Now realize that most of the time when people give political advice, it is predicated on their own policy preferences and/or worldview.
As a newliberal, a person dedicated to my best understanding of the facts regardless of the political implications, I will attempt to offer an honorable path to victory for Romney that is realistic.
I say honorable because there's random events, and sinister efforts that could boost him. I say realistic because me telling him to stop promising to repeal Obamacare is a bridge too far.
(Also remember I support the POTUS for reelection)
Here we go:
The basic premise is to assemble a different coalition than the one he's currently seeking.
1. Before the first debate, have a big economic speech on how too many of our resources are idling, and offer a large tax cut: Lower all tax rates and eliminate capital gains taxes for real investments (not short-term paper transactions but long term stock ownership, and real world risks). Rescind the notion that your tax plans will be revenue neutral because we're in worse shape than you thought and the economy needs a short term boost. Democrats will attack Romney for: 1.tax cuts for the rich. 2. exploding deficit. 3. changing plans. But he's getting attacked for that anyway.
This will excite the thinktank right, and economic conservatives to stick with him
2. Promise to bring troops home from Afghanistan immediately. Now that the President has given the date in 2014. Romney can say he wouldn't have done that, but now that it is done, bring those troops home now for their own safety. Going forward he will protect America by projecting strength and making sure countries like Iran can't get nuclear weapons.
This will convert many who switched in 2006 from Bush to the Democrats back into the Republican fold. Strong on national security, but fighting smart wars. In addition, this will depress Obama's base because they want him to support this.
3. Explicitly Stand up against gay marriage and abortion rights. Say he'll nominate judges who believe marriage is between one man and one woman (Obama won't). Say he'll nominate judges who will overturn Roe v Wade. State that for millions of voters, including the 47% , this election isn't all about the economy. Values matter all the time. Take this message to black and latino America. Go to churches, visit radio stations, tv programs; hold rallies in "minority" communities. Spend millions of dollars promising to attack these two issues.
Again this will depress some of Obama's base, garner a few votes in minority community, and fire up white evangelicals to vote and work for Romney rather than simply against Obama.
4. Use bully pulpit to rally against popular culture. Promise that you will not accept the filth on tv, in the movies and in music, and on the internet. Let Americans know you stand with them against all of this. State that you will make it a national priority to work within the first amendment to make our media and public square reflect our heartland values. The President has the power to focus private efforts towards change.
This will appeal to mainstream suburban moms and older voters who are offended everyday by popular culture and suffer silently.
5. Promise to balance the budget by the end of first term. State. that your tax plan will boost the economy and make it possible to do it without hurting the economy. Explicitly state that as you repeal Obamacare, you will also cut every non-security government program including Medicare and Social Security for those who can afford it. Your guiding principle will be to take care of those who can't take of themselves, help those who need a little aid, and cut the budget for people who can do just fine on their own.
This message of sacrifice would live up to the 'hard choices" rhetoric of the RNC and appeal to everyone's patriotism to do what's right for the country in difficult times.
Based on the above, I think Romney could get:
10 % of the black vote, while having many not vote because they don't like Obama's liberalism
40% of hispanic vote, as long as he de-emphasizes immigration
Whereas the rest of his voters will stay with him.
Now I personally support a culture war against the leftist in the media.
Any readers of my blog know I'm a Democrat against gay marriage.
But I don't support the above tax policy. I don't support a balanced budget anytime soon.
And I'm against the Afghan war, and support big defense cuts, and no war against Iran.
It just bothers me when I watch a Romney campaign with so much money and potential, doing so poorly. I say this as an American who wants vigorous debate. There are numerous campaigns, some bold like the one I suggested above, and others way more timid, that could be doing much better as of today.
But just to c.m.a. I realize everything can change, Romney could take a large lead, and I'll be back writing about what Obama needs to do!