free willard

Romney’s Expensive Computer Get-Out-The-Vote Effort Explodes Miserably, Like Rest Of Romney Campaign

you know they call them killer whales but you seem surprised when it pinned you down to the bottom of the tank where you can't turn around it took half your leg and both your lungsYou can find just about anywhere on the Internet right now important stories about how Team Obama used a bunch of high-tech gee-whiz computer business to analyze huge amounts of data on voters and contributors and get them out to the polls, both in 2008 and 2012. Well, the Republican establishment wasn’t about to take that lying down! No, they designed their own high-tech thingie called “Project ORCA,” which did not work, just like all the other aspects of the Romney campaign that didn’t work on election day. Let’s get the secret inside scoop!

John Ekdahl is a blogger over at the conservative Ace of Spades, and is also a web developer guy, and seems reasonably clear-eyed about technology and organizational stuff, so you should go and enjoy his blow-by-blow of everything that went wrong with Project ORCA on election day. Project ORCA was basically a coordinating system for volunteer poll watchers, and before you liberals get yer panties all knotted up, by “poll watchers” we mean not people trying to suppress the vote, but people who hang out at the polls trying to make sure everyone in the campaign’s database who said they’d vote actually voted, and reporting back if they didn’t, so the campaign can call them to get them to come out. The Obama campaign did this very well, this year and in ’08, so naturally the Romney people wanted to replicate it. Turns out they … didn’t? Here’s a summary of Ekdahl’s gripes:

  • There were nightly conference calls that were supposed to be for “training” but were really more for pep talks, at which Ekdahl’s legit concerns about the system were ignored.
  • The ORCA “phone app” was actually just a mobile-optimized web page, which confused everybody.
  • Everyone got “instruction packets” emailed to them the night before the election. These were 60-page PDFs they were expected to print out.
  • In order to be an official poll watcher, you need to get a certificate from the campaign, or else you’ll be shooed away from the polling place. Volunteers were supposed to go get this from a local campaign HQ, but nobody was told that in advance or in the packet.
  • Attempts to call anybody to resolve these problems were routed directly to voicemail, obviously.

Ekdahl also includes this delicious screenshot from the packet, and speculates that this is where the “pick up your fucking certificate” checkbox should have been. But at least everyone had chairs! Did you make sure to bring a chair, to sit in?

[insert Clint Eastwood joke here]

Brietbart also has a legitimately great and mean article with a fantastic headline about this debacle, which features extra details, like the fact that volunteers were all given the wrong PIN for the ORCA app, and then the system that was supposed to reset their PINs didn’t work, so somebody did it manually, and then their PINs still didn’t work.

If you want some real fun (and we assume you do), check out this chipper, optimistic video from PBS in which a Romney staffer explains how great Project ORCA is going to be, on November 5.

Anyway, this seems like it was quite the fuckup! The fact that the Romney campaign spent more than $100 million on services from political consulting firms close to his senior staff — services that we imagine were not vetted through a rigorous contracting process — couldn’t have anything to do with this and other failures, could it? Thank goodness the Republicans nominated a savvy businessman with so much private sector management experience to run this thing. Just imagine how badly it would’ve gone under the direction of some hippie community organizer! [Ace of Spades/Breitbart]

About the author

Josh was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, leaving him with a love of chicken wings and a tendency to say “pop”. He taught ancient Greek and Roman history to undergraduates before fleeing from academia in terror; worked for a failed San Francisco dot-com that neglected to supply him with stock options or an Aeron chair; lived in Berlin, where he mostly ate Indian and Ethiopian food; finished in third place on his sole Jeopardy! appearance (the correct answer was “Golda Meir”); and was named 2007 Blogger of the Year by The Week, for obvious reasons. Josh is the creator/editor of COMICS CURMUDGEON (which you should read) and does geeky editing and writing about geeky things such as "the Java programming industry for JavaWorld." He lives in Baltimore with his wife Amber and his cat Hoagie.

