After the battle, the wake: inquest and a drink for reeling Romneyites

Critics are suggesting Romney's campaign foundered at the hands of amateurs


If the top aides to the crashed campaign of Mitt Romney have vanished from view since Tuesday you might excuse them.

For 18 months they did nothing but tangle with reporters and that is enough for anyone. But it is also because in the wake of the debacle they are being blamed.

Moreover, it will take some time to digest the depths of the catastrophe that befell them.

The top strategists Stuart Stevens and Eric Fehrnstrom watched in stunned amazement as their man gave his concession speech in Boston. From there, they repaired to the bar in the Westin Hotel for a first impromptu wake. One day one among them may give an honest account of what really happened to their campaign.

Did they, for instance, actually believe their predictions of victory in the run-up to polling day or was it all an act to give the impression of a train running forward when they knew it had already jumped the tracks?

"Our momentum is undeniable, if you just look at the numbers," the Romney pollster Neil Newhouse told supporters just before the vote.

Or maybe they were duped by their own voter-intention models that just turned out to be wrong. If so, how was that allowed to happen? Already voices in the wider machine that was meant to send Mr Romney to the White House are suggesting anonymously that his campaign ship had been in the hands of an amateur crew.

"Everybody feels like they were a bunch of well-meaning folks who were, to use a phrase that Governor Romney coined to describe his opponent, way in over their heads," one member of the campaign's national finance committee told The Washington Post yesterday.

The speed with which the Romney apparatus is being disassembled is almost cruel. After meeting for an hour with his top benefactors in Boston on Wednesday, Mr Romney himself left in the back seat of one of his son's cars – the limousines and the Secret Service details had both been stripped away. Staff members at the Romney transition headquarters in Washington who have been the laying the ground for his putative presidency for months have been told to have everything cleared out and their laptops and phones returned by today at the latest.

As for the campaign strategists, they are likely to retreat out of the line of fire for as long as they can. But their professional lives in the long run are unlikely to be shattered. Nor are they likely to be hurting financially: during the campaign there were periodic reports of Mr Romney giving them large cash bonuses.

Mr Stevens will console himself by casting any eye over to Steve Schmidt, the top John McCain strategist and architect of Sarah Palin's vice presidential bid. After having spent some months in the wilderness, Mr Schmidt is now vice chairman for public affairs of one of the world's biggest public relations firms, Edelman, and a television pundit. Better still, Woody Harrelson portrayed him in the film about the 2008 campaign, Game Change.

people And here is why...
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

QA/BA - Agile

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

Primary Supply Teacher

£121 - £142 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Primary supply teacher Hertford...

KS1 & KS2 Teacher

£115 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: We are looking for infants and...

Secondary Trained Teachers for the watford area

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Qualified secondary teachers - ...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?