Romney Will Put ‘America First’

Monday, 09 Jul 2012 01:36 PM

By Bradley A. Blakeman

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The most successful candidates and campaigns stand for something that can be identified in simple terms to which supporters can identify.

In 2008, then candidate Obama defined himself with phrases like “Hope and change,” “Yes we can,” “Change you can believe in,” etc.

romney-campaign-buttons.jpg
The Romney campaign lacks a catch phrase that resonates with voters.
(AP Photo)
So far, Mitt Romney and his campaign lack a catch phrase to which supporters can identify.

Of course, campaigns are serious — and bigger than mere slogans and sales pitches.

But, being able to define yourself — and your campaign — in a few hopeful and positive words goes a long way toward being able to garner and gain support from voters.

Just as one might sell a product, a candidate and a campaign must be packaged in a way that ordinary folks can identify with. An affinity to a candidate is grounded in getting potential voters to be able to explain why they support their choice.

In 2000, President George W. Bush was able to define himself as a “compassionate conservative” and someone who would retool education so that, “no child is left behind.” He was seen as a “reformer with results.”

If you can get an ordinary voter to parrot three things your candidate stands for, you most likely will be able to close the deal on their vote.

Conversely, if you can get voters to parrot three things about your candidate's opponent they do not like that is quite effective as well.

I suggest that Gov. Romney adopt this strategy ASAP.

He needs to define himself now in simple — but meaningful, and hopeful terms — and he must also define President Obama in a few key phrases.

The slogans a candidate chooses often define them and their campaigns. They must be in tune with the times — and the people — they are seeking to influence.

Slogans that would best suit Romney and reflect our current times might include, “America first,” “America best,” or “Prosperity through responsibility.”

The American people are concerned with their present condition and the future of the country.

They are fatigued by wars and disillusioned by failed leadership, debt, joblessness, broken promises, and intrusive government.

Now is the time to put America first. We need to get our economic house in order if we are to remain the great nation we are. We need a leader who will be responsible for policy and leadership to get us back to prosperity.

The presidential election of 2012 will turn on the economy. The issues of jobs and debt are crucial. Romney needs to express optimism while at the same time leveling with the American people that now is the time for tough love and sacrifice.

Romney must be bold to win. He should define five things he will do on day one of his presidency to address jobs and debt.

Here are some promises he can make to the American people now that will deliver on should be beat President Obama in November:
  • Order every federal agency to cut their budgets by 10 percent across the board.
  • Freeze spending and salaries on all federal employees.
  • Set up task forces within every federal agency to scrutinize every line item of every budget and justify what stays and what goes.
  • Order a needs test for foreign aid.
  • Call for the abolishment of the U.S. Tax Code to be replaced by fair, just, understandable, and equitable tax rates — with no loopholes.
  • Work with Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare with marketplace solutions.
The quickest way back to prosperity is through responsible leadership.

Many economists tell us that the “Obama funk” we are in, is in large part due to uncertainty in tax policy combined with a total lack of confidence in the present economic environment, problems exacerbated by intrusive government regulation, and a bloated government that spends too much while taking in too little.

The ability to communicate Romney's beliefs in a few words backed up by substantive policy will go a long way to achieving the ultimate goal of election and governing.

The key to a Romney victory in November lies in standing for things that are not only popular and possible, but also to define himself as the leader who is capable of delivering on them.

Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman — Click Here Now.

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