The Daily Rundown | November 30, 2012
>>> mitt romney made it to the oval office yesterday, but not quite in the way he'd envision ed it. the two former rivals talked for over an hour over white turkey chili and southwestern grilled chicken salad. delicious. in the private dining room just off the oval office . after a sharp eye spotted boxing gloves in the photograph, aides joked there were no punches thrown. nbc senior political editor mark murray is here with this morning's first read. mark, the picture is worth 1,000 words. that's why they did this, for the picture.
>> it was a symbolic moment. not a lot was said. we've gotten little reporting on any big substance, but you could argue the symbolism does matter. we had a campaign that essential essentially lasted two years, a lot of tough words, a very personal campaign and it proves to the american public that, you know what, we can all move on as a country even after a tough campaign, that life goes on, you accept who wins. you accept who loses even in a close contest after 2,000 which was a statistical tie between al gore and george w. bush , the country does move on and we head to the next election.
>> i always say to people, look, mitt romney didn't come all that close to winning. he didn't come as close as i thought he might. one quick other follow-up on this, the thing i've been struck by, does mitt romney retain a constituency within the republic republican party ? he was the nominee. he got the votes. but it doesn't seem like he's having much influence. he's not in office right now so is not doing -- i don't see him returning to an office. he's not going to run for president again. does he kind of just shuffle off to the side?
>> it really seems that way. one of the more amazing things is the imprint he had on the republican party , its ideas, seem so little right now particularly just weeks after the presidential election . you can make the argument even john mccain who lost decisively in 2008 , all the republicans and the tea party people who are demanding an end to earmarks, there was john mccain , and very little -- one of the calls mitt romney ended up having that republicans are still having today.
>> the one i can think of is a possibility of capping the deductions people can take. that's something he proposed late. it seems like republicans want to forget very quickly what happened. but we will not forget yet because there is some level still we're three and a half weeks from the election, some level of postmortem. a lead strategist for romney wrote an op-ed in "the washington post " earlier this week calling romney 's campaign that he did the right thing. he ran the right campaign. he was the right man for the right time. that his campaign became a national movement . those are his words not mine. a republican strategist, i want to show you what she tweeted. here is what she tweeted. she said, agree with stuart stevens . romney 's campaign was a national movement . latinos and women across the nation moved as far as they could from him. obviously mocking. why is stuart stevens doing this? he's been doing appearances on television lately, too. in which he acknowledged we should have done better with hispanic women. what is this about?
>> the message from that " washington post " op-ed, what we did mattered. we still lost. people are criticizing it. you've heard ana navarro, a lot of people actually ended up saying and, chris, you know this point for the republican party is really important. remember, democrats in 2004 after they lost the presidential election , you look at how do we move ahead? the lessons of the republican party ends up learning right now will help it in 2014 . will help it in 2016 . republicans i talked to say, look, the most important lesson to learn, demographics, is ana navarro talking about message does matter. the party still has issues. look at its popularity ratings versus the democratic party . and so you end up looking at those things and also finally, tactics do matter. some of the things stuart stevens and the romney campaign did when you look at their ad buying, the quality of their ads, was their polling correct? a lot of people said --
>> how about the summer months where he focused on obama and the economy. i want to talk about, because i can't resist it, it's almost 2013 . i think we're well within the bounds. the virginia governor 's race. bill bolling , the lieutenant governor, dropped out in twain to make way for bob mcdonnell , currently the governor, dropped out again this week to make way for state attorney jgeneral ken cucinell cucinelli. you have the best friend of bill clinton terry mcauliffe as the democratic nominee. some people are painting this as a tea party against the clintons in mcauliffe. things can still happen. it looks like a fascinating race.
>> chris, as you know, political reporters, we only have two gubernatorial races to cover. we give a lot of attention to virginia and new jersey. what's fascinating about virginia , since i've been covering politics on the national stage, the off-year election has proved to be a template if that party that's out of power wins. 2005 , tim kaine ends up running a race, appealing to independents, sfresing his religious faith . actually kind of having a very soft appeal to a lot of folks. he's adopted that 2006 and 2008 . a lot of the ideas barack obama ran on in 2008 was tim cane.
>> he endorsed him for president, just as a sidebar.
>> mcdonnell was focused like a laser on the economy. what did we see republicans do? focus on the economy. try to turn social issues away. he was very successful in 2005 . house republicans and senate republicans successful. mitt romney not so much in 2012 . that's why virginia does matter.
>> testing ground. no question, i would say virginia , new jersey, new york city and l.a. mayoral races. mark murray , thank you.