Every losing campaign has countless, idiosyncratic reasons for failing, but only one common thread: No one on the inside knows what he's doing except the guy who's detailing the internal wreckage and chaos, anonymously, to the press.
In 2008 there were rolling hubs of major distress. For a while we read with increasing frequency about the primarily colorful Clinton campaign--disorganization, leaderlessness, backbiting and backstabbing and reputational murder most foul; and once that study in serial miscalculations was done, we moved on to reading with even greater frequency about McCain's vaudevillian theme, beginning with the press corps rushing to learn more about his vice-presidential pick--and being answered by water squirts from her lapel flower.
Now we've the Romney, uh, campaign organization over which to chortle. See Politico. Read "Inside the campaign." Enjoy subtitled subject: "How Mitt Romney stumbled."
How? Turns out, You name it.
Although in general Romney's campaign has been orchestrated about as smoothly as Louis XVI's flight from Paris, for now the fall guy--"the leading staff scapegoat," explains Politico--is "top strategist" Stuart Stevens, about whom one "insider" says, "The campaign is filled with people who spend a lot of their time either avoiding him or resisting him." Stuart, though, after this story, shall have his revenge. Just you wait.
Next up in the blame parade is Romney himself, who headlines a campaign which, "as the joke goes among frustrated Republicans, badly needs a consultant from Bain & Co. to straighten it out." That he has botched his executive duties, reports Politico, has "Romney associates ... baffled."
Yet once we invoke two fundamental precepts--Occam's Razor, which leads us inescapably to the Peter Principle--there's nothing baffling here. Romney is simply overwhelmed: you can see it in his lost, searching eyes; you can hear it in his yowling, importuning voice; you can easily feel your sanity being buried in his avalanche of amateurish contradictions and professional lies.
The man is an embarrassment to incompetence. He makes it look hard.