Three days ago, The New York Times posted Romney’s Potential Running Mates. The list provides a quick reference to those the media considers on the “short list.”
From time to time, MittRomneyCentral.com publishes the opinions of guests — these views are theirs alone. Following is an opinion of guest Troy Tate of Orange County, California.
This is the most important election in my lifetime. We have a community activist/agitator (Obama) in the Oval Office, whose overall objectives are to amass power and to spread the wealth so he can create a permanent underclass dependent on government. Four more years will likely tip the balance and forge an era of progressive/liberal rule. Obama has led America down the road to mediocrity and despair at home and to weakness and ambivalence abroad. But Obama’s got the media, Hollywood and an increasingly dependent group of Americans pulling for him. On the other hand, we have a challenger who can and will turn it around and keep us from falling off a cliff—Romney.
What does Romney do to win? Romney needs to fire up his base, including tea party conservatives, to give their all to his campaign at the grassroots level. Romney also needs to win over the hearts of the undecided voters who either voted for Obama in 2008 or didn’t vote at all. This undecided group of voters either might reluctantly vote for Obama or not vote at all in November. Yes, these voters may be dissatisfied with what’s happening with the government deficits, the economy, immigration and America’s loss of power and influence in the world but they don’t want to take a chance on another candidate who may make things worse. They’re not sure they can trust the challenger any more than they trust the incumbent.
How does Romney persuade these “swing voters” to go his direction? How does he earn their trust? Telling them what policies he will implement when he becomes President will not move the needle. Romney moves the needle when he connects with their hearts and helps them to see what’s at stake with our country, our freedoms, our children’s futures and our security as a sovereign nation. Romney wins them over when he shares from his core what he believes and why he believes it and passionately articulates his overall vision for America. He must focus on his “why”—why he is running and why his winning will matter a lot in their lives and the lives of their loved ones. Conservative principles articulately and passionately shared (especially on fiscal and economic issues) will win over the hearts of those teetering on the fence.
When Romney connects passionately with these voters and they feel his commitment, his beliefs and his vision, they will listen to him share what he will do and how he will do it. If Romney focuses on the policies he will implement without first connecting with their hearts, it will be much more difficult to sway these “on the fence” voters.
So this is what I would tell Governor Romney if we could talk over the phone or face to face about how to win this election:
Governor Romney, people are moved to trust you as a leader when you share those core beliefs, values and principles that are diametrically opposed to those of Obama. People are moved when the importance of what you are saying is not just in the words you select but in your voice, in your eyes and face, and in your gestures. People are moved when you speak from the heart and articulate conservative positions that survive any attacks because they are tied to timeless truths and core principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence. When these undecided voters truly start to sense what is at stake as they hear you describe it and start to feel that you are an advocate of values they hold dear, they will be motivated to support you. That’s what Reagan did so well to beat an incumbent. You can too.
Here’s my second and final suggestion to you, Governor Romney. Pick a running mate who not only is brilliant but also can clearly, effectively and passionately articulate your core beliefs, values and principles about American exceptionalism, limited government, religious freedom and free enterprise. I’ve considered those people who purportedly are on your short list and one stands strongly above the rest. Frankly, this potential running mate is inspiring regardless of the issue he addresses and regardless of whether he speaks contemporaneously at a rally, gives prepared remarks on the Senate floor, or responds to tough questions from the media. That individual is Marco Rubio.
If you haven’t done so already, listen on YouTube to Rubio recently being interviewed by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. Consider how clearly, boldly and persuasively Rubio articulates conservative principles and positions without making personal attacks or relying on meaningless platitudes. Jon Stewart was left almost speechless because he couldn’t catch Rubio in any of the snares he set up, including the statistics to support his claim that Rubio and his Senate Republican colleagues were the worst obstructionists ever. When Rubio explained why they did what they did, all the air came out of Stewart’s obstructionist charge. Jon couldn’t knock down any of Rubio’s arguments with logic, facts or even emotion. You will probably conclude as I have how Rubio as a running mate can be a critical asset to your winning the Presidency.
Choose Rubio, Governor Romney. Portman and Pawlenty certainly can fill important positions in your administration. Christie and McDonnell can continue to lead out at the state level as Governors of New Jersey and Virginia. Ryan can help us tremendously in the House of Representatives, but Rubio is the one who will fire up your base and who will motivate all those independent swing voters, including Hispanics and other minorities, to vote for your ticket. With America’s future and our prosperity and freedoms literally hanging in the balance, don’t choose a “competent” running mate that doesn’t know how to connect with and inspire the base and the undecided voters. Rubio will do that for you and with you. Besides, he’d make a great Vice President.
Troy L Tate, President of Torque Solutions LLC, is the author of The DNA of Successful Leaders: Tapping Your Natural Power to Win Friends and Influence Others and the creator of the audio program: The Missing Step: Complete Directions When Your Career Has Reached a Critical Crossroad. Troy is the father of four daughters and resides in Laguna Niguel, California with his wife and youngest daughter.