Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Peggy Noonan mocked data nerds who won the presidency

Great story: revenge of the nerds.--SS    

Peggy Noonan mocked data nerds who won the presidency:

Peggy Noonan on Meet The Press
Peggy Noonan, being wrong again. And again.

Peggy Noonan, as wrong as the rest of her ilk, on how President Barack Obama didn't seem "genuine" back in July:
Maybe Mr. Obama is living proof of the political maxim that they don't care what you know unless they know that you care. But the idea that he is aloof and so inspires aloofness may be too pat. No one was colder than FDR, deep down. But he loved the game and did a wonderful daily impersonation of jut-jawed joy. And people loved him. 
The secret of Mr. Obama is that he isn't really very good at politics, and he isn't good at politics because he doesn't really get people. The other day a Republican political veteran forwarded me a hiring notice from the Obama 2012 campaign. It read like politics as done by Martians. The "Analytics Department" is looking for "predictive Modeling/Data Mining" specialists to join the campaign's "multi-disciplinary team of statisticians," which will use "predictive modeling" to anticipate the behavior of the electorate. "We will analyze millions of interactions a day, learning from terabytes of historical data, running thousands of experiments, to inform campaign strategy and critical decisions." 
This wasn't the passionate, take-no-prisoners Clinton War Room of '92, it was high-tech and bloodless. Is that what politics is now? Or does the Obama re-election effort reflect the candidate and his flaws?
Of course, this was a calculated effort to combat the notion that Mitt Romney was cold and aloof and didn't give a shit about people who weren't members of his country club (and maybe not even them). You think Romney is aloof, well what about Obama? He hired statisticians to employ gay math!

So a group of those data nerds set up shop in Florida, posted that Noonan column on the door with a photo of the Mars landscape, and set about to win.
Among its many decisions driven by data, the campaign chose to stick it out in Florida, even though polls and conventional wisdom raised doubts about Obama's odds in the GOP-tilted battleground. 
Just weeks before the election, the analytics team's assessment suggested a 30% to 40% chance of winning the state, Wagner said. But after the team added information about roughly 250,000 new voter registrations, the projection shifted, showing that 80% of the new registrants would vote and they would heavily support Obama. 
When the computers spat out this data, indicating that Obama was likely to win in Florida, a howl went up from the Cave. A mathematician from the University of Alabama started it off with the 'Bama fighting words, "Roll Tide!"
Remember, this was the same Peggy Noonan who said Romney would win because—get ready for this—
All the vibrations are right.
So yeah, ha ha ha ha! They pay her for that drivel!

But that's fine. Let conservatives listen to people with "gut feelings" and vibration sensibilities. We'll stick to the arithmetic.

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