The Irony of the Presidential Election

By all accounts, one of the defining differences in the election was “The Ground Game” . The outreach by the 2 candidates to reach voters “on the ground”, in their homes, on their phones, wherever it was possible to make a possible contact. Once the contact was made, the goal was to get them to the polls to vote for their candidate.

You would think that the candidate with the most business experience would be best prepared to build a national organization that ran like clock work and made the final difference in the election. You would be wrong.

In the 2008 election President Obama was able to utilize social media as a call to action and funding and gain a huge advantage over the Republican candidate who couldn’t match the online advantage that President Obama created.

In this election it appears that President Obama was able to gain re-election by putting together a national organization that only raised the same amount of funds as the Republican candidate, but was able to better use that funding to put together a ground game “business plan” that was not only better than the Republicans, but had better messaging, voter connection and was better planned, implemented, distributed and executed on than their “far better business people” Republicans.


oh the irony



122 thoughts on “The Irony of the Presidential Election

  1. The internet is changing the world in profound ways. Sharing, collaboration, and networking are Democratic principles. Rugged individualism/conservative thought so yesterday. Information has become the worlds currency.

    Comment by darryl3 -

  2. What the “businessman” lacked is total disconnect with people on the ground. He was confident, arrogant, often abrasive, but always refused to any specifics. People saw right through the absurdity. He seemed unwilling to take any responsibility for what he said earlier and people have better memories than what he expected them to have. Good riddance, I never want to see him again.

    One of the worst denial – yes he saved the Salt Lake City Olympics; but would never acknowledge that he got $ ! billion courtesy Bill Clinton. What a hypocrite.

    Comment by Megha Shyam -

  3. Mark you certainly did nothing in the way of helping or writing well about your candidate. Too late to cry now. The damage is done.

    Comment by SavingAmerica2 (@savingamerica2) -

  4. Pingback:   This Week in Small Business: Now What? – New York Times (blog) by insuranceforyourcar

  5. Pingback: – This Week in Small Business: Now What?

  6. Pingback: This Week in Small Business: Now What? « Gene Marks

  7. Pingback: You’re the Boss Blog: This Week in Small Business: Now What? | globalgoals

  8. Pingback: This Week in Small Business: Now What? -

  9. To put more simply, Romney was defeated by disruptive innovation in political marketing.

    Comment by Winston Kotzan (@WinstonKotzan) -

  10. Mark, this article reinforces what you said. It talks about the failures of Orca, the Romney campaign’s analytics platform.

    Comment by Bruce Hobbs -

  11. Obama started campaigning in 2006. So he’s had his forces on the ground for 6 years.

    Comment by Charles Frank -

  12. i dont find it as ironic as others do… the candidate WAS a consultant.

    Comment by Ahuvah -

  13. I think the election was won by demographic appeal more that how the messages were conveyed.

    The Red and Blue maps of the US election results say it all. States with populous urban centers, e.g. New York, Illinois and California are all blue. They are dominated by younger non-white voters who identify with “big tax and spend government” policies more than the “small government let the free market sort it out” bunch.

    The idea that if you spend enough money and improve the way your message is conveyed is weak. You can’t convince Hispanic voters to ignore harsh immigration policy, inner city voters to embrace welfare cuts, unions to decline handouts from the government, and women that they can’t be trusted to make the right reproduction choices. This growing demographic block will outweigh the rest for generations.

    This is also why congress is dead locked. Because all states have representation, those that lean conservatively have a say and their say is “no way are we going to stand for a liberal policy” and they’ll stand in the way of any progress good or bad.

    The fact that the popular vote was close at all speaks very highly of what Romney’s organization was able to accomplish and how angry the country is over poor economic conditions.

    We as Americans need to become more positive, moderate, willing to sacrifice, and open to compromise if we expect our leaders to get their job done so we can prosper as a nation.

    Comment by Tom Greenhaw -

  14. Gov Romney is approximately 14 years older than President Obama. He’s been running for an office longer than President Obama in various elections. He is also richer, an experienced politician, and a good businessman. President Obama was the underdog by race, experience, inherited economic conditions and current economic climate. Gov Romney had the upper hand in almost every way, EXCEPT not fully respecting/understanding his competition. Never underestimate your competition and never believe your press until its over!

    Comment by paragon75247 -

  15. Hey Jesus Galvez,
    First let’s call a spade a spade. Illegal immigrants are not “undocumented workers”. They are illegals. Second, they cost the country BILLIONS in education, government services, and healthcare. Third, manufacturing HAS been coming back. These are facts. With increasing wages in China, the US can—and must—outcompete them. This is entirely possible if we address not just currency manipulation issues, but also inefficiencies in our value chains. In so doing, we can outcompete China in both advanced and low-end manufacturing. Finally, it’s a bunch of hogwash when people say illegals do the work Americans won’t do. Aside from being pure conjecture, there is a thing called work visas. We grant more work visas as we need them. Problem solved. This is not about race—it is simply egregious and inhumane to reward lawbreakers. If I break into your house, I don’t expect you to feed me, take me to the doctor, educate me, and give me a job.

    Comment by Noelle Doan Nguyen -

  16. The ground game is powered by volunteers. And the Presidents volunteers were likely younger, more motivated and more numerous.

    Comment by Bug Menot -

  17. I don’t find it at all unusual that the “business” candidate in this election was so off the mark in reaching out to his audience. Many businesses in America are run by executives who make decisions based on spreadsheets and information handed up through many layers of lethargic and misguided middle managers. They are so far removed from ground level operations that they don’t know how their product is truly perceived by its users. It is the reason that industry giants fall to smaller and more nimble business, not knowing what hit them in the end.

    Ultimately, Obama connected with his audience better because he has more in common with everyday people. He probably loaded up his staff with people who think like everyday people and are more familiar with tools like social media. It would not surprise me if Romney – who lives in an aristocratic out of touch with everyday people – loaded up his staff with MBAs who are more familiar with filet mignon than the needs of the people they were trying to reach. Romney’s methods of marketing took a more traditional approach that did not live up to a 21st century viral marketing campaign.

