The Romney Debate Strategy Part III

First they said he was going to fact-check the president. Then they said he was going to offer up a series of “zingers” to bamboozle the president. And now they’re saying he’s going to show off his warmer, empathetic side.

via National Review

Romney’s advisers have a simple strategy: They want their candidate to balance his finely tuned arguments with personal warmth. Since Romney is a reserved man, his advisers acknowledge that it will be difficult for him to endear himself to the country, especially under the hot studio lights. But they consider it critical. “This is really about introducing him to the country,” a Romney adviser says. “It’s the largest audience he has ever had. Everybody’s watching.”

During prep sessions in Vermont this past month, Romney has worked tirelessly on the stylistic aspect of his presentation, and Romney’s advisers predict that the former Massachusetts governor will come across as both presidential and empathetic. Rather than fire off brusque retorts, as he often did during primary debates, Romney will take care “to speak in paragraphs about the economy,” a second aide says.

It’s really about introducing him to the country?

Was the convention not good enough? Was telling the story about him eating pasta and canned tuna, or the story about him covering the light-bulb with tinfoil, not an appropriate introduction? Was the last 9 months of the campaign not enough of an introduction?

I believe America has been properly introduced to Mitt Romney, and Americans don’t like what they see. And if you’re just getting around to introducing yourself, or still struggling to demonstrate that you aren’t a cyborg when the election is only five weeks away, you’re losing.

By leaking no less than three separate debate strategies to the media, which Romney aides allege was a “head fake.” the Romney campaign has inadvertently set expectations extraordinarily high. I don’t expect Romney to deliver on any of them.

He’ll be lucky if the night ends without having a McCain-esque “that one!” moment.

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  • Draxiar

    You only get to yell “DO OVER!” when you’re playing stickball in the street with the neighborhood kids. When you’re running for President…well, that’s a different story…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=663669914 Sean Richardson

    “Romney will take care “to speak in paragraphs about the economy,””

    It’s like they don’t even understand how the media works at all.

    I’m not saying I like it, but speaking paragraphs about anything in a debate is just not a good strategy; at least the “zingers” plan was conforming to the soundbite climate that candidates have to be able to navigate.

  • Ipecac

    He’ll be lucky if the night ends without having a McCain-esque “that one!” moment.

    He’s so bad he’ll be lucky if he doesn’t accidentally use the N-word.

    • agrazingmoose

      Or when McCain wandered aimlessly around the stage.

  • i_am_allwrite

    Who are these advisers? You’re going to try to show off his empathetic side in the only mano a mano contests of the election? Winning a debate and being warm and fuzzy are incompatible. Seriously, he couldn’t pull off at the RNC love fest, but he’ll manage it now, in an adversarial setting? This would be like if Dukakis’ advisers had promised that he would show off his “taller than GHWBush ” side during the debates. What is this obsession with trying to make him likeable? Is John “DON’t TELL ME WHAT I CAN’T DO!” Locke from “Lost!” running things?

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    the Romney campaign has inadvertently set expectations extraordinarily high

    Well, speaking of expectations, the Pres. is trying to lower expectations for himself….http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-obama-seeks-to-lower-debate-expectations-20120930,0,3583579.story

  • burbank_burt

    1. Announcing debate strategy = dumb in the first place.
    2. Flipping and Flopping on his strategy = par for the course with Romney.
    3. Now saying that previously announced strategies were a “head fake” = Pee Wee Herman falling off his bike and saying, “I meant to do that.”

  • http://phydeauxpseaks.blogspot.com Bob Rutledge

    “This is really about introducing him to the country” has got to be the funniest line I’ve read in a long time. Willard’s been running for president since… how long now?

    The problem is, people know him.

  • bphoon

    I believe America has been properly introduced to Mitt Romney, and Americans don’t like what they see.

    Hell, he’s been running for President for what–five, six years already? And they’re just now “introducing him to the country”? Man, get a grip–that ship sailed years ago.

    This thing is playing out a lot like McCain-Palin ’08. I’m half surprised Romney hasn’t found some excuse to suspend his campaign and go somewhere official looking so he can be photographed being Very Important as he strides purposefully from office to office with all his lackeys in tow.

    Jeez…

  • D_C_Wilson

    So, the technicians are sure they have the empathy chip installed properly this time?