KR: Hello Reince. I think I've finally found it.
RP: Found what, Karl?
KR: The issue that is going to sink Barack Obama's re-election campaign.
RP: Finally! That's great, because nothing is really working very well for us so far.
KR: Well this one is sure-fire, Reince. It's that new Secret Service black bus that the president is going to use to tool around the countryside. Did you know it cost a million bucks? And it's made in Canada? What a perfect symbol of waste and un-Americanism.
Doug Mills/NY Times photo)
RP: That sounds really promising, Karl. Tell me more.
KR: Here's what I'm thinking. My attack group, American Crossroads, is going to run ads that will make a star out of that bus. We'll call it "politics instead of results, a huge waste of taxpayer dollars, and a long ride that leads nowhere." It's a perfect symbol for the Obama presidency.
RP: And it's made in Canada, you say? I'll get a statement out on it also. Let's see, how about something like this: “This is an outrage that the taxpayers of this country would have to foot the bill so that the campaigner-in-chief can run around in his Canadian bus and act as if he is interested in creating jobs in our country,”
KR: That sounds great, Reince. There are just a couple of things you should know though. First of all, the president had nothing to do with this decision. It was the Secret Service, and they actually think they are saving money by buying a bus, instead of retrofitting a leased bus like they used to do for the president. And they say there are no other manufacturers of the kind of bus they need, aside from this company in Canada.
RP: This doesn't sound quite so devastating, Karl.
KR: Oh yeah, and one other thing. When George W. Bush was president, he rode on a Secret Service bus from the exact same manufacturer on a similar trip through the Midwest.
RP: Hmm, well maybe we could just say that Obama stole the whole idea from Bush, and attack him for that.
KR: Maybe. But when Bush takes a bus trip through the Midwest, it's a good thing. When Obama does it, it's different. And, uh, there's one other thing.
RP: What's that, Karl?
KR: It turns out the Secret Service bought two of these buses. And they're going to use the other one for whomever is chosen to be the Republican Presidential nominee next year.
RP: Wait a second Karl. You mean we're going to attack Obama for doing something that wasn't even his decision, and doesn't cost the government any extra money, and former Republican presidents did exactly the same thing, and also the Republican candidate for president is going to be using the same bus next year? This is your new great idea?
KR: Relax, Reince, when have we ever let the facts get in the way of a good story? We're talking about a big, scary-looking black bus. What more do we need to stir up some outrage? Let's just go with this attack ad. By the time the Republican candidate starts using the same kind of bus, people will forget we ever made such a big deal out of this.
RP: OK, Karl, I'm going to trust your judgment on this one.
My congratulations to these brilliant strategists for once again concentrating on the issues that really matter to the American people.