Romney Just Needs Connection and Rectification
The first of the much-hyped Presidential debates occurs tonight, and while much punditry has spewed forth a torrent of advice for Governor Romney, it’s mostly rubbish. He really needs just two things from tonight, connection with the persuadable voters and rectification of the 47% statement.
Most viewers tonight will tune in for nothing other than entertainment and the outcome will have no effect on how they cast their vote. A Rasmussen Reports poll determined that only 17% of voters say the debates are *very important* to their final decision. Interestingly 17% is the same percentage of persuadables, the undecided voters or those who could change their mind, which remain available based on recent polling.
These are the voters that Governor Romney needs to connect with and demonstrate why another four years of Obama’s policies will not make them better off, they will in fact be worse off.
Count on Obama obfuscating and running on at the mouth as he is prone to do. Count on the liberal bias of the media to trumpet everything Obama says as gospel. Count on Lehrer to shill for Obama with a series of softballs for the President. Count on just about everything already being in place to make the debate as one-sided as possible. Count on all of this and then forget all of it because it doesn’t matter.
Mike McNally wrote a good piece at PJ Media today, 10 Attack Lines Romney Should Use in the Debates, that addresses likely issues that should come up tonight and he offers some *killer lines* for Governor Romney. Assuming Lehrer actually asks questions that touch on these issues or gets close enough that Romney can pivot to them, there is some sage advice in Mike’s article.
However, I’d suggest an even more direct and simpler approach. There is a very small probability that the Obama “you didn’t build that” statement will come up and I doubt Jim Lehrer even touches on yesterday’s comment by Biden, “This is deadly earnest. How they can justify, how they can justify, raising taxes on the middle class that has been buried in the last four years.”
What you can count on though is the Governor’s 47% statement will get placed front-and-center, and that is where Romney connects with the 17% of the persuadable voters that matter. A quick and sincere mea culpa that “I should have chosen my words better” and then immediately move to why 47% of Americans have to rely on the government teat. This is the entrée into the message that the persuadables are looking for from the candidate they will inevitably select, and Romney can seize that moment.
This is the opportunity for both connection and rectification. This is the chance for Governor Romney to tear apart every failed Obama policy including runaway debt and government spending, poor energy policies that have resulted in higher gas prices, foreign policies that have impeded domestic economic growth, massive reductions in median household income, escalating consumer prices in all major areas that even outpace those under Bush, and Obama’s clearly stated course of more of the same for another four years.
With all of Obama’s failures on the table, Lehrer is bypassed, Obama is on the defensive and Romney gets to explain why that 47% must, and will, be reduced with a Romney administration. This is what those 17% need and want to hear, and honestly they could care less about the 47%. They care about themselves and their families, and if Governor Romney can connect with them and deliver that message then he will have won the debate, and more importantly the majority of the votes of the 17% that matter.