The fourth and ultimate publication in POLITICO’s Playbook 2012 series once more presents an exceptional minute-by-minute account of the race for the presidency. The finish of the Line follows President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney as their crusade groups pass all-in to win within the serious ultimate weeks of the 2012 election.
From Mitt Romney’s “47 percentage” video to Clint Eastwood’s speech to an empty chair, the 2012 presidential crusade didn't lack for memorable moments. In The finish of the Line, POLITICO senior White apartment reporter Glenn Thrush and senior political reporter Jonathan Martin chronicle each hairpin flip in a race that confounded the predictions of pundits and prognosticators.
whereas a few political observers thought of Barack Obama’s reelection faraway from a yes factor, the president and his workforce remained resolute of their trust that they'd be successful. In Boston, Mitt Romney’s advisers have been simply as convinced that their guy was once headed for a smashing victory. after all, just one of these perspectives will be established by way of occasions. the result of this election was once by no means foreordained, even though, and may finally be made up our minds by means of applicants, 3 debates, and one thousand small yet serious strategic judgements.
With a watch towards writing a “first draft of history,” Thrush and Martin record at the excessive inner debates over advert technique that outlined the parameters of the autumn campaign—including an important late-May choice by means of the Obama crusade that could have tipped the scales within the president’s prefer. they supply a behind-the-scenes examine the applicants’ debate instruction classes, they usually demonstrate why Romney’s crusade used to be so convinced they have been going to win.
The motion climaxes on election evening, because the opposing camps huddle nervously of their lodge suites to watch for the decision of the electorate. The finish of the Line unearths for the 1st time what the Obama mind belief really thought of the agonizingly lengthy look forward to Romney’s professional concession—and what occurred after Obama positioned the phone to his ear and heard the phrases “Hello, Mr. President, it’s Mitt Romney.”
not anyone may have estimated all of the twists and turns of the 2012 election—and nobody was once greater built to chronicle them than the POLITICO group. The finish of the Line is frontline crusade reporting at its most interesting, meticulously pronounced and compulsively readable.
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You type of didn’t are looking to come again into that narrative of he’s relocating everywhere in the place,” a senior crusade reliable defined. behind the curtain, his improve operation used to be trying to make certain who precisely took the video and if a person at the moment at the payroll used to be concerned. One Romney operative tracked down a diagram of the room the place Romney were addressing donors that day in Boca Raton and interrogated the improvement staff. The respectable discovered from the improvement group that the waiters and bartenders were tough to paintings with. Romney’s staff concluded the perpetrator got here from the ranks of the hotel’s staff—not from a mole at the campaign—though they have been by no means capable of pin down who relatively did it. meanwhile, Romney staffers have been scouring their examine on Obama to discover something related within the Obama documents. convinced adequate, lower than twenty-four hours after the “47 percentage” video surfaced, a leaked 1998 audio of Obama discussing “redistribution” seemed at the Romney-friendly Drudge record. Even individuals of Romney’s employees knew the clip smacked of desperation, yet that they had to do anything. As one aide grew to become in for the evening following an afternoon campaigning in Florida that week, he stated with a heavy dose of sarcasm: “Got to prepare for a massive day of discussing redistribution the next day. ” the tale did little to alter the topic. On Wednesday, September 19—two days into the crisis—Romney eventually recanted at a discussion board backed via the Spanish-language Univision community in Miami, announcing, “My crusade is set the 100%. ” It used to be a big concession, however it got here too past due. throughout the primaries, Romney’s advisor Alex Gage had manage an aggregator known as the nationwide discussion visual display unit to trace the frequency of reports themes at any second in time, a image of the political zeitgeist. inside days of the reviews going public, “the forty seven percentage” was once dominating the computer screen, and Romney’s personal in-house polling was once already displaying a downdraft. One aide remembered going to mattress that evening announcing to himself: “Okay, this may be it. ” backstage, Romney used to be getting a few recommendation from Stevens’s arch-nemesis: Mike Murphy, one of many party’s elite specialists. Murphy used to be Romney’s most sensible strategist within the 2002 governor’s race, yet he sat out 2008 to prevent making a choice on facets among Romney and McCain, every one a former purchaser. either Romney and his eldest son, Tagg, sounded out Murphy ahead of the beginning of the crusade, however the California-based advisor was once no longer prepared to paintings with Stevens—whom Romney had devoted to. In early August, Murphy was once traveling neighbors in New Hampshire and Romney quietly invited the strategist over to lunch on the candidate’s Lake Winnipesaukee compound, an indication to a few that the flirtation had resumed. Murphy nudged Romney to select Rob Portman for vp yet acknowledged that, much more than the vice presidential choose, one closing issue could verify the race: the debates. He instructed his outdated consumer that discuss arrangements have been paramount among then and the 1st face-off in early October.