Town Hall Debate Tips for Candidates: 'Don't Look Like You're Bored'

Yahoo! News' Jeff Greenfield offers no-nonsense advice for Obama, Romney.
3:00 | 10/16/12

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Transcript for Town Hall Debate Tips for Candidates: 'Don't Look Like You're Bored'
Jeff Greenfield standing by currently -- columnist with Yahoo! News guess you wrote an excellent column on Yahoo! today. Admitting that you use to -- candidates for debates. And that you wouldn't actually know how to advise the president going into this debate why is that. -- -- -- 151000 people are already advising Obama on Twitter and FaceBook so why have 151001 but the more serious point is. So much of the -- of the focus on a fumble was on atmospherics. That it's very dangerous. To try to coach somebody particularly somebody like the president who's not. Thinks this is how superficial thinks it's trivial and tried -- have him practice. No. Maintain eye contact what kind of smiled what is your body language like that's the atmospheric -- that I would find it really difficult to try to figure out because. They're going to be thousands of people Tweeter twittering and FaceBook in whatever. Looking literally by the way and I don't -- to Joseph Biden literally I mean literally at every gesture he makes and that's got to be a little bit off but. The harder problem for Obama is that you revert to my free pure condition is a political operative many decades ago. It's really all about who commands the room. Debates are always one by the person who basically drives the narrative. Who can link one question -- -- no other. Who can get the audience to understand whether it's in the hall or more importantly on TV and -- I understand what not just what the last question was about. But what the campaign is about. And that's extremely difficult to do and a town hall meeting when you get all of these disparate questions. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- An answer that is Chris much less confrontational. So -- -- funded -- very difficult task. The try to quote tell Obama what he must do. We'll just don't a lot of people say just be yourself. Yeah how you do it you don't beat yourself in front of fifty million people number -- and then in a very awkward stage sending my best. Yet it is the stupidest advise anybody -- And it -- usually follows twelve very specific things hold your head up and don't drink too much water. Don't look like you're bored don't look at your watch. -- empathetic -- try not to -- the candidate but but get to the camp Aaliyah and be yourself. The more tricky thing -- the other burden I think is. So many people talked about Obama's bad performance. That I think they tended to under rate -- -- good performance. And to the extent that Romney in that one debate in and the previous questions you -- to Sam are really on point I'd never -- a debate that had the impact. That this -- it is a race so much of of what people had a problem with about wrong. That trying to remind people what they didn't like about -- if that's what the Obama campaign wants to do. Is there is very difficult particularly in this setting. So which -- which you drive the president to try to do is to frame the argument in a way that reminds people not that. Mitt Romney was awkward or left -- But that basically he is a candidate who doesn't understand how America lives that was the opportunity Obama -- in the first debate. But if -- if he's going to do anything. To get that back it's on a substantive basis it's not about. Tactics and trying to get his singer it's to frame an argument that says look -- may have. -- first debate but -- the person representing most of you that he's the person doesn't understand what you're going through temporary tough stuff. -- you're the perfect person -- popular as we head into this debate team minus two minutes thank you sir for your time we really appreciate it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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