    Comment by Winston Kotzan (@WinstonKotzan) -

  18. According to CNN’s election center, President Obama pulled in and spent significantly more. Almost 2x as much in each category! Scroll down to the middle of this page:

    I’m sorry if this has been posted already, but i didn’t have the time to read thru the 90+ posts

    Comment by Joe Springer -

  19. NO WAY JOSE (from a Mexican-American citizen):
    -Undocumented workers do not vote, however their friends and family members DO!
    -If you tell undocumented workers and students you are going to make a harsh environment in the US for them so they will self-deport then you are not going to get my vote regardless how good your proposals for this country are!
    -By threatening my race you threaten business that depend on Latinos, the less number of Latinos in this country the less numbers of Latino –focused businesses out there. You put in danger thousands of people that depend in those businesses. All Spanish radio and TV stations went frenzy nuts encouraging Latinos to vote against you (for instance Univision).
    -Get this Romeny: US manufacturing is not coming back to the States!
    Do you think is more profitable for the US to ship manufacturing jobs to China that to allow undocumented workers work and spend money here in America? Chinese workers DO NOT spend money here, undocumented workers DO. For every dollar an undocumented worker makes, it generates another 6 in the US AND Mexican economy.
    It’s the economy idiot!

    Comment by Jesus Galvez Hermosillo -

  20. obama had the advantage of being the incumbent which he wisely started to exploit four years ago — surely that is worth more than his margin of victory in the popular vote — his winning by very little in the popular vote is not a credit to his management, it is rather another testament to his incompetence.

    events, and his own decisions, not the republicans, will now reveal who and what he truly is — it will not be pretty

    mark, you can judge managers better than this

    Comment by EaglePoint (@EaglePoint) -

  21. Elections have consequences. Mr. Cuban, study history. This is how depressions are caused. I have 107 offices in the North America. With CA passing its tax increases, getting a super majority of high tax Dems in the state house, and Obama getting reelected, I will be moving my headquarters to Vancouver BC. I will not continue to kill myself just to feed the waste in Washington and Sacramento. Sad, but this is what I now HAVE to do to survive economically.

    Comment by Loretta Benskin -

  22. They just threw money at it running ads that told half and zero truths. The long lines of people waiting hours on end to vote told a story of determination in an unfair world of politics. I think poor people DO know when they are getting scammed. Obama is our president. I watched CNN today. Kay Bailey Hutchinson was a panel member this morning. I sure am going to miss the true meaning of “fair and balanced.” I believe she is getting out because she can’t take the direction her party has gone the last 4 years. the Ryans of the country need to figure out that they are not going to take away women’s rights or civil liberties. Did they miss government class on the day they taught “separation of church and state?” Or do they care?

    Comment by Nancy McCarthy Baker -

  23. The country has changed to the “gimme free stuff” mentality. When the country is in a dire state, caused in part by the guy in office, then uses one person’s success in life against him, saying it’s not fair he’s successful and the government can fix that for you.
    The message was hate, and the dumbest of Americans bought it, and they voted, expecting their free stuff, paid for by you and me… the people who work and pay taxes.

    Comment by John Haughey (@johnhaughey) -

  24. Romney shot himself in the foot with the true but stupid 47% comments, & the other Republitard’s religious dogma against abortion even in rape/insest cases buried them. Get elected FIRST, by appealing to the masses, DUH.

    Comment by Bryan Netsch -

  25. Sometimes people vote based on principles – not on a sales pitch of one candidate or another. Maybe Obama won because the people thought he was a better candidate.

    I believe breaking the election solely down as a business/sales venture undermines the idea of a democracy at its root level.

    Comment by kjnickell21 -

  26. Obama’s resume does include “community organizer,” a title that always seemed ridiculous to me, but it seems to be a great skill in a political campaign.

    Comment by erikcantu (@erikcantu) -

  27. I don’t think there is really anything new here at all. I would argue that Romney had a solid ground game but that republicans don’t have much of a following outside of white men and religious zealots. These 2 segments of the U.S. population are rapidly shrinking which is really bad news for republicans. I also believe that there are many folks out there who voted Obama just so they could continue to receive healthy govt. assistance checks. All that said, I will remain cautiously optimistic.

    Comment by Ryan Graham (@RTG21113) -

  28. That is crap… the election was won because the President and his staff blatantly lied to the people, resorted to the most negative campaign in history, and because there are now more people in the USA that want the government to take care of them rather than them having to support themselves.

    Comment by jerry humphrey (@rugger3636) -

  29. Not so fast,Mark. Obama garnered 10k less votes than in 2008. Whereas Romney garnered 3k less than McCain. If Obama did a great job geeting out the vote he’d have had as many votes as 08, if not more.

    Comment by Frank Capone (@caponef) -

  30. Business changes everyday, and perhaps those “far better business people” you mention might have been left behind (twice!) Internet and new technologies allow making more efforts with less money, but you need to press the correct key. Mad men age is over, welcome to the new century guys from the GOP.

    Comment by Pablo Cases -

  31. *** Romney failed to reach out to Latinos and now he isn’t President.***

    HOW do Republicans reach out to “the Latinos”?

    We’ve heard that Hispanic voters are socially conservative (they are overwhelmingly Catholic, and actually were part of a constituency that helped California pass the disastrous Proposition 8). So we *know* that gay rights and “women’s issues” are not part of that outreach.

    I strongly suspect that this is just code for what we all know is the real difference – President Obama, in a desperate move this summer, signed an executive order moving us one step closer to amnesty for illegal immigrants, the overwhelming majority of whom are Latino. This, despite his pledge just a year ago that he lacked the legal authority to do so.

    Basically, “Latino issues” is open borders with Mexico. It means pushing the ridiculous idea that what our 21st century economy needs to be competitive is millions and millions of people with a high school degree or less.

    I call that pandering. President Obama, and all the Democrats for that matter, NEVER mention that there are thousands of skilled immigrants in India and China who want to come to this country, who could contribute to the economy immediately in real ways, and are waiting in line to get in because of our broken system. Mitt Romney, for all his faults, suggested that perhaps we reform our immigration system by letting in more skilled/educated immigrants while enforcing the rules to discourage unskilled/uneducated ones (see California’s issues*).


    Comment by Holtz (@Biorealism) -

  32. As soon as the the ground game can be outsourced to Asia, Romney will outperform every democrat easily… 🙂

    Comment by Florian Spathelf -

  33. Just heard a bit about a WSJ report regarding Obama’s strategy. Sounds like the decision was made to start the Romney centric ads immediately after Romney’s nomination. So that made a difference. I also feel that it had to do with substance over style. A lot of stuff went badly during Obama’s 1st term, but the things that went right were really spectacular. Detroit saved, Bin Laden dead, Afghanistan and Iraq ended, Job growth, and the combination was enough.


    Comment by John Archer -

  34. Great points. Another key to the presidents better business plan was staying true to his fundamental philosophical message instead of betting on Americans stupidity or hate like Mitt Romney did. That sounds harsh, but the guy has been on every side of every issue depending on whatever is the net political gain of the moment. He did not come off as trustworthy to me. The people that watched Bush change our forefathers vision of America forever have not forgot. These are the same people who naturally took to social media as a political tool. Now let’s “hope” Obama uses the power Bush gave him for good. Obviously the concept of good is very subjective, but I feel better with Obama calling the shots than any of the other choices we had. Go Mavs!

    Comment by Nicholas Rogers -

  35. Hey Mark, Dis-organized?…Up against 4 years of set-up….Nah, Liberal idiots that don’t understand what’s at stake for our country….Dis-organized = 2011 Mavericks!

    Comment by Rick Czapski -

  36. The real winner of the election is the person who had a game plan that was not dependent on either candidate winning. There is a word for people who whine, complain, cry, and pout because “their guy” didn’t win: losers. I’m not calling all Republicans losers – mind you, I am calling the people losers that get all in a tiff because they didn’t get their way.

    Oh, I’m sorry for you that you didn’t get exactly what you wanted for Christmas. If you want something, you have to work for it. If you want something, you have to believe in it, and stand by those who also believe in it.

    The fact of the matter is the culture and attitudes of Americans are changing, and that is a good thing. America is becoming more and more diverse, and through diversity there exists progression. Any political party from here on out is going to have to identity with ALL people, ALL races, and ALL demographics if they want to represent the people.

    And that, is the irony of all of this: The representation of people requires you to be dependent on identifying with the people themselves – not vague rhetoric or money.

    Comment by Raymond Duke (@RaymondDuke) -

    • Raymond Duke, there are so many multi layered agendas to consider.

      George Bush Sr. would love to see his son, Jeb Bush, run for office. Maybe this was a set up? Force Romney to appease the neo cons in the party, if they win the presidency, then the old hands have huge military contract paydays coming.

      If the Party loses, as they did, then maybe it’s time for “change” in the republican party.

      cut to sound bite from Jeb Bush….Former Florida governor and famous presidential relative Jeb Bush told the ABC, when we visited Florida for a Foreign Correspondent election special, that the Republican Party needed to recognise that demographic change in the US needed to be reflected in the party’s approach.

      Yesterday’s election result, in which “Hispanics” – a slightly horrible catch-all term which is sure to become redundant over time – voted for Obama 71 per cent of the time and Romney only 27 per cent of the time, according to CNN’s exit polling, seems to vindicate Governor Bush rather powerfully. -end quote…

      George Bush senior and his friends win either way, Romney wins, huge military contracts to make mega bucks off of, Romney loses, now it’s Jeb’s turn in 2016. Or, maybe George Bush has nothing to do with it.

      Comment by dailypuma -

  37. The beauty of democracy in the U.S. … no matter how much money we have (or don’t have), each man/woman gets one vote. Mine was used for the ‘one term president’… again. Now he’s a two term president and, after 4 layoffs since 9/11, I have hope that ‘shared sacrifice’ will (at last) be shared. 🙂

    Comment by Annette Sebalicia -

  38. Boy the comments go from one extreme to the other.

    How about something much more simpler?

    How about Obama understands it is all about humanity?
    How about Romney thinks it is all about profit?

    How about we find a way to provide the Balance between the Business communities need for Profit and the People’s right to a life that should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement regardless of social class or circumstances of birth?

    So that we can move forward rather than backward?

    Comment by Virgil Bierschwale -

  39. Are yu kidding Mark ? Right messaging ? Trashy, misleading & divisive with no other plan than more of the same was the signature of this Obama campaign ? No, the real talent of this campaign was the soulless, dirty guerilla tactics… but certainly not better in terms of strategy,substance or best interest of the Nation !

    From MC> both sides were bad. If you think one was worse than the other, you were only watching one network or visiting the same sites over and over

    Comment by Olivier Cale -

  40. David- I want to challenge Mr Cuban ,the most dynamic sports team owner to assist my group raise money to send to those affected by Superstorm Sandy. Check this video out and please like and share it !!!

    Comment by David Lewis -

  41. I guess when you spend 4 years planning for an election you’d better be prepared….lol.

    If only BS got the job of running this country done.

    Comment by Aaron J. Petrosky -

  42. Mitt Romney was a finance guy, not a business guy. Not exactly the same thing.

    Comment by Erik Schwartz (@eriks) -

    • Erik, interesting point about Romney being a finance guy and not a business guy. I don’t know if that is entirely true but that might explain why he appeared to have trouble connecting with main street.

      It is easier to make financial threats to create business success, but that model does not go well with the workers.

      Ironically, Obama actually had trouble connecting with the midwest swing state voters when Hillary Clinton was his opponent in 2008 as he lost by 10 percent to Hillary Clinton in several swing states even after outspending her by 3-1 on media buys.

      Comment by dailypuma -

  43. I hope he gets the voting system overhauled before the next election. With Apple, Microsoft and Google all headquartered in the USA, why are votes still being counted in Florida? We need a new system.

    Comment by Faye Liston -

  44. Mark- I can’t believe how far we have fallen as the premier example of a democracy in action during a Presidential election. Over $2 BIlLLlON was spent on the campaigns. What a waste of resources. Former President Jimmy Carter (not one of my favorite presidents) and his team monitor important elections worldwide for evidence of fraud and unfair practices. But he and his team refuse to monitor elections in the U.S. His reasons are simple. There is no spending cap on campaign funds and there is no equal time provisions in the media for candidates.

    A further travesty is the partisonship of the news media. I thought the “news” programs and “news reporters” were supposed to report the facts without a slant depending on their political ideologies. They are so blatant it is a disgrace.

    President Obama originally said he would not accept big PAC contributions, but couldn’t let Romney build a huge warchest without a Democratic response.

    Millions more were spent on Congressional races. Some with great effect, some with no effect. When and how can we return to the principles that made this country so great.

    Comment by Don Ptalis (@donptalis) -

  45. This is a great way to see it with an entrepreneurial vision so we can apply those lessons in our business.
    Thanks for sharing. Now this is the moment when we should be united to win the battle against the economy otherwise we will pay a high bill in the years to come.
    I am optimistic but we need to start now.

    Comment by Fernando Gonzalez-Ganoza -

  46. Do you think it’s reasonable to base the quality of a political campaign simply on results? I imagine it’s possible that Romney could have had the perfect campaign but still lost due to other factors (i.e., political climate, attitude towards the Republican message, etc.).

    Even Napoleon couldn’t invade Russian in winter.

    Comment by Daniel Graham -

  47. Mark, the case you’re making isn’t accurate.
    Building a team and getting them to execute is one thing. However, being the face and spokesperson of that team is another.

    A lot of people just plain didn’t like Romney and didn’t feel he was connected. During the second debate, some felt that Romney was unnecessarily aggressive. Maybe that kind of demeanor works in a closed room … if someone else is the face and voice of the team.

    Tony the Tiger can sell frosted flakes while the Kellogg’s CEO can be likable or as nasty or as aloof as they care to be, and it won’t matter in a public sphere.

    Comment by ozpeppers -

  48. It certainly helps that the mainstream media is pro-liberals and Obama. Distorting/covering up his mistakes, attacking Romney is invaluable coverage that billions in free PR. That is hard to match…

    Comment by bigintexas (@bigintexas) -

  49. Also, The Democrats had a great product (President) or at least a better product than the competition’s product… It caused the iphone effect, a great product, marketing, great distribution & etc… ;D

    Comment by Hugo Duarte -

  50. Another irony, is that the “business professionals” of the Republicans didn’t seem to target the right market with their message. When the goal of your campaign (marketing a person) is to convince someone on the fence to vote for you, and your message is tailored for those who already are going to vote for you, you’re not going to get very much ROI on your campaign.

    It also didn’t help that he chose a running mate who was further on the right than he was– McCain made the same mistake (except worse). That doesn’t appeal to the centrists, like me. From my perspective, Romney was one who follows ideology for ideology’s sake and that alienates me. The factors that convinced me in voting for Obama was eliciting positive comments from Chris Christie and Michael Bloomberg– both Republicans. Those are responses to action and not simply spoken campaign promises, and that marketing speaks volumes.

    Comment by Sheldon Chan -

  51. It is a material fact, the Republicans (Romney and Ryan) were caught lying in the media, in fact it was clinical. The voting public recognized this – and the voters responded. Romney and Ryan both flipped and flopped during the entire campaign/election process. As a whole, the Republicans have their own agenda, and that agenda does not speak to the majority of the voters. It is also well established that the Republican platform absolutely does not respect WOMEN! Romney does not respect veterans, social security recipients, or in simple terms, the working class. I think he shot himself in the foot regarding the auto bailout, the jeep/china fiasco, the hiring of women when he was governor, and his personal tax returns. The list goes on and on. Romney needed a proctologist after he politically sat on a cactus during the foreign policy debate. In fact, Obama simply annihilated Romney during the last debate. Media wise, Todd Akin and Richard Murdoch religious views are identical to Romney and Ryan. Akin and Ryan are adjoined at the hip. Ryan was crucified by Biden during the VP debate. The phony photo shoot by Ryan speaks to his character. Romney and Ryan do not have a clue on how to run this country. The Romney/Ryan proposed tax plan was a complete farce. Obama while not perfect, has the best interest of the American people. Yesterday, the majority of US citizens voted for that special interest.

    Comment by Jerry Lovy -

  52. Professional politicians win every time. The problem with your argument is that you assume a good businessman makes a good politician. If that was the case great politicians would make great businessmen when they leave office.

    Comment by Senor Smoke -

  53. Incorrect assumption about better use of technology. I was a recipient of both parties’ constant solicitations, in all media. In fact, the republicans did much better, but, I suppose there wasn’t any other way to go but up, after the elderly McCain’s campaign. But given his age, one would expect that.

    Nevertheless, Romney’s dimwitted decision to pick a Vice Presidential twin–in both policy and racial makeup–was his failing. America has changed, and two white guys can’t cut it anymore, unless, of course, it’s technology with the likes of Gates, Jobs, Brin, Page and Zuckerberg. Romney’s choice of VP manifested his disconnect with America, although I believe he’s a very honest man with the best intentions for America. Unlike Bill Clinton…

    Comment by Roger Barone -

    • Bill Clinton was the ONLY PRESIDENT in the last 80 years to lower his annual budget deficit for 8 consecutive years, no other president has done that.

      The republicans committed treason by simply trying to embarrass a president over a consensual relationship that he did not even initiate.

      The excuse given for why the M.L. question was asked was total BS. A consensual relationship CAN NEVER be used to prove a non consensual relationship, yet that was the path that Ken Starr took, all in an effort to use government funds simply to embarrass a president and keep him pre-occupied with this case rather than doing his actual job of being president. Starr committed treason with that tactic.

      Republican presidents simply ignore subpoenas to testify, democrat presidents respect the process and then get contaminated by Ken Starr and his 12 minions.

      Comment by dailypuma -

  54. – Obama spent $200 million more than Romney. Paid 59% MORE per vote than Romney. Smart business ONLY in terms of politics. Anyone paying $11.70 per sale vs. the guy paying $7.37 per sale can ONLY be considered successful in the back asswards business of politics.

    Comment by Sean Woodruff -

  55. Mark, I respect you enormously and love your passion, candor, and ethics, but respectfully submit that you’re simply out of line here. 1) The Romney campaign got a late start in May while the Obama campaign never disassembled its organization from four years ago. 2) The Romney campaign could not use its general election funds until after its late August convention. 3) Gov. Romney not only had to run a general election, he’d endured a bruising primary battle with extreme segments of the Republican coalition. 4) In ’08 Pres. Obama outraised McCain by a 3:1 margin. No one expected Romney to match Obama in fundraising this year. 5) Romney paid more for ads to better respond at the last minute–this was a good tactic (regardless of whether you believe the messaging was right) because they had the flexibility of quick-response as well as paying a premium to boot other ads in their desired slots. 6) Anyone who does not acknowledge that Obama had the enormous benefit of a complicit media is either ignorant, intellectually dishonest, or both. 7) As to “voter connection”, it only appears so because you can follow the social media stuff. Pres. Obama’s coalition is the youth segment so naturally, you saw more activity there. 8) Gov. Romney specifically instructed his staff to stay above the fray. The Chicago way was far different, and though I believe Pres. Obama is a good man, he had no say over his staff (never has), little to do with the management of the campaign, and it’s certainly clear in the closing days that he’d gained the whole world for the price of his soul. In the end, playing dirty made the difference and delivered Obama another term, though it was Gov. Romney who was the measure of a man.

    Comment by Noelle Doan Nguyen -

  56. Mark, Obama won the electoral college by what amounts to .002% of the national vote in influencing swing states, If Obama had a stellar, inspired “business plan”, Romney was only .002% behind.

    Calm. Down.

    From MC> thats called execution of a plan that led to a win. You have to ask what would have happened if he hadnt done it. If he had approached the “ground game ” the same way the republicans did, he would have lost.

    Comment by bradyevansjr -

  57. No Mark. That was but a small part of it. The big part of it? The Latino Vote! Who ever wins that will have the advantage from now on. Romney failed to reach out to Latinos and now he isn’t President. (and this is coming from a non-latino)

    Comment by Chris (@13CK13) -

  58. In the state of Ohio, the republicans absolutely infuriated urban voters when republican pacs apparently purchased billboard ads with messages warning against voter fraud. All well and good IF the billboards had been spread evenly over the entire state of Ohio. However, the allegation was made and I don’t know if it was refuted by Romney that the billboards were targeted for lower income, urban areas.

    Cheaters come from all wage earning brackets, to imply that only the poor cheat is either racist, or just plain dumb.

    Then the Ohio firefighters union blanketed the plain dealer newspaper internet site and probably other Ohio internet news portals with colorful ad banners supporting Barack Obama that included a link to a Romney speech that gave the appearance of Romney being for budget cuts to firefighters and other state workers.

    I think this was cutting edge political advertising, the ad banners spanned the entire horizontal length of the web page, and had a link that backed up their position. I think this was much more effective than blasting the same commercial over the airwaves ad nauseum. Plus internet news sites are desperate for ad revenue and it never hurts to make friends with the news media via ad buys.

    If religion is the only reason used in taking a stance on an issue, such as Gay marriage or abortion, then the politician will usually lose and be considered old school. Romney and his Pacs fell into the religion trap and could not get out. There was a reasonable gay marriage argument to be made that had nothing to do with religion, but the republicans never made it.

    Obama’s 500 million dollar Solyndra failure was used by Romney to condemn solar and wind energy, a huge mistake on Romney’s part.

    While Bain Capital was blamed for hurting workers in an effort to turn companies around, no mention was made of the original devaluation of GM stock and the huge loss to the investors of GM stock, yet GM was played as a huge victory by Obama in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    Requiring an ID to vote was painted as republicans wanting to prevent people from voting. What I find odd is that having an ID actually makes it easier to apply for all kinds of government programs, so why is it a bad thing to present a voter ID at the time of voting and then have that voter ID available for other government programs in the future? How did such a proactive effort by the republicans get spun completely around?

    The “Hillary Clinton was a victim of Barack Obama attacks in 2008” commercial by Romney was botched as well. I cringed when I saw them, they could have been so much more than what they were.

    Since 2008, three women Hillary Clinton, Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin and one african american male (Herman Cain) have had their political careers thwarted by…the democrats, yet the republicans are painted as the minority haters!

    The issues Obama messed up most on were issues that were not near and dear to republicans, so the republicans said nothing about Barack Obama’s constitution busting approval of Parallel Foreclosure practices by the banks.

    Parallel Foreclosure crippled over a million homeowner’s rights to a government funded mortgage program by simultaneously victimizing them via parallel foreclosure by the banks. This was probably a federal Hobbs Act violation, taking of property under the color of right. It’s something that democrats would have been all over republicans for doing if they had had the presidency, but in reverse, the republicans said nothing, and parallel foreclosure still goes on to this day.

    Militarily Obama probably gets a passing grade, so once that was off the table for Republicans to use against Obama, they had nothing, because deep down, many republicans care primarily about military, religion, and free market, and not much else.

    In this time of increasing conflict over the world’s resources, renewable anything needs to be on the table as it can actually reduce conflict around the world that relate to energy needs, yet Romney pushed renewable energy off the table completely.


    I did find it strange how at one point very late in the evening Obama and Romney were virtually tied in total vote count, but the next day Obama ended up with around 3 more million votes.


    There is a popular religious proverb about a man stuck on the roof of his house because of a flood, three times people came to offer help, and the man each time said, “no, I’m waiting for a sign from God”.

    After the third time, God spoke and said, “I sent you help three different times, what’s your problem!”

    The republicans had their last two presidential conventions besieged and SHORTENED because of god like weather conditions, and then had Hurricane Sandy possibly remind everybody that FEMA is needed just before the election, is that maybe send a hint from God?

    ….or does religion only work when it favors the points a republican politician wants to make?

    Comment by dailypuma -

  59. Our problem is that we are importing more human beings that are much closer in socialism thinking then we are importing human beings with entrepreneurial spirit. That same problem exists with goods and services. We are importing more than we are exporting. With that model comes ever increasing needs to “take care of this low to middle class”, which don’t have jobs, and puts an ever increasing burden on the true businesses of America, small business. If you don’t think we are right at the edge of socialism, you are not in reality. When you borrow over 35 cents of every dollar you spend in government, you should get fired, just like you would in real business. This is not a time for celebration!

    Comment by Modern Graded Coins (@MGCoins) -

  60. It would appear that what the Obama team did should be seen as the text book example of working “smarter” rather than “harder”. This is probably the most important lesson for any business or organization to learn as we move from the information age to the innovation age. America is no longer smarter than the rest of the world.

    It would also appear that if the Republicans can’t even come close to winning an election with their “business person savior” in the middle of one of the worst economies in American history, then the writing is on the wall that their entire party is in need of a massive overhaul to even remain competitive. To me the next States to go blue would be Nevada, Arizona and Texas.

    I didn’t vote for either party. I tell people to vote for themselves in life if they want to make a difference. If they care about politics, they should get involved locally.

    I listen to Ron Paul. I believe that the biggest problem facing America and the rest of the world is “corporatism”. I believe that it’s up to individual people, especially business owners, to tackle this problem, not a President from either side. I would like to see more people step up to the plate to make a difference here, including you who are reading this right now.

    “Voting is easy and marginally useful, but it is a poor substitute for democracy, which requires direct action by concerned citizens.” ~ Howard Zinn, author of “The People’s History of The United States”

    Comment by Justin MacArthur Rand -

  61. all this talk about healthcare, so I thought I would give my experience as a small business owner in MA for the last 12 years. When I started the business (software), I provided and paid in full healthcare for my employees (~10). While some people may say it was the right thing to do, the reality is that I don’t like that healthcare is often provided by and paid for by the employer.. but in the “high tech” industry, especially at the time, the expectation was that companies would provide it and pay for all or almost all of it. I chose to pay for all of it. Each year (2000-2007) the health insurance costs would for employees would increase 15-20%. I started out providing the top of the line plan, but after three years, I switched plans as well as providers, bringing my costs back to what they started out as in 2000. After 3 more years I did the same, switched providers and backed off the plan a bit to reel costs back in. As a state that has mandated healthcare and finally started to take effect in the last couple years, I can report that my health care costs went down in 2010 by about 4%. In 2011 and 2012 they went up ~ 1.5%. This is just my experience. I believe that costs will come down at a national level, but what I question is if those savings will ever make it to the consumers. I strongly believe that people should secure their own health care and a way to do that is to provide a marketplace for them to get it.

    Comment by daniel reed (@reeddaniel) -

  62. Mark, I usually agree with you but I have two points which I believe gave the President a huge advantage. First, he did not have any competition for his nomination so his organization has been working for four years to win this election. Secondly, the Republican Primaries beat up on Romney as he attempted to win the Republican nomination and so Romney came out of the primaries a “wounded duck” and then he had to start building a national organization to compete with an entrenched (at least 36 months) organization. They fell short but it was a surprise to me that with the short window Romney had to establish a team, he still was not able to overcome the high unemployment and negative business climate.

    The biggest question I learned from the election is why it became such a bad thing to work hard to get ahead by starting a business only to be attacked as greedy and not willing to do their fair share.

    Free enterprise took a real hit during this election.

    Comment by Tom Fitzgerald (@nodakson) -

  63. @Chim Allen, I would say that 61,000,000 some odd votes to 57,000,000 some odd votes is the definition of a divided country. He didn’t “unite” whites and blacks and Asians and hispanics. He sold them all a very unique bag of crap to gain their vote, and none of it had a thing to do with policy, agenda or a plan for the future.

    Comment by Damon Irwin (@dirtydamon) -

  64. SeanyP5, race did not win this election sweetie pie. African Americans hardly make up 13% of the US population. If It were all about race, President Obama would not be our now President “re”-elect. You posted your stat of 98% of African Americans voting on race: do you not think that many African Americans were voting in favor of the poor, of women, and in favor of adequate healthcare? You obviously voted by race, because you falsely accuse others of it. Take a second to re-think, you need it.

    Comment by gfree22 -

  65. It is ironic. I expect the “business-minded Republicans” to know what to do when it comes to organizing people and using technology like social media, but President Obama has owned two years in a row in this department. As an internet marketing guy, I was pretty floored that Mitt Romney and company didn’t do more to utilize the latest technology to mobilize and reach people. Infographics and explainer videos for one are a new way to reach people that weren’t used. Television commercials are ok, but do people watch those anymore (yes, I do know that a lot of people still do…but not all of them). My recommendation for the next Republican candidate is to bring the campaign into the new school and get some social media and internet marketing advisors who know the new landscape and know how to use it. If not, Democrats will roll again, unless Mr. Obama proves to be the key piece in the Democrats’ social-media engine.

    Comment by Joseph Putnam (@JosephPutnam) -

  66. I agree, this was one of the best campaigns in modern time including strategy and execution. The other irony it that if Obama and his team could run the country half as well they do a campaign, it wouldn’t have even been close. And, we’d all be a lot better off. I guess maybe campaigns are easier.

    Comment by Casey Carey -

  67. There is no candidate that can be President Obama when the media carries his water for him like they do? Have they ever made him accountable for any one of the may stupid decisions/gaffes that he is responsible for? I voted for him in 08 and considered him again in 12 but my internal slime factor is going off big time. Why is he treated with Kid Gloves? And why does he look so irritated when ever he has to explain himself?

    Comment by Major Minute (@chadmajo) -

  68. It is irony that your rival Donald Trump went ballistic after the election, saying the country is divided. He didn’t mention that Obama won by uniting not just whites and blacks, but Asians and Hispanics too.

    Comment by Chim Allen (@Chim_Allen) -

  69. I disagree Mark. Obama’s 4 years of unchecked class warfare that created an unprecedented level of wealth envy is what won the election. This cancer has spread and it will bring our Republic down. Success used to be a good thing to the masses. But now, in our me me me millennial banana republic that has turned to jealousy, which manifests itself in lower productivity in the work place and frankly, a drag on entrepreneurs that are sick of trying to find talent. Young people today have no clue how to pay their dues. I actually wore holes in my shoes working for bosses that would fire me if I didn’t walk in with orders at the end of the day. If these punks that voted in droves don’t get hired making $75K a year out of college they blame us, the successful ones. Thanks Barry!

    Comment by Jim Valentine (@jimpvalentine) -

  70. and Obama got CNN MSNBC CBS ABC NBC for free…I dont see the irony I see an entitled majority that its too late to take it back….the giveaway gave it away and now its gone….terrifying prospects ahead…

    Comment by Ric Gallaher -

  71. Mark, I believe you’re missing one very strong componet in this election. The influence of the Main Stream Medium. Republicans are playing Fox News, AM Talk Radio, and The Wall Street Journal VS. NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, LA Times, NY Times etc.., not to mention The 90 + % of Hollywood, The Music Industry., and the majority of liberally run and preaching college campuses. Their message to the masses is that the The Republican party is Greedy, Racist, Homophobic, Sexist, anti worker, anti poor, anti sick…basically, scum of the earth evil. IT IS FREE advertising for the Dems at large. How much is that kind of propaganda worth to the democratic party. They can choose what stories to cover and what not to cover. Mitt Romney took more flak for a dog being carried on top of a car than did Obamas “Fast and Furious’ fiasco and The Benghazi cover up. It is a testament to the strength of the conservative movement that they can get anyone to vote for them.

    Comment by Brant Cotton -

  72. Yeah, the Mainstream Media wasn’t helping this fool at all. I hope those of you that voted to move “forward” enjoy the socialism you wanted. I hope all of the free stuff you get are worth the decline of our nation.

    Comment by Josh Farris -

  73. Mark – I can’t disagree that the ground game was better, but there is something about it that smells. The Dem message was basically “I’ll give you whatever you want, just vote for me.” Obama stood for nothing, shared no specific plans for the future. Big hat, no cattle. We’ll see if the Republicans will adopt a similar approach in the 2014 mid-term elections and in 2016.

    Comment by John Liberty (@JohnLibertyUSA) -

  74. I only think the ironic part stems from the inefficiency of the Republican party to quell the off collar and ridiculous comments made by certain party members. I truly believe Romney would have won if those members would have stayed in the shadows. The undecided vote did not view those comments as from the individual but as a complete comment and viewpoint from the Republican party. Hard to gain those votes when people hate the party.

    Comment by Michael Diamein Hemphill -

  75. i do NOT agree AT ALL.

    obama didn’t win by some tricks/ground game, etc, he won on the ISSUES and because he is a more honest, trustworthy person. it wasn’t any gimmicks/twitter/facebook stuff.

    romney flip flops, wants to increase military spending, restore rockets in czech republic and many other things i don’t agree on. that’s why i voted for obama. last thing we need are any more wars. romney can go fight them himself if he wants, nobody is stopping him.

    that’s all.

    Comment by Serge Bronstein -

  76. I do payroll for county government. The county and the employees, which paid into their health plan, received refunds. Humana stated, due to Health Care Reform. Most likely, if your rates increase, it is because of your greedy company.

    Comment by Donna Floyd -

  77. That makes the Democrats better marketers not necessarily better business people.

    Comment by Robbie (@oKeefey) -

  78. Let’s just hope he has a sound “business plan” when it comes to the economy and not just keeping his job.

    Comment by The Muse on the Street -

  79. My company provides “Caddilac Insurance”. Taxes are sooooo good. As for the cheap ads that Obama ran he was able to do that because he already knew he was running. Romney wasn’t going to buy ads until he had the nomination.

    Comment by Mike Stahl -

  80. I agree, but you also have to consider- The Tea Party and Republicans had already: – pissed off 75% of the women – insulted 47 million people on food stamps – made no effort get the Mexican American or Black America vote.

    It is really surprising that the vote was only 2 million people apart. I did not vote for Obama, but I wish him and our leaders the best. We have to get the deficit under control.

    Paul Graham Granbury, TX BTW- LOVE this new Mavs Team. They play hard, good D, and Together.

    Comment by Paul Graham -

  81. I imagine much of the success had to do with the consistency of the campaign messages. Where the Obama campaign was consistent on the issues, the Romney campaign aggravated everybody, at least once. It’s hard to get real excited about a candidate that you can’t pin down to a set of fundamental beliefs. Throughout this election cycle, the only people I came across that were talking about Romney passionately, were people passionately railing on him. The passion in the Romney campaign, and within his group of supporters, was all directed toward negative attacks against Obama. If you’re not passionate about whatever you’re selling, you’re going to have a hard time selling it.

    Comment by Hosea Baker -

  82. romney = dork

    Comment by Edward McCready -

  83. Mr. Cuban, he focused on the right groups and their hopes. Single women, LGBT, Immigration and factory workers and the fact that many people wanted him to win for culturally biased reasons. Barack is resourceful in that he knows “how to make a dollar out of 15 cents” He does not come from money, but he knows how to raise it and how to organize people with few resources. I’m sure also, that he never stopped campaigning. When he came into office the first time, he said he needed 8 years and he made sure he got it. How do you think he did that?

    Comment by Eileen Negron -

  84. I got so many pieces of mail from Romney/Ryan that I’m sure they spent well over $200 soliciting me and nothing from the Obama side. My attitude was – if they have money to burn – they don’t need mine.

    Comment by Bill LaJoie -

  85. mark and one other thing is kind of interesting if true – the company counting the was an outsourced company in spain belonging to george soros – funny how obama cried and moaned but the bean counters were from another country – if true? you might want to check out this company

    Comment by Larry McDaniel -

  86. Love the irony! The New Normal is here. Get used to it GOP.

    Comment by Nayan Padrai (@nayan1875) -

  87. Here’s how they made the ground game work better than any campaign in American political history.

    Comment by Michael McGeary -

  88. I love how everyone thinks their life is going to drastically change for the worse because Obama was re-elected. He has been our president for four years. If they are going to tax you more and you can’t do anything about it, work harder and make more money.

