Romney Transition Team Flummoxed By Gmail

Mitt Romney's transition team had plans to inject a heavy dose of corporate America into the federal government, but first they had to adjust to a new email system. Its name? Gmail.

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Evan Vucci / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Mitt Romney’s transition team had plans to inject a heavy dose of corporate America into the federal government, but first they had to adjust to a new email system.

It was called…Gmail.

With many on the team drawn from the ranks of Outlook-using consultants and business executives, the Romney Readiness Project, as the transition was known, had difficulty scheduling meetings on the General Services Administration-provided Gmail system. The revelation is included in the 138-page retrospective of the effort to prepare for a Romney victory.

From the report’s lessons-learned section:

The GSA support staff did an admirable job setting up technological infrastructure in the Switzer Building. The email and calendar solutions were Google-based products. For the sizeable portion of employees who were Gmail users, this posed no problem at all. From employees accustomed to Microsoft Exchange-based email clients, there was initial resistance to convert. The Readiness Project did not establish clear technological standards early enough and allowed systems to coexist. Since Outlook and Gmail don’t communicate well, this proved problematic for scheduling. By anticipating these IT problems earlier, the Project could have established clear protocols and properly assisted with migration and adoption of email clients.

30 comments
rachelquire
rachelquire

This is the dumbest "article" I have ever seen in my life. First and foremost, WHO CARES? Right, no one. Second, this is a single paragraph in a 130-page report, saying briefly that some staffers were unfamiliar with Gmail. Wow. Shocker. Some people in the world do not use Gmail. It must mean that they're incompetent and laughable. Or, perhaps, it just means that they had never before used one of many email programs that exists.

This is pathetic. 

yogi
yogi

Could be worse, could have used Lotus Notes.

sacredh
sacredh

"Romney Transition Team Flummoxed By Gmail"

And poor people and young people and hispanics and blacks and women and.....

Europoljuice
Europoljuice

The reason Romney is still in the news is simple. The Tea Party and GOP are still very, very, very, very pissed off that they lost the election. No congress in history has gone out of thier way to obstruct and slow down everything this administration has tried to do. They will do the same thing they did with Bill Clinton. Find a story...cherry pick the facts...ignore the truth. And build a case around it to make the Dems ( the President ) look bad. If they tried to work togther they just might get something done. THEY REFUSE. So you will get months and years of dragging everything bad out in the news. So they can control the new wires and WIN the next election. That's the plan, pure and simple. Benghazi was tragic but it was a CIA operation. They can't understand that! There own party chairman ( Chavetz ) was on the committee that approved to slash the budget over security. Look it up!! The Leaks that are coming out are from the GOP. Why?? To disrupt and movement the Dems  are getting!!  The IRS scandal was looking into the Tea Parry because they were using Non Profit organizations to funnel illegal money so they could fund there own GOP candidates. It wasn't the NAME that caused them to get attention...it was the tricky acts of deception that caused them to be looked at! The same way Wall Street hides and laundries there money! So the best way to take the heat off the Obama Administration is to cause havoc and problems.  Read between the lines!!! Have truths w/ people who cherry pick the so called facts they need to support there view. It's ugly! Even Rep Dole said that the GOP should close there doors for repair! Anyone who wants to work with the administration is shunned.... Just ask Chris Christy there own GOP golden boy! They hate him because he is not radical enough. Stop watching FOX!!!   Come on man!!!  Geezzzzzzzzzzz

AlistairCookie
AlistairCookie

I'm not wading into the other Romney thread, with the 700+ comments mostly filled with hatred and sheer nuttery, but I do have a question:


Why are we, or anyone, still talking about Romney?  He lost the election, holds no public office, and has no impact on governance in this country (other than in the form of whatever PAC or 501(c)4 he may want to dump some millions), so why is anything about him or Ann newsworthy?

Why?

AlanHughes
AlanHughes

I hate Mitt Romney, but to be fair, gmail is the worst email around, except for maybe Apple's mail application now that they are trying to copy Google.

JasonJayMurphy
JasonJayMurphy

Is anyone gullible enough to believe this was a factor in why Romney lost? 


Europoljuice
Europoljuice

And this was guy who we were suppose to have trusted running our country!!! Someone who couldn't even get outlook to hook up with g mail!! Are u kiddin me!!!! GTFO No wonder he lost. 

Ohiolib
Ohiolib

Romney team flummoxed by living Americans.

FIFY.

deconstructiva
deconstructiva

Mitt was finally getting comfy with Hotmail and Ann was happy using Listserv to stay in touch with long-distance friends, then tech folks had to go and f everything up.

PaulDirks
PaulDirks

I use Outlook to access my Gmail account routinely. What seems to be the problem? 

destor23
destor23

What is this "Gmail" you speak of?  Surely there are peasants who can handle this sort of thing.

S_Deemer
S_Deemer

I feel like we dodged a bullet with the Romney administration. I absolutely hated being forced to use Outlook by my last employer, and it was a small factor in my deciding to retire early. On the other hand, I took to Gmail like a duck to water, and the integration of mail and calendar functions is quite intuitive. Outlook remains the worst e-mail client I have used in the past 30 years.

