Shake that Etch-A-Sketch and out comes a new Mitt Romney for the 2nd debate. Many may be mistaken if they think President Obama will be debating the same Romney as in the first debate. And it would be a mistake to prepare for the second debate expecting a rematch of the first one.
What Mitt Romney will show up on Tuesday, and how do you prepare for him, that's the question? Put yourself in Mitt Romney's shoes, the ones with the diamonds on the soles. What would you do? What would be the goal you would want to achieve in this debate? I don't think we're going to see the firery policy lies of the first debate from Mitt Romney. No, that would be too easy. The lies will still be there but we are going to see something very different, and I hope Obama is prepared.
Below the fold for what the Tuesday Romney will be like.
I think wonderboy Ryan telegraphed the strategy for Tuesdays debate. Did you notice that he told the story about "bean" his kid? And then there were a couple of stories about some of the people he met on the campaign trail. Personal stories to make him look like a caring person.
How many people think Mitt Romney is a cold, heartless person who would think 47% of Americans were leeches on Society? Yep, that's the problem he has to fix! His goal for this town hall meeting format is to show how caring he is for the problems everyday Americans, without car elevators, have.
The debate will look like it's about policy, but it won't be. This debate will be about getting Mitt Romney to look human. If he succeeds, all the Bain attacks, the 47% attacks, tax cuts for the rich attacks, will be for nothing.
Every answer he gives will be wrapped in a personal story about the person he met in Des Moines who lost their job a couple of years ago and hasn't been able to make the mortgage payment... and he has a plan to put America back to work. His plan will create 10 billion gazillion high paying jobs...
If it's not the personal story, the answer will be wrapped in a "I feel your pain" approach. He may even have a baby bunny he will pull out of his sleeve and use for a prop. He has got to get America to accept the new caring, sympathetic Mitt Romney and forget the guy who likes to fire people, or who doesn't care about the 47%, or who is sorry the slave labor in the Chinese factories he just invested in, can't be Americans... Mitt Romney is an excellent liar, and we may know who he is, but those low information voters can be fooled easily.
You can't go full Biden when you're up against someone who is expressing sympathy for someone who is having a hard time in America. You can't laugh and demand to see the details of the plan without coming across as cold hearted yourself.
This puts the President in a tough position. He has his base looking for a Biden performance, but he can't look like he's unsympathetic to people who are hurting. So how do you handle someone who is a pathological liar and is faking the emotion of empathy on national TV?
The president has to expose this lie of empathy that Romney will be trying so hard to get America to buy into. But he'll have to be very tactful and not come across as being unsympathetic himself. Can he do it? If he's prepared he can.
Each response the President gives will have to start with an expression of empathy from him. "I too have seen the suffering of those who are hurting from the great recession my administration inherited..."
Next he will have to show what he has done to stop the pain. "this is why we saved a million jobs in the car industry by saving one of America's greatest job creators, GM..."
And you know the last step. Expose Romney's fake sympathy. "I wish Governor Romney had shown the same concern when he wrote an op-ed piece that wanted to let GM go bankrupt and create a million more of the people like he met in Iowa..."
This will be a very critical debate in this election. If President Obama is not ready for the new "compassionate conservative" Mitt Romney, and he goes full Biden on the sympathetic Romney, he's going to walk right into a trap. But if he's prepared to expose the heartless Romney who shipped jobs overseas, who tied his dog to the roof of his car, who despises the 47% of the country who will never take responsibility for themselves, and do it tactfully but forcefully, he can win the election on Tuesday night.
The goal of President Obama won't be just to expose the policy lies of Mitt Romney, Biden showed how easy that is, but to expose Mitt Romney the cold hearted liar. He has to discredit the phony empathy that Mitt Romney will so desperately try to portray. Romney will do everything he can to make America believe he's likable and compassionate, and President Obama has to be prepared to not let him get away with it.