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6 Awful Pieces of Advice the Right Is Giving Mitt Romney on the Eve of Debates

More Mitt? I dunno...

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He tells us America is more respected in the Middle East and Al Qaeda is finished. I see chaos, American weakness and a president who won’t be honest with voters because it might upset his re-election prospects.

Actually dozens, if not hundreds of Americans died as a result of terror attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq and elsewhere under George Bush, and of course 9/11 happened on his watch. But more to the point, as Steve M. at No More Mister Nice Blog points out:

Here's the thing: Most Americans aren't like Republicans -- they don't have a Pavlovian hate-response to the name Jimmy Carter, or to Jimmy Carter as a metaphor. And keep in mind that a 45-year-old today was 12 when the Iranian hostages were taken; everyone that age and younger probably has few if any clear memories of this moment in our history...

Now, here's where what's usually an advantage for the right becomes a disadvantage. The right-wing rank-and-file is permanently engaged by politics; Fox News and talk radio are entertainment for a lot of right-wingers. That's good for Republicans a lot of the time; for instance, it helps boost their turnout in otherwise low-turnout midterm elections.

But in this case, it means Republican operatives may be anticipating a higher level of engagement in this story than actually exists. Average Republicans may be following this story in great detail, and may be able to parse it very finely, but I'm certain that most of the rest of America can't do the same. 

The GOP operatives who are pursuing this "Jimmy Carter strategy" seem to be assuming a mass obsession with the Benghazi timeline, as well as a political insider's (or at least a maven's) familiarity with political and campaign narratives...

4. Zingers!

With a recent New York Times report that the Romney campaign was practicing the deployment of some pre-arranged “zingers” came a number of conservatives,  including New Gingrich, urging Mitt to win over America with his dazzling wit!

But Mitt's no Shecky Green – this is the candidate who joked about how he likes firing people, and upon seeing actual black people thought it hilarious to sing "Who Let the Dogs Out?"

5. Be Specific!

Romney pollster Neil Newhouse told the Associated Press, “I’m not sure that voters really understand the differences between the plans Mitt Romney has and Obama has... And I think that’s one thing we’re committed to trying to do in moving forward is defining the differences between the two candidates on taxes.”

Newhouse was heeding the advice many Republican consultants have been giving for fo some time now. “Many swing voters are ready to throw Obama out of office if Mitt Romney gives them some clear substance of how he will help them if elected,” Republican strategist Keith Appell told the AP.

This is the worst possible advice, given that Romney's plans don't add up. The specific policies he favors are nothing less than  toxic with the American public. Romney really has no choice but to stick to vague platitudes about “freedom.” 

6. Be Yourself!

The Hill interviewed a bunch of strategists from both major parties who urged Romney to “be himself.”

There is time for Mitt Romney to forge the personal connection with voters that propels successful candidates to the White House, according to Republican and Democratic commentators alike.

But it’s running out.

These experts say that, policy prescriptions aside, the GOP nominee needs to display greater personal ease and consistency of tone than he has done so far.

 
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