Magazine | November 14, 2011, Issue


CLIENT: Senior Romney Campaign

TEAM: Bain & Company Campaign Consulting Practice

IN RE: Report from our initial consulting efforts


Many thanks for allowing BAIN CONSULTING to serve your campaign, and for giving us the opportunity to analyze the opportunities and threats around your efforts to attain the office of president of the United States.

Our current methodology includes an exhaustive Six Sigma breakdown of your current efforts, the strategies around those efforts, your QC processes and protocols, and your operational functionality.

The scope of our work is illuminated in our Basic Engagement Agreement, and it includes but is not limited to operational and personnel recommendations, key strategic moves, and a larger mission-based analysis.

It’s obviously somewhat complicated for us, given our long history with CLIENT and with CLIENT’S contributions to BAIN CONSULTING and especially BAIN CAPITAL. Please be assured that in the analysis that follows, we have tried to be scrupulously impartial. As you will see in the NEXT ACTION section below, we have made several hard and potentially unpopular directional recommendations.


Currently, based on proprietary research and computer modeling, we at BAIN CONSULTING feel that there is an 87 percent chance that the office of the president of the United States will undergo a personnel change in January 2013. The need, therefore, to maximize the chances that CLIENT will be able to fill that market void is very real. The office of the president of the United States is a highly desirable management position with far-reaching effects on business and transactional politics. It is very much in the strategic and personal interest of CLIENT to attain that position.


As of close of business yesterday, CLIENT has trailed in every opinion poll by double digits the current frontrunner, Herman Cain. It is our opinion that the Herman Cain ’12 operation be designated Threat 1, as it is currently garnering a significant market share, and occupies the toll-booth position.

In addition, Threat 1 is a personable, likable personality that connects well with voters and market drivers, and has shown resilience and strength in poll after poll.

(Disclosure: Herman Cain ’12 Campaign is also a client of BAIN CONSULTING. All relevant and proprietary client information and analysis is held within the BAIN CONSULTING “honeycomb” structure.)

#page#Threat 2 is, in the opinion of BAIN CONSULTING, the Rick Perry ’12 operation, which though smaller and more niche-appealing, does offer a nascent threat to CLIENT.

Threat 3 is potentially more dangerous. Threat 3 is CLIENT himself. Threat 3 is the inability, thus far, of CLIENT to seal the deal with CLIENT’S natural voter base. CLIENT’S market, in this instance, is resistant to CLIENT. Threat 3 represents an umbrella of sorts, containing within it CLIENT’S “slickness” and “slipperiness” (focus-group wording; see APPENDIX) on the issues, especially (but not limited to) health-care legislation, taxes, and the legacy of Pres. Ronald Reagan.

In addition, Threat 3 represents CLIENT’S inability to generate enthusiasm even from CLIENT’S own market fans. In the language of branding, Threat 1 is the name brand; CLIENT is the store brand.

It is the opinion of BAIN CONSULTING that Threat 3 represents a near-fatal flaw in CLIENT’S currently operational strategy. Threat 3 is a precursor to market failure in November 2012.


It is, of course, ironic that CLIENT, who has written and presented hundreds of such analyses, is now receiving one from BAIN CONSULTING, a consultancy that CLIENT did so much to build and grow. Nevertheless, after a rigorous analysis of the Threats and Opportunities that surround CLIENT’S key mission statement, we recommend the following:

l Immediate shutdown of CLIENT’S current efforts to achieve market permanence;

l Exploring a merger or sale of CLIENT’S operational and strategic assets to Threat 1, with the proviso that CLIENT remain an active part of the executive committee;

l Dramatically reduced public exposure of CLIENT to key market drivers, thus preserving CLIENT’S ability to “reemerge” in the marketplace with refreshed branding;

l Gradual blending of CLIENT’S messaging and trade dress with target acquirer, Threat 1;

l Termination of the employment agreements with key personnel, including CLIENT himself.

These are not “easy” choices. BAIN CONSULTING is not known for “rubber-stamping” or “weasel-wording” in our recommendations. Our rigorous Six Sigma analysis, though, leads us to the conclusion that the best possible strategy for CLIENT is to iterate the current operational mission statement to include other possible goals and outcomes, including SEC TREASURY, SEC COMMERCE, SEC HHS, and VPOTUS. We invite CLIENT to be as analytical and dispassionate with his own business as he was, years ago, with his own clients.

We have attached the raw data and our assumptions to this document. We know what a data nut CLIENT is.

We look forward to working with you on the Cain/Romney ’12 operation.

Invoice attached.

Rob Long — Rob Long, Hollywood writer and producer, started his career as a screenwriter for the TV show Cheers. He is a regular writer for National Review, Newsweek International, and the Los ...

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