“They [Romney] will lose if they let the other side turn him into a caricature.”…

Romney’s problem isn’t just that people don’t know enough specifics about his policies, they don’t know enough about him as a person. When choosing their president, voters want more than a resume, says Devine. They want to take a real measure of the man.

Devine suggests an ad that features Romney speaking directly to camera.

“People need to look him in the eye,” he said.

***

Romney won the GOP nomination on a very tactical level. He out-fundraised, out-organized, and outmaneuvered his rivals. But even then, his story was never told. All the messaging seemed to be oriented toward selling him as the most conservative person on the planet. Now it’s just about the economy, not about him. Every week, usually on Friday, the Romney campaign launches a new ad, but these never sell him.

In the old days of politics, one of the first stages of campaign advertising was to introduce the candidate to the voters, to build the candidate up as someone worthy of the responsibilities of the job, and to create a real connection between the voters and the candidate. It’s hard to find the kind of advertising these days that makes someone say to themselves, “Wow, what an impressive person. We would be lucky to have them as our leader!” One campaign that did was Obama’s in 2008. Four years ago, Obama connected with voters on a personal level, and he won. Sure, voters were in the mood for change, the economy was awful, and Obama had more money. But he did connect on a personal level.

It isn’t clear when the Romney campaign plans to introduce its candidate to the voters, to have his sons talk about their Dad, or to have Ann Romney talk about her husband. Maybe they plan to hold off until the convention. But if I were running, every day that undecided and independent voters in swing states were getting pounded with ads portraying me as an awful person, I’d think I would want some testimony to contradict it. I’d want to have someone telling those voters what kind of person I am and why I am worthy of their support. But what do I know?

***

Despite the fact that Obama has had a pretty miserable couple of months, he has still driven the debate, and has generally maintained a slight lead in the polls (including in most of the swing states). And during that time, whether the conversation has been the Buffett Rule or the DREAM Act or extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone making less than $250,000 — Obama has defined the turf.

Even in the rare instances where conservatives have been on offense, Romney was mostly just capitalizing on gaffes (Hilary Rosen). In some cases, it was the work of third parties (such as Jim Treacher discovering a young Obama dined on man’s best friend) that turned the tide. (In fairness, Obama has the bully pulpit and much of the media, so it’s not a fair fight.) Still, this question is worth asking: If Obama is still winning now, after getting off to a rough start, why should anyone expect things to change in, say, October…

Mitt Romney has to make a choice. The rope-a-dope might work for a while, but at some point, he has to take off the gloves and deliver the metaphorical knock-out punch. No matter how much the Obama campaign may flounder, Romney’s not going to become president by default.

***

“We shouldn’t be listening to political consultants whispering in our ears, ‘Say as little as possible,’ we shouldn’t be listening to those voices that say, ‘Just use the party doctrine and don’t stray.’ We should be telling people how we think and how we feel and let them judge us up or down. […] You can’t lead by being a mystery. You can’t lead by being an enigma. You can’t lead by being aloof. You can’t lead by being programmed. I think you have to lead by being yourself and who you are and then people will trust you. And when they trust you, they will follow you.”

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We find ourselves in a unique situation here. We don’t have the ideal nominee. There wasn’t the ideal nominee this time around. But we do know something that trumps everything else and that is this administration must be dispatched on Election Day. We have to get rid of it. Regardless what Romney is, if Romney is less than a Reagan — of course, everyone is — if Romney is just somebody to occupy the Oval Office for four years while we put a stop to what’s going on and try to reverse the direction of the country, it’s all gonna boil down to us. (interruption) What are you saying? What’s your reaction? No, it’s not McCain, but my point is we conservatives do not have a Ronald Reagan running here. I don’t want that to make people feel negative about what our prospects are…

We’re in a single elimination tournament, so to speak, one-and-done. A Republican loss in the House or the Senate or the presidency is game, set, and match.

We have to win all three, and then after that, we have to do the right things with the new power that we will have been entrusted with, or I should say they have to because we aren’t gonna be there. If we lose the House, it’s over. If we lose the Senate, it’s over. If we lose the presidency it’s over for the economy and for individual freedom. But the reality is, the truth is that the country is poised for a sweep of the series. A Scott Walker, Tea Party-style campaign is what likely voters want.

Via the Daily Rushbo.