See Mitt Run By Mark Halperin

What Republican pros say their nominee must do to win

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Photo-illustration: Wes Duvall for TIME; Romney: Evan Vucci/AP

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Better deploy the potential First Lady. The bright, sunny Ann Romney remains far too remote a figure in the eyes of the public and the media, and the campaign has allowed her to squander her warmth and accessibility, letting her wade into perilous tax and luxury waters and sometimes come across as just another affluent spouse. Romney is best served when his wife relishes the positive aspects of the campaign experience, resists being overpackaged and stays close at hand for support ...

Prove he's a worthy Commander in Chief. Romney seldom discusses foreign policy on the stump, and his July overseas trip was a disappointment. He must be prepared to debate his opponent, react to any world crises and give a speech or two. Even with a bad economy, voters want to know a presidential contender can lead the armed forces, deal with world leaders and reassure the nation in the face of threats ...

Get specific where it counts. The candidate has slimmed down to a five-point economic plan, but he's still selling it with more routine than passion. If, come November, voters don't clearly grasp and respect Romney's ideas for turning the nation around, he will have failed.

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