As the regulars readers of this blog are aware, I am an unapologetic shill for Obama. Nevertheless, I offer here my sincere advice to Mitt Romney in the first debate this Wednesday. Not because I really wish for Romney to win but rather, as I said here and here, I believe this election is already over and I might as well be a gracious winner. In that spirit, here are my pointers for Romney:
Suggestion 1: Don't choke!
Seriously. You don't want to choke at any point during a Presidential debate, if for no other reason than that it looks really gross and disturbing. John McCain did not follow this advice and lost the 2008 election badly. Romney needs to avoid this very fundamental mistake.
Suggestion 2: Don't try to be funny!
This pointer is more specific to Romney himself. Other candidates (say, with professional acting experience) have done well with humor, but it is just not Romney's forte, as the video above makes abundantly clear. Romney should not try to tell any jokes untested with focus groups, and even then he shouldn't tell them.
Suggestion 3: Only say what you really believe!
This is the most serious suggestion of all. Mitt Romney takes on a completely different aura when he argues a point which is heartfelt. He's calmer and his voice has an almost soothing quality that is really quite listenable. That he truly believed in his role in the birth of what is now known as Obamacare is clear in his forceful defense on Fox News of the "personal responsibility" of the individual mandate. Amazingly, he gets no pushback whatsoever from Neil Cavuto, not that Neil Cavuto is a great interviewer or anything, at least partially because Romney actually can be persuasive when he's not trying to make cheap rhetorical points.