1. Come out swinging.

She has to “connect the dots for people,” Deace said. “They won’t do it on their own.”

For example, when Perry talks about federal health care mandates, she should point out he tried to mandate a vaccine against a sexually transmitted cancer for sixth-grade girls — while she believes in parents’ rights.

And Iowans need to believe she’s “tough enough to win the proverbial kill shot,” he said. She needs to prove that as president, she could deliver a tough message to fellow politicians and foreign leaders.

If her campaign follows the legislative playbook of her Iowa campaign chair, state Sen. Kent Sorenson, Iowa aides won’t mind going negative with an attack on an opponent’s record. Sorenson’s race for the Iowa Senate was one of the most fiercely fought last fall — and he soundly defeated Democratic incumbent Staci Appel.

But Stewart, her national campaign spokeswoman, said: “It’s just not in her nature to come out swinging. She’s going to do as she has been doing: Travel around Iowa and meet as many people as she can meet and talk about her record … and her solutions for creating jobs and turning the economy around.”