Monday, October 1, 2012

Romney Promises Zingers During Debate


Mr. Romney’s team has concluded that debates are about creating moments and has equipped him with a series of zingers that he has memorized and has been practicing on aides since August. His strategy includes luring the president into appearing smug or evasive about his responsibility for the economy.
The New York Times

We also saw in reports that Mitt Romney and his team have been working on zingers and special lines for months. That's not what the President's focus is on. So if you're expecting that, that's probably not what he's going to deliver on.
~ Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki via Yahoo News

I think they are on a search for zingers and one-liners because Romney was scorched by Kennedy in '94 by several of those. But they have to be careful 'cause the President could well have a comeback. In these debate preps you try to game out what the other side is going to say. And you try to see how you can respond. It's always strongest when it's a comeback. Zingers don't work as a cute line. They work as part of the fabric of argument. So in 1980, they knew that Jimmy Carter was going to look at Ronald Reagan and say, 'You were against Medicare' at the beginning. It happened to be true. But Reagan looked at him, shook his head and said 'There you go again.' And it was really not a comment just on that Medicare answer but on everything Carter had said. That's when a zinger works.
~ Democratic Strategist Bob Shrum on Face the Nation, CBS News

It was a HUGE MISTAKE for the Romney advisor to tell the NY Times about him working on zingers. Everyone SUSPECTS these remarks are prepared, but usually it comes out in reportage a bit after the debate so the zinger has impact (one example is Ronald Reagan’s “There you go again..”). Now the fact that he has been preparing to look witty is out there ALREADY and if he says something — even a real, off the cuff zinger — it’ll be dismissed by some. If you know the actor’s script before the performance and then spot him performing it, it takes away some of the impact…
~ Joe Gandelman on The Moderate Voice

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