Rupert Murdoch, Mitt Romney and the Aztec Sacrifice Ritual

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Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign event at Monterey Mills in Janesville, Wis., on June 18, 2012

Call it the Aztec effect. There comes a point in virtually every major presidential campaign when the gods demand a sacrifice. In contemporary terms, the gods are some combination of powerful party activists and donors as well as political reporters and pundits. The gods grow displeased (although in fact many are secretly entertained) when the campaign in question seems to underperform or fails to excel in specific areas of interest to the gods. And then the gods demand sacrifice. The Aztecs would cut out the beating heart of a human with a hunk of sharpened flint and hold it up for the gods to see. The campaign equivalent is to leak that that one or more senior aides have “made the decision to leave on [their] own” and that they “are good and close friends and they will remain so.”

At the moment, News Corp. mogul Rupert Murdoch looms over the Romney campaign as a Tezcatlipoca-like figure. (He is “the god of the nocturnal sky, god of the ancestral memory, god of time and the Lord of the North, the embodiment of change through conflict.”) Last week Murdoch tweeted his displeasure with Romney’s campaign, warning that Obama would be “hard to beat unless [Romney] drops old friends from team and hires some real pros.” Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch concurred, and now lesser deities like the Wall Street Journal editorial board, Tea Party hero Allen West and talk-radio host Laura Ingraham are piling on. The drums are pounding.

(PHOTOS: On the Trail with Romney)

The sacrificial chants tend to grow loudest when the candidate in question runs an insular campaign. And Romney’s circle of advisers is relatively closed. Some of his most trusted aides are longtime Bostonians who’ve been at his side since his Massachusetts statehouse days: Beth Myers, Peter Flaherty and Eric Fehrnstrom. Romney also listens closely to his pal and and former Bain partner Bob White.

Romney’s team does include some Washington operatives, including his campaign manager Matt Rhoades, a longtime GOP tactician, and DC-based media men Stuart Stevens and Russ Schriefer, who began 2008 working for John McCain (and, as it happens, designing some withering attacks on Romney).  Still, it’s a campaign with relatively few newcomers, outsiders and hangers-on. Which is how Romney seems to want it, especially after the failure of a 2008 campaign hobbled by internal disagreement and feuding.

But the gods don’t like that. They want more friends and contacts on the inside. They want avenues to the candidate and more leaking. They prefer that chatty Washington pros — whose long-term interests may lie more with the Establishment than with the candidate — outnumber the trusted associates.

So can we expect a sacrifice? For now, the soothsayers think not. But the gods are restless, and the drums are pounding …

MORE: The Root of Mitt Romney’s Comfort with Lying

73 comments
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nettwench14
nettwench14

Rupert Murdock only THINKS he's god! And to listen to Allen West's advice on your campaign would be nuts!

Edwin Al
Edwin Al

People like groovecity only have two classifications ..conservative republicans and extreme leftist liberals. You're either in total agreement of his views or a lazy simpleton out to destroy this great nation. There is no in between.

thebobbob
thebobbob

 If Romney fails to kow-tow to the most radical rightwing ideologues like Murdoch, the Koch Bros., and Rush, they will destroy him. Watch your back, Mittens! No deviation from their extreme ideology is allowed.

Gin Heedneeds
Gin Heedneeds

G-ESTEEM-PEOPLE WHO EDUCATED THEMSELVES amp; EVOLVED INTO THE MOST HAPPY AMERICANS USUALLY RED NECKS amp; PRO-BLACKS(STAY BOW-LEGGED amp; THICK).

 

"If god is with me than who can be against me? I can do anything.G-ESTEEM

 

Teach me it's more to being a man than feeling up your thigh.For Breast Cancer.G-ESTEEM (w/ pic of President Obama amp; Wife).

 

STAY BOW-LEGGED amp; THICK.G-ESTEEM(Presidential Election Nov 6, 2012) 44-Life

Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott
Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott

  Is there any REAL American here who would vote for a guy who would

choose not to serve our country during a time of war based on religious

grounds, but would hold up a picket sign and march to demand that others

had to in his stead?  

  Just how well do you know your Presidential candidate, the Recycled Republicrap Reject from 2008?    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new...

