Why Romney Did So Well At The Debate


William Wilson, CEO

Let me preface this by saying, this has NOTHING to do with political parties, or taking sides. It’s strictly from a strategic perspective. This post isn’t meant to sway your vote, one way or the other. It’s just an observation.

If you watched last night’s debate, and you’re honest with yourself, you saw Gov. Romney take President Obama to the woodshed. Regardless of where you stand politically, this is just a statement of fact. The thing is, it wasn’t about facts, political party, or gaffes and sound bites. It was about 4 things: proper preparation, setting the environment, knowledge of your opponent, and controlling the room. I’ll break each of these down for you.

Preparation: Never underestimate a man desperate for a win. Gov. Romney has been preparing for this debate practically since the Republican Convention. He took this debate very seriously. He didn’t get the bump he’d hoped for after the convention, and had a number of gaffes that were causing him trouble in the polls. He knew his back was against the wall, and he had one shot to begin to correct the course of his campaign. So he prepared like a madman. He made a plan that consisted of 3 elements: strike early, strike often, and swing with all you have. He did it, and it worked.

Setting the Environment: Gov. Romney didn’t treat the stage like a debate; he treated it like a boardroom. This is where he is most comfortable, and where his true skill set lies. He conducted the debate like he was the CEO, and President Obama and Jim Lehrer were part of his management team, He owned them both.  He looked directly at President Obama the entire time. He spoke when he wanted to, about what he wanted to, and used a lot of numbers. Whether, or not, the facts were accurate doesn’t matter, he put them out there with command, authority, and conviction. He delivered his message in a manner that could not be challenged, unless you were willing to get into a knock down drag out fight. Which is NOT Obama’s style at all… Which leads to my next factor:

Knowledge of your opponent: Whether you like it or not, we all know President Obama is NOT an in your face fighter. He’s a negotiator, a professor, and possibly a counselor. But he is not a boxer. Not to say that he can’t be; but it’s not his style. You know it. I know it. And, Gov. Romney knows it, and he used it to his advantage during the debate. He threw punches all night long, knowing it was not in the President’s style to swing back. President Obama’s strength is that in every situation, he is cool, calm and collected. Last night, it made him look lost, confused and ill-prepared. Gov. Romney used his enemy’s strength against him. In politics, optics (the way things appear to be) are everything. And Gov. Romney won the battle of optics by a knockout. It wasn’t even a fight.

And lastly, Controlling the room: Gov. Romney controlled the narrative, he controlled the moderator, and he controlled the President. He used a myriad of numbers (some of which didn’t even make sense), eye to eye contact, increased intensity, and conviction to deliver the message he wanted to deliver; in the manner he wanted it delivered. President Obama mentioned more details of Gov. Romney’s plan than the Governor did. I still don’t know any specifics as to how he plans to accomplish ANY of the things he plans to accomplish. Gov. Romney promises 12 million new jobs in 4 years. That’s is 250,000 jobs a month for 4 straight years. That would be amazing and awesome. I’ve always wondered how he could meet that goal. And, unfortunately, this morning, I’m still wondering. Gov. Romney looked like he was ready for a fight. President Obama looked like he was ready for an MSNBC interview.

Gov. Romney allowed President Obama to wish his wife a happy anniversary, extended the same courtesy to the President, and then went upside his head with an arsenal of statements, messages and numbers that will undoubtedly keep the fact checkers working all week. But the mission was accomplished, and the job was complete. For the next week, we will not be talking about 47%, 1%, 2%, Gov. Romney’s tax returns, Cayman Island accounts, or the fact that a majority of the things he said during the primary, he contradicted during the debate. We will be talking about the debate, momentum, and the new life Romney has in this election. We will wait with bated breath on the next debate, and eagerly wait to see if Paul Ryan can deliver the same blow to VP Biden. I’m not saying this will sway anyone’s votes. Pro Romney people are still pro Romney. Pro Obama people are still pro Obama. But it has changed the news cycle, and that is his biggest win. Until next time……

God bless and dress well,

William Wilson, CEO

William Wilson Clothing

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6 thoughts on “Why Romney Did So Well At The Debate

  1. Great food for thought! We all need to be on our toes when walking into a meeting, preparing a proposal or talking to a prospective client. Thanks for pointing this out, William.

  2. I heard that of all the networks ,MSNBC makes you the highest offer to join.(A joke).
    But your political observations ,and astuteness–are worth their consideration.

  3. You are so correct; I couldn’t concur with you more. Gov. Romney showed the country just how much he wants to be president. He took the reins of his campaign into his own hands; I must say BRAVO Gov. Romney, one point. However, there are two other debates he has to continue to command his new found confidence and prove that it wasn’t a fluke.

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