T-Word, C-Word Final Themes of Obama and Romney Campaigns

In the final campaign hours, Mitt Romney takes a page from the Obama camp and talks "change."

Back in 2008, Barack Obama ran his presidential campaign on a “change” platform—as in it’s time for a change from the Republican policies put forth by George W. Bush.

My, how times have “changed.” In the last 48 hours of the 2012 presidential election, with voters set to go to the polls Tuesday morning, it’s now Republican challenger Mitt Romney who’s using the C-word. As Romney spoke at stops in Florida, Virginia and New Hampshire on Nov. 5, he’s been warning voters that the economy is in greater jeopardy because of Obama’s inability to work with Congress and generally get things done. Therefore, it’s time for a change, says Romney.

Meanwhile, this morning in Madison, Wisc., after Bruce Springsteen warmed up a chilled audience of 18,000, Obama fought back against Romney’s change message, telling the crowd: “So when I say, Wisconsin, that I know what real change looks like, you've got cause to believe me because you've seen me fight for it, you've seen me deliver it, you've seen the scars on me to prove it, you've seen the gray hairs on my head to show you what it means to fight for change.”

But change is no longer a key message in Obama’s arsenal. As the final hours of the campaign run down, Obama has turned to a message of “trust.” In Madison, Obama acknowledged that the change he promised four years ago has been slower in coming than some people—himself included—might have hoped. But at the end of the day, he said, voters have a reason to trust him.

From a communications standpoint, the question is will these last themes of change and trust have enough impact to sway any undecideds? In just a matter of hours, we should know.

Follow Scott Van Camp: @svancamp01

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About Scott Van Camp

Scott Van Camp is editor of PR News, an executive-level, reader-supported publication that helps enhance the business impact of PR. Scott has a rich background in both journalism and PR/marketing. He has more than 15 years of experience as a writer/editor at various consumer and trade publications. Scott was with VNU Business Publications for five years, including stints as managing editor at IQ News and Technology Marketing magazines and senior editor at Brandweek. In the PR/marketing sphere, he has served as corporate communications manager at MarketBridge, a marketing and sales consultancy, and as editorial director for the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. While at the Council, Scott led several high-profile marketing research projects. He has also operated his own communications and media consulting firm, SVC Communications.

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