My open letter to Mitt Romney

Governor Romney,

It’s odd to me how stubborn the “anyone but Mitt” crowd is among the GOP.  Though you have consistently been the first choice of about 20-25% of those polled, you have traded leads with Perry, Cain, and now Newt.  For a variety of reasons, there is some of the republican base that just doesn’t feel comfortable with you quite yet.

Now, I’ll vote for you–because I’ve seen first hand what you did with the Winter Olympics. And I’ve shopped at Staples, The Sports Authority, and ordered pizza from Domino’s. So I have seen the effective organizations you have created, and want to see the same effect on our country’s economy.

But there are a few things I think you should consider that could give you an edge.

They say “to the hammer, all the world’s a nail”. Well, I have a sales background, so I watch people and observe how well they sell themselves and their experience–because virtually ALL professions are in sales, one way or another. ESPECIALLY politicians. In fact, I would say that Obama is one of the best salesmen of our time–selling the majority of the American People to vote for a very charismatic, yet very inexperienced politician with very shady circle of influence. But if you think about it, Obama didn’t win just because he is charismatic, he won because he CONNECTED with the majority of voters. And that’s something you haven’t done. But there is still time, as you enter the home stretch of the campaign.

So here are my suggestions on how you can do a better sales job througout the remainder of your campaign, as well as once you go head to head with Obama.

  1. When it comes to job creation, start with your real life experience, using real numbers and real names:  You frequently talk about how your entire life as been spent in the private sector to differentiate you from “lifer” politicians,  yet I haven’t heard you list how many jobs Bain Capital created. Saying something like, “I’ve spent my entire career creating jobs. We created Dominos pizza, which currently employs 145,000 people.  We created Staples, with over 100,000 employees, and The Sports Authority, which has over ___ (couldn’t find the number) of employees. I’ve also worked with hundreds of other companies, creating over _____ jobs. That’s all in all over (half a million, a million, whatever the number is) jobs created through my leadership at Bain Capital.” Hearing the number of jobs created in your private sector experience is a huge advantage you have. How many jobs did Obama create during his time as a community organizer?  And USE REAL NAMES. Obama does this ad nauseum, and it WORKED the same way testimonials of infomercials work. People relate to other people’s stories. Period. You have 100 times the experience that Obama does, use real-life stories of real-life people.
  2. Provide the vision through sharing personable stories of people who worked their way up: Many very qualified Americans are sitting on the sidelines, collecting unemployment, because they are afraid to take a “low-level job” because either a. they are afraid they’ll get stuck in that low-paying job, b. the pay is lower than what they are collecting on unemployment, or c. they are holding out for a higher salary like they are used to making. Painting vivid pictures of how your economic policy will create an abundance of jobs where people will be able to work their way up will go a long way to minimize these fears. Again, use a story from Domino’s Pizza or Staples: “We had people like Jeremy Larson, who started out as a pizza deliverer, and who is now regional manager over 4 stores making ___ a year.”  People aren’t afraid of starting over, if they feel there is opportunity for advancement–but they need that kind of visionary leadership, and a clear vision of what kind of world of opportunity YOUR economic policy will provide.
  3. THEN transition into your time as Governor, but stop emphasizing percentages, and focus on overall numbers and use some real life experiences.Percentages matter to CFO’s and hedge fund managers. If you want to connect with the everyday person, you need to give numbers and testimonials. This would be time to tell stories of what happened while Governor.
  4. Acknowledge your perceived weaknesses: I’m not campaign strategist, so take this with a grain of salt. But I think it would be refreshing if you actually acknowledged some of the silly reasons someone might not vote for you, then list the reasons that person still should. It will make their reasons not to vote for you seem immature compared to the hands on experience our country need. For example, if you addressed the American people and said something like “I know some people still haven’t made up your mind if you’ll vote for me. You may think I’m plasticky, stiff, boring, or you are uncomfortable that I changed my mind on abortion rights. I may seem like I’m uncharismatic, especially when compared to Mr. Obama.  Look, I KNOW I may not be as charismatic as Mr. Obama–but we’ve seen how well his charisma can change the economy for the better. Consider my actual on-the-job-experience. I’ve led groups that have created over ____ of jobs. And that’s what this country needs. This country needs strong economic policy, and that’s what I’ll bring to the job. Besides, if you think I’m not personable or charismatic enough,  I’ll hire a spokesperson who is–while I’m furiously working behind the scenes to improve this country’s economy the same way I did Staples, The Sports Authority, Domino’s Pizza, and the Winter Olympics.”
  5. Don’t criticize EVERYTHING about the Democratic party: A lot of us are sick of the bipartisan finger-pointing log-jams like the failing supercommittee. These GOP debates are nauseatingly full of the “there is nothing good about the Democratic party” moments. One of your most relatable, strongest debate moments is when you said “Look, this president is a nice guy. He just doesn’t know how to lead.” Because at least you acknowledged the President is a nice guy, when most of your peers would rather spit out his name.  The problem is, those kinds of moments have been far too few. Most of America voted for Obama–and they don’t want to feel like they made a stupid choice, maybe just not the best choice. Sometimes candidates get too passionate about bashing Mr. Obama–which I think makes people defensive of their choice to vote for him. Point out his strengths, but trust me, his weaknesses are more than enough to bring him down–but people get sick of the “everything about the democratic party is wrong” philosophy.

In conclusion, you’re an extremely strong candidate. You are the most qualified person on stage. I hope you get elected, because I think you can put the right teams in place to move this country forward. Many voters will make their decision based on how well you connect with them during a debate or speech–rather than researching your Bain Capital experience, or your turnaround of the Salt Lake City winter Olympics. And that is truly unfortunate. If they did minimal research, they’d see you have the most applicable experience for getting the economy back on track–especially when compared to your competition.

Good luck in the remainder of the election, Governor Romney, I hope to see you in the Oval Office.

Craig

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5 Comments

  1. I really think that Romney is the only Republican that can give Obama a run for his money. That includes Newt.

    Reply
  2. Mike Alvarez

     /  November 28, 2011

    I’m with you Craig. Very well written. I was a volunteer at the Olympics under Mitt’s leadership. I can vouch for the fact that he not only saved it, but he also ran it like a well-oiled machine. I would only add one more point to your list.
    6) Speak from your heart. Pause more. Connect and look into the camera. Think of the listeners as a member of your family. To the general public, machine-gunning facts = Wall Street and that is not what they want. They want to know you care.

    I was told four years a go by a friend that you would not win because you don’t know how to lie. I disagree. The public is sick of lying politicians and are seeking an honest leader to pull the U.S. out of our shameful last decade full of corporate and political lies. Lies have gotten our economy where it is and we know that only through honesty and leadership we will find our way back.

    Best of luck Mitt.

    Reply
  3. Great article Craig. I also think Mitt should be president and maybe he should hire you to help him out with some pointers and social media.

    Reply
    • Craig

       /  December 1, 2011

      Haha, I need to get my followers of this blog above 9 or so, and get my twitter following up into the thousands before he’ll even take a look at me!

      Reply

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