|EXCLUSIVE: New Obama 2012 Leaked Strategy Memo|
|BY TROY SENIK |
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23 2012
FROM: David Plouffe
TO: President Obama
TOPIC: Strategic messaging for 2012 reelection campaign
Mr. President ~
In a few short months, our 2012 general election campaign will begin in earnest. Of course, the uncertainty in the Republican presidential field makes it very difficult to calibrate our strategy (at the moment, our best guess is that the GOP will finally settle on a candidate shortly before the 2016 election). With that fact in mind, we are beginning our planning by preparing to defend the administration’s record against the many attacks that are sure to come our way. What follows is a guide to how we intend to respond to specific lines of criticism during the course of the campaign:
ObamaCare: Our opponents will charge that the administration oversaw a government takeover of the health care sector by passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This claim, of course, is ludicrous and we will rebut it by pointing out that PPACA doesn’t put Washington in charge – it simply allows us to dictate that every American must have a health insurance plan that meets the government’s standards for coverage, that is priced according to government restrictions and that features medicine practiced in conformance with best practices as defined by the government. If that fails to be persuasive, we can also point out that more visits to the doctor also means more free lollipops.
The Federal Debt: There’s no question that the rise in the federal debt will be a contentious issue, particularly as annual deficits continue to reach well over a trillion dollars. It will be difficult to argue with the facts of that charge, so our team suggests that you allege that the whole concept of “math” is a right-wing construct underwritten by millions of dollars of donations from the Koch Brothers and Big Oil. This approach is also favored by our allies in the teachers unions, who have long complained that “an emphasis on numbers” stifles the creativity of math students, who should instead be taught to decry the patriarchal influences of the base-ten system through interpretive dance and multicultural free-verse poetry.
The Stimulus: We have now grown accustomed to complaints that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“the stimulus”) failed in its attempts to galvanize economic growth. That argument, however, overlooks the considerable sophistication of our economic models. As multiple administration officials have publicly stated, unemployment benefits are also a form of economic stimulus. Thus, when a company like Solyndra – which received $535 million in federal loan guarantees through the ARRA – goes bankrupt and lays off 1,000 employees, it’s actually a boon for the economy. Who knows how many fortunate Americans have been able to spend their unemployment benefits on microwaveable noodles to fill the makeshift cupboards in the attics they’re renting from their parents? Those are the kinds of economic success stories that we have to tout at every turn.
The “Out of Touch” Issue: If past trends continue to hold, we can expect that our Republican opponents will attempt to paint you as an out of touch elitist, unfamiliar with – and unconcerned about – the plight of average Americans. Personally, I believe that this criticism is oversold, as I have never heard it echoed by even my most conservative friends in the New York Times newsroom or the Harvard faculty lounge. However, it can’t hurt to do more events that feature you rubbing elbows with the common man. That’s why we’re planning to stage events against such iconic American backgrounds as an avant-garde art gallery opening in San Francisco or a hookah lounge/tofu bistro in Greenwich Village. We’re convinced that those settings will allow the average voter to know that you’re just a regular guy who puts on his $1,500 pleated wool/cashmere blend pants one leg at a time just like everyone else.
Mr. President, we are confident that you can secure victory in November by employing these strategies and others that we will devise in the coming months. The road ahead will be difficult, but we are eager to join the fight. And we are confident that we can win this one on the merits. Failing that, however, we can always just call the other guy a racist.