Category Archives: Spin Doctor

Latest from Jack: Guard the Sand Castles: Here come the Democrats!

Just got an email from Jack Abbott*, who can’t resist offering a few thoughts on the news of the day:

“On my way to Tampa to meet Bob. Can’t wait to get there to watch the fray. Question is, will the Democrats be able to stomp all over the sand castle of momentum the GOP is building in Tampa?

The carefully planned week of GOP rock stars is dominating the news. Even with a hurricane in the Gulf, barring unforeseen circumstances, devastating gaffes or tragedies, the Romney campaign should be able to pile up some support this week.

You already know the Obama campaign isn’t standing aside. They planned to send Biden down to kick up some sand earlier in the week, although that gambit was scuttled by Isaac.

But they still aren’t  on the sidelines watching, waiting for the castle turrets to be formed: The muscle men of the Democratic party are heading to Tampa right now to wedge themselves into the GOP convention news with a press conference on Bain Capital:  Los  Angeles Mayor AntonioVillaraigosa  and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will join Robert Gibbs for a presser today, and the Obama campaign is setting up a “war room” a few blocks away from the convention according to Politico.  I think we know the answer to the question of whether their press conference will be covered. But,  how will it look to step on the big night for Ann Romney?

The Democratic Convention is only a few days away. Mitt Romney’s speech Thursday night becomes that much more important as he tries to make a connection with voters that can’t be washed away by the Democratic tide when it comes in next week. So many voters focus on the election for the first time during the conventions. If he can make the right impression it might carry him through the effort by the Obama Campaign to drive up his negatives.

When the Democrats convene in Charlotte, they’ll want to build their own momentum, of course. You have to assume, even if they don’t use those columns this time, they will probably get some kind of bump, too.

So is the Romney campaign all over this? Do they have a killer week planned, with events to upstage the Democrats in Charlotte? Or are they going to play nice, follow the precedents of the past? I’ll see what I can find out.

There are no lifeguards on this beach. Swim at your own risk and watch out for bullies.

I’ll let you know when I find Bob.”

*Jack and Bob are characters from my novel Spin Doctor, a fast-paced, original political thriller you might enjoy if you like politics.

1 Comment

Filed under 2012 Election, Biden, campaign tactics, Spin Doctor, Vice President, White House

More from Jack and Bob: “Obama Campaign Fails Physics”

Jack and Bob have surfaced at the bar atop the Washington Hotel. Normally, they would lean on the bar, but tonight there is a  storm rolling in from the west, and the sky behind the White House is dark gray. The wind had picked up, and most of the tourists have gone for shelter. So it is quiet and we should be able to eavesdrop from the next table:

 Jack:   “I can’t believe  you predicted Romney’s VP choice three days before he released it. Did you have inside info or were you just kidding around?”

Bob took a sip and frowned.  “I always have inside info. That’s why you’re friends with me, isn’t it?  But didn’t you read what I said? It was obvious.”

Jack:  “Really. Then what happens next? Please predict the final election results.”

Bob: “Funny. Give me a few more days, okay?”

Jack: “What did you think of the VP pick?”

Bob: “Not bad, I’d say.”
Jack: “Not bad? Ten million dollars since the announcement.”

Bob: “That’s what I mean. What did you think? You’re the spin doctor. How was the spin? How did they do?”

Jack:  “As I said in my earlier memo–which, by the way, was spot on–nice of you to mention–It isn’t about the person, you know. That’s not the story.”

Bob: (shrugs, shakes head, refuses to ask, “so what is the story, Jack?”)
Jack: “The Obama campaign failed the physics exam.”
Bob: “Physics?”
Jack: “Yeah. You know, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. VP announcement then  major arms treaty, visit the troops. New Free trade zone. Where’s the news? I read on Monday that a big  chunk of money would go to the drought in the Midwest.  That’s a start. But then, nothing.”

Bob: “Come on. There’s no news this time of year. Dog days of August.”
Jack: “Okay. Pay attention. Even I could figure out roughly when the VP announcement would be. I said it would be Monday or Tuesday. But they were smarter because they jumped it to Saturday. They knew it would reverberate all weekend and possibly take the Obama campaign by surprise.”

As Bob picked up his glass a gust of wind blew his napkin off the table. He made a grab for it and hit the railing: “Was that thunder?”

Jack went on: “But then I thought surely the Obama campaign would be ready for the announcement. They would  flood the week with news and steal the moment. Bury them on Monday and the rest of the week with news, events, creativity.  Take the momentum away from Romney and make news that only an incumbent can make.”

Bob: “No kidding?  When did they do all that? I’ve been out of town.”

Jack: “Exactly. It makes you wonder. Somebody dropped the ball. I wonder if they ‘re hiring Have you heard anything?”

Another gust of wind scattered the bar napkins and swizzle sticks across the floor of the bar. A lightning flash streaked the sky and sheets of rain splattered the edge of the table. Bob drained his glass.

Jack: “I’ll get the check.”

Leave a comment

Filed under 2012 Election, Biden, Spin Doctor, Vice President, White House

Election Predictions–or not– from Jack and Bob!

