Republican Strategy Session
(I was unable to identify any of the voices with any certainty except for the president's.)
President Bush: Fellas, I noticed that the Democrats got a nice, little bump in their popularity after their convention. Although it was clear they hated me, they weren't all that mean or nasty. So, I assume if we want the same bump in the polls, we'll follow suit at our convention.
Adviser #1: No way. Just because they made nice and played patty cake doesn't mean we have to be stupid and do the same thing. It's Miller Time.
Adviser #2: We're thinking of bringing in Zell Miller.
President Bush: At our convention?! Never. That guy was brutal when Daddy ran for president. He called my father every name in the book.
Adviser #1: That's the beauty of it. He already has the speech written. All he has to do is substitute the word "Kerry" for "Bush."
Adviser #3: Anything else, sir?
President Bush: This National Guard business is still bothering me. If I can't remember where I was, if we can't prove where I was, and nobody remembers me being there, isn't that a problem?
Adviser #1: It's a non-issue. We've deflected attention away from your military record to Kerry's. It's been brilliant.
President Bush: But why won't the Democrats eventually just say, "Who cares if Kerry deserves 5 medals or 4 medals? He was there, risking his life for his country and Bush wasn't?"
Adviser #2: Because they don't want to offend anybody.
Adviser #3: Because they can't agree on anything.
Adviser #2: Because they're gutless.
Adviser #1: Because they're Democrats.
Democratic Strategy Session
(Meanwhile, this is what was allegedly going on at the Democratic strategy session. The only voices I can allegedly identify are John Kerry's and John Edwards'.)
Senator Kerry: I'm getting tired of not fighting back.
Adviser #1: I say we fire back with both barrels. Why don't we remind the country that 9/11 happened on Bush's watch?
Adviser #2: We might seem unpatriotic.
Adviser #3: How about talking about jobs or the deficit?
Adviser #2: Too negative.
Adviser #3: How about mentioning that neither Colin Powell nor Nancy Reagan plans on coming to their convention?
Adviser #2: They'll twist it around and say we're racist and are exploiting the death of President Reagan.
Adviser #1: How about all the Republican "flip-flops" on why we're fighting in Iraq?
Adviser #2: Might seem too unsupportive of the troops.
Senator Kerry: Can't I just remind everybody which one of us fought in Vietnam? And that I actually won those medals?
Adviser #2: You don't want to sound like you're bragging, and you don't want to criticize a sitting, wartime president.
Adviser #3: You don't want to offend everyone who's ever served in the National Guard.
Adviser #2: It might not help you in the polls.
Adviser #1: But it might. We should start playing as dirty as they play.
Adviser #2: No, then we'll be just as bad as the Republicans.
Adviser #1: Or maybe just as electable.
John Edwards: May I make a suggestion?
All The Advisors: No!
Adviser #1: How many times do we have to tell you? Stop trying to upstage the presidential nominee!
Meanwhile, Back With The Republicans
President Bush: Don't you fellas think it's about time we just completely repudiated the Swift Boat Guys? McCain said they're disgraceful, I've said Kerry is definitely a war hero, and the Navy and every official record says the anti-Kerry Swifties are full of beans. Nobody can possibly believe them anymore.
Adviser #1: Mr. President, have you forgotten the first rule of politics? If you repeat a lie often enough, people will think it's the truth.
President Bush: I guess I had, yeah.
[There's a long pause]
President Bush: Say, do you think we could find six or seven "experts" who'd say that I'm actually taller than John Kerry?
Lloyd Garver has written for many television shows, ranging from "Sesame Street" to "Family Ties" to "Frasier." He has also read many books, some of them in hardcover.
By Lloyd Garver