View all articles by Josh Fruhlinger
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    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Hey, now. Christie may be a whale, but he ain't no killer.

      Unless you make the mistake of getting between him an a sammitch at lunch time.

    1. RomneysLogCabin

      you know Mitt was totally curb-stomping a printer while being held back by Tag and Gag on Tuesday night….

      1. 1stNewtontheMoon

        What hurts most for Shelly is knowing that according to actuarial tables, he's probably going to die with Obama in charge. Good thing republicans don't believe in maths either (except of course for Shelly who's made his fabulous wealth on knowing that the House Always Wins).

        1. Terry

          Rich people beat the actuarial tables by having access to the best of health care, unless of course they develop drug or alcohol addition or other bad habits. Shelly will be around for years, although Karl Rove could be driving him directly toward those bad habits.

    1. Wadisay

      Really, I thought Romney's grassroots "Get out the billionaires" organization was amazingly effective.

  1. BaldarTFlagass

    "But at least everyone had chairs! Did you make sure to bring a chair, to sit in?"

    From the checklist, everyone should have had two chairs.

    1. Terry

      And make sure to sit over by the wall with the outlet to make sure your phone is charged, away from the check in tables where you could hear the voter information you're supposed to report.

    2. MaxNeanderthal

      "It is not neccessary to…confront voters"…But you can if you want to of course, especially if they look, kind of you know, er, dark, or a bit brown , or slightly "light on their feet" if you get my drift. In which case, you are permitted to use weapons to prevent them voting.

    3. SigDeFlyinMonky

      And a blindfold and a rope and be sure to place the chair in front of a masonry or concrete wall that can stop the bullets, er… votes! I mean votes!

  2. SorosBot

    The campaign workers were supposed to print out the long documents instead of just reading them on the screen? It sounds like the Romney campaign was run by my old boss, except he was an old Jewish liberal.

    1. Yellerdawg

      They were making a statement; "There's plenty of trees, print this shit out, then throw that one away and print it again! God will make more trees for the righteous!"

  3. actor212

    volunteers were all given the wrong PIN for the ORCA app, and then the system that was supposed to reset their PINs didn’t work, so somebody did it manually, and then their PINs still didn’t work.

    So then I built another castle, and IT soonk!

  4. One_who_wanders

    Take a hint from the rest of the world beta test important software – Targeted Victory indeed.
    And why would you make it a web platform rather than an app which could just swap data. Best part they named it Orca because Orca prey on Narwhals (the name of O's micro-targettig software.)

  5. largefooted

    OFA actually tried and failed on this in 2008 with an effort called Houdini.

    This cycle they had a thing called "Gordon" named after the man who killed Houdini.

  6. Oblios_Cap

    Thank goodness the Republicans nominated a savvy businessman with so much private sector management experience to run this thing. Just imagine how badly it would’ve gone under the direction of some hippie community organizer!

    I'm always amazed by the contention that a corporation s somehow better at everything than government is. Both are organizations staffed by scewed up individuals, just like the militay, religions, etc. and make decisions, good and bad, based on hte whims of the individuals in charge of them.

    1. fuflans

      meme of the 2012 campaign in my book.

      and should forever be required understanding for anyone involved with a campaign on any level.

      business does not equal politics.

  7. BarackMyWorld

    Was the back up plan to telegraph each other information?

    Hahaha…just kidding! Obviously there was no back up plan!

    1. An_Outhouse

      As a backup plan, they were asked to write names down on paper. I assume then they would scan them, then print that out, and then fax the list to an office in India.

    2. SigDeFlyinMonky

      They issued semaphore flags and told the operatives to climb the highest hill in the area.

