Joe Gandelman: Democratic moles bringing down Romney?
It just HAS to be how it happened:
TO: Bob Shrum, James Carville, Ed Schultz and Democratic National Committee staff.
FROM: Howard Schmidlap, President, Political Sandbaggers Corp., Oriskiny Falls, N.Y.
RE: Your success as moles in the Romney campaign.
Kudos to all of you. As America’s most successful political sabotage expert, I need to congratulate you on how we’ve gotten the Romney campaign to do precisely what we needed to maximize Barack Obama’s re-election chances this fall. If Obama himself had given Romney detailed instructions, we couldn’t be happier.
First, Bob Shrum: I admired your work on John Kerry’s Presidential campaign, love your insightful commentary as a cable TV liberal talking head and your excellent column in The Week magazine. But I admire far MORE your willingness to shave, slap on that white wig and slip into that pink-flowered dress disguised as Barbara Bush so you could plant a few ideas in Mitt’s head. In your three hour-long visits with Romney and his wife, Ann, you as Barbara often talked about 47 percent of Obama supporters not paying taxes and being dependent on the government and how they’d not vote for the GOP.
This stuck in his mind... he parroted you at a Florida fundraiser, it was secretly taped and published via Mother Jones to result in what Republican David Frum called “the worst presidential-candidate gaffe since Gerald Ford announced in 1976 that ‘there is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.’”
Bob, I know it was painful and difficult squeezing into that Fingerhut girdle, but it would have been worse if you were Chris Christie. I promise you’ll never be asked to do that again.
And, hey, Ed Schultz. Yours truly and others often have remarked how at times your voice almost sounds like Rush Limbaugh’s. Your late night calls to Romney on phones using a fake Rush Limbaugh caller I.D. imitating Rush and telling Romney he needed to immediately get much more aggressive with Obama was masterful. What else could explain his damaging, self-destructive reaction to the tragic events in Egypt and Libya?
Also, your advice to him to refer to the Democratic Party as the “Democrat Party” was brilliant. Republicans use that name because they know Democrats don’t like it. But it turns off many centrist Democrats and independents. CNN’s Don Lemon recently told a Republican guest who used it to use the party’s real name. Each time Romney uses it he pegs himself as just one more tiresome partisan pol, creating a barrier with some independent voters.
Ed: I have some criticism from what I saw on the tape, however. Rush would never go on and on about those brave union workers resisting Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin. Still, Romney seemed to think you were the real Rush. He kept saying, “Yes, Master...”
Either he thought you were Rush Limbaugh or Sherman Adelson.
James Carville: The make-up artist Steven Spielberg sent us did a topnotch job in making you look like Romney adviser Stuart Steven’s assistant who was eating dinner at Jack in the Box. Your presence in the room and convincing arguments that Romney absolutely had to call a late night press conference to respond to the Mothers Jones video and not back down from his comments did the trick! It made things worse.
DNC staff: Thanks a zillion for the phrase snippets you suggested our operatives get GOPers to use that would turn off Latino, female, African-American and independent voters in droves. They went after them like a fish after a baited hook.
FYI: Some old guy with a blue Mohawk and nose piercings is hanging around Obama headquarters talking to David Axelrod and trying to give him advice. There was something about his twisted lip and perpetually nauseated look when he talked. I have to call Axelrod. I think it was Dick Cheney.
P.S.: Just got off the phone with Axlerod. We need someone to get Romney to say something so he loses the first debate. Bob: I really hate to ask you this, but slip into your Barbara Bush disguise ASAP and convince Romney to cock his head and say, “There you go again!”
--Joe Gandelman is a veteran journalist who wrote for newspapers overseas and in the United States. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.