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Campaign Staffers Look Back on 2012 Presidential Election

Randy von Liski

Political strategists, journalists and presidential campaign staff are on the University of Kansas campus to reflect on the 2012 election. Campaign staff for both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama talked about the race during a roundtable discussion at the Dole Institute of Politics.

The two sides spelled out what helped and hurt them in the primary season. Katie Gage, deputy campaign manager for Romney, says the primary gave Romney a chance to hone his skills on the campaign trail and the debate stage.

“There’s an advantage in terms of battle testing.  I think we saw that.  Governor Romney, having gone through over 20 primary debates, was a very, very sharp debater,” says Gage.

But Gage also says the primary battle cost the campaign millions of dollars, money that otherwise, could have been spent on the general election. President Obama didn't face a primary challenge, and his national field director, Jeremy Bird, says that gave them the luxury of time.

“We had time to build up our organization.  We had time to test staff.  We had time to analyzes things that were working and things that weren’t.” 

Bird says they started the campaign early, which sometimes made it difficult to raise money and volunteers with more than a year before Election Day. The discussion continues this (FRI) morning. The panel will meet from 8:30 to 10 at the Dole Institute on the KU campus.

As the Kansas News Service managing editor, I help our statewide team of reporters find the important issues and breaking news that impact people statewide. We refine our daily stories to illustrate the issues and events that affect the health, well-being and economic stability of the people of Kansas. Email me at skoranda@kcur.org.
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