Mitt Romney has faced many questions about his ability to connect with the ordinary folk — those who don’t know CEOs personally and drive many cars. As this primary season continues on (and on and on), Romney’s messaging is again a topic of conversation. The most recent losses in Alabama and Mississippi have re-shined the spotlight on Romney’s appeal to conservatives.
To quote CNN: “With Romney’s message seemingly consumed with delegate math, arguments about electability and attacks against his chief rival Rick Santorum, some of his supporters are asking the candidate to re-calibrate his strategy and make a stronger case to voters about why he deserves to be president.”
Now, Romney’s getting advice from all sides about how he should fine tune his message to shake Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich once and for all.
The number one piece of advice Romney is getting is to stop talking about his lead in the delegate count. Both CNN and Politico spend a good deal of time addressing this, with Politico saying outright that it’s not the thing for a presidential candidate to be saying. It’s way too small.
The better strategy would be to tackle some of the major issues that voters are concerned with (duh) like the economy, jobs, and gas prices. Moreover, and more interesting, the experts advise Romney to try harder to just be himself, tempered with a bit of self-awareness.
“[T]here’s nothing wrong with Romney acknowledging that he has enjoyed luxuries, ones he’s worked for, without holding it all at arm’s length,” writes Politico.
In an MSNBC segment, former RNC chair Michael Steele, correspondent Peter Alexander, and USA Today’s Jackie Kucinich also suggest “personal interaction” in those towns and counties where he needs to drum up support, not just in places where he’s popular.
In an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, Romney seemed to be starting along a better path, talking a bit about delegates, but focused more on Santorum, Obama, and the bigger picture for the U.S. ABC News characterized the interview as “fiesty,” which we wouldn’t totally agree with. Rather, he was speaking confidently to his talking points (fixing our financial situation, etc) and with a little more of his personal brand of casual, which is still stiff, but you know.
At the very least, it’s better than his crazy talk of Michigan tree size and cheesy grits. Seriously, we’ve been laughing about the cheesy grits comment for days. Actually we wrote this post simply to include the clip of Mitt Romney saying the words “cheesy grits.” Below.
[image above: Mitt Romney talking with Megyn Kelly on Fox News yesterday. AP: Richard Drew]