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Mitt Romney's Nomination Speech Checklist: RNC Day 4

Danny Lee |
August 30, 2012 | 3:57 p.m. PDT

Staff Columnist

Image by Dawn Megli
Image by Dawn Megli
The Tampa Bay Times Forum will give Mitt Romney perhaps his best chance left to define his candidacy to the American public. Here is what the former Massachusetts governor must aim for in Thursday's convention speech.

Outline His Economic Plan

For all of Romney's shortcomings in making himself appear more likable, Americans feel that he could better manage the economy than the president. Barack Obama is siting on an 8 percent unemployment rate, and that figure normally spells disaster for any incumbent not named Franklin Roosevelt.

But it will take more than "I am not Obama" rhetoric to get voters on his side. Romney needs to project himself as someone who can right the ship with a clear and specific plan on how to stabilize the deficit and get Americans back into the workforce. Unemployment has been ticking upward in key battleground states like Florida, Iowa and Colorado, and these are voters he must reach.

Capitalize On 2008 Obama Voters

Twenty-five percent of independents who voted for Obama in 2008 sided with a Republican congressional representative during the 2010 midterm election.

A sizeable chunk of 18-to-29-year-olds who voted for the president in 2008 aren't likely to vote for him again this time around. Obama voters from 2008 have expressed dissatisfaction with his handling of federal health insurance and the unemployment rate of recent college grads.

Vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan tried to crack open the door to young voters "staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life." It's up to Romney to walk through it.

And Finally, Personalize His Story

Wife Ann's speech on Tuesday probably provided one of the more revealing accounts Americans have heard on the seemingly aloof former businessman, but the public needs to hear the GOP nominee humanize himself.

From the Daily Beast:

The fundamental premise of the Romney campaign is that the anemic economy trumps any need for him to win a charisma contest for which he is ill-suited. And perhaps that's right. But the vote for president is an intensely personal one, not just for a leader to protect the country, but for the man who will be coming into our living rooms for the next four years.

Democrats have set out to paint Romney as a wealthy, out-of-touch elitist who can't be trusted, and those successful attacks have given Obama the edge in who Americans see as better-suited for the middle class.

Romney will get his customary post-convention bounce in the polls, but he needs to deliver a memorable soundbite or two that offers an intimate glimpse into Mitt Romney the man, which will resonate with voters long after the RNC concludes.


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