The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Why Would Mitt Romney’s Campaign Manager Deliberately Insult Me?

Posted on | July 12, 2012 | 25 Comments

After nearly two months of being up to my eyeballs in the Brett Kimberlin story, and becoming concerned about symptoms of journalistic burnout, yesterday I decided it’s about time to hit the road and do some campaign trail reporting. So I called up one of my contacts with the Mitt Romney presidential campaign and talked for a few minutes.

I pointed out a basic problem: I’m apparently not even on the campaign’s e-mail list for press releases — no schedule updates, no statements, nothing — which means I’ve got no way to plan my coverage.

“We’ll take care of it,” my source said.

This evening, I saw an e-mail with the subject line, “Mitt’s VP,” and thought: “Hey, all right! They finally added my e-mail to the press list!” Then I opened the e-mail and discovered to my horror that it was, in fact, a solicitation for contributions:

Meet Mitt’s Choice For VP
Robert Stacy Mccain,
We’re getting ready to share some exciting news.  Sometime between now and the Republican convention, Mitt will be announcing his choice for VP.
Know what’s even more exciting?  Every week until the VP announcement is made, one lucky supporter will win the chance to meet Mitt and his choice for VP.
This is your chance to meet America’s comeback team.  This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity — don’t pass this one up.
So donate $3 today to be automatically entered for the chance to meet Mitt and his choice for VP in person.
Matt Rhoades
Campaign Manager
Romney for President

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? Matt Rhoades, who apparently can’t figure out how to send me a press release, nevertheless proves himself capable of finding my e-mail address in order to hit me up for cash?

Y’know, some of my blogger friends have complained that the Romney campaign has been jerking them around in the credentialing process for covering the Republican National Convention. Given that I’ll be attending the convention on regular media credentials as a correspondent for The American Spectator, I didn’t pay much attention to the grumbling.

However, now that this e-mail bungle has acquainted me with the gross ineptitude of Matt Rhoades — or whichever one of his overpaid dimwit assistants put me on the fundraising e-mail list instead of the press e-mail list — I’ve decided to take the grumbling of my blogger friends a lot more seriously. As a matter of fact, I’ve decided to hold Matt Rhoades personally responsible for every blogger who’s getting hassled about their convention credentials request — and for everything else that I don’t like about the Romney campaign, which is a list that isn’t likely to be exhausted before Nov. 7, unless and until we see a significant change in their disrepectful attitude toward the conservative blogosphere, or Matt Rhoades becomes Mitt’s former campaign manager.

UPDATE: Perhaps it behooves me to explain that my concern is that we could be witnessing a repeat of The Steve Schmidt/Nicolle Wallace Syndrome which so disastrously afflicted the McCain/Palin 2008 campaign. Some GOP operatives have a “media strategy” concept that involves sucking up to major media celebrities (e.g., making sure Katie Couric gets the first Sarah Palin interview) while treating everybody else — including conservative bloggers — like inconsequential peons.

During the 2008 campaign, I was treated with more consideration by Hillary Clinton’s campaign than I got from John McCain’s campaign, which seemed intent on achieving the maximum possible alienation from the rank-and-file press corps. It was a textbook lesson in What Not to Do in Political Public Relations, and if the Romney campaign operates that way, it will likely achieve the same disastrous result.


25 Responses to “Why Would Mitt Romney’s Campaign Manager Deliberately Insult Me?”

  1. Amy Lidster
    July 12th, 2012 @ 11:01 pm

    I do find the campaign powers that be a little, ok a lot out of touch. I understand Mitt has surrounded himself with people he trusts, but in order to close here, he is going to need to open up to people WE trust. 

  2. richard mcenroe
    July 12th, 2012 @ 11:03 pm

    Why?  We’re hostages here as long as Obama is in office.

  3. Unnamed Reporter Asks Valid Question About Obama’s Records, Blows Follow-Up
    July 12th, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

    […] Stacy McCain wouldn't put up with it. […]

  4. Julieta
    July 12th, 2012 @ 11:51 pm

    Probably because you humiliated yourself with your laughable attempt to
    be an “objective” reporter when you were really nothing but a Santorum
    groupie that not even the Santorum campaign would give the time of day

    Then, after losing the primary in which the only chance was igniting
    some floor fight at the Convention, you sulked about it like a little
    baby for nearly a month about how we were all doomed because Romney was
    most certainly going to lose because he was a Mormon.

    Why don’t you go see what Sarah Palin is up to, the adults will take it from here.

  5. Adjoran
    July 12th, 2012 @ 11:58 pm

    Besides yourself, exactly which bloggers do any original reporting as a regular thing, as opposed to those who aggregate and opine?

    Face it, Ace and Hot Air don’t break any stories and the news you find there is just the Best of Drudge for the most part.  Maybe Pam Geller is actually digging up stuff no one else has – or is willing to publish.  Is there anyone else who wouldn’t also be covered by the regular credentialing system?

    Face it, there are way too many bloggers to invite them all or even most.  Leave out the ones whose whole career is bashing the Party – because that’s not the way you get invited to these things – and you still have way too many. 

    Now, if you have some way they could make that judgement in a rational way without diverting too many resources to the process, speak up.  Otherwise, we all know that they will end up picking a dozen or so of the higher-traffic bloggers, and maybe a couple smaller guys who were down with Mitt from the start.

