Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Romney's Brilliant Debate Strategy

The public has seen three different Mitt Romenys across the three debates.  They are:

  • An aggressive, smart, sober, and committed candidate in the first debate.  For many undecided voters, this was the first they'd seen of Romney, and based on the polls, they saw someone that was contrary to the person that was being defined by the Obama campaign.   The net result was a swing in momentum in the race that appears to have continued to this time.
  • A learned and effective candidate in the second debate.  One who could hold his ground, not back down, and lay the foundation of a presidential air.
  • A president in the third debate.  Romney didn't stoop to name calling, emotional retorts, or "gotcha" quotes.  He wanted to appear above it, and he succeeded.
Through all three debates, Romney's design has been to get new voters, either disenfranchised democrats or undecided independents, to 1) look at Romney and 2) get comfortable with him as a potential president.  In the meantime, Obama's strategy, at least in the last two debates, was to energize his base and prove to them that he wasn't "blowing it."  His base wanted somebody to rub the rich guy's nose in his pile of dirty money, and Obama delivered.

Unfortunately, that strategy doesn't work for reelection.  Obama's base is already won.  In order to secure victory, he needed to convert those on the fence.  And all he ended up doing is looking petty, petulant, and small, and ended up pushing them away and opening the door for them to consider somebody else.

And with that opening, Romney delivered.  

While it may not deliver the presidency - there may be far too many people on the democratic side that independents are finally rendered moot - it was Romney's best path to the presidency.  And one in which he executed beautifully.

Now we just need to see if it matters or not.

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