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Interesting Read from Business Insider - Inside the ROMNEY ORCA

by: JohnBriare

Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 23:06:15 PM EST

Just saw this article written by one of the volunteers who was supposed to use the ORCA Program. (Get Out the Vote)

The Romney Team definitely had the right idea on what needed to be done... A Good GOTV effort needs this. But as you will read, didn't quite work out.

In the end, every plan needs to be executed... and only a handful can actually execute a plan.  Most people get defensive, say they can do it... but in the end... can't.

Link to article here

JohnBriare :: Interesting Read from Business Insider - Inside the ROMNEY ORCA
Did You Experience the Same Problems that Business Insider Describes
I was not part of Project ORCA
Have no Idea what your talking about
What is GOTV?


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Not surprised (0.00 / 0)
Rolling out new technology to multiple platforms for heavy use is difficult to do, and requires experienced hands. The kind of people who know how to do that would have been with me in the Velocity technology conference this summer in Silicon Valley.

We Republicans just don't seem to have technology in our DNA. (I am a genetic mutation.) We must solve this problem. It isn't a money thing - Romney's campaign had endless money and could have bought anything they wanted.

It is a cultural thing. They need to get more technology guys into their social networks and rolodexes*.

* I meant that in jest! (I.... hope they don't still use rolodexes.)  

GOTV - not for the GOP (0.00 / 0)
The d's in my town - were checking who was voting - nary anything on the Republican side, depressing.

My RTC (0.00 / 0)
was asked to provide poll watchers by MassVictory. Not to make sure our voters were voting, but to just look for anything suspicious, like the same person voting twice. Meanwhile the Democrats were taking names of who voted in Precincts 4 & 5, their strongholds. They were making sure their voters voted.

G.O.P. Growth. Opportunity. Prosperity. For all Americans.

Karl (TLC)Weld

[ Parent ]
RTC was watching for anything suspicious in my town (0.00 / 0)
but nobody was taking names - I thought it was a an exercise in futility.

[ Parent ]
We don't do GOTV. (0.00 / 0)
And the Democrats do. And it's killing us. The state party would better use its limited resources by funding true GOTV operations and not web ads for candidates. Pick key precincts in each municipality and make sure every one of our voters in those precincts votes. That's what the Dems did in Reading. And it closed the margins for Scott and Richard when they needed to expand them.

G.O.P. Growth. Opportunity. Prosperity. For all Americans.

Karl (TLC)Weld

[ Parent ]
Unfortunately, I agree (0.00 / 0)
I spent nearly 19 hours at the Garden on Tuesday.  Rather than being assigned to a particular battleground state I was in the "reserve pod" which staffed the "general hotline".  

I had problems bright and early, well before 6:00 am.  

I brought my laptop, settled into my station, and plugged in the ethernet cable.  As soon as I loaded the "app" I discovered that Internet Explorer, at least on my Compaq, would only partially work.  The icons representing the various states wouldn't appear and as such I couldn't select, much less switch, between them and therefore I was unable to search for the various volunteers and their accounts.  Without that ability my day would have been utterly useless and my trip into Boston a waste of time.

I was able to download Google Chrome and get that to work, but only after the phone started ringing off the hook.  You ask why all the calls?  Simple!  Everyone & their mother was calling to report problems with the app!

It turns out that there were a litany of errors including, but by no means limited to: pop-up blockers on iPhones & iPads caused the app not to work at all.  Usernames, generally email addresses, being too long for the computer system to recognize thus causing users being unable to log-in.  The inability of some states to have users get any of their account info (usernames & passwords) updated when attempting to address the problems.  The inability of some states to have new user accounts created.  

Personally, I discovered the username length issue early in the morning but we didn't get a directive confirming the problem & the fix until mid-afternoon.

There were several bad omens throughout the day.  Just two of them were that despite the bragging about how maps of the 50 states would appear on the jumbotron showing how well the campaign was doing by having the data relayed to the map coloring them red, purple, or blue, with the various dark or light shades in-between were never, ever shown on the screens.  Actually, for most of the day the jumbotron was shut off.  For a very short time it looked like someone's laptop's desktop (or similar photo of Romney with text, couldn't really make it out).  We were told that various messages could be shown on the video screens around the Garden, essentially tweets from ORCA volunteers at the polls -- never happened.  Finally, aside from Ron Kaufman & Bob White nobody addressed the volunteers.  It was basically promised, or at least heavily insinuated, that Mitt would himself visit from time-to-time.  It was even said that while we volunteers would be unable to attend Mitt's victory party that our sacrifice of that would be rewarded by the occasional close, personal, contact with Romney.  That never happened.  I did see Peter Torkildsen & Darrell Crate but beyond the aforementioned, I don't really recall seeing anyone of any major note.  However, you could see the drapes largely drawn in the "bunker" up in the balcony.

At the end of the night volunteers were leaving very early, despite pledges to stay until approximately midnight.  As the results came in, via Fox News without any audio, the room largely got very negative.  Hopes had been very high during most of the day.  Optimism had reigned in the room but when it crashed, it crashed hard.  Aside from the endless complaints about the app (and those who refused to use the automated hotline that required manual submission of voter ID numbers) the anecdotal evidence seemed so strong, so wrong.

Even going back to the day before there were problems.  We were all told to bring our laptops for in-person training yet when we got there, the laptops were unnecessary and we essentially got a repeat of a conference call.  I got out of work at 4:00 pm and drove to Boston. The training started late, but then again they claimed to have had an overwhelming & largely unexpected turn out (despite the RSVPs).  By the time it ended & I drove home, I took a 4 hour nap (getting up at 3:00 am) before driving nearly an hour & a half back up to Boston for about 5:00 am (including the small traffic jam near the Garden).  That was my choice & sacrifice but all the problems made for a very, very long day.  

I'm very proud to have been a small cog in the Project ORCA machine but the machine broke down, very badly, upon reflection.  Hindsight is 20/20 but at the time I was simply thrilled and honored to be a foot soldier for Romney/Ryan and I don't regret volunteering whatsoever.  I just wish we had won!  

Great Article Brock - Thanks (0.00 / 0)
Brock... Thank You for sharing this summary.  
Better than any newspaper report I have read. And to have such a local viewpoint on it - fantastic.  
I want to personally Thank you for all of your hard work, consistent efforts and the numerous personal sacrifices you make... for the benefit of the Republican Party, especially here in Massachusetts.
I know it sometimes feels like your pushing water uphill...
and the recognition a bit light...

Thank You.  

I think we all would have preferred a different outcome.  Mitt is a good man... and would have been a great President.

[ Parent ]

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