In the aftermath of the 2012 presidential election, the leaders of the Republican Party shake their heads and wonder what went wrong. My personal experience with the Romney campaign might help to answer their question.

On Oct. 9, I placed an order for several “Romney for President” campaign buttons to share with friends before the election. The amount was a modest $30.19, and I expected the buttons to be delivered promptly. However, two weeks passed and my buttons failed to appear. I contacted the campaign by e-mail and asked about my order. On Oct. 29, I received the following reply: “Thank you for contacting us regarding your Romney Victory store purchase. We have passed your message along to store support and they will address your comments as soon as possible.”

I checked the mailbox each day, hoping to find a package containing the buttons. Election Day came, and still no buttons. Finally, my buttons were delivered, on Nov. 7 — the day after the election.

This rather minor episode might well serve as a metaphor for the failure of the Romney campaign to ultimately deliver its message in a meaningful and timely way.

Ronald Maggiano, Middleburg