Romney at the Convention: Whom Will Mitt Speak To?

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CHRISTOPHER MORRIS / VII FOR TIME

Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, is shown on the jumbo screens at the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 27, 2012.

The Republican Convention is Mitt Romney’s first big opportunity since the primaries to speak directly to general-election voters. Will he focus on rallying the Republican base, or will he try to connect with the swing voters who hold the key to the White House?

To date, the answer has not been clear. Too often, the Romney campaign acts as if the GOP primary battle is still raging and its candidate is five points behind Rick Santorum. All this fussing over the Republican base is wasted energy. With Republicans practically dying to vote against Barack Obama in November, the GOP base is the least of Romney’s problems.

Fickle swing voters are a different story. They bounce back and forth in the polls, and lately that bounce has been moving disconcertingly away from Romney and toward Obama. If Romney is to win, he will have to get those voters back, and the convention is an excellent place to begin. While today’s tightly scripted party –gatherings cannot compete in the ratings department with table-tossing Real Housewives and preening Kardashians, they can still scrape together a decent –audience of 20 million-plus households for the big keynote and acceptance speeches. (Media attention can multiply this audience so that nearly everyone in the country hears about the speeches.) Romney must use this platform to revise his pitch and start talking to general-–election voters. The question is, Will he?

The choice of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate is a murky indicator of the campaign’s direction. Ryan’s sunny demeanor and reformer’s optimism could help Romney run a swing-voter-friendly campaign against the sour norms of politics as usual. To voters tired of the Obama campaign’s –onslaught of attack ads, Ryan’s upbeat style will be a welcome change. Conversely, in many respects the Ryan pick looks like yet another move to please the hardcore GOP voters whom Romney –already has. The party’s professional conservatives are elated, seeing the ebullient Ryan as the perfect fresh face to wage a puristic ideological battle with the left, which they have long wanted. But Ryan’s credentials as a leader of the House GOP’s most fervently ideological wing may be a step too far for the squishier swing voters whom Romney needs most.

(PHOTOS: Political Pictures of the Week, Aug. 11-17)

For that reason, the GOP’s professional campaign generals are glum. Most see the Ryan choice as a strategic blunder that turns the GOP focus from the winning –issue of jobs to a dicey war of attrition fought on the highly unfavorable, Demo–cratic terrain of Medicare and entitlement cuts. That’s why Republican candidates in tough House and Senate races aren’t exactly racing to add the name Ryan in Day-Glo letters to their bumper stickers.

The Romney campaign says its game plan for the convention is simple: to tell the larger personal story of hard-earned success. The campaign knows its candidate is undefined and vulnerable. Romney’s aides want the convention to finally fill in the blanks. That’s a good start. But smart campaigns know that the media resist the pat scripts fed to them at conventions and often look for trivial stories to make a little delicious trouble. That means the campaign would be well advised to pick a clever moment to feed the bored press corps something it never expected.

The large televised audience for Romney’s acceptance speech is the campaign’s opportunity to do that. Romney needs to break out of the cage of doubt that the Obama campaign’s negative-ad makers have created around him. Voters need to see a multidimensional human being who instinctively feels their pain and –understands the deep fear a broken economy brings to the vulnerable. Romney’s speech must go beyond mere biography and paint a vivid picture of where he wants to lead the country.

(PHOTOS: The Rich History of Mitt Romney)

One other point: if he is smart, Romney will avoid the often powerful temptation inside the convention hall to chase the cheap applause that comes from endlessly bashing the opponent. If Romney finds himself standing at the podium merely giving a hastily repainted version of his primary stump speech, he will lose the night. The audience Romney needs to win isn’t the one that will be cheering on the floor of the hall in Tampa. It is the audience that will sit listening, warily, in living rooms across America.

Romney should remember that the case against the incumbent has mostly been made. Obama’s economic failures have effectively made him the nation’s second choice for President. Romney will either convince general-election voters that he should become their first choice or he will to his peril remain their third. 

Murphy is a Republican consultant.

