Mr. President, you need to be clear tonight. When you want to tell the YouTube generation what time it is, you have to say it straight:
You’re a middle class guy with middle class values; you’re one of us. Your opponent was an entitled rich kid who grew up to look down on us. He just plain doesn’t like us.
You believe in helping people who can’t necessarily help themselves. Your opponent couldn’t care less about them. He thinks they’re freeloading scum.
You believe that America should be a place where everyone has access to the same high quality medical care regardless of their circumstances. Your opponent’s math goes like this: BANK ACCOUNT = MEDICAL BUDGET = LIFE SPAN.
You believe that women are equal to men and therefore have a natural right to control their own bodies; your opponent, well, who knows what he believes? But his running mate is in favor of forcing a woman to bear her rapist’s – even her father’s – child. Sort of like an American Taliban.
You are a student of history, a believer in science, and a fan of reality. No one knows what your opponent believes, since he denies ever saying anything.
You believe in the DREAM Act. Your opponent is a NIGHTMARE.
Say it all with the soundtrack from 8 Mile playing in your head.
Exactly how the Democrats felt last night.
Last night, you spent the first two-thirds of the debate looking like you’d prefer to be off celebrating your wedding anniversary with your wife. I don’t blame you. Most of America would have sided with you on that one. You looked tired and weary. I had a profound desire to hand you a Red Bull and give you a refreshing slap. WTF?
First of all, why in the world did you agree to a debate on the night of your wedding anniversary? Was that really necessary? You could have chosen another night and had a clear head for it. And while we were all aware of the occasion and expecting you to mention it at some point, leading with it was awkward. It came off as resentful. Evidence of the fact that you would have preferred to be somewhere else.
Secondly, why do you persist in being so damned nice? Do you think it’s getting you anywhere? Really, Mr. President, you do not need to point out the places where you agree with your opponent before you go on to discussing your differences; you’ve lost us by then. Can’t you just lead with the contrasts? Have you learned nothing about our attention span? Or did you not hear the sound of channels changing across America?
Most importantly, why do you resist attacking your opponent? He’s your OPPONENT. You ATTACK him. There is a history of lies and conflicting positions there for you to exploit, a wealth of blunders and misstatements to cite. Speak them. Number them. Repeat them. Our memories are short.
Lastly, I’d like you to reconsider your audience. You spoke to the American people last night with the tone of a man who holds us in high regard. Please lower your expectations. America is not Harvard or Columbia. America is Denny’s and Fox News. You need to speak the language.
You can do it. Just pretend you’re seventeen again.