I had to laugh at the title. Really? Custer, folks? Well, I can certainly believe that. Anyway, the book is out today. Glenn Thrush at Politico offers a sneak peek. Here’s a few choice tidbits.
Second-guessing about personnel, strategy and tactics has been a dominant theme of the reelection effort…
The discord, these sources said, has on occasion flowed from Obama himself, who at repeated turns has made vocal his dissatisfaction with decisions made by his campaign team, with its messaging, with Vice President Joe Biden and with what Obama feared was clumsy coordination between his West Wing and reelection headquarters in Chicago.
Obama’s brain trust secretly commissioned pollster David Binder to conduct an internal focus study of the popularity of top Obama campaign surrogates. Number one was former press secretary Robert Gibbs, followed by Cutter. Traveling press secretary Jen Psaki, who was added to a second study, was third. Axelrod, Plouffe and current White House press secretary Jay Carney were bunched in the middle. Wasserman Schultz ranked at the bottom.
It is Romney himself who provides a rallying point for both the candidate and his team.
Obama really doesn’t like, admire or even grudgingly respect Romney. It’s a level of contempt, say aides, he doesn’t even feel for the conservative, combative House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the Hill Republican he disliked the most. “There was a baseline of respect for John McCain. The president always thought he was an honorable man and a war hero,” a longtime Obama adviser said. “That doesn’t hold true for Romney. He was no goddamned war hero.”
Time and again Obama has told the people around him that Romney stood for “nothing.” The word he would use to describe Romney was “weak,” too weak to stand up to his own moneymen, too weak to defend his own moderate record as the man who signed into law the first health insurance mandate as Massachusetts governor in 2006, too weak to admit Obama had done a single thing right as president.
Talk about underestimating. I’m sure that’s just what Romney wants him to do, too. One of the things I’ve come to accept about Obama, in addition to him being utterly overrated, is that he is quite boring and predictable. His failure to gain traction this year is a result of one giant weakness he has: no imagination. Oh, he’s good at reading a book that is some 40 years old, but he has no vision and he can’t see the future.
[Axelrod] believed trashing the super PACs was a messaging winner for Obama — a stance vehemently opposed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Messina. “We’re going to lose this [f-ing] thing. Why don’t they get it?” Messina said of Axelrod and Obama.