Sunday, September 16, 2012

Advising Romney

Some have asked me if I were advising Romney, what would I tell him to do.

There are lots of stories these days about Republicans starting to panic that Romney is running a bad campaign. Yesterday, the Hill had an article with lots of Republican senators (anonymously) explaining what Romney should be doing differently. This advice is drawing, of course, on the long history of Republican senators who've won presidential campaigns. The exact number of Republican senators to move right to the White House is ... zero. So they sure know a lot about running losing campaigns but winning? Not so much.

Anyway, the advice they were giving was that Romney needs to spell out his policy plans in more detail. It is surely true that voters don't know what Romney wants to do and it is true he's been criticized along these lines. And Romney seems to be responding by taking the advice of "Those Who Know Nothing of What They Speak" and is now outlining his "5-point plan" which is more stump-speech friendly than his original 59-point plan.

If I were advising Romney, I'd tell him his best bet is to stop doing stuff. Romney's best bet for winning is for people to sour on the President, perhaps because the economy goes south, or perhaps for other reasons. And then, voters will be looking for a credible alternative. Romney is a former governor, businessman, graying-at-the-temples, and has a beautiful family. That's all people need to know. The more they know about Romney beyond that, the worse he does. The more he opens his mouth, the REALLY worse he does. So ... just stop! Let the campaign be about Obama.

The good news for Democrats is that Romney won't stop. SNL made this point in the season premiere last night.

Obama's best weapon is Romney talking. So stop talking. He gives a convention speech and flubs it by not mentioning the troops. He speaks out on Libya/Egypt? Disaster. He's asked about repealing Obamacare? Mess. He decides to talk about how he defines the middle class? Oy. So bad, so bad. All the time.

Mitt's best shot is to stop talking ... and then hope the economy sinks. I know it isn't a hopeful kind of plan. But it is his best shot.

UPDATE: For instance, this is the kind of thing Romney says when he talks. Not good:

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