Likability And The Election – How Romney Can Defeat President Obama

by Dr. Karen Ruskin on September 27, 2012

Whether you wish to be the President of the United States Of America or you are a child in grade school running for student council, the same rule applies: you must be likable.  Likability and the election- there are 5 tips Romney must use if he wishes to defeat President Obama, just as a child can use these same concepts when running for class President. What is considered a likable person when it comes to who we want running the show? Is it the same type of likability when choosing a friendship? A lover? A partner? A colleague? An employer? You do not have to be the most popular kid to be the winner when in a school election, nor do you have to be the most popular student to marry the prom queen. As an expert in the human mind and thus understanding why we do the things we do, as an expert in relationships and the relationship dynamics between people, it is my psychotherapeutic analysis that offers insight into what Mitt Romney must do to defeat Obama. I shall share that it is the very relationship Romney has with the public versus the relationship President Obama has with the public that is being referred to as to whether one is considered likable or not likable.

The following includes 5 must do’s, that Romney must do, with consistency, if he is to defeat President Obama. Every speech, every interview, every interaction Romney must be mindful of the following 5 tips and assure implementation of them verbally with his words, physically in his demeanor and behavioral mannerisms, and in his tone inflection and volume. He did a fine job at the RNC implementing these 5 tips, the key is he must continue and improve upon #5. If your child is running for student council, print this blog article and share with him/her the following 5 tips. Your child can develop a speech all on their own, with their own ideas, thoughts, opinions, and values that will bring down the house if he/she follows these points:

  1. Validate the public’s feelings.
  2. Identity – A) Share your identity including one’s life experiences that are in sync with the message you are trying to convey. B) Share experiences that are relate-able to those you are trying to reach and connect with so that they will feel you identify with them and can understand them. Thus they then feel they can identify with you. C) State and explain your philosophical identity.
  3. Explain that you are what the public needs and why. State with clarity what you can and will offer them and how you will care for them.
  4. Compare self to the other candidate. Concretely state what is better about you and contrast yourself with your opponent. Specifically address what you can and will do and very directly detail the contrast of your ideas with that of the other candidate and what he has not done and cannot do. (If this is a school election be mindful of this tip as it is slightly different then what Romney must do. Be cautious kids, you do not want to talk negatively about another to rise yourself up. Rather it is about what you can do because you are you.)
  5. Be memorable: A) Being memorable is about your overall message including the 4 points above as well as how you deliver your message (actual words said, physical behavior/body language, tone). B) Being memorable also includes assuring that you have 1-3 fabulous sound bites that cannot be forgotten. Think ‘slogan’ that encompasses the message you want to send.

Should a President seem just like us for him to be likable? Or rather should a President appear to have it together, perhaps not so like us and yet can help us with what we need help with? What really is relate-ability? The balance of relate-ability and the belief that the President can help us to resolve problems and protect us is an interesting balance. What really are we as a public looking for? What do we need?

If you found this article a stimulation of your palate, provided below are just but a few of my other blog articles that tap into political topics from the psychotherapeutic thematically relational angle. Relationships can mean the relationship we have with our own personal self and our mental wellness, with others, and/or with our professional life journey.

Does likability trump economy in Presidential Election – Dr. Karen Ruskin’s interview with Neil Cavuto on FBN

“You didn’t build that” Obama says; Psychotherapist concerned

Birth control and Sandra Fluke – Psychotherapist’s perspective

Democrats vs. Republicans – Mental health and wellness philosophy

You are welcome to scroll through my blog articles under the header: Political Topics and Mental Health and find many additional interesting articles. I also invite you to scroll down my TV Interviews page to see what may peak your interest.

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