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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

DECKER: Romney: No more Mr. Nice Guy - Washington Times

DECKER: Romney: No more Mr. Nice Guy - Washington Times It’s put-up or shut-up time for the Romney campaign. With a little more than 40 days before Election Day, most nationwide polls show a neck-and-neck race. The problem is the president isn’t elected by one large national constituency but by the electors representing their states, and Barack Obama is leading his Republican opponent in some must-win swing states such as Ohio, Florida and Virginia. This has elephants frantic about how to shake up the campaign to make Americans like Mitt more. This is a misspent effort; Gov. Romney doesn’t need to be liked to win. According to Morris Fiorina, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a political science professor at Stanford University, likable personal qualities aren’t necessarily significant to getting elected president. For example, as he explained at a Hoover media colloquium at Stanford on Monday, “In 1996, people knew Bill Clinton was a sleazeball but they thought he was doing a good job as president.” Likewise in 1972, “Richard Nixon was never considered Mr. Personality,” but his track record, positions on the issues and reputation for competence led voters to reelect Tricky Dick with 49 states, over 60 percent of the electorate and the widest margin of the popular vote in history. The point of this visit with the ghost of elections past is to warn against getting bogged down worrying about what people think of a candidate as a human being. Campaign advisors need to focus on developing the impression in voters’ minds that their guy will be a competent national leader based on his experience, record and positions on the issues people care about. A reputation is burnished once in office, and that image can be constructed based on success that thoroughly transforms what Americans previously thought of the man as a candidate. Read more: DECKER: Romney: No more Mr. Nice Guy - Washington Times Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

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