No grave dancing here, just analysis of Mitt and his campaign.
From the very beginning I knew Mitt Romney would be the GOP candidate in the general election and at first I thought he had a good chance to win against Obama.
It was rather easy to see that the base voters had been split right off the bat by the number of candidates positioned more to the right running against him. Mitt sat back and took it easy in the primaries and watched as each one of those more vocal and reactionary candidates bit the dust during the election cycle. So I think the first problem Mitt had was the feeling that this election would be a cake walk after his nomination. A false sense of winning created a false sense of ease and Mitt and his campaign never walked away from that feeling of ease.
The GOP convention should have been a time for Mitt to shine in front of his supporters, invigorate them and get them motivated for the start of the general election, I did not see that type of response from the GOP Party. Mitt's support was always a little above tepid even after the primary election and the convention. So he did not energize the troops the way other candidates for president have done in past conventions. If you can't get the party to come together at that moment then you have lost valuable time after the convention to go after the opposition with a visible strength of numbers that gets other voters to notice that you are a strong candidate. Mitt never came off as a strong candidate.
The tax return issue blew up in his face as if he never expected it to be brought up and it was a fiasco that continued to hound him. It was not handled right and he continued to look unprepared when this issue came up and it was the first really big issue of many he looked very foolish on. He may have won on principle but he was never ever able to whip that slate clean, the questions about the tax returns never went away long after the media frenzy died down.
Mitt had to convince the base GOP voters that he was one of them, over and over he had to posture himself as a concerted conservative and Christian just like them. Each week he lost message time to attract the larger electorate because he had to play the base on so many issues that did not attract the less conservative voter groups who he really needed to pull this election off. His demographic of voters was small and never grew because of this need to shore up the base time and time again.
Now Obama had one big thing that Mitt did not, a campaign set up that was still fresh and strong and that had learned how to win an election. This gave Obama a big advantage that Mitt never had and Mitt was never able to build that strong team when he was using many folks who had lost the last election. He basically used the same losing strategy and many of the same people that didn't help McCain/Palin during the last presidential election.
Some of those people in his campaign made some really stupid comments that also weakened Mitt in the eyes of many voters. Even his wife Ann made a few silly comments that got more media play than Mitt's stump speech that particular day. If you cannot control all those people under you to hold to the same message then your message is destroyed piece meal everyday when someone speaks out and sticks their foot in their mouth. It then becomes a story about those people and Mitt looks weak if he cannot control the people under him.
Mitt's trip overseas really messed up in the one other big area that many voters look at besides the economy when voting for a president. He said some dumb things, had a secret meeting with Ben Netenyahu that bothered some people in and out of government. His knee jerk response on the Libya attack had to be walked back the next day. His sabre rattling on Iran, his arguments that the navy is weaker now because the number of ships was rather simplistic, and he tried to bring WW1 into the argument as if that would scare people to vote for him, A very Dumb historical presentation there. He looked quite simple minded in this complex day and age bringing us all back to 1917. And this was not just to make a political point, this was in support of his platform to spend trillions of dollars over the years which made people think of taxes, the deficits and spending which of course was their other argument against the current administration. Both these arguments canceled each other out. Mitt weakened one strength by trying to create another one. By trying to become a defense hawk he looked less like a deficit hawk and more like a man throwing money at the navy.
And then his choice of VP really didn't help him at all. Paul Ryan was a figure head choice from the beginning. He was chosen again to attract base voters and nothing more. He wasted a good strategic pick for a simple please the base trick. (and possibly to attract the Catholic vote and if so was another really dumb idea.)
And finally, Mitt had to deal with some of the out right kooks and idiots who were running in the same party as he was. When the messages became issues about rape and abortion he lost many voters in a valuable voter group, woman. And he was never able to attract Hispanics with the nonsense that was spewed by these other reactionary GOP candidates which was a demographic the GOP has always had its eye on.
All in all Mitt lost because he was a poor candidate and his campaign showed how poor a candidate he was. Lack of control of the message, lack of control of the people who worked for him, a lack of real strong positions that would garner votes from many different demographics and a really piss poor campaign strategy that mainly focused on the negative versus the positive. Mitt was never able to show us that shiny city on the hill because he never brought that forward till the last days before we voted and by then we had heard enough, Mitt was not it.