We all remember what is was like when we were losing in 2004 and 2010.
So many right-wing pundits (and not-so-progressive Democrats) had advice.
I decided we should take the same care and extend the same courtesy to the Romney campaign.
So in extended is my concern-troll campaign advice - what I would do if I actually wanted Romney to win. I am not concerned about giving them ideas, because I think so much of this advice requires Romney to actually take responsibility and stand for something, and so much of it would hurt his personal bottom-line, I'm pretty sure he's not going to take it.
Join me, won't you...?
Mitt has three problems, all of which we will tackle below.
1) Get TAXES off the table.
2) Reintroduce himself to the people (make him likeable)
3) Turn out the vote/rally the base
1) Get TAXES off the table.
Solution: Data dump, or the "good luck with all that" plan
No matter how bad it gets, the news cycle will only tolerate Tax News for so long. The goal is to get it out and off the table and to give idiot journalists and pundits something else to talk about. Release 20-25 years of tax returns all at once. Tens and thousands of pages. Highlight all of the "good" done with Mitt's money (tithes, charity), highlight legitimate business losses (people understand this concept).
Why it works.
Since the press is all about "false equivalency" push the idea that all of this good is the same as not paying any taxes. Chances are, what comes out won't be worse than what's already in people's heads. It's not like he took advantage of the 2009 tax amnesty for swiss bank account holders? It's not like he has money invested inAmerica's enemies?
Why it works, part 2.
At this point, challenge Obama to release 20 years of his returns. Ordinary as those may be, you can probably get some stories written about that "tax write-off for Tony Rezko's house" or some other false-hood. Muddle the conversation such that its no good to mention for the Obama campaign.
If they did it tomorrow, two weeks before the convention, it'd be out of the headlines by the time Mitt names his Veep. Which brings me to...
2) Reintroduce himself to the people, part 1.
Naming the Veep in this case could give Romney a huge assist. In the same way Gore's squeaky-clean mirror-image helped Clinton, or Cheney's obvious qualifications in areas of security helped W. He also has to make a splash, and that's not why you hire Tim Pawlenty. I'll throw out a name that seems not to be on everyone's list. Romney needs a hispanic running mate - it will instantly get culturally-conservative hispanics to reconsider, and he doesn't need many to screw up the math for Obama in some key states like Nevada, Colorado and Arizona. Too bad there's not a western state hispanic Republican Governor with high approval ratings?
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval. He would instantly remove Nevada from the (D) column to toss-up, probably cement Arizona, and give the Obama campaign nightmares in Colorado and maybe even turn New Mexico into something to be fought over. In other words, he impacts over 30 electoral votes. That's big. He also instantly enhances Mitt's credibility in a way no boring white guy would.
2) Reintroduce himself to the people, part 2.
With a name-making veep and the tax issue off the table, he is wide open to introduce himself at the Republican convention, and to take some stands that may or may not be popular. He should essentially make the entire Republican convention about immigration and jobs, and make the legitimate case that Obama has had four years to not pass immigration reform -"deportation" and "build a fence" should be banned from the convention - instead, the focus should be on opportunity. NOTHING ELSE should be talked about. When Mitt gives his speech, it should be all about the West, hispanics, the Republican plan for jobs and growth. Sandoval should be able to re-iterate these themes.
2) Reintroduce himself to the people, part 3.
Mitt should FIRE EVERYONE in his campaign and bring in the best and brightest, whoever they may be, to quickly educate him - basically do debate prep NOW, and hold open and thorough press conferences about specific issues - 1) jobs, 2) Immigration reform and 3) foreign policy. He should bring in moderates or Democrats as consultants to EDUCATE him on the other side of these issues, so he is not getting it from the insulated rightwing think tanks. Romney is NOT STUPID and should be able to learn this stuff. He should be able to wow the press with his depth of knowledge of these three issues.
3) Turn out the vote.
So, a lot of tea-heads are gonna be pissed about all the brown people talk at the convention - but I don't buy it - I think if Mitt stands for SOMETHING, anything, they will respond to his steadfastness - they need to see him being strong, not being wishy-washy. This is the message Howard Dean had, and I think it applies to Mitt.
What does he accomplish? He needs to upset the fruit basket enough to compete in the West and in Florida. Since he apparently only listens to right-wing advisers, I am not real concerned about him taking any of this advise.