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They say the right question is much more valuable than the right answer. I can tell you from personal experience, that is true.

Many of the people "supporting" Romney have taken to social media as advocates.   Unfortunately for them, I stumbled across a tactic that completely overwhelms them. I was honestly surprised to see something so simple could have such a devastating impact on them.  It was like throwing water on the Wicked Witch of the West.

When I show you how to do this, you will be surprised how effective this strategy is at instantly rendering Romney's minions mute while simultaneously capturing the attention of bystanders.

I stumbled across this tactic when I was looking for a way to engage folks in debate on social media.  Sniping, name calling, and fabrication work well on cable TV if you control the venue and people tune in for the drama.  But in the real world, this offends and aggravates people who aren't directly engaged in the discussion, but have to listen to the constant bickering.   After reviewing the strategy behind Kerry's loss and Obama's win, I hit upon an approach that would engage bystanders, I decided to go POSITIVE.

Say what you will about the support for Bush, Jr., but people honestly believed "he kept us safe" from the bad guys.  That's a pretty strong POSITIVE affirmation, and a good reason to like the guy.  The problem, of course, is that wasn't true.  We suffered the worst terrorist attack on our soil under his presidency.  We wound up fighting a war in the wrong country.  The banks went wild looting the treasury.  But all those facts were irrelevant to the people who believed "he kept us safe."  It was their mantra.

Stymied by their efforts to undermine that narrative, Team Kerry made the calculated mistake of trying to run against Bush by simply being "anybody BUT Bush."  From a sales point of view, the outcome of that approach was completely predictable.  In fact, they were explicitly warned against doing that.  "No one buys a Honda because they HATE Ford.  They buy a Honda because they believe it is BETTER than a Ford."  That argument fell on deaf ears.  We all know how that worked out.  

Obama did not repeat that mistake in 2008.  His campaign was about HOPE.  And it worked marvelously.  Luckily for him, the Republicans have now chosen to repeat the mistakes of Kerry.  Romney has chosen to run AWAY from his record in Massachusetts, AWAY from his record at Bain, and soon he will do the same for his record at the Olympics.  No wonder his campaign is flailing.  How do you make an argument based on your achievements when you can't talk about them?   You go with "Not Obama" and hope no one asks any questions about what you stand FOR.

This puts the supporters of Romney in a very precarious position, especially in public venues like social media.  In fact, it renders them powerless to answer this simple question:

What is the best thing you can say about your candidate, that is true?
This may surprise you.  After all, the most difficult part of answering that question for an Obama supporter is limiting yourself to just ONE thing.  It certainly isn't scary or overwhelming.  Being scared of that is like being afraid of water.  That is the beauty of this tactic.  Sometimes the most powerful things appear completely benign.  Dorothy wasn't trying to destroy the Wicked Witch of the West when she threw water on her.  She probably was more surprised than the witch by the dramatic result.  

Every time I have used that approach, I have thrown Romney's advocates into complete disarray.  An added benefit of this approach is it works best with an audience.  The larger, the better.  The people who are not strongly invested in this election one way or the other see the result and, trust me, it has an impact.  

Now you know the secret, go out and try it for yourself.  You will be amazed how powerful this is.

Originally posted to 8ackgr0und N015e on Sat Jul 21, 2012 at 11:05 AM PDT.

Also republished by Headwaters.

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