I have spies everywhere. Now and then they hit pay dirt, and I get a document that needs to be seen by everyone. Following is a letter from a political consultant for a candidate in a very competitive campaign:
“Dear (Name of candidate redacted),
Thanks for responding to the media package I sent for your review. I appreciated your comments, but strongly suggest that we stick with our plan. Remember, the ends justify the means, right?
Your concern about the misleading nature of our TV commercials is understandable, but our position is that if there is even a shred of truth to anything in the commercial, any lies or intentionally misleading conclusions we help the viewer draw are okay, because your opponent’s record is really pretty good, and if we were honest, you could never win.
Also, our voter turnout plan is consistent with what other campaigns have done. The buses and the free lunch coupons will be paid for by “a friend,” so you won’t need to report it. One thing I didn’t mention is that the buses will visit more than one polling place, if you know what I mean.
I’m glad you liked the debate preparation materials we sent. As you know, the most important strategy in a debate is to take the question you’re given, and quickly brush it off so you can repeat your “talking points” again and again. Don’t get tricked into giving any genuine answers – especially on what you believe.
Our calling campaigns are going well. Using the “auto-call” is inexpensive and low risk, since we don’t even mention your name. We just slam your opponent. I love computers.
Finally, you’ll be glad to know that our friends at the TV stations and newspaper are on-board, though they won’t say so specifically. You can look forward to favorable coverage, but more importantly, you can be sure they won’t challenge anything you say about your opponent, no matter how transparently false it might be.
Oh, by the way; there are some interest groups who will be spending a lot of money on your behalf. Don’t worry about what their ads say, because theoretically we don’t have any contact with them. Yeah, right.
I’m attaching the list of people you need to call for donations tonight after your speech. Feel free to promise them anything they want in exchange for their donation. After all, you’ll need to pay my consulting bill! Kidding! (Not really.)
Well, to be honest, I don’t have any spies, and I made the letter up. Funny, though, how it had a ring of truth to it. Maybe funny isn’t the right word.
Let’s hope we can have the judgment to filter through the misleading ads to make our choices of candidates – despite the political professionals’ best efforts.