Dear Governor Romney:
Unasked for, but gladly offered, here’s my best advice for you to increase the chances for your election to the presidency in November 2012:
(1) Prepare for every debate as brilliantly as you did for last night’s. You were ready for every single question and every one of Gingrich’s attacks on you. Your criticism of him was right on target, and delivered with previously unexpressed zeal. You were sharp, focused, and appropriately fierce. Perhaps one day, the leaders of Iran, Cuba, and other hostile nations will hear such eloquent fierceness rather than the fawning obsequiousness to which they’ve become accustomed from the president and his administration.
(2) Don’t try to be amiable and likable. You were at your best last night when you let it rip, in a gentlemanly and dignified way, and let Newt have it between the eyes. I don’t think he knew what hit him.
(3) Stop trying to persuade us that you and Bain Capital were in the business of creating jobs. It doesn’t fly. It is legal and OK to be in business to make money. It was far better last night when you said that rather than attacking an American for being capable of creating wealth, such skills should be seen as an advantage that would serve the country well.
I’ll put it to you in one of the simplest concepts in the law: You know the legal concept of a third-party beneficiary: that in a contract between A & B, it is possible that C may benefit from the work that A & B do together under their contract. But A & B haven’t agreed to work together for the purpose of benefitting C. They’ve signed a contract to benefit each other. That C also does well is a happy byproduct, but neither A nor B should ever try persuading the public that their work was intended to do C any good.
That’s what’s wrong with arguing that Bain Capital “created” jobs. That wasn’t your or Bain’s purpose and Jane and John Q. Public know that. I think last night’s debate may have been the turning point for you: when you said, “I’m proud of being successful,” you won over more voters than with anything you’ve said previously about Bain. I’d stick with that approach in the future.
(4) Admit to yourself that no one outside your family and your own circle of friends and business associates is going to vote for you because they’re wild about you.
For most people, and that means most Republicans, the phrase “I’m just not that into him” has seemed to fit you to a tee.
We’re just not that into you. You sometimes come across as a little too self-satisfied for many viewers. Not that you don’t have reason to be satisfied with yourself. You do. It’s just not appealing to see someone as pleased with himself as you appear to be. But you’re not going to change and this isn’t the time to try.
Luckily for you, the president doesn’t have to be loved. He or she has to be able to do the job. That’s where Obama has failed the country. He’s not up to the job. You are.
That’s your best argument for voting for you. Not that you’re lovable or that you’re a regular guy (you know you’re not), but that you have what it takes to get us out of this economic morass and leftist la-la land the incumbent has foisted upon us.
(5) Try telling Americans something like this:
“I understand that you may never get excited about me. I can be pretty boring. I’m not as flashy as Newt, nor am I a rock star as many thought Obama was in 2008.
“I’m not the ideal guy to go out and toss back a few beers with. I don’t even drink beer.
“I was in the top 5% of my graduating class from Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. I know those schools don’t impress anyone anymore because Obama graduated from Harvard Law School and W graduated from the Harvard Business School. So I don’t expect you to respect me because of my education.
“And I know many of you find my religion strange. That’s your prerogative. I’m not trying to convert you. As I said in the debate last night, as your president I’ll be guided by the principles articulated by the Founding Fathers.
“What I am offering you is something no other candidate, Republican or Democrat, is able to offer, and it happens to be the single most important thing the country needs now: my services to get our nation out of the economic mess we’re in.
“Everyone agrees that this is the most important election in more than six decades.
“As a nation we’re in the worst shape we’ve been in since the Great Depression. You don’t have the luxury of electing a candidate who’ll make you swoon, who’ll uplift your spirits and make you so proud and happy you voted for the most exciting candidate you’ve ever seen in your life.
“This is the year to vote like a drowning man, because that’s what our country is. I, Mitt Romney, have a lifeboat with about 310 million life jackets. That’s what you need, America: not a comic, not a star, not a fast-talker, just a serious-minded man who understands money, finance, fiscal responsibility, and how to repair a broken economy. This is what I do and I do it well.
“Vote for me for president and your grandchildren will be able to vote into office another rock star president. Vote for anyone else this year and you’ll look back on 2011 as the best year you’ll have for the rest of your lives. Your grandchildren won’t be able to afford a rock star president, or anything else.”
— Belladonna Rogers