    And frankly, if I were on the campaign and some guy is just asking to be put on the press release list in July, I wouldn’t put him as my first priority, either.

  6. Adjoran
    July 12th, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

    I mean, seriously:  you can’t even get invited to BlogCon.  Get real, dude.

  7. CPAguy
    July 13th, 2012 @ 12:00 am

    You obviously don’t seem to understand sarcasm or journalism.

    Romney is not popular among Conservatives.  Romney is Obama-lite….but…he will finally get to win one for his Pappy!

    Romney can either reach out to Conservatives…by doing Conservative things….or he can just be a four year President.

  8. Dave C
    July 13th, 2012 @ 12:06 am

     Want a saucer of milk to go with that?

  9. robertstacymccain
    July 13th, 2012 @ 12:35 am

    The problem with bloggers getting hassled over credentials seems to be that the campaign staff has little familiarity with conservative blogs, and has the attitude that the campaign is doing bloggers a favor by “letting” them cover the convention.

    Evidence of such an attitude on the part of the campaign staff is an ill omen. Maybe you don’t share my views about effective media strategy, but you’ve got to admit that I’ve been pretty damned astute at interpreting omens during this campaign.

    Feel free to scoff. Just remember that you were warned.

  10. robertstacymccain
    July 13th, 2012 @ 12:45 am

    I’m guessing that “Julieta” (commenting with a fake e-mail address) is actually Nicolle Wallace,  Steve Schmidt or perhaps Megan McCain.

  11. Dave C
    July 13th, 2012 @ 12:48 am

     If it’s Megs, I’ll add in the heavy cream.

  12. Dandapani
    July 13th, 2012 @ 6:55 am

    Ouch, that will leave a mark!

  13. Pathfinder's wife
    July 13th, 2012 @ 7:33 am

    If I remember correctly this site was pretty up front admitting it supported Santorum and was thus biased (which is more objectivity than we’re getting from most of the media — mainstream or indie).

    As for the sulking…well, I hate to break it to you but a lot of conservative punditry went into a funk when Romney took it — probably has to do with his “severe conservatism” and the attitude/ability of his campaign staff as much as the magic underwear.  

    Hate to break it to you, but your boy is in a tight race…and maybe the fault for that doesn’t lie anywhere else but with your boy.

    But his hair is perfect…and once put out the flames at a  home for widows and orphans all by itself….without suffering one split end.

  14. Garym
    July 13th, 2012 @ 8:38 am


  15. scarymatt
    July 13th, 2012 @ 9:09 am

    I agree about the original reporting aspect. But given Mitt’s troubled history with the base, alienating the most interested and engaged parts of the base (i.e., the blogs) seems like an odd thing to do.

    Maybe credentials are a really scarce commodity. I have no way to know about this. A spot on an email list for press releases has got to be the opposite of a scarce commodity. Isn’t the point of a press release to get maximum coverage? The marginal cost of adding an email address has got to be close enough to zero to not matter.

    The email list screwup sounds more like incompetence (although adding people who request to get press releases to fund raising lists makes sense to me). Which isn’t a good omen.

  16. JackieLynn Wellfonder
    July 13th, 2012 @ 9:52 am

    Wow…not cool…

  17. Zilla of the Resistance
    July 13th, 2012 @ 10:14 am

     That’s just mean.

  18. MM
    July 13th, 2012 @ 10:56 am

    The hassling over credentials is a legit story, although I think that saying it was a deliberate insult directed at you is stretching it. A friend signed up to volunteer for the campaign and the thanks she got was to be inundated with donation requests. Apparently, that is the only help that the Romney campaign thinks that it requires in swing states. You have many brothers and sisters in the chopped liver club. And if one wants to go to BlogCon, does one have to be invited? I thought that it was like CPAC – sign up, pay, and go.

  19. McGehee
    July 13th, 2012 @ 11:59 am


  20. Quartermaster
    July 13th, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

    Mittens does have nice hair. Isn’t that all he needs?

  21. Quartermaster
    July 13th, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

    I encountered you on AmSpec before I came here. You may have a blog, but teh connection to AmSpec should be enough in itself to warrant different treatment than you received from Mitten’s campaign staff. I agree that’s a bad omen.

  22. Quartermaster
    July 13th, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

    Inadvertant or intentional, it is a very bad slip. Shows they are at least a bit out of touch.

  23. Pathfinder's wife
    July 13th, 2012 @ 1:17 pm

    Well of course it’s all he needs (and my God it is outstanding hair isn’t it? ) if…if he was running against somebody without such an exceptional crease in his trousers.

    As it stands, in the eternal political struggle of beyond perfect hair vs. beyond impeccable trouser crease, this could be a close one due to the similar nature of each respective canidates’ avenues of utter perfection.

  24. DaveO
    July 13th, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

    1. Access costs. Have you paid your entry fee?

    2. You are likely not the only blogger who’s getting the shat-upon treatment. Lots of bloggers cast their lots with Romney’s enemies, err, competitors, and will be [distant] observers as they have nowhere else to go.

    3. Rule 1 of Hollywood applies: when you screw someone, that person must remain screwed for the rest of their life.

    Rather thought and said this would happen.

  25. Kathleen
    July 16th, 2012 @ 1:43 am

    Join the club.  Now Sarah Palin is feeling the Mitt Romney cold shoulder: