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The Insiders
Posted at 02:35 PM ET, 07/05/2012

It's the candidate, stupid!

The calls for a Romney campaign shake-up continue today with the Wall Street Journal weighing in with its lead editorial. Supposedly, the campaign is too “insular”; others have called it amateurish, lacking the guidance of old pros. As Ed noted recently, calling for staff changes in presidential campaigns is common and predictable. I agree with Ed that they are often unjustified generally and specifically uncalled for in the Romney camp.

Mitt Romney has a strong team; there is no better Republican campaign strategist and operative, for example,  than Ed’s old partner, Ed Gillespie.

The problem, as is almost always is, isn’t the people around the candidate; it is the candidate. Eric Fehnstrom didn’t create the latest Romney embarrassment over the penalty to tax conversion on the health-care mandate; his boss did. And Romney’s staff is not the one responsible for running a campaign devoid of any specific ideas or plans; Mitt Romney is. He believes, as a matter of campaign strategy, that specifics do nothing except give aid and comfort to one’s enemies.

Campaigns are like football teams; you can change players and fire the coach, but you have to live with the owner for life. It's the candidate, stupid!

By  |  02:35 PM ET, 07/05/2012

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