    Comment by Ray Miles -

  89. Community organizer ring a bell?

    Comment by Kathy Mayotte (@PamperedChefIC) -

  90. So we’re not taking into consideration the network news bias? The cable news bias (sans Fox)? They built a billion dollar firewall ignoring economic woes, the debt, Benghazi and touting a two hour visit with Chris Christie as a stellar response to hurricane Sandy. Maybe a better ground game but do equal budgets really match what Romney was up against?

    Comment by JLANGEL (@jsl909) -

  91. Yeah, those shitty Democrat businessmen like Warren Buffet and Bill Gates…

    Comment by SobePrimal (@SobePrimal) -

  92. What’s also ironic is the margin of victory Obama won by. Weren’t the Republicans the one’s who were going to put Romney in the White House once they “got off work” and went to the polls? If that was the case, then the Democrats still elected Obama with a whole bunch of their “out-of-work, handout-looking” supporters not even going to the polls to vote…

    Comment by Kirby Shedd -

  93. The community organizer ….Organized the Community… and Baracked the vote …. This is Chess Not Checkers!

    Comment by Roy Stanley -

  94. RACE, it is and was all about race. 98% of African American Americans voted race. Plain and simple.

    Comment by Sp (@SeanyP5) -

  95. I love irony! Irony to me is when a President like Obama has two daughters. One needs an abortion and the other says she’s attracted to women. He HAS to approve of both. Suck on that!

    Comment by Meat Candy (@meatycandy) -

  96. Well said Mr. Cuban!!! And Let’s go MAVS!!!

    Comment by Tanner Montgomery Lawley -

  97. It’s ironic that my 80 year-old dad and I share a love of the Mavs – and now that I can’t earn enough money for healthcare, gas, groceries and rent – I’ll be moving back in with him.

    Comment by Furious Angel (@FuriousAngel357) -

  98. what this guy who is whining about a $1500 increase in healthcare costs SHOULD do is get another accountant

    Comment by Mark Barrera -

  99. Not to mention the aid of free govt phones that were given out over the last 4 yrs. But Mark, I think you are giving them way too much credit! Just not convinced there was that much intelligence involved.

    Comment by Chad S. Long -

  100. You can thank capitalism for that, Mike. Like we haven’t seen health care costs rise every year since the dawn of man. Basic economic principles. The price of things like healthcare, utilities, etc. will rise forever. Why? Because people will pay, end of story.

    Comment by reginald jackson (@Reg202) -

  101. Blame your company Mike Stahl. Someone up top didn’t want to cut into their bonus or stock options to shoulder that cost or at least help lessen it on you. This is the entire problem.

    This isn’t ironic at all. Republicans succeed when deck is stacked in their favor. See Private Equity industry. When it isn’t they lose because they deny reality and ignore empirical data. This is why they just got moneyballed into irrelevance for possibly the next few decades.

    Comment by J (@smorkingapple) -

  102. Mark had no problem lowering the costs of insurance to his employees, as he did with me. Businesses need to follow the “Cuban” example.

    Comment by Branden Parish -

  103. Mark, Obama had practice 4 years ago and had all 4 years in office to build up his resources around the country and to form his plan of attack. Mitt didn’t have that luxury until he got the republican nomination, pretty tough to play catch up from that point in terms of a ground game. Not really that ironic when you think it all the way through.

    Comment by Brad Brezinski (@brad_brezinski) -

  104. Agreed Mike. My hubby brokers health insurance and we know there is NO way it won’t climb…..can’t tell anybody what they don’t want to hear.

    Comment by Mj Harrington -

  105. The irony of the republican party is that the ‘party of freedom’ doesn’t care about the freedom of women or gays. Until they collectively wake up and understand this hypocrisy, they should prepare to lose plenty of elections. Made me finally switch to libertarian where my heart has been for years but my vote had not.

    Comment by Bryan Hellard -

  106. Heath care is such a bad thing Shame,,

    Comment by James M (@James999) -

  107. No. It isn’t ironic unless you’re a free-market fundamentalist. People in government are capable, smart and giving.

    Comment by Matt Breeden -

  108. Decouple health care from employment would be a good goal for the business and entrepreneur community. It would greatly increase the levels of entrepreneurship in the country if people weren’t tied to their jobs by the need for health insurance.

    Comment by Robert Davidson (@wa7iut) -

  109. I totally agree- oh the irony!

    Comment by notgregkalai (@notgregkalai) -

  110. Apparently, Obama, w/less money, had more TV ads b/c he purchased earlier when rates were cheaper. He also paid about half as much per worker as Romney did. Savy business man!

    Comment by Benjamin Steger (@stegermeister) -

  111. That’s why we need single payer healthcare.

    Comment by Brian Beelner -

  112. Excellent insight and thought provoking.

    Comment by Jayme (@BloodDiamond14) -

  113. Right? I’m always so humored when people think Democrats know nothing about business. As if Republicans are the only ones to ever build a business….lol… hilarious. Romney re-hashing the ancient “business by bullying” Obama perpetuating SERVICE TO OTHERS.

    Comment by Melinda Augustina (@powerhungryfilm) -

  114. Very well rounded analysis of the competing campaigns. In today’s age of social media and word of mouth engagement through said platforms monetary advantage doesn’t guarantee or even sway a campaigns chances of success. Today’s youth, who are finally out voting, won’t be found watching CNN or other major networks in order to form a political opinion. They are going to read their tweets and news feed from peers.

    On Wed, Nov 7, 2012 at 3:51 PM, blog maverick

    Comment by Rigel Stone -

  115. Now if they could only transfer that business sense to running the government. 🙂

    Comment by David Hixon (@DocDHixon) -

  116. Ground game certainly played a role. But it wasn’t everything. This election was about credibility. Each candidate purported to be the best candidate for the middle class. One of them was more credible. And he won.

    Comment by Dawood MC -

  117. It is ironic. What isn’t is that my company will be raising the cost of health care about 1500 a year for about 30k employees because of the election. Saw it coming a mile away.

    Comment by Mike Stahl -

Comments are closed.