Much credit on his re-election could probably be given to a very scary (yet timely) videotape of Osama bin Laden. If you will recall, on October 29, 2004, al Jazeera broadcast excerpts from a videotape of Osama bin Laden addressing the people of the United States (in which he accepts responsibility for the September 11 attacks) condemns the Bush government's response to those attacks and presents those attacks as part of a campaign of revenge. The video was reported to be 18 minutes in length; with Osama only speaking for 14 minutes 39 seconds.
Strangely enough, here we are again in another election season with Americans watching anti-American sentiment spread across the Middle East, thanks to some silly film short, that showed up on YouTube. I bet some little known avant-garde film maker (whomever he or his surrogate may be) is quite pleased with the response their little YouTube venture has received. Who could possibly be responsible for such a hateful film; who benefits the most from it being public?
Because we are such a cynical republic, let us speculate:
Stuart Stevens is Mitt Romney’s top strategist. In what many in the campaign now consider a fundamental design flaw, Stevens is doing three major jobs: chief strategist, chief ad maker and chief speechwriter. It would be as if George W. Bush had run for president in 2000 with one person playing the roles of Karl Rove, Mark McKinnon and Michael Gerson. Or if on the Obama campaign of 2008, David Axelrod had not been backed up by Jim Margolis, Robert Gibbs and Jon Favreau.
Asked if he had assumed too many roles, Stevens said he had big teams to help him in each area. “Everybody wears a lot of hats,” he said. “We’re that kind of campaign — very un-compartmentalized.” He said that making the ads in-house has been a huge advantage. “You can walk down and stick your finger in the cookie batter.”
Stevens, a 58-year-old son of the South, is easy for conservatives to dislike. His official bio does not exactly scream “Republican ad guy from Mississippi”: “Stuart was educated at Colorado College, Middlebury College, Oxford University and the UCLA Film School, [and] is also a former Fellow of the American Film Institute.”
He is not particularly ideological, and has a big-city, Hollywood aura that grates on movement conservatives. “He’s a smart, capable guy but he sends bad signals” to the right, said a Republican operative who works closely with the campaign. “He has a lot of goofy quotes that cause everybody to shake their heads. … Stuart is one of the most insecure guys in the business. But he has become the top strategic adviser to the nominee, which is a huge accomplishment.”
Every profile of Stevens includes the descriptor “eclectic,” which seems fair, given he has skied to the North Pole, chronicled his use of steroids to compete in an extreme race, written novels and a campaign memoir, advised clients in Albania and Congo and consulted on Hollywood projects, including the political film “The Ides of March.”
Stevens has a free-flowing way about his life and is excited by ideas he deems wonderful or weird. He enjoys a love-hate relationship with the media — firing off emails with his candid and often illuminating take on the political spat of the moment, while also stoking the media-is-so-damned-biased flames inside the campaign and among conservatives. Source