Mitt Romney’s campaign is one of the most pathetic attempts at the presidency since Ralph Nader. The campaign has taken all the tried and true approaches to winning an election and promptly thrown them out the window. As somebody who has watched (with interest) political wranglings over the last couple of years, you realize that there is a way to win the public opinion war and a way to lose it, no matter where you are coming from. Mitt Romney seems to be trying his hardest to throw away all the advantages he gets from facing an opponent administering a less-than-stellar economy.
Here’s how I could help:
- Relatability.Yes, I think it is a word. After the convoluted, but endlessly interesting GOP primary campaign, Mitt Romney came out on top as the Republican Presidential nominee. In picking him, the GOP literally picked the least relatable candidate they could have to average Americans.
Mitt Romney has an announced wealth of over $250 million. He owns multiple homes and as he himself said, “My wife drives a couple of Cadillacs,” This is a man who’s family owns a horse that competed in the Olympics, not as a race horse or whathaveyou, but in dressage, a competition where the horse and the rider perform a dance. It has often been referred to as “Horse Ballet” because that is what it is.
It turns out a majority of Americans are not worth $250 million, they don’t earn Olympian horses, and they don’t have a fleet of cars.Why his campaign should have known
After the generation of revolutionaries died out in the mid 1800’s, being relatable was a huge plus when looking at a presidential candidate. Teddy Roosevelt rode it, Woodrow Wilson rode it, JFK, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush rode it. Americans like a leader they can “have a beer with” and many candidates have successfully painted their opponent as not relatable. In 2004 the Bush campaign brilliantly manuevered to paint John Kerry as an elitist that was unrelatable. It didn’t matter that Bush was the one pushing for lower taxes on the rich and Kerry was the one pushing for lower taxes on the poor, Kerry spoke fluent French. A majority of Americans don’t speak fluent French so Bush attacked him on his French fluency and it worked.
When Kerry went windsurfing to let off some steam, Bush used the pictures as evidence that he was out-of-touch and far removed from the American people. Bush won that election.
What I would advise
From a financial, work-your-way-up-from-nothing standpoint, Obama kind of has a monopoly on relatability. …Or so it would seem. If Romney wants to try to even up the playing field in regards to relatability, he’s got to go for Obama’s soft underbelly: He is black and his father is from Kenya. If it sounds awful, it’s because it is. Romney needs to paint Obama as outside the norm. When Obama puts up a picture like this:
Romney needs to put up a picture like this:
That’s a picture of Obama meeting with a foreign diplomat in a place of worship. It was taken years before Obama ran for president and he was required to wear traditional garb to go into the place. The trick is, Romney doesn’t have to say any of that. All he has to do is release the picture or have a SuperPAC release the picture. In the meantime Romney needs to take off the tie and eat some steamed crab in Virginia alongside normal folks rather than speaking at events where it costs $10,000 for a seat.
- Likeability.Obama says that he wants to create regulations that will curb increases in tuition rates and attempt to keep college education more affordable for students. Days later Mitt Romney says, “Students should get only as much education as they can afford,” Likeability for Obama goes up and Romney goes down. When pictures are released of Obama and his family together they look happy and healthy and as loving as a family should be. When pictures are released of Romney and his family, they often look rigid and uncomfortable with each other. Finally, when he goes over seas, Romney tends to say the worst possible thingsin the countries he goes to.Why his campaign should have known
Guess which one won. Likeability is key in every election. More often than not the likeable candidate will always win (with the exception of the election of Richard Nixon). 64% of Americans find Obama as an all-around more likeable guy whereas Mitt Romney commands a measly 26%. Likeability doesn’t always translate into votes, but since 1980, every single election has gone to the more likeable candidate.
What I would advise
Don’t take on Obama in a likeability war directly. You will lose. Instead, quietly, and subtly manuever yourself as more fun-loving and comfortable with yourself. Romney’s campaign should keep up attacks on Obama, but Romney himself shouldn’t go negative because it paints him as so afraid to be himself that he must attack the other guy instead. Every small town resturaunt that Romney stops at should be a photo op. Catch him playing a game of frisbee or baseball or something to show that he’s not just a man in a suit. You need more smiles and more family time. The hope is that by showing sincerely that Romney is a likeable guy, it could scare the Obama campaign into trying too hard to make Obama likeable resulting in a fakeness to his actions. This would have people questioning his honesty and sincere likeability.
- TelepromptersFor some reason, Mitt Romney’s campaign has decided that the best thing to do in making Mitt come across as more likeable and relateable is to avoid using teleprompters some times. I believe the idea is that by talking from the heart Romney comes across as sincere and honest. Instead he comes across as sincerely and honestly stupid.
Why his campaign should have known
What I would advise
When you are running for president, if you have the opportunity to say or do the perfect thing, you need to say or do it. The speeches that are written for the teleprompters are worked on, word for word, until they are as perfect as possible. With the teleprompters, you can be perfect for one speech. Do not pass up that opportunity in favor of looking like a dumbass so that you might get the dumbass vote.