Mitt Romney. Still losing. Strange that he seems to be the only person who has no idea how to win an election. Everybody else thinks it must be easy to do.
So what I’m suggesting is that Romney puts together specific examples of lower family tax rates and higher take-home pay . . It’s really that simple. Talk up tax cuts and connect them to Main Street families in terms of the after-tax dollars and cents they understand. Higher take-home pay. More financial security. More jobs. Repeat these over and over.
Mitt should talk up his tax cuts.
. . Romney needs to move beyond the controversies of the Bush era. To do that, he has to alter his critique of Obama. What Romney should say is that our country has problems that have been building since long before Obama took office, and that what’s wrong with Obama is that he has either left them unaddressed or made them worse.
And he should be straight with people.
In the end, righting his campaign depends entirely on Romney himself. He is not a natural ideologue, nor — obviously — a natural backslapper. But he is a data-obsessed salesman. He should be pitching his program with all the zeal and airtight attention to detail of a presentation for a Bain Capital business deal.
Also, bring the zest. Business-like zest. Can do!
“Go to a location where the Keystone pipeline was to be built, and with unemployed workers as part of the event, look into the camera and say, ‘Mr. Obama, build this pipeline,’” said Republican strategist Greg Mueller said. “This hits the jobs issue and directly connects Obama to blocking jobs, preventing economic growth and holding back energy independence.”
And talk to the camera. Tell the camera about the pipeline.
“Forget the fear, forget the fundraisers, forget the polls, get out there and really run for president,” advised another GOP strategist, who didn’t want to give their name because of the sensitivity of the matter. “Get rid of all that staging. Be real. … something dramatically real.”
Then run real hard. And be really real. Crazy real.
He rode his campaign bus for more than 330 miles, but he didn’t pull over once for a single unannounced stop at a dinner or popular small-town spot.
It’s the kind of retail campaigning that produces the human interactions that feed news coverage and humanize the candidate . . “Instead of you building an event and making them come to you, every local community has a place,” said Chip Saltsman, Mike Huckabee former campaign manager. “You can go to the town square and get a cheeseburger where everyone goes to lunch.”
Also, eat a cheeseburger, somewhere.
Romney has to make an unrelenting case for his program, pitched particularly to the practical concerns of middle-class voters. He has to give the public compelling reasons to pick him in an election that will be a choice, not a referendum.
And give people a choice.
Mr. Romney’s team has concluded that debates are about creating moments and has equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized and has been practicing on aides since August.
Then give them a few debate zingers. Memorable ones.
His strategy includes luring the president into appearing smug or evasive about his responsibility for the economy. . . “He’s got to do a better job of making the case that President Obama’s directly responsible for that. That’s got to be his focus.”
And there’s always the economy. He should talk about that.