The beached whale ORCA: a campaign consultant con job?

I am a firm believer in Hanlon’s Rule (actually Heinlein’s Rule): “Never attribute to malice what can adequately be explained by stupidity/incompetence”, but at times that faith gets shaken. Such as by the ORCA fiasco (see AceBusinessInsiderWaPo , CNETComputerWorldPolitico, and Breitbart) which may very well have cost Romney the election. RedState (via Althouse) now has more on how the campaign acquired this turkey. Go read it all and weep: it is a horrifying story of nest-feathering by consultants, arrogance, and campaign decisions based on bogus statistics and poll numbers from the turkey’s droppings.

The result of all of these false numbers and inaccurate ground reports is simple: Mitt Romney was ill-prepared for the actual numbers on election day and his false sense of confidence directly translated into how the campaign operated in the closing weeks. In the words of one source, it was a con job. As David Mamet famously said, “If you’re in the con game and you don’t know who the mark is … you’re the mark.” Mitt Romney had no idea what was coming.

And thanks to the greed and hubris of a few we are now stuck with four more years of the worst administration in living memory. Thanks for worse than nothing.

UPDATE: More here from Bethany Mandel. And more on the company: seems to consist of a bunch of execs and marketers and… two coders, one of which actually used to work for Al Gore. I might have been able to overlook the latter, but on principle I avoid IT companies that are “all hat and no cattle” (or all jacket and no bomber) like the plague.

One thought on “The beached whale ORCA: a campaign consultant con job?

  1. Sean Gallagher of Ars Technica has been dismissing my questions about the company all along — he wouldn’t name it, I would — it’s Targeting Victory. He still can’t get them to confirm or deny than they took on this job.

    Meanwhile, tech lists and fora like Ycombinator are spreading rumours that the job was given to Accenture, and they in turn outsourced it to India. I don’t believe that.

    Even if Targeting Victory *didn’t* work on ORCA, they did other work on Romney’s aps and/or social media — in fact that was fairly robust. So I continue to ask questions about the “all hat and no cattle” as you put it, and why Al Gore’s dev is on a job like this.

    There have also been stories about Microsoft and Google employees on this job moonlighting or volunteering — well, failure has no fathers, it’s going to be hard to ascertain paternity for this one.

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