  8. ManchuCandidate

    That sounds like the result of every fucking massive Software Boondoggle ever pushed by a distant ignorant dipshit CEO who has no understanding of what all those pretty buzzwords uttered by snake oil software sales people and box charts actually meant. Which was covered up by lessor managers who would rather pretend everything was fine than admit there were massive issues. Not that I'm bitter about that… four fucking times worth. Instead of ORCA, we knew it as SAP.

    Great fucking job.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Some campaigns come straight outta the south side of Chicago, some come from the panels of Dilbert.

  9. Poindexter718

    By all rights the sheer competence displayed by Team Barry Bamz in righteously visiting two consecutive beatdowns on the GOP ought to put their "in over his head" schtick to rest once and for all, but I'm not counting on it.

    1. BoroPrimorac

      This is what really hurts conservatives more than anything else. They couldn't beat the guy they made fun of for being a community organizer and an affirmative action hire, no matter what they threw at him. This is what has them all looking like a deer caught in the headlights. The fundamental shift that happened Tuesday night is the realization that frat guys with money are getting their lunch eaten by leaner, hungrier people who don't come from privilege.

    2. malsperanza

      The Obama campaign did have a system in place to do what ORCA was supposed to do: certified poll watchers at each polling place used a super-high-tech gadget called a "personal mobile phone" to "call in" the names of people who were voting to the field office, which checked them off the database list on a "laptop." This told the GOTV people who they could skip on the next round of doorbell rings that afternoon.

      Of course, not every campaign has the savvy and knowhow to develop such a complex system, or the tens of $millions it costs to ask each volunteer to bring a cell phone. Instead of, youknow, a couple of chairs.

  10. memzilla

    Brietbart also has a legitimately great and mean article with a fantastic headline about this debacle…

    Just when I begin to tamp down my schadenfreude, you come up with the delicious news that the conservatards are eating their own.

    *snf* Thank you.

    1. memzilla

      I really can't tell if these are new Schadenfreude waves, or just the echoes of the ones already out there, after they've wrapped themselves around the planet. I think we'll need a new S-wave detector and a comically overpriced algorithm to make sure.

      1. glasspusher

        Maybe with advanced techniques, like snark-fracking, we can pull out previously untouchable quantities of schadenfreude.

    2. widestanceromance

      My schadenfreude is like an orgasm that lasts so long, one almost wishes it would end. Almost.

    3. Terry

      Only after Rove is drawn and quartered by the rich old men who gave him all that money. The rich old men's hired help, rather.

      1. BaldarTFlagass

        Rove's situation now puts me in mind of that of Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg, played by Gary Oldman in The Fifth Element. Yeah, you're a bad evil mothahfuckah, but when you made a deal with The Great Evil, you really overreached.

    4. fuflans

      GOD i hope not.

      makes up for the MONTHS of media bullshit we had to listen to. and mara liassom.

      and for the more susceptible of us, the lack of fucking sleep in october.

  11. Beetagger

    Mittens would have run the country just like any other fuckwit CEO… as his personal fiefdom. He's probably playing lots of sad songs from the 70s on his Zune today.

    1. bloggingbalkanistan

      well it is smaller, as in they got a smaller segment of their base to come to the polls and vote for them.

  12. Dumbedup

    These schaden froida posts are like a bottomless bowl of ice cream and I'm stuffed with schaden froida and feel a little queasy but I can't stop myself from taking another bite. This daily feast of right wing misery and incompetence is frankly better than sex.

    1. Lascauxcaveman

      Too much of a good thing can be harmful to your health.

      I suggest bookmarking some of these posts and saving them in a bookmark file called "Things to read on a really shitty day." You'll be pacing yourself, and get your schaden freuded those time you need it most.

  13. Lot_49

    Somebody asked Axelrod why he wanted to give away secrets in his book about the '08 campaign. "Don't worry," he said. "We've got other, better secrets now."

    Looks like he did indeed. Team Romney should've tried a pingstorm. No machine running Windows Server 2003 can withstand that.

