Obama's Town Hall To-Do List

Here’s what President Obama needs to do tonight:

  1. Show leadership, resolve, and toughness
  2. Directly call Romney on his evasions and deceptions
  3. Demolish several of Romney’s outright lies
  4. Not pass up several opportunities to make points, as he did in the first debate
  5. Not make any major mistakes
  6. Take advantage of any Romney blunders


  • Refute Romney's claims that the Benghazi attack was Obama’s failure, and shame Romney for trying to make political hay of it
  • Destroy Romney’s credibility on the budget, tax cuts for the wealthy, and Social Security
  • Press Romney directly on which tax loopholes he’d close
  • Remind voters that Romney is an out-of-touch rich guy, whose new-found identification with regular working people is a sham
  • Associate Romney with Republican blockage of Obama’s efforts to promote a stronger economic recovery
  • Push Romney hard on issues where he has changed his position or denies his real current position, such as abortion rights
  • Demolish Republican talking points not based in fact, such as the claim that the green energy initiatives supported by the Recovery Act mostly failed (in fact most succeeded)
  • Corner Romney on his deceptions, to the point where Romney makes mistakes and goes off-script.
  • Surprise Romney with a line of criticism that Romney’s handlers have not anticipated.

There are also some things that Obama should NOT do:

  • NOT emphasize areas where he and Romney agree.
  • NOT stick to scripted talking points, but be effective off-the-cuff.
  • NOT appear disengaged and disdainful.

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