Tag Archives: Obama running mate

Predictions on the VP Debate: Bob and Jack are Back

Jack pushed open the door of the bar and squinted into the dark until he saw Bob.  “Why aren’t you at the Old Ebbitt? I’ve been to half the bars in town looking for you. Are you coming over to Evan’s tonight to watch the debate?”

Bob watched him approach. “The debate? What about the game?”

“We have that covered. Two TVs. Side by side.”

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“Can I have the remotes?”

“No. And, Evan said not negotiable.”

Bob nodded thoughtfully.”I guess we know who will win anyway, since it’s all in Spin Doctor.”

Jack dragged a bar stool into position and sat next to Bob. “By the way, I have to hand it to you. You nailed it. Watching with the sound off may be one of your best ideas yet.”

Bob shrugged. “You seem surprised.”

“I thought you were just looking for an excuse to hang out in a bar.”

“Right. Like I need an excuse.”

“Okay, smart guy. What about the VP debate?”

“You tell me. You’re the Spin Doctor, after all.”

“I think we go with the sound off again”  Jack waved at the bartender and ordered a Bass Aie.

Bob nodded. “But not because of the visuals. It is possible that listening to this debate, without proper medication, could induce drowsiness.”

“So you don’t think Biden will implode?”

Bob shook his head. “Biden is over rated as an entertainment. He knows how to woo an audience, that’s all. Sometimes he gets caught by another audience that thought he loved them more.”

“What are you talking about? He’s married.”

“Funny. Ha ha. You know what I mean. He can talk to the Economic Club of Chicago and the Brotherhood of Baggage Handlers  and they both will think he’s their guy. Then, they see the news and find out he has a multiple personality disorder.”

“Exactly. And it will be great!”

The bartender slid the bottle of beer in front of Jack, no glass, and another drink in front of Bob.

Bob went on:“No. Think. Tonight the audience is everybody. Tonight he will be buttoned down and buttoned up. No gaffes, no shooting from the lip. Just get out of the debate alive with no headlines. He can’t move the needle so–just don’t blow it.”

Jack blinked at him. “No. I don’t think so. He has absolutely nothing to lose tonight. He’ll swing for the fences. Hold up Big Bird’s lifeless body.  He is going to go for the jugular, be the defender of the President. Even if he goes over the line, he’s not going to lose votes. But, he might energize the base. Right now, the air is coming out of the base. Turnout will be everything.”

“So what are you saying? You have too many metaphors. I can’t follow.”

“Abortion. The women have fled the ticket. This is no time for sweet talk. Immigration, another base issue. And then, a blend of economics aimed at black voters.”

Bob’s pinkish eyes  widened. “The race card?”

“Not saying they will play it. But they might accidentally drop it on the table then quickly pick it up.”

Bob stirred the ice cubes in his glass with the bar straw.

“What do you think?”

“Does Evan have any Glen Fiddich or should I bring my own?”

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Filed under 2012 Election, campaign tactics, Spin Doctor

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.”

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

Biden’s Hail Mary Pass

Last week I blogged about whether Obama would replace Biden on the ticket.

I’m not going to repeat the reasons this was a possibility.

But with his 45 % unfavorable rating higher than his 42% favorable–and  higher than Obama’s negatives– clearly he was/is  in jeopardy.

I don’t know what happened next, exactly. The great thing about writing fiction is that you can connect the dots, even when there may not be actual dots or they may not be connected.

In this case, there are dots.

We know, or think we know that Biden is not in the Obama campaign strategy sessions. That’s because he’s not there to give strategy advice.  He doesn’t need to hear the latest polls or focus group results. He has a job. He knows what to do.  He is a heat seeking missile.

Target?

The disillusioned white voters who, according to the Post, have deserted Obama by a huge margin.

So Obama goes after his base with anti-rich rhetoric.  Michele raises her profile with young blacks, with such harmless, innocent moves as attending a Beyonce concert. And Joe will connect with white, Reagan democrats.

As with most politicians who reach a high level, Biden is actually not stupid. Whether someone wound him up, or whether he figured it out himself, he had to do something about those negatives.

So he’s been out there, giving the populist performance of his life, going back to his roots, talking about his parents and their dreams.

And then yesterday, he pulled out the stops. He went personally nuclear: he talked about the accident in which he tragically lost a wife and child. I don’t know whether he has brought up this extremely sad and moving story over the past  40 years. What I do know is that it made the front page of the Washington Post, and probably went out on AP all over the country (I first noticed it in an UneditedPolitics.com tweet).

I am reminded of the 1988 campaign, in which then Vice President Bush had an image problem. He was regarded by some as a “wimp.” This was incongruous of course with the facts and with his war record, for example, in which he had not just served, but been a hero. His campaign advisors wanted to get the story out, but it was delicate. The candidate was uncomfortable with raising it. Ultimately, they figured out a way to get their spin out, and the press stopped pushing the wimp issue.

You cannot objectively listen to Biden talk about his personal tragedy without being moved by it, or without seeing how it connected with the military families that have experienced loss. It would be easy to be cynical about Biden and his horrific personal experience. But I suggest we dig deeper and look at this man who has worked almost all of his adult life, to be at the pinnacle of American politics—and now, to be mocked, laughed at, reviled—to be one press conference away from standing bravely and applauding enthusiastically  “it’s time to pick a woman.”

What would you do?

You would pull out all the stops and use everything you have, because the one thing you do know is that you are likeable. And if you can get out there enough, you can turn this thing around. You will not be a drag on the ticket. You may not get Obama elected, but you are by God not wind up a laughingstock.

He already pushed the gay pride button. He is very at home with big labor.   So prepare yourself for the performance of a lifetime.

Oh, and if you are a gambler, Intrade now has Biden’s spot as VP  at 92.8%. Any takers?

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