SCARY THOUGHT: Did “Project Orca” Cost Romney the Election by Diverting Resources to Failing Computer Program?
One of the big differences between Democrats and Republicans is that when Republicans lose an election, the knives come out and they eat their own. We’ll be seeing this for the next few years — much like we did after the McCain campaign — with Cocktail Party GOP operatives lashing out at various members of the Romney staff, blaming them for the loss in order to elevate themselves and get exposure for their own careers on tee-vee. Steve Schmidt, McCain’s campaign manager, is a classic example of this. He jumps at every opportunity to badmouth Republicans and would appear on MSNBC every day to do so, if they had him.
Today, Breitbart.com’s running a shocking article about “Project Orca”, which was billed as the most technologically advanced Republican GOTV effort ever. Democrats were genuinely terrified of this project, and it was part of the reason that it seemed Mitt Romney would win this election in a big way. If you believed that Americans were eager to defeat Obama to prevent Obamacare from taking effect and that the Romney guys had an advanced tool to turn out the vote, then it was hard to see how Romney would lose.
We don’t know the name (or the motives) of the “Romney insider” who’s telling Breitbart that Project Orca was technologically flawed and crashed on election day, but anecdotal reports throughout the day do show that people had trouble using the system, activating their pin numbers, etc. The “Romney insider” could be telling the truth when he says that Orca diverted 40,000 Romney volunteers to a failing computer program instead of having them do traditional GOTV efforts…or this guy could be positioning himself to be the next Steve Schmidt by pushing a story like this just to sink knives into the Romney campaign. We won’t know the reality for a while.
I’m always suspicious of campaign operatives in Republican ranks because I’d think they wouldn’t reveal something like this and give Democrats the satisfaction of knowing Project Orca flopped (if that’s what happened). It’s like during the Cold War…the US and the Soviets never told each other what really happened when some new vehicle or weapons system failed.
So why come out and reveal what happened with Project Orca so that Democrats can benefit from it? That seems strange. Unless, of course, the guy doing this wants to become the next Steve Schmidt and land a seat on the talk show circuit revealing more and more about the Romney campaign’s failures.
I’m shocked to read this, though, because the big selling point about having Romney be the nominee was that he’d been working on his campaign for over 6 years and he had the best and the brightest that money could buy in terms of loyal advisors and brash young turks who would do things with GOTV that no Republican had ever succeeded in doing before.
Romney and his senior staff were legitimately shellshocked on Election Day as the first set of polls started to close, because they really thought they were winning until vote totals started coming in. Obama and his supporters seemed resigned to losing in the weeks before election day…and all throughout November 6th the talking heads on MSNBC kept talking about “voter suppression” being the only explanation for Obama’s loss, really setting the stage to push that narrative when Romney won. Everything pointed to a Romney win that never came.
If people really were counting on Project Orca to deliver the turnouts needed — and everyone assumed it would work — then maybe it’s failure is part of why Democrats ended up with the (D+7) electorate they needed to win Obama a second term.
It’s still hard to believe we really do need to suffer through four more years of Leftist control of this country…but in those four years I hope we can finally break the ugly cycle where Democrats constantly have a vaunted “turnout advantage”. Surely there is something that can be done in Republican ranks between now and 2016 to avoid another “Project Orca” failure or to allow Democrats to keep having a better “GOTV ground game”.
It’s mind-numbing and soul-killing that the Romney guys would have failed in this, because the Romney guys were supposed to be better at this stuff than anyone (better than Democrats at it, even).
© 2012, Kevin DuJan. All rights reserved.
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