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Posted by on Sep 18, 2012 in 2012 Elections, Economy, Health, Media, Politics, USA Presidential Election 2012 | 6 comments

Which Mitts Will Debate?

We know the Barack Obama who will step up to the podium, but how many of the multiple Mitts will engage him on domestic policy in Denver two weeks from tomorrow?

All those hours of watching Romney in 2008 and 2011 yield so many possibilities.

Could it be the earnest I-wanted-the-President-to-succeed version he tried out briefly at the GOP convention?

Or the president-with-business-experience Romney loftily trashing Obamacare but getting bogged down on how he imposed a tax in his Massachusetts mandate?

Or a they-stole-my-lunch Romney who had to hire an “attack coach” against Newt Gingrich last year?

“There’s two ways to look at this guy. One is that the glass is half empty,” said a Republican dean of public policy at the University of Massachusetts in 2007. “The other is that the glass is totally empty.”

The conventional wisdom about the first presidential debate in 1960 is that Nixon looked unshaven and sickly compared to JFK, but in my memory more important was his attitude, a Uriah Heep blend of being oily and agreeable yet slyly combative.

Romney will avoid that error, but…


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  • The_Ohioan

    If Mr. Romney can refrain from $10,000 bets or other tone deaf references to his personal wealth, he might make it through unscathed. His problems have all arisen when being questioned by professional journalists, seldom though that has been.

    His inability to give quick, smooth, and above all cogent answers to important questions has to date remained his biggest stumbling block. If he were smart, he’d hire a professional reporter to ask him those types of questions because that’s what he will encounter from the debate moderators and the President. Talking points don’t make it in national debates.

    And what a scoop for that reporter to hear real answers to real questions!

  • ShannonLeee

    Mitt has to win the debates, not get away clean. If Mitt does not solidly beat Obama in the first debate, this thing is over.

  • Some pundits have been proclaiming “his debates won him the nomination, he’ll do fine against Obama”. I think they’re missing one key factor: Romney’s primary opponents universally suffered from horribly acute cases of hoof-in-mouth disease. He won the primary by default, not by “wowing the crowd”.

    Obama’s a very gifted speaker, somewhat less so a debater. He is still a force to be reckoned with, though.

  • Willwright

    I think Mittens will give a good account of himself. Obama is better at delivering speeches than debating. Should be interesting to watch. I read somewhere that’s there not much evidence that these debates make that much difference in the election results. I suspect this is true as these things often are little more than a repetition of each candidates talking points.

  • Rcoutme

    Mittens’ team has already begun to let us know that he will (probably) not be answering any questions that he doesn’t like. He will go on a diatribe of some rehearsed talking point. Why? Because Obama will be lying in the debate.

    I wish I were kidding you.

  • ProWife

    Suggestion for Mitt re: Strategy for Debate Performance
    Mitt, your best strategy is the one that has proven to work best for you already. Just like your tax returns you should keep your answers to yourself. When the moderator ask you a question, simply say, I’m not going to answer that, because there’s too much ammunition in my answer. And then say, the other guy will just use the ammunition to say bad things about me.

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