Face it, Republicans: Romney's only hope is a bad economy

2. Romney, therefore, will (if he’s smart, that is) try to avoid every topic that is not the economy. As the weeks go on in this race, every week in which the debate is chiefly about women or immigration or Afghanistan or whatever will be a week that Obama wins. It doesn’t even really matter if Romney holds his own on the particulars. These are loser topics for him and the GOP.

3. Obama will (if he’s smart) try to put these subjects at the center of the debate. He can’t exactly avoid talking about the economy. It’s a pretty dominant subject. And in fact, there are many points on which he can attack Romney on economics (Medicare, his royalist tax plan, etc.). But Obama will probably try to talk a lot about women and immigration and Osama. In addition, he’ll do things that emphasize likeability and so forth, and that highlight Romney’s detachment and insulation from the normal vagaries and vicissitudes of daily life. The Obama campaign should try to create situations that will bait Romney into doing more things like mentioning his wife’s dressage horses or insulting the cookies served to him by a middle-class family purchased from the neighborhood’s most beloved bakery.