Don Roach: A Moment of Truth for Mitt Romney
Wednesday, October 03, 2012
Now is the time for Mitt Romney to show whether or not he’s just a moderate governor from a liberal state or if he’s presidential. Since the Democratic convention, the Romney campaign has seemed to be running in place and has lost ground against the Obama team. Romney’s campaign understand the rhetorical skills of the President and that he will be difficult to defeat for their candidate to defeat in a debate. Obama’s demeanor has served him well throughout his political career and one can only imagine that it will do so at the debate tonight.
As is to be expected, most Americans believe Obama will win the debate . That’s not bad news for Romney because Americans expect him to lose and so it gives him an opportunity to truly change the current conversation. Romney needs to get both campaigns focused on the economy, Obama’s overall record, and making the case as to why he’s the best man to address our problems. I’ve never taken Romney for someone who likes to persuade people to believe that his way is the right way. Instead, and perhaps this is a baseless assumption, I see Romney as someone who was given an opportunity to lead as a result of circumstance and has made the most of that opportunity. In other words, I don’t see a self-made man in Romney and I think he has a difficult time relating to the average worker. Meanwhile, Barack Obama has many faults but relatability is not one of them. He comes across as smoothe, caring, responsible, and thoughtful the latter three the populace desires in a president. When one thinks of Mitt Romney, similar feelings are not inspired.
But really, who cares about all that? Well, actually many Americans do. Americans by-and-large believe Obama has these “soft” qualities in leaps and bounds above Romney. Back in 2008, I voted for Obama fully drinking the Kool-aid and believing his “soft” skills were exactly what the country needed after eight years and a souring economy under George Bush. Boy, was America ever wrong!? But, Obama’s election in 2008 presents Romney with an opportunity and challenge in 2012.
The challenge is as I have been arguing – Obama’s soft traits overshadow – to put it mildly – Romney’s soft traits and those traits do influence voters. Romney must overcome this or fall victim to another rhetorical beatdown as suffered by McCain last election cycle. And that is where challenge meets opportunity. Were I in Romney’s shoes and not as eloquent as my opponent nor as uncompromisingly low key, I’d do everything in my power to turn his strength into weakness. Obama has made a lot of promises some he made “good” and others he simply didn’t deliver. Romney must focus on the critical aspects of Obama’s presidency that have failed.
Talk about the farm worker in Nebraska who is still out of work.
Talk about the family in Manhattan whose home has just been taken away.
Talk about the mid-career earners and how little security they will have if Social Security is not addressed.
Indeed, Romney must make the campaign about the economy, the economy, the economy. The economy is Obama’s achille’s heel. Like Hoover, Carter, and the first Bush the way to defeat Obama is to attack our current economy.
Romney is a businessman and certainly has the political breadth to tackle economic issues. If he wants to turn the polls then it has to be 24/7 economy. Should Romney fail to make that argument tonight, say hello to your next president, Barack Obama. How’s that for hope and change?
Don Roach is a member of the RI Young Republicans. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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