Prepping For The Obama/Romney Debates
The conventions have come and gone this election year and there was nothing earth-shattering about them. We are now being inundated with campaign ads. The polls and public perception of the candidates are roughly the same as they’ve been for a year. Many who are following the 2012 election believe that it now comes down to the debates. Remember, debates can make or destroy a candidate.
In 1988, Democratic Presidential candidate Mike Dukakis hurt his chances of winning with one answer. He was asked if his wife were raped and murdered, would he favor an irrevocable death penalty on the killer? Without showing an ounce of emotion, Dukakis said he would not. Voters around the world were stunned and his campaign took a nosedive.
Mitt Romney or Barack Obama could both easily make that one mistake to turn the election. That is likely what their campaigns fear the most going into the debates. Three of these jousting sessions are scheduled and every second of them counts. Both sides are going to have to stay on a well-orchestrated message. One can envision their staffs nervously prepping and quizzing them up until they walk into the auditorium.
Obama’s team has a lot of explaining to do. They have to figure out how to justify four years of tepid economic recovery and $5.3 trillion added to the national debt.
Obama cannot pretend that he is fiscally responsible as he often claims in campaign speeches. During the convention, he attempted to cajole voters in his favor by saying that you can choose him and, “A future where we reduce our deficit.” You could probably hear the snickers out of Washington after that line.
Under Obama’s plan, the federal debt would continue to skyrocket. We know this in advance. He has never run a budget deficit under $1.2 trillion during his four years in office.
Let there be no doubt that Romney wants to counter Obama’s claims live on national television. It would be easy to point out how many times Obama has said that he was going to cut spending and then raised it through the roof. The crew behind the President will need to help him tap-dance gracefully around Mitt’s fiscal barbs.
Obama’s team also has to avoid playing the sympathy card. Voters won’t feel sorry for a President who has hurt their personal finances. Asking America for sympathy because of what you inherited from George W. Bush will not work in 2012.
On the other hand, Mitt Romney can do himself a great deal of harm if he is simply attacking Obama. Romney could easily answer every question by pointing the finger at Obama and saying, “He failed to create jobs,” “He raised the debt” or “He didn’t give us ‘hope’ and ‘change.’” Then, at the end of the day, Obama could score the victory by saying, “Governor Romney is just a hatchet man.”
Romney has to start telling us who he is and what he offers. Think of it like this, imagine you went to Domino’s Pizza and the cashier said, “Buy Domino’s because Papa John’s tastes terrible, is bad for your health and has poor service.” You would only know that Papa John’s is bad. Domino’s isn’t giving you a reason to pick them. You might just walk out!
When it is appropriate to attack Obama, the ex-Governor has to tell the voters one thing when he is on the stage for that first debate in Colorado; Barack Obama is the leading man in a political movement that has failed. The ultra-liberal ideas of the President have not built an economy, they have sent us into debt and they have left companies fearful to hire. After that, he has the task of telling us why we should think he is going to be any better.
A few too many voters are still waiting to hear why a Romney Administration will be any better than an Obama Administration. Americans seem as if they simply don’t know what Romney brings to the table. Perhaps it’s because Mitt Romney can’t figure out what exactly it is that he brings to the table.
Remember, November brings an big election. From now until the ballots are cast, every day and every appearance is important for both sides. Expect a dogfight.
Keep your eyes on this blog, because next post will be a preview of the more comical Vice Presidential debate. Why comical? Because it will feature Joe Biden, the human blunder machine!