of grifters.
    It seems like all this crap started in the 70’s when it was discovered that the fable of Nostradamus would sell with a large swath of the population. Then they invented the “Left Behind” nonsense which sold. Then comes Rush, the defender of cigar chomping fat cats, Then Glenn Beck who wove the fantasy of vulture capitalism, patriotism, and the gospel of prosperity into a toxic new movement dubed the “tea Party”.
    With Dov Zakheim at the helm of the Romney Movement, how could it fail?

  7. Let’s just change the name of their “philosophy” to, “Conned-servatism!”

    And can you imagine how disappointed the “Soviet” Russians and “Communist” Chinese are that they won’t have “Conned-servatives” like Mittens and Paulie to negotiate with?
    I already speak Russian, but would have had to learn either Mandarin or Cantonese, just to keep up with the Conned-servative change. You poor schmuck’s would have had to learn TWO languages!

    And as for Karl Rove, can we now, finally, dismiss him as the reactionary hack that he is – and always was? As I said in an earlier post, can we now admit that he wasn’t “Bush’s Brain,” but that W was “Rove’s Brain?”

    And what sounds like a 4-day train wreck that you’ve been hearing. is FUX Noise’s ratings crashing?
    One would have to be the dimmest of bulbs to keep watching that network. Not that we lack dim bulbs in this nation – I just wish they were more energy efficient dim bulbs!
    And my favotite part, is that the Conned-servative’s “Efficiency Expert,” and “Numbers Wonk” didn’t see it coming.
    “Conned-servatives,” indeed!

    And can we now hold up the following people up for open ridicule, as national punchlines?
    Radio Rushwanda Limbaugh.
    Anyone at FUX Nois not named Shep Smith.
    “Rove’s Brain.”
    The bridge trolls, Dick Morris and Charles Douchehammer.
    That gin-soaked bar-room queen i DC, Peggy Nonnan.
    George “F-in” Will.
    Cup O’ Schmoe Scarborough.
    And any, and EVERY, other Conned-servative.

    Democrats and Nate Silver ROCK & RULE!!!
    And you Conned-servatives, after you “Suck on it!”, had better learn to “Get over it.”
    “The times, they are a-changin.”

  8. If you want to con someone, the easiest thing to convince them of is that they are smarter than you are. The next easiest is to convince themselves that they are smarter than someone else. Once they’ve bought that they’ll believe almost anything that maintains the illusion, particularly if they are the sort of person, who has never understood anything in their whole lives.

    Conspiracy theories seem to feed off of this phenomenon. Sometimes, the more convoluted the better, because to someone instilled with fear and confusion, the absurdity mimics complexity. My acquaintances who are into conspiracy theories are convinced they have uncovered an evil and mysterious plot that is too complex for their natural enemies, the pointed headed liberals, to understand. It’s seems like a toxic mixture of fear, misinformation, hatred and a desperate human need for security and self esteem.

    I think if we could step back far enough from our culture, we would see that we are probably the most heavily propagandized society that has every been. Virtually everything seems to have some element of advertising. Often that advertising is concerns a political product. Again, I would suggest “Century of the Self” about Edward Bernays, the birth of public relations and its offshoot of modern propaganda techniques.

  9. “The most heavily propagandized society”
    How true. And “patriotism” is a wonderful sales tool.
    Note how Fred Thompson is selling reverse mortgages, the American flag flutters in the backround. If Patriotic Fred is selling, it must be right.
    Then there is Mike Huckabee, smooth as buttered silk, selling the FOX culture.
    FOX has a recipe consisting of beautiful “spokes models” spewing venomn with breaks for emotion arousal.

  10. erinyes,
    Those breaks on FOX are for arousing something else, besides emotion – they’re ads for ‘Quicker Pecker-Uppers!”

    If this is any solace, male Conned-servatives, under Obamacare, your V*agra will stay just as available as your rubbers, AND a woman’s contraceptive pills.

  11. I understand that in some circles there is fear (and in other circles hope) that Karl Rove will join Jimmy Hoffa.

  12. On being conned, there’s a few interesting stories that are illustrative –

    When the allies landed in Normandy, Hitler was convinced the real invasion was going the happen further south on the coast. Hitler ‘knew’ because the allies fed him classified misinformation and Hitler was certain of the source. Romney fell in the same way, convinced by the misinformation fed to his campaign by the firms he hired. Romney, of all people, should have known that companies will lie for profit, but he trusted his sources, just as Hitler did.

    When the Soviet Union fell – the CIA was caught flat-footed. They had no inkling that the economic house of cards that was Russian communism was about to fall. I wish I could find the story, but it dates back to print media. What happened is that the CIA had penetrated the highest level of the Kremlin and has access to the same information that the politburo did. The CIA did not take into account that the corrupt system of bureaucrats was providing their masters with whatever numbers would make them happy. Thus, the CIA was deceived as well as the politburo and neither agency was aware of the true situation.

    Contrast that with how honest analysts looked at the data prior to the election. Nate acknowledged he could be wrong but only if… and he would explain the wonkish reality.

    There are lessons for the left about doubting your own propaganda and relying on the most honest data available from multiple sources – even if the news is bad.

  13. re: the effectiveness of ORCA, I read somewhere that consultants were comparing notes about GOTV and the ORCA group said proudly that the Republican team had knocked on 75,000 doors in Ohio immediately prior to the election. The response: The Dems knocked on 376,000.

  14. Doug Hughes,
    Back in the late 70’s, Hedrick Smith of the NY Times, and a man who knew the USSR about as well as anyone, wrote that the Soviet Union would collapse within a decade.

    My father and I, and all of our relatives laughed – they had all left the USSR during WWII, all bought the idea that it was a monolithic entity that would last for the rest of our lives. And so did I. I had heard it from them my whole young life.

    I did, until they got mired in Afghanistan.
    I told my father, the day they went in, that Afghanistan was going to be the Russian’s mountainous, colder Vietnam. He, and all of my relatives laughed at me. But I knew that country was “The Graveyard of Empires.” And I had seen what Vietnam had done to our country socially and morally, as well as economically.
    So, I converted to Hedrick Smith’s camp. And the longer the USSR stayed, the surer I was that the USSR would collapse. And it did.
    It took my family completely by surprise. But what had shocked me in the late 70’s, became something that I could see happening, because of empirical evidence.
    Hedrick Smith was looking outside the box. He didn’t listen to the CIA, or the Kremlin. He looked at the numbers, at their economy, and saw what they were doing was unsustainable. And he opened-up my eyes.

    Romney and Ryan chose not to look for evidence that didn’t agree with their political/world view.
    Sometimes, you’ve got to listen to the people you consider outliers – they might know something that you don’t. And they ain’t “out” there “lyin'” – they’re speaking the truth.

  15. Sharon,
    By its very nature, “Schadenfreude,” is temporary.
    ‘Arrogant pride and presumption’, by Republicans and Conservatives, is what we are mocking, and reveling in the agony of, after they lost.
    There’s only so long you can mock. Unlike Conservatives and Republicans, after 2000 and 2004, there is still ‘governmenting’ to be done.
    The Conservatives thought white pride and power were going to last forever…
    They will find that those days are over.
    This country is browner, younger, more female, and gayer – and by not only realizing that, but lauding that, ‘WE the people,’ are ALL better off for that.

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