  14. weejee

    OT, sorta

    Out here in Orcalandia, it looks like Jay Inslee (D'Rat) will be our next governor. The Rethugs continue a very long sad on that score as the last time Washington elected a Repelican Gov was in 1980, which is far more years ago than your average angry old white guy can count (insufficient number of fingers and toes).

    1. widestanceromance

      I am so glad you did not end up with a governor as freaky as McKenna. He really stands out in the "nobody could look like that and still be human" department.

      1. Lascauxcaveman

        Politics aside, it would be kinda cool to have a Governor Skeletor.

        In all seriousness, a year ago, this race was McKenna's to lose, and lose it he did, by suing against Obamacare as state attorney general. Inslee, although an adequate and progressive congressman, was really uninspiring as a candidate and nobody seemed very confident in his leadership skills.

        But when it came to filling in the little oval by McKenna's name on the ballot, just enough voters said, "Eh. Fuck that guy, y'know?"

    2. James Michael Curley

      Not in some of those first-cousin marriage states. They can count up to 36 on their fingers and toes.

    3. BigSkullF*ckingDog

      They are still butthurt over 2008, which they lost by what, 120 some votes? But thank god we don't have to look at McKenna's face again for a good long while.

  15. MacRaith

    If Ekdahl was really a software developer, he'd know that management always ignores the legitimate concerns of the development team.

    1. missemish

      for reals. I work in tech, and when I bring up a concern and it's poopooed I just plan for it anyways. Then I get to rake in the smugness later when I save the day.

  16. Lot_49

    The Republicans are now saying they need better candidates.

    Well, duh. But do they think Marco Rubio talking about self-deportation will win the Hispanic vote? And do they think Marco Rubio will do that?

    1. SorosBot

      Maybe nominating candidates who don't support retrograde racism, misogyny, homophobia and religious bigotry rejected by the majority of the American people might help just a bit?

    2. Mojopo

      Please PLEASE let them drag out Rubio. He only polls well with first and second generation Cuban Hispanics. Non-Cuban Hispanics think he is a lying joke bag. If they want to keep punching themselves in the face, I will not stop them. It's a free country.

      1. BoroPrimorac

        Miami-Dade went for Obama by a bigger margin than it did in 08. I think it's safe to say that the GOP has either lost the Cuban vote in south Florida or they pissed everyone else to the point that this once reliably republican voting bloc is now irrelevant.

        1. Mojopo

          The wave of Latin Americans in that area is growing, combined with 3rd generation Cubans? It has to be the younger crowd mixed in.

    3. BoroPrimorac

      We will not forget how Marco Rubio asked the younger than 55 crowd to take one for the team so he and his buddies can privatize Medicare and Social Security.

  17. Misty Malarky

    I think I'm just gonna repost


    for the next few day to save some time and effort.

    1. Misty Malarky

      Them dumb, ignert Obama supporters managed to hack Team Romney's mighty fine computer whale thingy and so STOLE THE ERECTION!

      And God helped, I supposed.

  18. BadKitty904

    To paraphrase Ms. Tomlin:

    "You see, Project ORCA consists of a multibillion-dollar matrix of space-age technology that is so sophisticated even we can't handle it. But that's your problem, isn't it?

    We don't care. We don't have to. We're Team Romney."

    1. glasspusher

      That is one of my favorite SNL sketches. I wonder if Team Orca members welcomed voters with "A gracious hello!"

      1. bikerlaureate

        It predates SNL by a bit.
        Their visuals – with Ernestine wandering around in a data center – were delightful though.

        1. glasspusher

          I'm old enough to remember Ernestine from Laugh In, but did she do a similar sketch in that?One ringy-dingy, two ringy dingy…Also, I'm sure a sharp guy like you also enjoyed the phone company monopoly jibes in WKRP in Cincinnati”I told you man, those phone cops play hardball!”

          1. bikerlaureate

            Tomlin released her first comedy album on Polydor Records in 1971, "This Is A Recording," an album of Ernestine's run-ins with customers over the phone.

