Wednesday 3 October 2012

From Justin Trudeau to the Presidential Campaign:  A Recipe For Political Success
What’s the most important asset for a politician? Integrity, vision, experience? PUH-LEEZ. Under what stone have you been hiding the last twenty years? The most important asset are pearly white teeth and an ability to stretch your lips sufficiently to show them off without giving the impression that your jaws are coming unhinged. That’s an art, people, and Trudeau Junior has it, along with  Silvio Berlusconi, Nicolas Sarkozy, Mitt Romney, and Barak Obama (well, I won’t give him perfect marks, he doesn’t smile hard enough).  Trudeau Senior’s fuddle-duddle smile or Diefenbaker’s buckteeth wouldn’t stand a chance in today’s dentally perfect world.  And I’m just stunned -- gobsmacked stunned --that Harper’s schoolmistress smirk made it past the polls.
What else does a politician need? Policies? A platform? Naw. Never mind boring facts, as long as you have a good story, preferably about your hard scrabble life -- eating off an ironing board, making a desk out of an old door, that sort of thing. Romney and the Democrats got that right. And having Clint Eastwood talk to an empty chair at their convention – that was genius! The message: See that chair, folks? It’s as empty as Romney’s pockets.
Yup, Romney is poor. Or looks poor. Or is trying to. But otherwise, what politicians need first and foremost is money. That’s why those limits on campaign spending are just plain silly, and Super Pacs are a good thing. Let’s face it, a politician can’t win relying on the 47% who live on handouts from the government and have no idea how politics work. It’s the other way round, you sad yokels. You pay, and politicians pocket your money.  What do they need it for? To buy publicity of course. Do you know what TV ads cost nowadays? If you ask me, that’s why Romney is slipping in the polls: his ads aren’t up to scratch, or maybe they don’t speak the language of the average viewer, the guy watching the sports channel. You want to reach him, you need to stick to sports metaphors: knock-out punch, front-runner, game over – you get the drift. If you can’t cram a minimum of six sports metaphors into your ad, forget it. You might as well talk Russian or Chinese.
Which brings me to that other all-important requirement: a good campaign manager. is critical of Romney’s campaign manager, Matt Rhoades. They accuse him of skulduggery, mischief, and dirty tricks. Don’t they understand? That’s what you want to see on a manager’s resume. I mean, Mattie Boy has what it takes. He doesn’t care about politics, tells us with endearing frankness. “He isn’t inspired by ideology.” He just likes a good fight. And he is “a man of few words, plenty of them profane.” If you ask me, that man Rhoades is tops. Now if he could just make those campaign ads funnier or nastier or more like a football game.
 What else do you need as a politician? A wife and children who are willing to sacrifice for a noble cause, who will stand by their man and make him look human. Their message: You see? He’s no robot guided by aides working a central control panel. He has a wife and children. There is real blood flowing in his veins. Maybe Reagan went too far when he got involved in an actual assassination attempt, but the general idea was good: show the voter that you are flesh and blood. Just don’t be too human, like Clinton with Monica Lewinski. Blood is good, semen stains are too much of a good thing. But the all time worst mistake was made by Jimmy Carter, who admitted to dirty fantasies when looking at Playboy.  No wonder he remained a one-term president. Would you trust a politician who has ideas in his head?

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