Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Mitt Romney RNC speech: advice, thoughts and predictions
I watched parts of the RNC rollout last night.
Rick Santorum - too grandiose. Tried to be awe-inspiring but came off as a little bit loopy. His grandfather's hands seemed so large as he laid in the casket. I'd rather hear about Jerry Sandusky's swingin' hands in the swing state of Pennsylvania.
Nikki Haley - kind of a stilted delivery. Didn't seem comfortable on stage.
John Boehner and Scott Walker - didn't catch their speeches. Surprised they didn't give Boehner a more prominent role.
Ann Romney - Great content, but had a quick, awkward delivery. Had difficulty navigating through the applause lines. She's far more convincing in the personal interview setting. Nonetheless, she closed strong so that's all that really matters. I liked all the spontaneously phony "We ❤ ❥ ♡ ♥ Ann" signs. Nice touch.
Chris Christie - I thought it was wise to finish on an aggressive note but he seemed like he was in a race to finish.
All in all, I thought most of the speakers came across as rushed and overly rehearsed. Though, I did like the stage, the backdrops and flashy tv screens.
In past blogs, conversations and routine matters of existence, I've often expressed contempt for the far-right wing of the Republican party. So I thought I'd go Bizarro-Saffy and give Mitt Romney a template for his Thursday night speech at the RNC.
Divide it into 3 main categories:
* Health care is obviously your weakest point. Don't run away from it. Get it out of the way first. Blast "Obamacare" a bunch of times and use the standard "European socialist agenda" lines. Focus on how the issue should be addressed at the state level, not the federal level. Close with a personal story that nobody has ever heard regarding your wife's battle with multiple sclerosis - how the family was directly impacted. Show them sitting in the audience and focus on their expressions.
* Point to the Republican history of a strong national defense. I'd specifically invoke Reagan a few times here. I'd make a conscious effort to mention how the U.S. will stand "side by side, locked arm in arm" with Israel. Try to secure that Jew vote. It could be a game changer if Israel flexes its muscle right before the election. I'd do the usual blathering about American exceptionalism and how Obama is an apologist who bows to foreign leaders, but for the love of god, don't mention any of the birther crap. Play off the crowd, but don't alienate the national audience. Remember that Obama is considered pretty hawkish, mainstream on defense. Don't try to outflank him on the right.
* Finally, finish on jobs and the economy. Your sub issues are likely energy, taxes and the debt. "Mortgaging our children's future" is always a good line.
Talk about being a Republican leader in a very blue state. Reaching across the aisle to get things done rather than playing the politics of division. Play to your strengths as a leader and businessman, unlike our current leader.
I might try an unusual refrain. Considering that Republicans are the pragmatists and won't shy away from the difficult issues, how about closing with something like this...
Listen, we all know that throughout the course of history, all great civilizations have crumbled. And someday the United States will falter... BUT NOT YET. NOT THE United States. Not the U.S. NOT us. NOT ON MY WATCH. (crowd chants U.S.A, U.S.A). This could be worded better, but you get the drift. Raise the stakes to the highest point possible - the downfall of the empire. This material makes "dumb people feel smart" - look ma, he's telling you the truth. Romney will tell you the plain, cold truth. He ain't afraid.
From a general perspective, always keep trivializing Obama's negative campaign ads. Sound as if you're flabbergasted. How can people vote for "this guy?" Don't assign him the respect of the presidential title. Mention that the mainstream media is in "cahoots" with Obama, their savior-in-chief. Well, let me tell you something... "This guy is not my savior and I have a strong hunch he's not your savior either." The more condescending the better. Mock the fuck out of Obama.
Avoid the temptation to sing "America the Beautiful." Steer clear of sounding super-patriotic because you've never served. Try using a story about a female veteran who returned from Iraq/Afghanistan and wanted to start a small business but got mired in government red tape. But she fought through the bureaucracy and made it work. Crowd would go nuts. Show glimpses of her and her family in the crowd.
Use a story about a spouse that started her own business while their husband or wife was serving abroad. He/she came back without a limb and now they've taken on the new role of being the breadwinner. Use an American success story that lambasts big government while focusing on entrepreneurism and innovation. It's difficult to humanize Romney... so humanize someone else. Show them sitting in the audience with their family.
Anything about how the private sector is the right source for jobs. This is a CAPITALISTIC society. We need less govt., not more. And that's what I promise you, I'll bring back responsibility to the office of the presidency, not flash. We just can't allow him another 4 years. This election is about the future of our children.
I would also have a middle class, turned upper class "Joe the Plumber" type story... but it's a success, not a downer. Have a story about some blue collar, non union individual who climbed the ranks and achieved success. This would be your opportunity to close on an uplifting note for the crowd. Would make for decent tv fodder. Romney still needs something positive to close on. It can't all be an Obama hate fest. You need to be positive for the national audience. Gives people something to connect to. Convincing for the swing states - midwest, OH, PA, WI. IA, etc.
Try this line - "Some people say I'm boring. Hey, wait a minute. I'm gonna be the next president of the United States. Doesn't sound boring to me!"
This is a strong because it's self deprecating at first but eventually plays off the crowd enthusiasm.
Try this line - "Seriously though, I'd rather be boring and responsible than exciting and reckless any day of the week. And that's just what Barack Obama is... reckless and dangerous."
Also make sure to mention your wife's battle with multiple sclerosis. Make sure everyone in the arena knows that she's your "better half." Mention how the Obama team is more interested in their Olympic horse than the problems with health care. Those nimrods are making this election about Trafalca!!! Talk about being out of touch!
Don't say a fucking word about abortion and hot button social issues. Pro-lifers are already voting for you. Maybe let Ryan handle that crap the night before.
I also would start leaking a few key names for Dept. of Defense (Condi Rice) and maybe some potential ambassadors. Do everything you can to keep Donald Trump muted as much as possible. The Donald is not a team player. If you can't figure that out, you don't deserve to be president of the local dog pound. Give people some specific names. Maybe Liz Cheney - Secretary of State. Give some hints on what a Romney administration would look like. Get people used to the idea of a transitioning process.
Remember this point. This speech is for the country. You've already got the right wing. You need to convince the last 5-10% undecideds. Keep the whole speech simple. 3 Broad themes. And always make Obama and his campaign seem small, petty and only focused on tearing down the opposition. Overly concerned with trivial nonsense. Not willing to tackle the major issues.
End with the standard... Freedom, Liberty, blah, refrain. Again and again. God Bless You. God Bless America. God Bless This Great Country. Again and again. Wash, rinse, repeat.
So there you go. Now the fun part... seeing how much I got right.