Were you wondering why Mitt Romney failed to mention Afghanistan, or to thank the troops, in his convention speech? For that matter, were you wondering why his speech generally sucked? And were you wondering why the Romney campaign often seems to be flailing in a way that seems out of keeping from someone who, after all, is supposed to be Mr. I-know-how-to-manage-stuff?
If so, or frankly even if not, you must read this long piece in Politico. They’ve got a bunch of people inside the campaign talking (anonymously, of course) about the campaign generally, and specifically about Stuart Stevens, Romney’s chief strategist, who sure doesn’t sound like someone a buttoned-down guy like Romney would go all-in with (Stevens “has skied to the North Pole, chronicled his use of steroids to compete in an extreme race, written novels and a campaign memoir, advised clients in Albania and Congo and consulted on Hollywood projects, including the political film “The Ides of March.”). But apparently he has. The piece is lengthy, but well worth it.
What’s perhaps most surprising, though, isn’t even the content. It’s the fact that the piece exists at all right now. This is the kind of thing that you expect to see much closer to election day, when it’s becoming fairly clear who’s going to win and, more pertinently, who’s going to lose. It’s when the blame starts flying fast and furious for everything that went wrong. It’s the kind of piece that we saw coming out of the McCain campaign shortly before and also after election day. But I don’t recall seeing anything quite this dramatic coming out of the McCain camp this early in the cycle.