Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Calling Stuart Smalley

Yesterday was a tough day in a tough campaign for Mitt Romney.  The national frontrunner has a problem.  His cash has not translated into likability.  Surprisingly, some people with less cash are more likable and this fact is understandably counterintuitive for Mr. Romney.  The Romney campaign staff is keenly aware that, on average, more people vote for someone they like than someone they don’t.  Of course, being Mormon, he’ll never be the candidate that voters would like to have a beer with since Romney doesn’t drink.  Since he can’t chug like Hillary in a Pennsylvania tavern to improve his favorability, they are actively looking at a variety of alternatives to raise their candidate’s likability index.

Thanks to our good friends at WikiLeaks, MSRP has obtained a Romney internal campaign memorandum that lists several options for the candidate to consider that could soften his image and make him “one of us” (whoever ‘us’ is).

TO:         President Romney
FROM:   Loyal Research Underlings

Per your directive, we have put together a list of specific actions that could be taken immediately to raise your national favorability ratings above the Mendoza Line.  Please consider each option carefully:

Talk about subjects that are interesting to other people.  If you want other people to like you, let them do all the talking. Remember, people are more interested in themselves than any other subject. They want to talk about their stuff, not your stuff.  It may even feel painful at first. You may think, “Oh, I have a great story that ties in with that point.”  But if you want to make people like you, don’t tell your story. Ask them a question that leads to another story of their own. Be interested in what they are interested in and they will think highly of you.  Adapt your stump speech to be more interactive, and allow time for voters to tell your more about themselves.  Listen twice as much as you talk.  People like that.

Talking about negative things or complaining about how things are going etc, leads to negative emotions and sometimes can make conversation stoppers. Don't complain about your day, and don't talk bad about people all the time, if ever.

Release a Christmas album.  Our polling data show Americans love a Mormon family that sings.  Our internal Google based research found that the Osmond and the King families have favorability ratings in the high 80s.  Once your album of seasonal music is released, you should consider tour dates with family in Branson, MO.  We have learned that people who self-identify as “Real Americans” are located there. 
Consider wearing a dickie instead of an ascot to soften your look.  As you know, a dickie is a pullover accessory that makes it appear as if you are wearing a second shirt.  Senator Santorum has had remarkable success with his Everyman sweater vest look, and we believe there is an opportunity for you in this area.  A dickie will make you appear more approachable.

Nothing will humanize you more than conducting an hour long town hall style meeting with a piece of lettuce stuck in your front teeth.  Everyone’s been there and will instantly relate to you.  You will also benefit from the free media exposure on the late night comedy circuit.

In 1972, Senator Edmund Muskie shed a tear in New Hampshire, and his campaign was over.  In today’s politics, shedding tears is a ticket to Likability Town.  Hillary Clinton cried in New Hampshire and won the primary.  Newt Gingrich cried in Iowa and his support from woman voters soared.  Speaker Boehner cries daily, and those moments are the only ones in which he is considered likable at all.  To facilitate a good sob, we recommend you think about an IRS audit or the time the French figure skating judges threatened to ruin your Olympics with their phony scores during the pair’s free skate.  Damp eyes poll better than nose blowing blubbers, so take it easy.

A guest appearance on the Jersey Shore program couldn’t hurt.  Regular people like that show.  And you shouldn’t be ashamed of your body.  It might even force Speaker Gingrich into appearing on the show, and once he takes his shirt off, your likability numbers will no longer be an issue in this campaign. 
You’ve changed your position on everything else.  Your faith is the only issue left that you haven’t flipped on.  Go ahead and announce that you are converting to evangelical Christian.  America does not like a flip-flopper but America does love a convert.

 For your next long road trip, secure your luggage on roof and place the family pet inside the car instead of the other way around.
Lastly sir, we unanimously recommend that you rent the Stuart Smalley movie to help you reclaim your Inner Mitt.  Confidence comes from within, and no one inspires confidence like Mr. Smalley.   “I’m good enough.  I’m smart enough.  And doggone it, people like me.”  That needs to be playing in your head every day, and we’ll win this thing yet.  Doggone it. 

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