Any reporter who’s covered Mitt Romney this election season knows there are people in his campaign—and legions more in the GOP professional class—who don’t like Stuart Stevens, his chief strategist. Thanks to pieces yesterday in Politico and The New York Times, we’ve learned something new: These people really don’t like Stuart Stevens. The basic knock on Stevens to this point has been that the campaign has lacked imagination or ambition: There’s been nothing remotely innovative about any policy it’s proposed or any message it’s field-tested.
Memo to Romney-Ryan speechwriters John McConnell, Lindsay Hayes, and Stuart Stevens: Watch your back around this guy Matthew Scully! Scully, who with McConnell is credited with writing Paul Ryan’s crowd-pleasing convention speech, is a former White House speechwriter and author of a well-regarded book, Dominion, that urges humans to show greater respect for the animal kingdom. The animal Scully most emulates is the black widow spider.
AFTER THE SUPREME COURT issued its Citizens United decision in 2010, money poured into the U.S. electoral system like never before. Ten billion dollars will likely be spent on the 2012 race, up from $7 billion in 2008—making electioneering one of the few U.S. growth industries in an ailing economy. Campaigns and super PACs have already spent $332 million on TV advertising in the presidential race alone (three-quarters of that sum on negative ads). This avalanche of cash has caused a lot of angst about the future of democracy.
Mitt Romney’s press secretary Andrea Saul brought the full wrath of the GOP’s right-wing down on her unsuspecting head today by suggesting that Romney is, you know, proud of his signature health care bill. The scene of the crime was a Fox News discussion of an ad implying that a woman died because her husband lost his insurance when a Bain-controlled plant laid him off.