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TPM has this headline:

Advisers Say Romney Will Show Empathy in Debate.
The National Review has spoken with Mitt Romney's advisers and have learned that Mitt plans to take the national audience by surprise and show empathy.
Romney’s advisers have a simple strategy: They want their candidate to balance his finely tuned arguments with personal warmth. Since Romney is a reserved man, his advisers acknowledge that it will be difficult for him to endear himself to the country, especially under the hot studio lights. But they consider it critical. “This is really about introducing him to the country,” a Romney adviser says. “It’s the largest audience he has ever had. Everybody’s watching.”

During prep sessions in Vermont this past month, Romney has worked tirelessly on the stylistic aspect of his presentation, and Romney’s advisers predict that the former Massachusetts governor will come across as both presidential and empathetic. Rather than fire off brusque retorts, as he often did during primary debates, Romney will take care “to speak in paragraphs about the economy,” a second aide says.

Romney confidants are eager to counteract his reputation for aloofness. They want Romney to forcefully elucidate how the president is disconnected from the unemployed. Romney is inclined to talk about his business experience, sources say, and he may share stories from the trail, especially anecdotes about the recession’s impact on families and small businesses.


The imagination works overtime to figure how a candidate can demonstrate empathy from behind a podium. Perhaps it will resemble Ann Romney's demonstration of her acquisition of compassion since being afflicted with MS, by repeatedly stating that she has learned compassion.

Advisers have let the NR in on some insider information and share that Romney may tell some stories of people he has met on the trail who have been hit hard during the recession. That is certain to demonstrate deep reserves of empathy. This tactic has become so overused as to be tuned out at this point.

His programmers advisers need to crank up the empathy to 11, because Mitt has a hard task ahead of him.  Most people have the goods on Romney and know he doesn't care about them:

A majority of likely voters believe that Mitt Romney doesn't care about their needs and problems, according to a new poll released Tuesday from Quinnipiac University. Respondents believe that Obama cares about their needs and problems by a 22-point margin, 60 percent to 38 percent. In contrast, a majority, 51 percent to 46 percent, believe Romney doesn't care.  
And judging by this mashup video of Romney's classic debate appearances, the empathy chip has not been installed. (Take note, when he is asked whether he would consult with Congress before nuking Iran, he says 'you sit down with your lawyers'.)

So while President Obama will work to shorten his professorial style answers, Mittbot 5.0 will attempt to create feelings for humans out of whole cloth, sheet metal.

Originally posted to Barefoothoofcare on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 03:04 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Tue Oct 02, 2012 at 08:48:44 PM PDT

  •  How he barely is human (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 03:06:54 PM PDT

  •  Latest ads running in WI are showing Romney (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Doug Goodenough, a2nite, eXtina

    with lots of sympathy for people struggling with jobs or lacking them.  No effective plan details offered, but the promise of one that will produce 12 million new jobs (which happens to match economic predictions of what will happen, at minimum based on recovery trends, regardless of who is president).

    I think he's trying hard now to do a Clinton style "I know your pain..." sort of appeal. The question is how phoney this new fangled empathy appeal will sound.  I'd look for Ryan to also be trying to do this.  Not sure how two empathy chips running in close proximity might interfere with each other, but we'll soon see.

    When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

    by antirove on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 03:12:49 PM PDT

  •  He doesn't have an empathetic bone in his body. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey338Too, Doug Goodenough, eXtina

    He may care about his family and close circle of friends, but we are, for all intents and purposes, invisible to him. Just as all those workers were in the various companies he harvested. And trying to project empathy and humaness?
    Good luck with that, Mittbot.

    "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality" Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by mindara on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 03:21:45 PM PDT

  •  I am sick of hearing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hey338Too, eXtina

    that Mitt is going to show compassion.  A man who has made money the way he has, has absolutely no compassion.  I suspect what we will see will be condescension..............

  •  Tonight could be interesting... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catwho, eXtina

    ... it sounds like the format is going to allow for more give and take between the candidates.  According to Jim Lehrer, the moderator:

    Q: Can you describe the presidential debate's format?
    A: There are six segments of 15 minutes each. Each candidate will get a two-minute answer to the first question in each segment and then there will be an open discussion. I selected the subjects for the six segments and all of the questions.  
    h/t to by AlyoshaKaramazov's diary
    This could preclude the Empathy subroutines from being called, forcing Mitt to fall back on the StandingAndBlinking, AngerManagement, HaHaHaHa, and JustTrustMe algorithms perfected during the debates against his fellow rethugs.  We may also see new variants of the HesGotForeignConcepts and HesNotAngloSaxon functions, which will which be called any time the President appears to have the upper hand during the discussion phase.

    I haven't been here long enough to be considered a Kossack, does that mean that I'm just a sack?

    by Hey338Too on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 03:49:50 PM PDT

  •  Mitt will talk about Ann's MS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catwho, eXtina

    and about how his dad was on welfare, he'll talk about religious intolerance for his "refugee" grandfather, about his immigrant relations (grandmother, grandmother, and grandmother and grandpa, and then his wife's Welsh father), he'll pause and tear up for just a moment, clear his throat, and tell a story about some young woman he counseled as a Morman bishop and about how (a fellow Mormon's) employee's kid was missing and he had all his employees search for her.  They are digging up every story they can think of in Mitt's past that an pass as empathy.  

    He's been taking ACTING lessons on the empathy subroutine.  

    His weakness is hubris.  Even in his portrayal of empathy.

    "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

    by Uncle Moji on Wed Oct 03, 2012 at 04:32:01 PM PDT

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