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Richard Giles
Richard Giles

Obviously they will say and present whatever they think will appeal to voters then, as we know and have seen, just do whatever to serve "the money", their masters who dictate to them, while depending on the subterfuge, with the aid of the power, influence and mega-millions provided them, to con the people and manipulate public opinion.  These are the same people who force moderates out and who go to great length to coerce and intimidate their “puppet” politicians to assure total unity behind “the money’s” interests.  They are simply liars who without hesitation, as they are cocky confident with being emboldened by past cons, just appeal to the 99%s concerns and interests while completely committed to serving only the 1%.  Their past twelve year history has clearly substantiated all of that.

Richard Giles
Richard Giles

How can we trust Romney-Ryan to "fix" anything?  Their concentration is on giving the people subterfuge and deceptively serving only the few.  Saying that "big government" is at fault and is the cause of our problems is the deception and is the intentional cover-up of what actually needs to be fixed.  Reducing government spending and the deficit are important goals but they aren't what caused our problems and focusing there won't ever solve the problems.  What really caused our problems, in every case, is permissive, co-responsible politicians catering to "the money", their strong supporters, who exploit their advantages and who with run-away greed, gross dishonesty and self-indulgence caused repeated crises in savings and loans, banks, dot.coms, manufacturing, the mortgage, investment and financial industries, as well as corporate corruption (like Enron) and with very costly industrywide failures, always with 'the few" taking enormous gains and leaving the costs and lost jobs to the majority; that is simply obvious in any objective and rational view of what we have literally experienced.  Romney, Ryan and the Republican / Tea Party are owned and controlled by "the money' and they are totally obligated to produce policies that serve only the 1%, which won’t ever help the 99%, no matter how rationalized.

Glen Fiddich
Glen Fiddich

 

POST-ABC Poll:

Who would be a better commander-in-chief? 

Obama = 45%, Romney = 35%

Who would do better job with social issues such as abortion, gay marriage?

Obama = 47%, Romney = 39%

Who would do better job handling Social Security? Obama = 45%, Romney = 38%

Who do you trust more to handle taxes? 

Obama = 46%, Romney = 46%

Who would do a better job on Afghanistan? Obama = 43%, Romney = 27%

Who do you trust to handle the economy? Obama = 45%, Romney = 48%

Who do you trust to handle education? Obama = 52%, Romney = 34%

Who do you trust to handle international affairs?  Obama = 56%, Romney = 37%

Who would do a better job with the federal budget deficit? Obama = 43%,

Romney = 51%

Who do you trust to handle health care policy?  Obama = 48%, Romney = 44%

Who do you trust to handle immigration issues?  Obama = 46%, Romney = 43%

Who do you trust to improve job creation? Obama = 47%, Romney = 45%

Who do you trust to handle Medicare? 

Obama = 43%, Romney = 27%

Looks like Romney won't be in Washington in 2013...unless he is there explaining the things he's tried to hide to the IRS.

JSWM
JSWM

Strike out hard about the economy and many will listen.   Vote your checkbook.

mrobert42
mrobert42

murphy is a savvy political operative..it is a mystery why romney didn't utilize his

talents this year but murphy is right on the money when he suggests that the race is not about the base its about the squishy middle..and the choice of ryan although

at first blush it appears to energize the base is one that will in the end result in

obama peeling off 10% of seniors now favoring romney in florida and ohio because of the ryan medicare plan once those seniors see the ads and understand that romney has essentially abdicated the issue to his VP candidate

mrobert42
mrobert42

mike murphy has it right...Ihave no idesa why the romney campaign did not

utilize his talents but murphy is a very savy consultant who understands what

drives independent voters and how to get them to support the romney ryan ticket

the problem however for romney is that ryans budget plan which includes a revamp of medicare turns out to be very unpopular in florida and ohio the

states that romney must have to win...if obama can peel  off 10% of seniors

now supporting romney as the result of their concern about medicare romeny can't win..its why ryan although a candidate who can ralley the base is a big risk

marisombra
marisombra

April 15th 2012Apuzzo, Obama lawyer,  went on to say that Obama’s father was not an American citizen, meaning President Obama is not a “natural born” citizen and ineligible for the office he holds."birther " is a compliment so don't even bother calling me that.....  : )

DerekHologram
DerekHologram

 Why do news organizations continue to publish the thoughts of professional propagandists? There is no news in the words of ideological servants and no one is informed of anything when they spit out their filtered view of the world. It is pitiful that they continue to dominate and mock the very idea of news, at the same time.

