October 8th, 2012
You may think this is silly, but it’s not. This is high stakes communication combat. POINT ONE: Obama tells Charlie Rose in July the biggest mistake of his first term was his failure to “tell a story to the American people.” POINT TWO: Romney cleans Obama’s clock in the first debate as Obama tells no stories and comes off as dull. POINT THREE: Romney is suddenly springing to life as a storyteller. Your future may hang on who is the best storyteller. Yes, it is that important.
TELL ME A (SCRIPTED) STORY …
On Saturday, on CBS Evening News, correspondent Jan Crawford, following the newly fired up Romney campaign in Florida, reported on the powerful storytelling he is suddenly engaging in. Here’s the transcript of what she said, in the middle of which she shows him giving a speech.
JAN CRAWFORD: There is one other thing that is so striking that I have never seen it in the ten months as what we saw last night in St. Petersburg. Mitt Romney, a very private man who does not like to talk about himself — which is kind of unusual for a politician — told several personal STORIES at this rally last night, including one that was quite gripping about how a fourteen year old boy — a friend he had known through the church who was dying of cancer — asked Governor Romney to help him write his will. Take a listen to this …
MITT ROMNEY: He talked about his skateboard — who would get that — and his rifle, that went to his brother. I’ve seen the character of a young man like David who wasn’t emotional or crying — he had his eyes wide open. There’s a saying, clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose. David couldn’t lose. I love that young man.
JAN CRAWFORD: And campaign advisors say you’re going to be hearing that a lot more from Mitt Romney in the next four weeks — those kinds of STORIES.
WHO NEEDS SCHTINKIN’ STORIES?
How can this be happening? How can Obama’s advisers be so tone deaf as to not grasp the importance of storytelling??? Why has he not, over the past two years, developed at least one specific story of a Michigan man whose life was saved by the saving of the auto industry. Those stories have to be all over the landscape, yet there is NOTHING of the sort in Obama’s speeches.
Isn’t anyone on his staff familiar with how “The Great Communicator,” Ronald Reagan used specific stories over and over again to bring to life the issues he was addressing? This isn’t a frivolous option. It is THE central dynamic of communicating with the American public. And Obama is blowing it. And now it’s probably getting too late for him to suddenly show up with a bunch of stories.
This “humanizing” video from the RNC goes into detail about Romney’s story with David, the aforementioned cancer patient. David’s parents speak about Mitt’s experiences with their son, giving specific examples of times Mitt was there to support him and ultimately helping him write his own will. This all may have been crafted by his advisers and he might be just as dishonest about it as he was with his sentiments of compassion that got busted by the 47% factoid. Who knows? All I know is that if you look at him speaking in the CBS Evening News clip, he’s actually doing a very convincing and sincere job of talking about the kid. Whatever his advisors are doing with him, it is DEFINITELY working.
Obama supporters should be very concerned. Obama is stepping up to the plate with his communications skills and completely whiffing. This is an American tragedy unfolding, with communication skills at the heart of it.