            (I posted my gentle note in case you were a young whippersnapper.) She's a bonafide national treasure, and I never pass up the possibility of raving about her.

            ETA: I just learned that she was the first woman to appear solo in a Broadway show.

  19. glasspusher

    The Romney campaign would never have been taken over by Bain Capital, simply because there were no good parts that could have been sold off.

  20. Ruhe

    To summarize: Despite Romney's efforts to appear as handsome and brave and battle-worn as Richard Harris, his get-out-the-vote machine failed to bite off Bo Derek's leg. The end.

  21. JustPixelz

    Given the GO-Pee'ers hostility to "facts" and "math", I'm not surprised they had trouble when the computer's reality wouldn't bend to their wishes.

  22. Lot_49

    And did we all read that Romney staffers taking cabs home from the victory celebration discovered that their credit cards had been cancelled right after the "concession" PowerPoint?

    Hahahaha…"Driver, let me just run up to my room and get some cash."

    1. bikerlaureate

      Was Fiorina involved in devising that part of the plan?

      Not to say that ink cartridges are another hideous opportunity for massive grift, but… no, wait, that is what I'm saying.

  23. not that Dewey

    "There was no Plan B; there was only confusion, and silence."

    This should be chiseled on Romney's tombstone.

  24. SpiderCrab

    I had an inkling that things might not go smoothly on election day when Mitt's robocall of Sunday 11/4 greeted me, incorrectly, as "Jeffrey". I figured out Obama had it in the bag on Monday 11/5 when a Paul Ryan robocall also greeted me as "Jeffrey".

  25. T3rbo

    Oh if you read the article, this is the missing link between the RNC's report that Republican poll watchers were 'ejected' from polling places and reality. They did not have, or did not know where to get, their poll watcher certificates, so they probably were not allowed to be present. Whoops.

    1. bikerlaureate

      Damn Democratic election tampering – as they insist on poll watchers following the rules (which they had a hand in drafting) !!!!1!

  26. BerkeleyBear

    This ORCA thing is nowhere near as omnipresent as Narwhal from the sounds of it. That damn thing was scheduling volunteers, spitting out analytic driven call lists and threatening to cross over to sentience ala SkyNet (it made me laugh every time I punched up a volunteer's file to add or edit an event and saw it was scheduled by Narwhal – I kept having visions of a pod trying to type with their horns). It seemed to work, though, so I for one will welcome my machine overlords.

  27. Gorillionaire

    This all sounds almost exactly like the way that Amway runs its "business". Meetings that should be informative turn out to be annoying pep rallies, the tech staff gave up long ago, someone who contributed nothing is getting paid everything. (please do not ask me how I know this)

  28. C_R_Eature

    "Open the Poll day file, HAL."

    "I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that"

    "Why not, HAL?"

    "You don't have the correct PIN."

    "OK, HAL" (inputs PIN number)"
    "Open the Poll day file, HAL."

    "I'm sorry, Dave, I can't do that"

    "Why not, HAL?"

    "You don't have the correct PIN."


  29. prommie

    I has worked on political campaigns. Guess what! They are so so so so fucking corrupt! Kickbacks abound, ties between staffers and campaign managers and contractors are ridiculous, the campaign managers basically work for the contractors and they exist to siphon off campaign money. Its all hectic and frantic and mostly ad hoc and amatuerish and everyone is young and naive and noone cares or notices the rampant waste fraud and abuse because they are always busy in total panic mode over every time the opponent sneezes or someone pulls up a lawn sign. I had wanted to do it since I was a kid, but after two campaigns I was totally disgusted. And I did the fun stuff, oppo!

    1. James Michael Curley

      One of the biggest problem with oppo is discovering what your side is doing. This gave me a few liquid bowel evenings in recent years.

