David Asman | “Another Broken Promise, Mr. President?”

Right now, President Obama and Mitt Romney are looking for the one line that  will stand out as the defining line of the debate, a line that encapsulates the  candidate’s reason for running and all his frustrations with the other guy. It  doesn’t necessarily have to be a solution for the nation’s problems. But it does  have to immediately resonate with voters.

In 1980, the quip that stood out was challenger Ronald Reagan’s dismissive, “There you go again…” to President Carter. Folks knew exactly what Reagan  meant: that we had seen through Carter’s attempts to attack Reagan’s supposedly “radical tendencies” as a dodge to distract voters from Carter’s responsibility  for an ever-weakening America.

This time around it’s a safe bet that President Obama will try out another  quip to further characterize Romney as an out-of-touch millionaire. It’s much  less clear what quip the Romney team is looking for. His campaign has suffered  from lack of clarity all along. The debates would be the perfect moment to fix  on one. And frankly, we think we have one, based on the president’s own  record.

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