First, Romney presented himself as a reasonable man — neither an extremist nor an ideologue. He calmly rebutted familiar attacks on his proposals. He was clear and forceful, tough but respectful. He sounded knowledgeable. He conveyed an impression of competence and experience as a potential manager of the economy. He praised some aspects of the Obama administration’s program, such as its Race to the Top education reform program. And when he insisted on the importance of working together across party lines, it sounded as though he meant it.
Second, Romney wove a number of anecdotes — peoples’ stories from the campaign trail — into his policy discussions. This had the effect of softening his image as a soulless manager focused solely on the bottom line. So did his assertion that the country has a responsibility to care for those who cannot care for themselves.
Third, Romney provided a number of policy specifics, and his virtual PowerPoint style — a series of bullets laid out clearly — underscored the impression of specificity. My guess is that viewers will come away with the sense that they know considerably more than they did before
Fourth, Romney found an organizing theme for his proposals — job creation.
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