    2. BoroPrimorac

      This is why Karl kept telling everyone that they had the election in the bag. If they had told the truth, the spigot would've been shut off back in July.

  30. Wilcoxyz

    Romney gave his chair to Clint Eastwood, so they should have seen this coming. He also wrote Clint's speech.

  31. DahBoner

    I didn't bring my own chair, oh that's fine I'll just sit on the floor. What, you crazy, dirty hippy get outta here, they said…

  32. teapartynyc2011

    I'm just glad Obama will keep defense spending super high, more than than twice the rest of the world combined. Liberalism has been good for defense spending because it's more OK under a liberal administration than under a conservative one. And killing suspected terrorist, American citizens or otherwise, w/out trial, something I think we need to do, is almost more OK under a liberal administration than under a conservative one. And all the innocents killed in drone attacks — if these people won't rise up against the terrorist in their own counties, that's what can happen. I didn't vote for Obama, but I'm glad he'll keep American so strong no one will mess with us.

      1. SorosBot

        I like the irony of this troll pretending to attack Obama from the left, when he or she created a username that says straight up that they are a crazed teabagger. Um, you're not fooling anyone, fool.

          1. One_who_wanders

            If you do you have to clean up after him, young lady, And take him for walks, though I expect he will be impossible to housebreak.

          2. SorosBot

            At least he'll probably be quiet; it looks like he's only made one comment before, well over a year ago.

        1. decentcitizen

          I hate when my talking points are repeated back to me by some disingenuous, insincere douchbag that actually is not troubled by this conduct but by the party affiliation of the administration.

    1. HarryButtle

      Here's a little secret: We all KNOW that Barry's not a liberal. This is not news to us. It's just YOU nitwits who think he's the leftiest leftist on the Left.

    2. lulzmonger

      As everyone here already knew long ago, Obama is a liberal like I'm an orca.

      Your Troll Fu Rating = 0/100

  33. BadKitty904

    Why am I picturing a scenario with Rmoney, pushing buttons on the presidential "black box" and grousing that "I can't get Fox News on this thing!"

  34. TootsStansbury

    Sensing failure of ORCA, the Romney campaign immediately deployed the Deny Elemental Reality Program.

  35. BartStarrland


    /Shelly Dankert'd

  36. T3rbo

    Two extremely important points:

    1)I am never going to read teh comments at Those people are horrible-everyone thinks Obama won the election because he is giving minorities handouts and the tone has really changed from "woe is me" to something really really nasty

    2)The information technology portion of Obama's campaign was run and created by DNC insiders: the DNC uses vendors, but these vendors are corporate extensions of the DNC. They are separate entities, but they were formed/are run by former DNC staff and party insiders. The Romney campaign used new 3rd party vendors because the RNC has no comparable wing/vendors. Surprised?

  37. obfuscator2

    so the vendor that sold mittens on ORCA wasn't really adept at anything except for fleecing $100 million from a gullible dipshit while also delivering a crippling blow to the romney field staff during the crucial gotv phase of the election?

    did bain capital design ORCA? hahaha it's nice when bad things happen to bad people.

    1. not that Dewey

      "except for fleecing $100 million from a gullible dipshit"

      If you know of a more successful business model, I'd love to hear it.

  38. Katydid

    Ya know what, I'm tired of their whinging about why they lost, and coming up with every reason but the real one. It was the platform, stupid. It was the candidate, stupid. Sixty-one millions Americans soundly rejected what the GOP stands for, and that was 3 million more than those who accepted it. They lost fair and square. I wish to fuck they'd get over it and figure out a way to work with Obama instead.

    <puts soapbox away>

    1. T3rbo

      Yeah, it's all about moving towards something vs moving away from something: Romney could not get enough people to get with his program, all he could do was get the people that already hated Obama to turn out. Obama got both-plenty of people voted against Romney, but a hell of a lot more people voted FOR Obama compared to the number of people who voted FOR Romney.

    2. MissTaken

      I'm enjoying them playing circular fire squad. If they actually looked at the real reason they lost (Americans aren't nearly as old, white, or male as they believe and their platform is just a big 'fuck you' to the majority of voters) then they could be smart and retool themselves for 2016 and beyond.

      By staying blinded by all the bullshit excuses they are guaranteeing Dem wins for the foreseeable future.

  39. elgin_pelican

    On election day I was at Democratic headquarters in Fayetteville Arkansas in front of a laptop. It automatically dialed my cell phone to identified democratic voters in a largely black district in north carolina. I read the script, clicked on the answers given, and a new number was auto-dialed.

  40. nicnack74

    I thought something was wrong. I live in a swing state and there was no Republican representation, whereas Obama had organizers handing out Democratic sample ballots at both entries of the parking lot. Even tho I'm a libtard, I recognized that that couldnt be a good sign.

    1. T3rbo

      did you see any browshirt looking white people sitting in their cars staring at their smartphones without blinking?

    2. BadKitty904

      On Election Day, we got a phone call from the local Dem HQ *and* a Dem doorknocker. Both reminded us that it was Election Day (tho we'd already voted), where our polling station was, its hours, and gave us a number to call if we had any problems.

      To date, not a single person I've asked, including the conservatives I know, has said they heard one word from the Repugs. They failed. Pure and simple.

      We have to be careful, tho – we should assume they'll learn from this and be better organized next time

      1. nicnack74

        Agreed. I think Libtards are starting to figure out the secret sauce. Unions are working to continue to mobilize and using the Obama databases. I don't think those organizing offices will go anywhere. They (I'm sure) are looking to 2014 to increast Dem presence in the house in spite of gerrymandering. Also,you know Biden is already looking to 2016. He's not gonna give up all that data and infrastructure already set in place. I'm sure he will be looking to leverage it.

        1. malsperanza

          Amazing, isn't it? Rove spent $50 million on TV ads and random robocalls to people who would vote for a bag of rocks before they'd vote Romney.

          But we're complacent fools if we think it'll happen a third time.

  41. Redgyal

    Just imagine how badly it would’ve gone under the direction of some hippie community organizer!


  42. Dr_Zoidberg

    You know, just when I think my joy over the election and the defeat of the Republicans can't get any better, stuff like this comes along.

  43. SuspectedDemocrat

    This reminds me of the time redstate couldn't find anyone to fix their website (and of course didn't have the skills to do it themselves), so they had to beg for donations to hire someone.

  44. Eve8Apples

    "Everyone got “instruction packets” emailed to them the night before the election. These were 60-page PDFs they were expected to print out."

    Romney must have invested in a printer ink manufacturing company in late October.

  45. Citizen Kitteh

    Everything coordinated from a centralized system, with no local flexibilty or initiative? Sounds very SOVIET to me!

    1. Mojopo

      I kind of understand how our spooks felt when they discovered that we totally over-estimated Soviet intelligence. They could have been more effective at Romney HQ with FAX machines and pagers!

  46. Eve8Apples

    The GOP spent two decades mocking science, math and education, and in 2012, the GOP gets crotch kicked by educated math and science people.

    It couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch of ignorant assholes.

  47. Mojopo

    I don't know what I enjoyed more – this post, or the way I'm stunned by the fact that anyone at wrote something worth sharing. This is an awesome Friday.

  48. ednamillion22

    Ha! I did poll watching for our guys all day on Election Day, and the whole process was super-organized and clear and not complicated at all. Worked like a charm.

    Maybe not so bright, these Republicans?

  49. mustangsavvy

    "Anyway, this seems like it was quite the fuckup!" is the caption that should go under every mention of Romney/Ryan 2012.

  50. VaWyo

    The republican poll watchers in my precinct did not bring their own chairs. The used socialist chairs provided by the electoral board. Don't you just hate freeloaders who want stuff provided by the gov't?

    1. SuspectedDemocrat

      Orca was the boat that sank at the end of Jaws, after the captain was so confident. Seems appropriate.

  51. lulzmonger

    The Invisible Middle Finger of the market strikes again!

    Begun, the Night Of The Long Sporks has.

    Who will put a stop to this ghastly epidemic of dipshit-on-dipshit violence?
    With any luck, nobody.

  52. Guppy

    The party that wants to outsource all tech jobs to India can't get their computers to work right. Shocking!

  53. mustangsavvy

    You guys, you have to go read the whole Ace of Spades post, it will give you the warm and fuzzies and be a fond memory on those dark nights when the Dems piss us off (as they will inevitably do).

    This especially blessed me:

    "So, the end result was that 30,000+ of the most active and fired-up volunteers were wandering around confused and frustrated when they could have been doing anything else to help."

    Team Obama had volunteers and field offices and teams out in the swing states for MONTHS before election day. Maybe even from 2010 and 2011. Team Romney started the ORCA thing when? And they fully expected it to be an unmitigated success? This is beyond delusion, it's insane. No one on Team Romney had half a clue that perhaps a COMMUNITY ORGANISER might know a thing or two about you know…..organising….and organising communities. Just absolutely gobsmacked at how much they sucked at this.

    1. malsperanza

      In the area where I was canvassing (PA), the planning started in 2008, and the upper level field offices were in place a year ago, and spend all of 2011 market-testing the data. Smaller local satellite offices opened in August and September of this year, but some canvassing had been going on during the summer already.

  54. Biel_ze_Bubba

    Romney Shell-Shocked by Loss

    Wonderful article on how the whole fucking campaign operated in an echo chamber. They were just like Faux News junkies, clueless about what was going on out in the real world, processing only their own information and "unskewed" poll data. ("Nate Silver? He's with the NY Times! No way are we gonna read that crap!")

    It was the Bush administration, all over again. Thank God this clod, surrounded by ex-Dumbya advisors, didn't get elected!

    1. fuflans

      jesus just read that.

      remarkable. more and more we see what a bullet we dodged.

      i guess i have to say more of america is much smarter and more level headed than i thought.

  55. Eve8Apples

    "Chair (if allowed by poll manager)."

    The chair is required so the GOP monitor can tell the invisible President to fuck himself like Clint Eastwood

  56. Whollyholeyholy

    This is especially well timed news for me. I issued a PTA calendar with a typo. It isn't bumbling through an effort at electing the "leader of the free world" and wasting gazillions of dollars, though. This will seriously help my anger management when someone who never volunteers complains about the quality of my work.

  57. comrad_darkness

    So total centralized control over a volunteer collective . . . um, Soviets much?

    What I don't get is the surprise. Romney made his money destroying companies. There was no proof he knew how to build or successfully manage anything, certainly not a culture change IT installation.

  58. HouseOfTheBlueLights

    But, but, but Romney's good at business! How could he mess up something so basic as vetting the software. I'm sorry, I just don't understand.

  59. malsperanza

    Here is my theory:

    The GOP was convinced that they could win the election by

    a) overwhelming the opposition with $1 billion in ads and robocalls, due to their unlimited Citizens United bankroll;

    b) suppressing the vote in key states.

    They so completely believed in this strategy that they had no backup plan. They couldn't imagine the $181 million raised by Obama in one month from 10 million small donors. It never occurred to them that small donations x 60 million Dem voters might add up to real money.

    And of course, they never imagined that the voter suppression laws–25 laws in 19 states over the past 2 years–would get blocked or struck down (except a few in the crucial swing states of TX, TN, and KS).


  60. beezie687

    just, wow. I've participated in UAT testing at work a few times. I don't know a helluva lot but DANG SON you gotta test that stuff out before it goes live!

    This is what you get when you let for-profit enterprise run the show. They'd have been better off with dollar store walkie-talkies!

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