If I had to pinpoint the key moment when Mitt Romney lost the election, it would long pre-date his eventual securing of the GOP nomination.
In January 2011, Michael Steele was essentially fired and replaced with Reince Priebus. As time passed, it became increasingly clear that by taking this decision the RNC was dicing with electoral disaster. Michael Steele had articulated and taken an inclusive approach that paid dividends in the 2010 election. By dumping him and installing Reince Priebus as the new Chair of the Republican National Committee, the GOP had put in place a person that had no interest in adopting the sort of inclusive approach that would hand victory to Mitt Romney on a silver platter.
My evidence? The treatment of Ron Paul and his supporters by the RNC was atrocious. All the way from the Iowa straw poll to the Convention in Tampa. The Republican Party also totally failed to address big issues relating to the role of the Federal Reserve, Civil Liberties and the immediate need to drastically cut Federal spending on programs such as Medicare parts C and D. This lead to the alienation of natural, small “l” libertarian, Republican supporters and, shock horror, the chickens came home to roost. Obvious or what. I had the opportunity to vote for Gary Johnson, who was similarly poorly treated by the RNC, and took it – in the swing state of Ohio, too. Many others just did not vote. Political blowback.
As Chair of the RNC, Reince Priebus executed appallingly bad judgement; a charge of which he will certainly not be alone. For that he, and his cronies, should immediately quit. They were instrumental in delivering an epic fail. Or maybe they prefer to fail rather than do what we all know needs to be done to restore fiscal sanity.