The picture Heilemann draws is of campaign managers whose assumptions have been proved wrong and who seem to be fooling themselves about what will work in the campaign.
One assumption that has been proved wrong is that the Obama campaign would raise $1 billion and that, as in 2008, far more money would be spent for Democrats than Republicans.
Heilemann reports the campaign managers' alibis. Obama has given donors "shabby treatment," he writes. This of a president who has attended more fundraisers than his four predecessors combined.
As for the Obama-authorized super PAC being $90 million short of its $100 million goal, well, it was late getting started and some money-givers don't like negative ads.
A more plausible explanation is that big Democratic donors don't trust the political judgment of super PAC head Bill Burton — who was passed over for promotion to White House press secretary — the way big Republican donors trust Karl Rove.
Here's another: A lot of people like the way Obama has governed less than they liked the idea of Obama governing.
A second assumption is that the Obama managers "see Romney as a walking, talking bull's-eye" and have "contempt for his skills as a political performer."
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