Michael King
Michael King

I sincerely hope that Romney lays out a definitive and detailed plan to accomplish the magical transformation of our economic circumstances that includes realistic risk assessment, costs amp; cuts and best/worst case outcomes.  I hear from Wall St and the GOP that he is an expert at this, so I would assume it's all in the bag and he is planning a dramatic unveiling ... soon, maybe.

Being a in-the-trenches business analyst, I am looking forward to comparing the alternative plans presented in this national election from socially pragmatic and mathematical-tax/financial perspectives.  

Ideally, this can be broken down rather easily to a "calculator app", where you plug in your circumstances (or expectations) and get a definitive and comparative answers for GOP/Romney and Obama/DEM.  Based upon their respective publicly declared details.  No details - gong show time.

Economically, the taxes and ACA, Medicare-Medicaid part is pretty easy - once Romney declares and defines the rates, deductions (allowed /eliminated) and any other twists ... a computer(or smart phone) can spit the answers out fast amp; accurate.  The Obama/DEM plan is known, unless they add something new.  I'd love to program it and put it on a website for everyone to use.  It is a two edged sword.

For social issues - same thing, the results are not mathematically precise but it is relatively easy to construct pragmatic scenarios that indicate a few most likely possibles - with each side adding their spin/rebuttal.  That works with entitlements and infrastructure.

It's just my observation, but most of the social issues (abortion, etc.) seem to come down a choice between the church of man defining civil morality for everyone versus the founding fathers' concept that each person has the inalienable right to make their own decisions regarding religion-morality so long as no harm or imposition is caused to others.  So the comparisons can be drawn accurately when held to the founding fathers' standards.  Where you stand is up to you - but know the consequences of your vote.

As far as the economy, there is nothing either of these two well meaning guys can do that will bring back the good old days.  Wall Street, lobbyists and profiteers first deceived us and then stole or wasted our money - it's gone and they aren't.  If you can't "fix" that, how are things going to improve?  Now that's a topic that is curiously absent from either party or candidate, isn't it?  

So yes, lets do get down to the brass tacks - look at the probable outcomes with real numbers we can agree on and have a truly informed debate ... from many perspectives.  

We need to arrive at a general consensus or put at severe risk everything we have worked for and died for by defaulting to blind emotional bias.  We need to be adult and deal with the whatever the truth may be.  The politicians will always adapt - or die.

SmilingSmartBlonde
SmilingSmartBlonde

Mike Murphy

Good advice for Romney , however, Romney's selection of Paul Ryan for VP demonstrated unabashed pandering to the right  and a total disregard for making any appeal to centrist voters. It is clear that Romney aready decided that his audience will not be LICs ( lefties, indies, or centists. )

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

"Romney should remember that the case against the incumbent has mostly been made. Obama’s economic failures have effectively made him the nation’s second choice for President. Romney will either convince general-election voters that he should become their first choice or he will to his peril remain their third".

So who will be the first choice then if Romney ends up the "third"?  Gary Johnson?

LOL

Steve0T
Steve0T

 Yes, dear Teabagger scum, typos are hilarious indeed.

grape_crush
grape_crush

Me, I can't wait to see how many times they cut from the speech to That One Black Guy in The Audience.

Murphy is a Republican consultant.

'Defrocked', though. Still, goes a long way in explaining the spin he's pushing here. 

sacredh
sacredh

They'd better pray to God that "That One Black Guy" doesn't eat cabbage rolls, chili or any Taco Bell before he takes his seat. Could you imagine the camera being on him and white people on both sides leaning away?

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

http://2016themovie.com/traile...

This movie is so popular you can't get on the website for it most of the time.  

Bye bye Barry.  Now you can go back to Kenya.

Steve0T
Steve0T

 When do you go bag to your pond, scum?

Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

Obama's attack ads???  "On Tuesday's edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough [Republican]  laced into Mitt Romney's camp over a lineup of welfare ads that repeat a false claim against President Barack Obama."I've been looking for a week-and-a-half to try to figure out the basis of this welfare reform ad," Scarborough said. "I've scoured the Wall Street Journal editorial pages … the ad's completely false. It's just completely FALSE."

Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

The “White Horse Prophecy” is a prediction made by Joseph Smith Jr. who was the founder of Mormon religion. He said that a time would come when the US Constitution would be hanging by a thread and a church elder from the Mormon Church will ride in on a metaphorical white horse and save it. [This will thereby transform the U.S. government into a Mormon-ruled theocracy.]

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

Citation please.  This is a NO BULLCRAP ZONE

grape_crush
grape_crush

 This is a NO BULLCRAP ZONE

Says Rusty, before collapsing into himself thus creating a self-referential singularity from which no speck of introspection could ever escape.

MrObvious
MrObvious

It's uncanny how clueless he is. It's like a bubble where no awareness every penentrates, reinforced by a forcefield of pure ignorance.

Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

Romney will be speaking to people who borrow a bunch of money, buy a company and pay themselves millions of dollars in dividends and fees, while the company itself ends up bankrupt and its employees lose their jobs, health insurance and pensions. (He will not be speaking to those employees.)

the_sons_of_lot
the_sons_of_lot

Romney is going to pander to all the MedicAid recipient he ripped off.

What about Gov Rick Scott of Florida walking away from HCA with $500 million after he got the company up on 14 felony charges of medicaid fraud and $650 million in fines only to have new Augusta member, Darla Moore and partner GW Bush sweep the dirt under the carpet.

Now Bain owns HCA...

kbanginmotown
kbanginmotown

Thanks for joining the fray here in Swampland, sons_of.

Foggy, care to weigh in on this...?

Troygrad
Troygrad

Who will Mittens talk to at the convention?  Excellent question.  Perhaps he can talk to the other bored, out of touch billionaires.  Oh wait, that's the RNC leadership.  With all the headlines that Rep. Akins is grabbing I doubt anyone will pay attention to Mittens.  Paul Ryan as a sunny reformer, yeah right.  This is the man helped nearly shut down government. I'll be watching the convention next week with no expectations of greatness.

sacredh
sacredh

"Romney at the Convention: Whom Will Mitt Speak To?"

.

Let's look at this another way. The tropical storm bearing down on Florida is projected to be where during the republican convention in Tampa? The answer is.....TAMPA. Right offshore. What happened to the republican convention 4 years ago? Oh yeah, events were cancelled because of a....HURRICANE. The party of God evidently doesn't have at least one fan. God.

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

I didn't want to see this happen to them but now that it appears to be headed their way...hope no one gets hurt.

SmilingSmartBlonde
SmilingSmartBlonde

Agreed nflfoghorn. We here in Florida are feeling jazzed up about this, and not in a good way. Tampa has a huge college student population. It isa source of worry.   

rokinsteve
rokinsteve

The Thunder Gods want some ignorant cons for a snackrifice.  Romney rump and Gingrich gut is on their menu.

sacredh
sacredh

I'm hoping it veers off and heads into the Atlantic. I don't want to see the people in Florida get nailed and I also want to see how the convention plays out. I'm probably wrong, but I think cancelling most of the convention could actually help the republicans. The more the story is on the storm, the less the Akin angle gets coverage.

fuzzlogue
fuzzlogue

Who will Willard speak to at the Republican convention?

He will speak to a faith-based rejectionist political party.

He will speak to a political party steeped in the politics of resentment.

He will speak to a political party with a litmus test for who is a genuine American.

He will speak to a political party with one simplistic economic idea- no taxes.

He will speak to a political party that alienates the women in our society.

He will speak to a political party reeking in big government vs small government hypocrisy.

He will speak to a political party that derives great political joy in politically defecating on the less fortunate and

the poor.

 

He will speak to a political party that has lost its ability to act as a principled counter weight to our other

political institution.

He will speak to a political party that is not at all inspiring to a nation looking for concrete answers to its

problems.

Never will I go back to that because what makes my vote really count today is my sense of political independence.

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

Fuzzy must be one of our poor welfare recipients.  They are the ones scared out of their minds Obama won't be sending Obama bucks their way anymore.