Arimathean
Arimathean

@AlistairCookie  I would hypothesize that it's part of an overall look at the GOP and it's loss last cycle.  It really was the GOP's election to lose -- and when they lost it, it prompted an ongoing post-mortem.  Mostly, that has focused on the GOP being out of touch with policies relating to women, Hispanics, and homosexuals.  Any example of the GOP being out of touch, though, is bound to attract attention.

PaulDirks
PaulDirks

In fairness though, I do have to use extra software to synch my calendars.


destor23
destor23

I mean, why in heaven's else would they call it serfing the web?

Arimathean
Arimathean

@S_Deemer  You're probably right, we did dodge a bullet.  On the other hand, we missed our chance to find out what Romney's super-secret tax plan was!  Remember, he didn't want to share the details until elected because it would "give my opponents ammunition".  Who wasn't excited about it when they heard that!?

PerryWhite1
PerryWhite1

@S_Deemer

"I feel like we dodged a bullet with the Romney administration."

 Amen. Every time I see a clip of that artificial human speaking, I get chills up my spine. 

 But worse is what's indicated by the first line of this post: "Mitt Romney's transition team had plans to inject a heavy dose of corporate America into the federal government."

That's just appalling. The virtually unrestrained power of corporate America is at the root of most of our problems already! Like jobs that pay so little, full-time workers have to go on food stamps (See: Wal-Mart.) Like the rising taxes on the middle class (because corporations like GE and AT&T don't pay *any.*) Like pollution and destruction of the environment (See: Koch brothers, Massey Energy). Like the collapse of the economy in 2008 (See: Banks too big to fail, unrestrained greed, Nationwide mortgages, too many more to mention). Like a national media that is essentially owned by five corporations, that demonizes the left while playing stenographer to the right. (See: Washington Post, CNN, most networks -- not to mention the right-wing "entertainment complex." Compare, for example, the skimpy and hostile coverage of any left-wing protest -- like thousands of anti-war protesters during the Iraq War, or the hundreds of thousands during the Occupy movement -- to the blanket, largely approving coverage of any right-wing protest -- like a couple dozen "Tea Partiers" financed by and bused in to Washington by big corporations.) Like a Congress that institutes ALEC-written bills, and ignores the will of the electorate in favor of their corporate sponsors (See: Failure of background-check law).

I could go on in this vein, but instead I'd like to remind everyone that our government is supposed to be US. It's supposed to be "We the People." 

But Reagan turned that idea on its head. He took a fringe idea -- "government isn't the solution, it's the problem" -- and made it a solemn canon on the right, to which the left pays deference.

And it's a terrible idea. And it's insulting. WE are supposed to be the government. So when Reagan said "government is the problem," he was saying "the American people are the problem." And the right wing has spent the last 30 years excising the power of common people from their own government. Look at everything Republicans propose, and virtually every idea has at its heart the elimination of our power to have a say in what government does. Or more to the point: Elimination of our power to defend ourselves from corporations. That's the heart of "tort reform," if you've ever wondered what that was and why Republicans are so insistent on it.

Further, government isn't supposed to work hand-in-glove with corporations. Government is supposed to be OUR DEFENSE from the power of corporations. Government is the only counter-weight to the enormous power of corporations. Government is supposed to regulate corporations so that they don't run roughshod over us, as they inevitably will. 

But you'll note that Republicans are four-square against regulation. ANY regulation. Corporations, like the big banks on Wall Street, are supposed to be trusted to regulate themselves. The Republican theology is that "the invisible hand" of the marketplace will regulate corporations. (Which is not at all what Adam Smith was saying, but I digress.) Gee, how well has that worked out? (See: Economic collapse, 1929 and 2008.) 

No, Mr. Romney, we do not need more corporate influence on government. There's plenty already, and it's already too much. Our government is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people, not of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. That's what every other government in the history of the world has done, and the inevitable outcome of those systems has been consistent: Fascist feudalism. (See: China.)

I'll pass, thanks.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

@PaulDirks

I think that's actually the point: Romney's team didn't realize that the change was coming, when it happened they weren't prepared for it and so they weren't able to implement the solutions that exist to deal with the problems before user buyin was already lost.

grape_crush
grape_crush

 @PerryWhite1@S_Deemer> Government is the only counter-weight to the enormous power of corporations.

I like your comment a lot...but me being Me, I have one quibble, and it's this line (and really, just the use of the word only.)

There are a couple more institutions that can act as that counterweight; I'm thinking Labor and the Press. Sadly, corporate influence has drastically changed the power of the former and corporate takeovers and consolidation have diminished the latter.

> Government is supposed to be OUR DEFENSE from the power of corporations...

What I think is funny - hilarious - is that some of the biggest pro-business enthusiasts on the right take their namesake from the Boston Tea Party...that act of rebellion was triggered by the Tea Act of 1773, enacted by the British Parliament to keep the mammoth East India Company from failing.

That the conservative community prides itself on its emulation of America's founding fathers while ignoring the fact that a number of those founders were vehement opponents of a business-dominated government.

forgottenlord
forgottenlord

BTW: More than anything, it is a continuation of the same theme that kills Romney and will kill all of the current brand of Republicans: they believe the power is at the top, that the authority is derived from the top, and that the decisions should come from the top.  As such, they think from a top-down approach which tends to look at big picture ("We're switching to gmail") rather than trying to figure out the little issues that might come up along the way.  There are very loosely fleshed out plans because nobody is really responsible for fleshing them out because it's too low level to worry about.