I posted this back in March of this year, BEFORE Romney made all of his blunders.
MY BEST ADVICE TO MITT ROMNEY
How Mitt will blow it
1. Don’t run as a moderate
I don’t care if you actually believe that you’re a moderate, don’t run as one. Nobody believes that you are a moderate and, quite frankly, if you do that’s pretty sad. It would have to be more of a reflection of your peers — how insanely conservative they are — than anything reality based. So wise up, wake up and stop trying to convince anyone that you’re a moderate. And tell this to your wife, too. She needs to know these things.
2. Don’t lie, don’t twist.
I just told you to not run as a moderate, but that doesn’t mean you should lie about a single position that you hold. Actual positions mean nothing, nothing at all. Bill Clinton was a “Liberal,” for example, but was pro death penalty, pro “Three Strikes” and thought welfare reform was one of his greatest achievements, all distinctly conservative views. And, besides, when you lie you get caught. So if you’re against something, be honest and say that you’re against it. If you’re for something, say that you’re for it. Where you feel they plot on the political scale is irrelevant. Not saying anything is acceptable, but don’t lie.
3. You need a liberal or moderate Republican to balance your ticket.
My first choice is Chuck Hagel. Then again, he would have been my first choice for McCain as well, so what do I know? Go with McCain’s successful model why don’t you…
Any conservative who isn’t automatically going to vote for you just because you’re the GOP nominee probably won’t vote for you no matter who your Veep is. And you’re already so conservative yourself that anyone to the right of you is likely to scare off the party libertarians. So play to those swing states, why don’t you, and choose a liberal or moderate Vice President, someone who will appeal to Obama voters. This plays right into…
4. Give people an excuse to vote for you
At least half (at the very least) of the people who would vote for Obama today don’t believe that he deserves it, they don’t think that he has earned a second term. They simply believe that you will make things worse. Give these people an excuse to vote for you.
Again, don’t lie. Don’t make promises that you can’t or won’t keep. That’ll only come back to hurt you the way you’re hoping that it will come back and hurt Obama now. There’s got to be some issues that you can compromise on, even if you don’t agree with them. There’s got to be others you can work around. Give people an excuse to vote for you.
5. Speak their language.
Don’t talk down to people. Don’t throw on a fake southern accent like Obama did in 2008. Don’t pay lip service. But, yeah, speak to people in their own language.
“Speaking to people in their own language” doesn’t mean imitating their words or accents, it means speaking to them in terms they can relate to….
“I bought companies that could no longer compete, companies that were going to go out of business, and I made them competitive. Yes, I laid off people, yes I cut a lot of salaries and if I didn’t all those companies would have gone under. Put yourself in my place; what would you have done? Would you have closed the doors on those companies, putting all those people out of work, or would you have cut pay and laid off some people in order to save what jobs you could?”
Too real for you? How about this: Simply talk about the concerns of ordinary Americans. Talk about our hopes & fears. Talk about the America we’d like to see in five or ten years. It’s free. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it makes you look like you care.
6. IGNORE THE C.W.
The Conventional Wisdom (C.W.) is almost always wrong. Well, it’s always wrong. Period. Ignore it. The C.W. was what said McCain needed a woman, for example. It was supposed to gain him all the pissed off Hillary voters. Of course, nothing could have been more wrong. The pissed off Hillary voters were already pissed off, but not because Hillary has breasts. It was because of Hillary’s brains, her accomplishments — her politics. The C.W. said they wanted a female, period, and missed everything Hillary had ever stood for.
There is a huge divide between Conventional Wisdom and Common Sense. Use your common sense often, and ignore Conventional Wisdom always.
7. Don’t cast government as the enemy
You’re a Republican, you don’t know any better, but avoid the urge to cast the government as the problem. If you don’t, I have to vote aganst you and everything you stand for just to lower my stress levels.
Seriousy, do you people ever think about this stuff? Ron Paul, for example, goes on & on & on & on & on & on & on & on & on & on about the government stealing, about the government destroying rights and everything else, and all except a fringe group of lunatics avoid him like the plague. I mean, first he assures us that the government is nothing more than an organized crime machine, then he asks us to place him in charge of organized crime…. one presumes so that he may rob us blind.
If you don’t see government as a force for good, as a means of accomplishing something great, as a way of doing things collectively which we could only dream of as individuals then, quite frankly, you have no business running.
8. Don’t run from or against your money.
I remember, back in 2000, the whole Clinton thing and Al Gore trying to run against the sex scandal. I’ll tell you what I said back then (and I’ve got witnesses):
Al Gore can’t separate himself from Clinton. Instead of trying, he should have came out at the convention, talked about how he & tipper were watching Clinton’s speech when Tipper turned to him and said, “If you accomplish half for this country which that man did I’m going to buy you a whole box of cigars.”
You’re rich. Don’t throw it around, don’t rub it in anyone’s face, but never hide it. You know business, Obama does not, that’s why you’re rich. Point to some mistakes Obama made which your business experience would have avoided. Talk about how your life experiences makes you better qualified.
9. Don’t run from being a Mormon.
I would avoid questions about your faith — specific beliefs and practices — but not what your faith is. Be proud of it. Anyone who cares is going to know that you’re a Mormon, assuming they don’t already.
10. Avoid talking.
Your best bet is to let other people talk for you as much as you can. This way you avoid any idiotic remarks about not caring about the poor. Yes, surrogates can say dumb things too, but they’re not you. You can fire them, issue a statement of denial (etc).
Take a lesson from Obama back in 2008. Listen to a few of his campaign stump speeches. He would say almost nothing. To call his speeches “Vapid” would be the understatement of the century. Yet, people loved them. He spoke well and he used a lot of warm & snuggly words that are perfectly meaningless. “Hope,” for example. No, not “hope for a great job” or “hope for great educational opportunities,” just hope. Nothing more, only “Hope.” And “Change.” But whatever it was that was supposed to change — never mind how, or by whom and why we want this “change” in the first place — was all perfectly vague.
Now I don’t think you’re as good a speaker as Obama — for one thing you try to say things — but you could still benefit from his model. Let the surrogates do the talking while you, like Obama, avoid any actual substance.
I know it sounds bad, kind of cheap, but Obama does it and you need to do it as much as you can. Like I said, the inevitable slip up will occur, but this way you can safely deny it and it might even work in your favor.
Think of it: Your spokespeople let out a gaff, all the media eyes of the world are on you and you step up and spell out what your real position is.
Work it on, Mitt.