The End of the Line: Romney vs. Obama: the 34 days that decided the election: Playbook 2012 (POLITICO Inside Election 2012) - Glenn Thrush Last in the Playbook 2012 series by Politico. They need to be read in order and are an attempt to provide some analysis of events surrounding the reelection of President Obama in 2012.

There are some nuggets that never made it into the news, or at least the news that escaped my attention. Then again, by October, I was so thoroughly saturated with 48 hour-a-day commentary and news that I was tuning it all out.

For someone with supposed administrative ability, Romney made some serious mistakes, some of them one can't help but wonder if the decisions were pushed because they profited his advisers. Political consultant Stevens, for example, made a bundle on the side because it was one of his companies that was hired to run the IT operation and to book the ads, yet they paid five times more for their ads than did the Obama campaign. The IT groups creation, "Orca," never worked the way it was supposed to.

As George W. Bush proved in 2004, a twenty-first-century campaign can recover from a flawed, polarizing front man. But it can’t bounce back from mismanagement and poor planning. And Romney’s billion-dollar effort seemed less an enterprise run by a corporate turnaround artist than a family business undermined by its founder’s misguided vision of the marketplace—in Romney’s case, the composition of the American electorate. Romney was brilliant at raising cash; sources on both sides of the race had never expected him to nearly match Obama’s cash machine dollar for dollar, but he very nearly did. Yet he didn’t quite know how to spend it and seemed to mistake micromanagement for management, getting bogged down in minor details that never came within a mile of Obama. One example would resonate with his staffers after it was all over. Following the primary, Romney instituted a point system that assigned a specific numerical value to each event—rallies, speeches, fund-raisers, and so on. The more labor-intensive the event, the more points it was assigned. Romney’s instructions to his assistant were that he was not to exceed nine hundred points on a given day, the better to manage his time. Romney would allocate his time based on the point system, but it was often time not well spent.

Obama's lack of business experience was an asset. Rather than micro-manage, he left the details to his "battle-scarred" veterans of the 2008 campaign, which, ironically, had never shut down and just kept working on fine-tuning their ground operation. The Citizens United decision that had everyone in an uproar probably helped, as did the efforts of Republicans at the state-wide level to suppress voting groups likely to vote Democratic. It mostly rallied the troops and brought more people out. (I personally thought Citizens United was the correct decision from a fee speech standpoint and that the controversy had much more to do with the message rather than the money. The Constitution makes it clear that freedom of association is a basic right and that those groups have freedom of political speech, especially. But then I believe the more speech the better. And to argue the money is not speech is ludicrous.) The way the money was spent was far more important, and the Obama decision to get out ahead of the game and begin campaigning against Romney even before he had the nomination made a huge difference.

In the end it was God voting for Obama that made the difference. Given the two Hurricanes, one making a mess of the Republican Convention schedule (and thank you Clint Eastwood) and Sandy validating the role of the federal government (not to mention Romney's earlier comments regarding the irrelevance of FEMA) and it was clear God wanted Obama to win. Challenge my logic. :)