Morning Joe | November 21, 2012
>> hello, want to talk politics because this is the place for politics.
>> what's the spitting image --
>> willie, go to politico.
>> i'm tired.
>> chief white house correspondent for politico -- is mike allen . he has a look at the play book. mike, please save us this morning.
>> it was in his pants.
>> oh, my gosh.
>> cut the mike over here and lock in on mike allen . you guys -- you got the first sit down post election interview with obama campaign manager jim mess siena, a guy called a genius after the way the obama campaign won the election. he talked about how republicans were surprised democrats had methodical, kind of corporate style campaign. here's a little bit of that interview.
>> the best example that i heard was, friend of mine was in wisconsin the week before the election and he called and let me tell you the story about why i think you're running a smarter campaign. i was told to knock on two doors. one was to chase an absentee ballot and i watched the person fill it out and we mailed it together, the second one an undecided voter i was giving a very specific persuasion script, had a great conversation and i'm sure that person is going to vote for us on election. one block, only two doors. that is using volunteer's times more wisely. honoring them, saying to them, every contact you're going to make is going to matter to us. and i think it allowed us to hit more doors and more effective doors than the romney campaign.
>> mike, is it fair to say the obama campaign and romney campaign were running two entirely different campaigns at the same time?
>> they really were. this house to house, person to person campaign by the obama crew changed forever how campaigns are going to be run. we saw a little example there. jim mess seina was talking about how doors remained important to them for all the attention their data mining and onlike techniques have used with all the ka cough fanny you get from the increased television commercials from outside groups, the person-to-person contact becomes more important. they're doing it more efficiently. the romney folks would get a list of doors to knock on and they would go and you would spend four hours and knock on 20 doors and maybe find two people home. the obama folks had as list of two people with a specific task when it did it. on facebook, something new that they did, they called it targeted sharing, and what they did there was give you a list of people in your facebook group that they thought would be obama friendly if you contacted them and said, click here to send bob a fact sheet or click here to send vicky a support the president message. and so you were hearing from people who are in your own social network which turned out to be much more effective than even the old style of micro targeting where you would just reach out to people blindly that you thought probably would be your voters.
>> i guess it's a question of the way they got the list. as you say, micro targeting. instead of throwing a bunch of stuff against the wall and seeing what stuck, they went in and identified which is an amazing thing, think of the size of the country, identified every person who might vote for president obama .
>> right. and then they wound up turning them out an amazing stat about this election was those 200,000 new african-american voters that they got in ohio. they did it with an early registration program they called it the beauty and barber shop program. went to where these people were that wound up being their margin of victory in ohio. at the top you mentioned the corporate influence. at one point during this politico playbook breakfast jim messina was talking about advice he had gotten in an adviser he said which adviser eric schmidt the head of google. he went and talked to steven spielberg out in california. you have the irony here of the democratic campaign being the efficient metric corporate consultant type campaign listening to advice from business.
>> it's interesting. in that case obama was the ceo. they did another thing, they took a page from the advertising brand loyalty program, basically they stayed very focused on basically their buyers from the previous election, the voters that voted for obama and tracked them over the next four years as far as how their tastes were changing, wrb they were going, what was happening. the combination of using -- not just being in social media but using social media plus stand with their brand loyal consumers, brand loyalty program, that combination was effective.
>> i talked to a guy that runs a very large global advertising firm last week. he said, you know, the most surprising thing to me is, that what the obama campaign did that everybody's calling revolutionary, is what we've been doing at advertising, what big corporations have been doing for years.
>> yeah. it is revolutionary that the obama team adopted that, but it's not like they made up new technology.
>> no. what's interesting --
>> just to tap into politics.
>> our agency got hired in '92 to work in the clinton campaign. what i found that's interesting, political advertising operatives, be a lot of ways in a different business than general advertising operatives, they've never been able to meld the two together effectively. to this ceo's point, it would be to me the next guy who runs, who really engages a generalist advertising in a meaningful way, not just hiring them on the peripheral, is going to really, really storm the fort.
>> the thing is, mike allen , this advertiser they talked to, said the romney people had come to them early, but they basically wanted them to give away a lot of their technology. they wanted to do it for next to nothing. to in kind it. you go back and dig into the fec reports of the obama campaign , they spent millions and millions of dollars on data mining . millions and millions of dollars on this. this was their big investment while republicans were investing in 30-second ads that came out of 1996 .
>> that's right. and that was one of many ways that the romney campaign in retrospect looks to be penny wise , be pound foolish. related to donny's point, one thing jim messina told me in the politico playbook breakfast is that while other people were hiring political people to run their analytics, they were hiring technological people. they got kids who knew technology, but didn't know politics, sitting at the table talking with the political people and together, they figured out how to push the edge on some of these techniques.
>> mike, quickly before i let you go, i thought it was interesting in the interview, jim messina said the candidate they were most worried about initially was jon huntsman and were happy to see they didn't make it through the primary process.
>> that's right. that was part of the reason they originally took him into the administration. and one of the reasons was, their focus groups were showing them that there was a big appeal for a bipartisan candidate. that's why david axelrod told me in an interview that one of the mistakes the romney campaign made was not pushing the bipartisan message earlier. a republican governor who had made things happen in a democratic state . they thought that would have had a lot of appeal. it's one of the reasons that chris christie has a lot of appeal right now. and in addition to that quinnipiac poll you showed, another poll that politico has this morning for chris christie , a poll for the new jersey republican party , showing that he's more popular in the state than ever. more popular than president obama who won the state big.
>> really interesting interview that politico playbook breakfast. mike allen , check it out on the website. thanks so much.