Debate #1: Romney Hopes to Inspire
Finally, the first presidential debate hits the national stage Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET giving challenger Mitt Romney plenty of material on the issue of domestic policy to land solid hits on President Barack Obama over arguably his greatest failures as president - the looming dismal economy, $16 trillion in national debt and more than 100 million Americans on some form of government assistance.
Though crisis might be a solid and winning brand for the Romney campaign, they must strike a decidedly important balance. He cannot be all gloom and doom; he must show Americans that he will make our country better and not in some intangible rhetoric of "hope and change" because we've been lured by such vapid marketing to great disappointment.
No. Romney must come out swinging, take not cheap, but meaningful and truly important, shots at the president on behalf of the millions out of work and desperate for some glimmer in a new leader ready to not just try his best, but deliver the absolute best for our nation.
We're a nation of doers, of workers, of makers and givers. Romney must talk to them, tell them that he's ready to champion their entreprenieralism, drive home the point that he's not just going to help make the economy better through government, but he will empower the people to live out their dreams without the red-tape of government giving them grief, holding them back and dangling their futures like carrots just out of arms reach.
Romney must show us the America we want our children to inherit.
It's a tall order, no doubt, but what's at stake is a nation in deep decline. Morale's low and folks seem uninspired. To believe that we can do better starts to look like pipedreams; President Obama might just prosper off the complacency he seems so comfortable to inspire.
And to offer up these big ideas, these aspirations for a better and more prosperous nation will require Romney to go toe-to-toe, be fearless but not shrill.
Romney's biggest challenge: talk to the everyday man like an everyday man. Make the complicated understandable; get away from rhetoric and back to basics.
He must speak to me, to my sister, my husband and my daughter, my family and friends. It's time for him to shake off the doubts and be brave.
He could own the first three of six debate segments on the economy.
Here's where the topics could give him heartburn: healthcare, role of government and govering might get a little heady quickly.
- If ObamaCare is on the talking points, he's going to need excellent answers as to the closeness to RomneyCare. Be prepared to pivot on a dime and explain that the implementation of the Affordable Care Act means the gutting of Medicare to the tune of $716 million.
- Talk about the role of government and a shrinking middle class while striking a balance between the need for less government while acknowledging so many need a hand up right now.
A lot of people are counting on him, and like any good leader, many have faith that he can and will show the true countanence of his mettle.
- Economy (3 segments)
- Health care
- Role of government
The next scheduled debate: Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan, 9 p.m. EST, Oct. 11, will debate domestic and foreign policy issues. The full debate schedule.
- Follow me @erica_holloway.
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