As of today, I’ve never seen Romney in a better position narratively. Not only does he have the momentum, but Obama’s smallish attacks don’t seem to be making a dent.
However, the race remains too close for comfort; to close the gap in swing states, Romney must begin speaking about working with Democrats, how he will work with Congress and how he will unite the country. This was the highpoint of his first debate, when he spoke at the end about his experience working with Democrats in Massachusetts.
Why is this critically important?
For two reasons:
1) Independents, undecideds and women traditionally respond very positively to a candidate who speaks of working with the other side, bipartisanship and compromise. It’s incredibly popular with them, but we’ve heard almost *nothing* of it during this campaign from either side. I’ve never seen a campaign like this in which both candidates completely ignore the notion of bringing people together, uniting, compromise and bipartisanship — usually these are hugely popular themes. These are themes that win elections!
2) Obama has no argument here. He gave up, conceded defeat to the Republicans, refused to work with them, wrote them off, and got absolutely nothing done the past two years. Yes, the Republicans stood their ground, McConnell telegraphed that they wouldn’t give Obama an inch, but a real leader would have forged relationships and legislation and made it a priority. Romney can slam Obama on this and they will not have an answer!
Romney must talk about this, but I’m not hearing it enough. I’m not hearing nearly enough of it. He touched on it in the first debate and in the third debate, but only passingly.
He needs to say things like:
“I can work with Democrats, but Obama’s proven he can’t work with Republicans.”
“He promised he would unite, but he’s done practically the opposite.”
“I have a positive plan for the future all Americans can get behind. All I hear from the president are name-calling, insults and divisive tactics.”
“We haven’t passed a budget in three years in this country, and I squarely blame the president. It’s his job to lead.”
“I’ve worked with Democrats before in Massachusetts, one of the most blue and liberal states in the union, and I’ll do it in Washington with Congress.”
“Democrats and Republicans share core values and I’ll work to find common ground on the things we agree on.”
“The president’s partisan tone becomes more negative and more pointed as the days go by. I reject that attitude. I know I’m going to have to work with Democrats to get anything done and I look forward to that. That’s the job of a leader.”
It’s an argument that will give Romney a decisive victory as well as help heal the nation and give Romney a boost as he assumes his role as president. It’s a “closing argument”, that if employed in these last ten days, will leave the Democrats’ heads spinning with no answer.