If the Wednesday night debate, which focuses on domestic policy, turns into a brawl and the presidential candidates become attack dogs poised to bludgeon, they will both lose points. Here’s the winning strategy for both candidates. Yes, the same strategy. The question is who can execute that strategy to set a presidential standard to impress our voters and world leaders.
• The slogans for both candidates need to be changed: Obama’s should be “Fast Forward” not “Forward” and Romney’s should be “Right Results” not a “Stronger Middle Class.” Why? Obama is asking us to proceed with him on the same course as the last four years, which contains many voter objections about his domestic policy accomplishments. Many see Romney as not representing all people. He reinforces that image with his “middle class” slogan coupled with his 47% remark.
• Obama must walk us through the next four years with detailed plans on how he will remedy unemployment and the sluggish economic growth, targeting achievable results in which we can believe. Explaining what he will do to build relationships with Congress is critical in order to enact new plans.
• Romney must convince us that he can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. He must communicate his plans and projected results with passion, determination, and commitment. We must visualize his success, including the strategies he will use to build relationships with Congress.
Distractors, posed by either candidate, serve no purpose other than possibly rattling the other candidate. That strategy is a mistake. The clever debater should insert the knife with a velvet glove and a silver tongue. Voila! No physical pain and much to gain.
The pundits have presided over post mortems of Obama’s last four years and Romney’s political and corporate careers. The debate must focus on the next four years, not the past.
Fifty million people are expected to watch the debate. The pundits tell us that voters fall into two categories: those that focus on the likeability of a candidate and others who concentrate on how a candidate will handle the urgent issues. Likeability, unfortunately, will not predict the performance of our next president. We need a leader in whom we can trust to meet and even exceed our expectations. Each of us will decide who the winner is.
A final word to both presidential candidates: focus on the end result, not your ego. Measured and succinct is the name of the game.
Note to Job Seekers: Watch the presidential debate to learn what to do and not do at an interview. Remember how they handle distractors and objections! At the end of the debate, you should know the essence of what each candidate will achieve in the next four years and how they will do it. At your own job interviews, remember Obama and Romney.
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Email Jennifer Orell, American Entertainment International (AEI) Speakers Bureau, or call her at 617-782-3111 Ext. 118.