-- If Romney can't succeed in compelling voters, particularly in swing states, to remove their behinds from their recliners on Election Day and get to polling stations -- an act requiring far more effort than merely answering a pollster's questions on speakerphone while painting one's nails. It's easier for a campaign to get collectives of people who adhere to identity politics to the polls than it is to do the same with individualists -- and Republican voters tend to fall into the latter category.
-- If Romney can't educate and reframe all the people who seem to believe that government is the solution rather than the problem, in which case he's lost them to Obama. For example, a better response to the woman in the audience at the town hall debate who asked how Romney would reconcile women's pay inequality would have been: "Change the dollar figure on your invoice." That quote would have fared better than the "binders" remark in the subsequent news cycle, and he could have capitalized on it to promote a new entrepreneurial way of thinking and working that emphasizes women's value, financial freedom and independence.
-- If Romney keeps saying that he and Obama have profound philosophical differences, yet these differences are essentially reduced to games of Economic Buzzword Bingo every time he elaborates. On economic issues, Romney may benefit from the halo effect of his business background, but it would be of even greater benefit to him if he could use that implicitly massive brain of his to bring it down to the level of the average Cheetos aficionado.
-- If Romney can't produce a single professional woman who's appreciative of her experience collaborating with him as a professional equal. In what binder might we find this elusive unicorn?
It's possible that I'm being too hard on Romney. But now is hardly the time for unearned backside-kissing when that backside is barely clearing the bar.
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