Morten Myksvoll writes for The Student Journals on Mitt Romney’s chances in the upcoming US presidential election:
The debates are near, and for Romney it’s time to show that he can stand beside Obama and appear presidential. That’s a tall order, and something his campaign has so far failed to achieve. The misjudged comments during his trip to London, the 47% gaffe, and the rushed criticism of the administration’s reaction to the Libyan riots are all revealing errors at a crucial time in the campaign. Meanwhile, the President oozes confidence. With a four point lead on the national average, and important states like Ohio and Florida looking favorable to him, this is understandable. The Vice President’s remarks at the National Convention summarize the President’s success most clearly: “Osama bin Laden is dead, General Motors is alive”.
Governor Romney’s main tactic in this election season has been to underscore his experience. But with the debates ahead, he has swiftly jettisoned this approach. Now he points out that the President is an eloquent speaker, and that this will be his first presidential debate, a “new experience”. Obama’s team has, of course, reciprocated. The President is so busy governing, say his aides, that there has been little time for preparations.
And so, the expectations build. All candidates are not equal. The electorate knows that President Obama is an accomplished public speaker, and the expectations of his performance are rightly greater than those of Governor Romney’s. But it is not about who performs best in the debates. It is about who exceeds expectations the most. That’s where it gets tricky for Romney. He’s lagging behind a not-so popular incumbent, and needs to use the debates to get on the offensive. He needs to get some well-aimed blows in to stall the President’s momentum and lead, but he also has to use these final high-profile events to show that he really is presidential. It takes a special kind of politician to get his hands dirty and be a statesman at the same time. I’m not sure Romney fits the job. He has benefitted from some real debate preparation this cycle through the Republican Primaries, but he will need to adopt a fresh approach if he is to succeed against a far deadlier Democratic opponent.
Full article here.