Romney’s new ad: Day 1. Ad falls flat.

What would President Mitt Romney do on Day 1?

Apparently he would sign the Keystone pipeline into law, introduce tax reform, and repeal ObamaCare, to be replaced by his own health care reforms.

All good measures.

And he says as much in this ad, which the Romney campaign is releasing with much fanfare.

In my humble opinion, the ad is rather, well, bland.

To me, it lacks any sort of punch, humor, or significant inspiration to vote for the hopeful 45th President – as he begins to define himself and create bold contrast between him and the 44th.

Contrast the ad with the Reagan-Bush critique of President Carter from 1980 (after the GOP message) – which has issues strikingly similar to the current campaign:

The reality is that right now, Mitt Romney needs to be defining himself to the American voters.

With a bulk of independents probably not even paying attention yet, Romney needs to lay the ground work for the rest of the campaign.

Who is he? Why is he running? What is his vision?

As Ford O’Connell writes in U.S. News, Romney will not win unless he and his handlers can open up, create a narrative for him, and shape it to explain what he would do for the country and why. And to do this before the Obama attack machine does it for him.

According to a recent Gallup Poll:

Fifty percent of Americans now have a favorable opinion of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, up from 39% in February and his highest by 10 percentage points. His current 41% unfavorable rating, though, leaves him with a net score of +9, after being at -8 in February.

This is a good sign, but Gallup also cautions that this is lower than what most prior nominees have enjoyed. Which makes it even more imperative for Romney to get in front of the narrative of how he should be defined.

This ad, “Day 1”, seemed to fall very short of its intended goals – whether that was to draw sharp contrast with the president, unify and motivate the base, or to define who Mitt Romney is.

Romney’s campaign made contact with this ad, but hardly hit it out of the park, as they might have hoped.

But it’s very early in the game. There’s definitely still time to play long ball in later innings.

But you’d rather be playing with the lead, than trying to make up ground.