Via Talking Points Memo, I see from this National Review article that Mitt Romney's going to try to show the American people a warmer, more personable side at tomorrow night's debate:
Romney's advisers have a simple strategy: They want their candidate to balance his finely tuned arguments with personal warmth.But apparently he's not going to do it in quite the way you or I might:
Romney is inclined to talk about his business experience, sources say....That's how Romney plans to show his human side? By talking about his business experience? By talking about what a bitchin' CEO he was, and what a gift his excellent CEOing was to people?
Indeed, the most important anecdotes, aides say, may not even be family stories, but memories from his days at Bain Capital. Bain Capital's rise from an offshoot of a consulting firm to a major power in the private-equity world is something Romney takes prides in, and his advisers hope that the candidate defines those years on his own terms.
Meanwhile, the reporter covering the campaign for The Guardian tells us this:
Romney, in an interview with the Denver Post and at a late-night rally in Denver on Monday, offered a preview of his line of attack for the 90-minute debate....So if I understands this correctly, Romney's message tomorrow night is going to be: Hey, not that I'm saying it's your fault, but you people have really been reduced to a state of helpless, flabby dependency. I, on the other hand, used to be a brilliant, tireless CEO, and I made craploads of money. Vote for me!
He will list damning statistics showing the extent to which Americans have become dependent on the federal government, from food stamps to unemployment benefits.
Yeah, that oughta work.
Is there going to be a wee bit of ego involved in Romney's debate pronouncements? One quote that pops up in the National Review story makes me think that oh, yes, there will be:
Romney, for his part, recently told ABC News that he would have to be careful and resist responding to every presidential taunt. "The challenge that I'll have in the debate is that the president tends to, how shall I say it, to say things that aren't true," he said. "I've looked at prior debates. And in that kind of case, it’s difficult to say, 'Well, am I going to spend my time correcting things that aren't quite accurate? Or am I going to spend my time talking about the things that I want to talk about?'"Apart from the barely concealed rage in the first part of the quote, what the hell kind of politician ends the quote that way? You don't say, "... or am I going to spend my time talking about the things that I want to talk about?" You say, " ... or am I going to spend my time talking about what's really important to the American people?" Romney really doesn't seem to understand that it's about the public -- it's not about him.
But for Romney, it is about him. Running for president and being president would be entirely about demonstrating his own greatness. Any benefit that comes to anyone else is strictly in the service of that.