Since it is August, Jack Abbott has been sailing on the Chesapeake. But after getting a deluge of emails from readers, he agreed to answer a few and arranged to meet his friends, Bob Carson and Evan Brett, at the Old Ebbitt last night. Once again, fictional characters are extremely unreliable and we do not vouch for this information.

Evan: I don’t know if you’ve been following the news, Jack.  But a lot of the questions imply that the direction of the campaign seems pretty clear. So how about a prediction. Who do you think is going to win the election?

Bob: Really? You think you know? If you do, why don’t you stop wasting time on politics and give me some lottery numbers.  By the way, Evan, are you running a tab? Appreciate it.

Jack: Seriously, if you see those good-looking folks on TV making predictions—well, let’s just say, anyone who says they know who will win at this stage in the election is spinning. Not saying there is anything wrong with spinning, of course.
It’s way too early to predict. Too many things still have to unfold before we will have an idea.

Evan: Come on, it can’t be that hard. The conventions, the debates, then the election.

Bob: Evan, are you serious? Is this your first rodeo?

Evan: I’m just asking the questions, Bob. And by the way, these are for Jack.

Bob: Fine with me. I just came for the drinks.

Jack: Well, there are lots of unknowns. We may have an uneventful three months or so. But what about the “October surprise?”  We don’t know if there is something out there, something held back for maximum impact. And if there is a foreign policy crisis, it almost always inures to the sitting president. On the other hand, what if the sitting president is surprised?

Evan: So if you won’t give me a prediction, at least tell me who is in the lead right now. Is Romney ahead or Obama?

Bob:Very funny. Romney has a huge lead with white voters, but lags with women and minorities. He is polling behind in key swing states. But wait–Gallup had them even on July 30. Are any of these polls right? Are they all wrong or are some wrong and others right? Is this the dream where you are in your underwear taking the SAT?

The quality of the polls varies like the quality of Maryland crabcakes. It depends what goes in to them. Sometimes you can read the ingredients and know it’s going to be all wrong. Sometimes it looks okay, but then you can’t always tell the proportions. If you put too many republicans or democrats in there, the crabcake will be off, and so will the poll.

Oh, wait. Was that for Jack, too? What do you think, Jack?

Jack: Good answer, Bob. Evan, do you want another beer?  I know you do, Bob. I’ll get the waiter.

MCL: If you have more questions for these three characters, you could hurry over to the Old Ebbitt to see if they are still there—I doubt it– or you can forward them to me. If you want to know more about these guys, check out Spin Doctor.  And before you leave the site, please take a moment and vote in the VP poll.

Leave a comment

Filed under 2012 Election, Spin Doctor, White House

Bob Carson Reluctantly Explains a Few Things about VP Timing

Since I discovered his memo two weeks ago, Jack has been unusually quiet. Fictional characters are extremely unreliable and his motivations are questionable.  He may be working on something for the Obama campaign, since he claims he is neutral. I was able, in his absence, to put a couple of FAQ from readers to his close friend, Bob Carson, who is also entirely fictional. Please pardon Bob’s sarcasm. It’s just the way he is.  This is all I could get from him.

Q. Why doesn’t Romney make up his mind about the VP and just tell us? Everyone wants to know and we are sick of waiting. Can’t he make a decision or what?

A. Stop before you further embarrass yourself. Do you eat the icing on the cake first? Do you eat the pie filling and not the crust? Do you skip dinner altogether and go to the dessert? I was going to ask about foreplay, but let’s stick with food analogies.
Seriously, and I use that word loosely, you have to try to step back and notice what is actually happening here. Although the campaign appears to be slavishly following my memo (see below. I’m not sure they can get Merkel to meet with them but I’m going to make a few calls), I don’t have any actual information. But, did you notice how one day the story was Mitt’s taxes and Bain Capital and the next day, you were wondering if he really was going to choose Condi? Then it was Portman, Pawlenty, Rubio, Jindal, and Ayotte. The main drama and one of the few things they can control right now is the VP choice and timing. Teasing us with the choice is actually a sign they are on the ball.

Q. But that seems so mean to the contenders. Isn’t it unfair to keep them dangling?

A. On the contrary. They are the anointed ones.  The cream of the crop of the nation’s leaders. The moment a choice is made, they will go back to their humdrum lives–but they may never be the same. They will have been elevated to the elite just because they made the list.  Remember, in Washington, the illusion of power and actual power can be hard  to differentiate. Certainly not for amateurs–some who have tried have been blinded.

MCL: Do you have questions for Jack –or Bob– or anyone else in Spin Doctor? I’m not sure his information is reliable, but I will be glad to attempt to get  a civil answer from him. In the meantime, while there is still time, please take a moment and vote in the VP poll. It will help relieve the stress.

Leave a comment

Filed under 2012 Election, campaign tactics, Spin Doctor, Vice President, White House

Amazon Gives Away Spin Doctor 5/9 and 5/10

Please click on the link and get a free copy! Also, you can gift it to your friends.

If you don’t have a kindle, you can get a free app from Amazon that will work on your computer, laptop, tablet or smart phone.

Thanks for your support!

Leave a comment

Filed under Spin Doctor