Leavane Cox
Leavane Cox

There are at least five factors to impede

Obama's

economic agenda: It took almost three years to stop the free falling of

the severe economic recession in 2008, the economic and

political ideology of Congress, the economic turmoil in Europe - the

largest

economic domain in the world- economic competition with the second

economic power, China, and the limitations of presidential economic

budget power due to

Article I, section 9, clause 7

of The

Constitution of the United States and Article I, section 5, clause 2: Congress is the authority to determine the rules

governing

its procedures. 

paulejb
paulejb

Leavane Cox,

Nice attempt at excuse making but there is still this promise.

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit... 

After Barack Obama's $831 billion political slush fund how do you explain away the dismal results?

Partha Neogy
Partha Neogy

"The Aztecs would cut out the beating heart of a human with a hunk of sharpened flint and hold it up for the gods to see."

You live by Citizens United, you die by Citizens United.

3xfire3
3xfire3

Michael,

I know you have to write about something but all this BS means nothing.

Here is reality.

The Jobs Doldrums and Obama's Future

Robert Reich The Huffington Post

Bad news for the U.S. economy and for Barack Obama. We're in the jobs doldrums.

Unemployment for June is stuck at 8.2 percent, the same as in May. And only 80,000 new jobs were added.

 

Remember, 125,000 news jobs are needed just to keep up with the increase in the population of Americans who need jobs. That means the jobs situation continues to worsen.

 

The average of 75,000 new jobs created in April, May and June contrasts sharply with the 226,000 new jobs created in January, February and March.

 

In Ohio yesterday, Obama reiterated that he had inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression. That's true. But the excuse is wearing thin. It's his economy now, and most voters don't care what he inherited.

 

In fact, a good case can be made that the economy is out of Obama's hands -- that the European debt crisis and the slowdown in China will have far more impact on the U.S. economy over the next four months than anything Obama could come up with, even if he had the votes.

 

Yet he has to show he understands the depth and breadth of this crisis, and is prepared to do large and bold things to turn the economy around in his second term if and when he does have the votes in Congress. So far, his proposals are policy miniatures relative to the size of the problem.

 

But the real political test comes after Labor Day. Before Labor Day, Americans aren't really focused on the upcoming election. After Labor Day, they focus like a laser. If the economy is moving in the right direction then -- if unemployment is dropping and jobs are increasing -- Obama has a good chance of being reelected. If the present doldrums continue -- or worse -- he won't be.

 

ROBERT B. REICH, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration. Time Magazine named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including the best sellers "Aftershock" and "The Work of Nations." His latest is an e-book, "Beyond Outrage." He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine and chairman of Common Cause.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

 

Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott
Richard_im_Himmel_bei_Gott

 And speaking of BS that means nothing: the totally-out-of-touch--in--his-own-gramps-bubble-mode, 3xFire!!!!

But you have a job, Gramps.  Trying to kill your wife.  Hows that coming?

3xfire3
3xfire3

Joan,

Even the words of a Liberal Hero mean nothing to you.

Dr. Robert Reich, Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley states the obvious true about Obama's current situation regarding his re-election and all you can do is call me names and make really stupid personal attacks.

Idiots like you are one of the reason Obama is in trouble today in his re-election bid.

Sugapea
Sugapea

Romey is the weakest candidate in a long, long time.

Mitt's now sending-in Bobby Jindal and Tim Pawlenty for back-up?

The Republican Party is like an 'empty wagon'...

An empty wagon makes the most useless noise!

 

Yankee Doodle
Yankee Doodle

Who cares what Murdoch says about anything? He is not running for President... and it's obvious that Romney doesn't really care what Murdoch says.

That is EXACTLY what Murdoch hates, a person he cannot control.

53underscore3
53underscore3

Here's groovecity in a nutshell:

"Reganomics worked great in my world."

groovecity
groovecity

Well it did work. And I live smackdab in the middle of anytown USA. Tell me how great things are on the left coast fivey. And don't lie. I know that's a tough order but try...

jmac
jmac

The sad thing is groovecity isn't an anomaly.  The party is pretty much the party of groovecity.     

53underscore3
53underscore3

He's got paulejb as a role model, it seems.

paulejb
paulejb

53_3,

Thank you, 53. I am too humble to admit that I am a role model for many.

53underscore3
53underscore3

The entire GOP is insular, Micheal.  Didn't you get the news?

destor23
destor23

I can't believe that you wrote this without irony: "In contemporary terms, the gods are some combination of powerful party

activists and donors, as well as political reporters and pundits."