I posted debate advice for Mitt Romney prior to the first debate which may be read here. My advice for round two is as follows:
1. Don’t Get Cocky-You had an exceptionally good first debate. Enjoy it and forget it. That was round one of a three round fight, and who is left standing at the end of the third round is how you determine the victor.
2. Don’t Sit on a Lead- That is what Obama tried to do in round one and it was a disaster. Don’t make that elementary mistake.
3. This is a Townhall Meeting-We have Joe and Jane Citizens asking the questions and that is a challenge. The media is predictable, ordinary citizens are not. Listen closely to the questions and answer them. Ignoring questions at a townhall can be ruinous, especially if they are inane.
4. Aggressive Obama-After his fairly passive performance at the last debate, Obama will probably come out full of fight. That can work to your advantage at a townhall if Obama comes across as over the top before a live audience. After the Biden debacle I think he will probably avoid this, but don’t be surprised if he has flashes of temper and be ready to capitalize on them.
5. Jobs, Jobs, Jobs-You can bet that almost every person in that townhall will have a friend or relative who is either unemployed or underemployed. Pledge to turn the economy around and put America be back to work. Be detailed as much as time allows. People were impressed the first go round at your breadth of knowledge and your ideas. Play off of those strengths.
6. Look Like you are Enjoying This-Remember Bush at the townhall in 1992 when he glanced at his watch? Asking for electoral death. You obviously were having a whale of a good time at the first debate. Let that come through again, and that is half the secret of winning a townhall.
7. Libya-Hit this if it comes up. Obama was clearly engaged in a coverup to avoid admitting during the election campaign that Al Qaeda was still a threat. Call him out on it.
8. China and the Debt-Your formulation of having as your criteria whether it was worth borrowing money from China to have the federal government spend on something resonated with the public. Use it again if you have the opportunity.
9. 47%-Obama will be practically screaming this. Admit that it was a bone headed remark, similar to Obama talking about small town people bitterly clinging to their guns and religion, and state that the number one goal of the Romney administration is to free people from Government dependence by putting them back to work.
10. Be affable and relaxed-Obama looked dour and tense in the first debate, while you looked affable and relaxed. Repeat.