“Mr. O’Dowd, may I call you John?” “Sure.” “Great. Well, we’re very happy and proud that you’ve decided to hire the Bait and Switch subsidiary of Smoke
and Mirrors Advertising. I assure you that we’ll do our best. In fact, I feel safe in promising that we’ll give you 100 percent. No, correct that, 150 percent of our effort. I’m sure that we can work well together in crafting a good — no, correct that, a GREAT campaign.”
"That's good. No, correct that, that's wonderful. I’m running for congress and I need some professional help in creating the right image.” “Have you ever run for office before?” “Nope, this is the first time. I'm tired of politics as usual and I think I can make a difference.” “Good, since you've never run before you don’t have to carry any of the established party baggage. We can start from scratch and build you a new image.” “Good, I've made some notes. I think my campaign promise is going to be: I promise is not to steal more than the people in my district can afford.” “Good promise.” “My slogan is: We fit together like my hand in your pocket.” “Even better. Are you sure that you’re a novice politician? You sound like a natural.” “This is my first campaign and I want this job more than anything in the whole world. I’ve worked and maneuvered my whole life to go to Washington to be a U.S. Congressman and I think I have a real shot at it this year.” “Whoa, rein in those horses, cowboy. This is not the time or atmosphere to be drooling over a job in Washington.”“I don’t understand.” “There is nothing lower on the food chain than a politician, except maybe a lawyer or a reporter. The lowest of all, the bottom feeder, so to speak, of politicians is one who ENJOYS being a politician.” “You’re the professionals. Tell me what to do.” “It’s easy; you have to be a politician while fighting the politician image. You have to be an outsider. Someone who has no ties to Washington and the political morass that ferments there. In fact, it might even help if you don’t even know where Washington is.” “I don’t think I can get away with that. I’ve been there before.” “Well then, our job is to convince the people that while you may have, in fact, been to Washington, you didn’t like it. We have to convince the people that all you saw was greed and corruption and so you left as quickly as you could so that none of that filth would dirty you. We then have to convince them that your conscience started to bother you and that you feel the regrettable need to return to the cesspool. But, you feel the need to return only to do your duty to clean up the town.” “That sounds like the sheriff in ‘High Noon.’ The people were afraid, they didn’t want his help and he really didn’t want to help, he wanted to get it on with Grace Kelly, but he felt the need to fight the bad guys out of a sense of duty.” “Now you’ve got the right idea, John. ‘Do not forsake me, oh my darling.’” “How do I sell this?” “Simple. We use down-home earnestness. Do you own a plaid shirt, one of those L.L. Bean jobs?” “I don’t think so.” “Don’t worry. We have boxes of them in our Homespun Candidate Preparation Package. I’m sure that we have one in your size.” “Ok, then what?” “What state are you from?” “Vermont” “Right. Then we use the mountain and stream backdrop. We have you sitting in a plaid wool shirt with one of those mountain things behind you and have you just talk to the camera like it was an old friend.” “I explain my positions?” “Are you serious?” “Well, sure. The people need to know what I stand for.” “You are new at this. They know what you stand for — getting elected. We have to convince them of just two things: that while you’re running you don’t really want to be elected and that you are more conservative than your opponents.” “What!?” “Sure, we tell the camera that you’re the ultimate outsider; you’re a conservative, family-values outsider, but an outsider. We promise something that we have no chance of delivering like a balanced budget or ... Wait, I’ve got an idea. How about the promise of a congressional pay cut until we get a balanced budget and healthcare?” “Congress will never go for that.” “I know. It’s a promise without consequences, but it sounds great doesn’t it?” “Do you think the people will believe that?” “Heck yes. They'll fall for anything if you sound honest and they are angry and desperate enough. The fell for ‘No New Taxes,’ ‘I didn’t have sexual relations with that woman’ and that whole weapons of mass destruction war in Iraq didn’t they? Hell, we worked on the Schwartzenegger campaign; Americans can be talked into accepting anything. While the pay cut idea is still ringing in their ears, you wet your lips, smile into the camera, schmooze a little and tell them that they shouldn’t send people to congress who want TOO MUCH to be there.” “What does that mean?” “It’s ‘High Noon.’ You’re saying — send me because I hate the job so much I’ll do a good job fighting all those dirty professional politicians, PACs, lobbyists and insiders.” “Vote for me because I want the job LESS than the other candidates?” “Great idea isn’t it? It may revolutionize politics.