October 16, 2012 at 7:06 PM
Any team that wins a championship is almost instantly plagued with the same question. You did it once but can you do it again?
This lingering question kept the proverbial champagne bottles on ice after Mitt Romney put on the most dominate debate performance in the television era of Presidential politics. No doubt the race today is a completely different one than on Oct. 3 because of Romney’s efforts in the first debate.
For some Americans, that one was enough. The polls in the past two weeks have reflected this as Romney has crept into a lead. Others see this race for what it is, a sprint to the finish that may very well leave many people undecided until the final week. Those are whom both candidates will be speaking to tonight.
President Obama will not be the same debater tonight, lazily trying to get it over with. I expect him to be more aggressive and more specific, both in his attacks and his proposals. Although both men are at their best giving a speech, the town hall style will naturally favor President Obama’s strengths more.
Governor Romney must balance this inherent disadvantage in the same way he conquered disadvantages in the first debate. He needs to speak clearly to the America people tonight and drive the conversation. Town hall debates almost always lend themselves to moments of empathy. This is especially the case in a bad economy. When the moment inevitable arises tonight, Governor Romney must take advantage. He must show that he understands how badly the American people are struggling in this “recovery” and show us that he can fix it.
As long as he does those things, the only question that will remain is the same one that plagues every sports team that has ever won back-to-back championship: So what, can you three-peat?
By Jordan Harris, chairman of the Penn State College Republicans