Sunday, April 15, 2012

Your Father Sleeps with an Old Woman

Mr. O'Dowd what can we do for you?”Gentlemen, I have a problem. My campaign has stalled and I don’t know what to do about it. Friends and consultants told me that you guys are the best campaign doctors in the business.”Well, we at Dewey, Foolum and Spinmaster like to say that there is no campaign that we can’t fix and no opponent that we can’t defame. Tell us a little about your opponent.”That's the problem. Guinness O’Toole is my opponent and he seems to be clean. There isn’t much I can find to work with.”You let us worry about that. What do you know?”Well, he was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division...”Hold it right there, Mr. O'Dowd. If I remember, the 82nd didn’t let women serve in the division until the late seventies.”I think that’s right.”Well then, there’s a start. O’Toole was a member of an elite, armed, sexist unit.”Not ‘unit,’ Foolum. How about ‘group?’  And not ‘armed,’ but ‘well armed with automatic weapons?’”Good point, Spinmaster. I think we’re on a roll. Didn’t the Army segregate black soldiers until just after the Second World War?”Yes, what’s your point?”Well, Mr. O'Dowd, the 82nd is part of the Army so, what we have  in just a few minutes is the fact that your opponent was the member of a well-armed racist, sexist group that trained with and carried automatic weapons.”Dewey, you were in the Army. Didn’t they have inspections?”Of course they did, Spinmaster, all the time.”Then we have a well-armed, sexist, racist group investigated by the U.S. Government.”Wait a minute guys. You can’t be serious. Besides, I was in the Army too.”No problem, Mr. O'Dowd. Your ads will say that you proudly served your country as a member of the armed forces.”But what happens when O’Toole goes nuts and denies all of this?”So? First of all, we wait until close to the election to release the ad. There is also nothing in the ad that is technically wrong. When you are called on it, we say that it was printed and sent out by an overzealous member of your campaign staff without your approval. You fire an aide for releasing the ad, we’ll lend you one of our office workers for that purpose, and you promise O’Toole to fix it.”Do I apologize?”Of course not, Mr. O'Dowd. Just promise to look into it. Look, Mr. O'Dowd, most citizens don’t trust or like politicians. They vote for them but don’t want their brothers, sisters, sons or daughters to marry one. People are more than willing to believe the worst about politicians. We drop this little bombshell close to the election and most people will only remember the worst and vote accordingly. What else do you have on O’Toole?”Well, his son is a sophomore at Harvard on an academic scholarship.”That means that O’Toole feels that the University of Vermont is not good enough for his children and snubs it.”He rides a motorcycle on weekends with Bikers for Jesus to relax. He has to be crazy to ride one of those things.”So, O’Toole rides with biker gangs and is so tense he sniffs petroleum fumes to relax; mental problems are suspected.”He has two kids and has been married for more than 30 years.”That’s an easy one. O’Toole opposes large families and members of the community suspect that he sleeps with an old woman.”He’s younger than I am.”O’Toole lacks experience.”Ok, his resume said that he graduated from West Point and went to graduate school at the University of South Carolina.”We’ve already done the armed sexist group thing. Isn't Carolina's mascot a Camecock?”Yes, so what?”How about — took advanced training at a school that uses an abused animal for its mascot, an animal that people bet on to watch it fight and die.”Mr. O'Dowd, what are O’Toole’s positions on issues?”We pretty much agree on every major issue. I’m not sure where we can go with that.”You let us worry about that. Get us a list of issues and positions; we can take it from there. By the way, what about his family background?”His great-grandfather immigrated from Ireland around the turn of the century and built a life and career from nothing. I’m not sure what he did.”Whoa, there you go — illegal alien family with no green card.”No one had green cards then.”And your point would be?”I guess nothing. How about, ‘Questions exist about his family and how they made their money?’”We did just ask a question. I think you’re getting into this, Mr. O'Dowd.”I still don’t know about this. It makes me nervous.”This is the first time you’ve used a professional campaigning firm isn’t it, Mr. O'Dowd?”Yes.”People complain about negative ads, Mr. O'Dowd, but this is the way things are done in American politics. There are two facts: one, people like gossip and secretly love them and two, they work.”

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