Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s supporters spent Sunday talking non-stop about the first presidential debate Wednesday night, portraying it as the re-birth of Romney’s campaign. Now, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is helping them spread that narrative with its latest video, ”Great Expectations.”
“Great Expectations” is a compilation of clips Republican leaders like N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and prominent TV anchors emphasizing just how well Romney needs to do in the first debate in order to re-energize his campaign.
Christie claimed just yesterday that the presidential race will be ”turned upside down” by Romney’s debate performance.
And with these staggering expectations, Romney is almost guaranteed to fail.
Lets take a look at the two scenarios: Romney giving an awesome debate performance, and Romney giving a less than awesome debate performance.
1. Even if Romney manages to pull off a solid, hands-down win over incumbent Barack Obama on Wednesday the Romney campaign, will his campaign really be better of than it is now? Christie lauded the debate as a chance for Romney to speak to voters eye-to-eye without the spin of the mainstream media, but no doubt the mainstream media will spend all of Thursday downplaying Romney’s performance if he does meet expectations and blow it out of the water.
2. If he does give a semi-decent or average performance, Romney supporters will be devastated. The Obama campaign, the DNC and the media will immediately begin blowing up his failure to live up to his self-inflicted expectations. Romney will quickly be the candidate that couldn’t seal the deal and it will be nearly impossible for him to shake that notion before the election.
So what is the Romney campaign doing? The only candidate who looks to come out on top here is Obama, who is known for his great oratory skills. And as every skilled campaign manager knows, the higher you raise expectations, the further they come crashing down when your candidate doesn’t do as well as expected. It is common sense that you lower expectations in the lead-up to a big event so that when your candidate pulls off an awesome performance it’s all anyone is talking about for days.
If that’s not enough to convince the Romney campaign of its error, consider what it means when your opponents steal your own message because they realize it’s the most effective way to shut down your campaign. I
This might be the most serious misstep from the Romney campaign thus far.
Check out the new DNC video here: