Experts offer some pre-debate advice for Romney: ‘Be yourself’

From The Hill:

There is time for Mitt Romney to forge the personal connection with voters that propels successful candidates to the White House, according to Republican and Democratic commentators alike.

But it’s running out.

These experts say that, policy prescriptions aside, the GOP nominee needs to display greater personal ease and consistency of tone than he has done so far.

This will be no easy task while under sustained fire from President Obama’s re-election team, and while grappling with a media narrative that now positions Romney as a clear underdog.

Republicans take heart, however, from national polls that show the contest remaining tight, and from the opportunity that the three upcoming presidential debates afford Romney.

The first debate takes place in Denver on Oct. 3. Conservatives insist that during all three clashes with Obama — and on the stump from now until Election Day — Romney needs to be embrace his identity as a successful businessman and offer calm clarity about what a Romney administration would do.

“He has to come across as a sincere, transparent, credible leader. But he shouldn’t reinvent himself. Another Romney reinvention plays right into the president’s hands,” said Steve Deace, an influential Iowa-based conservative radio host.

“If I were him, I would take the thing I am going to get attacked for and turn it around: ‘Yes, I am rich; yes, I am successful. I got that way by doing the exact opposite of what the president has been doing to the economy over these past four years.’”

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Photo courtesy Austen Hufford, flickr