COMMENTARY | Mitt Romney's two solid debate performances in Florida are credited with turning around his campaign, which in turn earned him a double-digit win in that state's primary. Brett O'Donnell is credited with helping Romney sharpen his debate skills.
So, in recognition for a job well done, O'Donnell will not have a permanent position with the Romney campaign, according to Politico. It seems O'Donnell's contributions have become too well known to the media. That did not sit well with Romney staffers, who were envious of O'Donnell. Also it seems the required narrative is Romney pulled himself out of the tailspin, with no one else's help.
According to the O'Donnell and Associates Strategic Communications page, O'Donnell prepped John McCain for debates in 2008 and George W. Bush in 2004. He would seem the perfect person for doing the same for Romney in this year's election cycle.
An ABC News analysis at the time of the Jacksonville, Fla., debate suggested Romney wanting to win -- and it showed. Romney got in some good punches and Gingrich, who had shined in South Carolina, had fallen flat.
It says a lot about how the Romney campaign operates that a debate coach has seen his services no longer required for being too successful. It is as if a big league football team, having won an important game after a string of losses, decided to get rid of the coach because he was seen to be overshadowing the quarterback.
Romney likes to boast about what a great business manager he is. But a good manager knows when to give credit where it is due to subordinates who contribute to his organization. Part of being a good manager is selected the best people to carry out important jobs and letting them go about their work. Good performance should be rewarded.
The treatment of O'Donnell suggests a dysfunctional aspect of the Romney campaign that, if replicated in a hypothetical Romney administration, will be disquieting indeed. If people working for Romney fear being punished for being too good at their job, one cannot but fear for the success of Romney either in his campaign going forward or in his prospective presidency.