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Keep It Simple, Team Romney

The core Republican message is a winning one.

May 28, 2012, Vol. 17, No. 35 • By JAY COST
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Ditto the Olympics in Salt Lake City. Romney himself did not put the Olympics on—the good folks of Utah did that. Romney was there to help organize and channel their initiative so as to make the whole spectacle a success. If people think Romney can do for the country what he did for the Salt Lake City Olympics, it can help him in November.

As the Romney campaign puts forward this message, the Obama team will respond with all sorts of non sequiturs that are meant to divert Romney. They see the exact same polling data—they know that Obama is unpopular on the big issues, that people think he is too liberal, and that voters are inclined to make a change. Obama is going to try to get Romney to talk about gay marriage or student loans or the “war on women” because any day that Romney spends not delivering his core message is a good day for Obama. While the Romney team has to be ready to respond to attacks that could tarnish his image, the candidate himself should keep steering the discussion back to his winning issues.

And for good measure, Team Romney should hang in every room of their headquarters the old James Carville slogans that were the guiding light of the Clinton campaign in 1992, with one additional point as a nod to the Ross Perot candidacy:

Change vs. more of the same.

The economy, stupid.

Don’t forget health care.

And let’s get that deficit under control!

Jay Cost is a staff writer at The Weekly Standard and the author of Spoiled Rotten, a new critical history of the Democratic party (Broadside Books).

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