My infallible election predictor

Official photographic portrait of US President...

With the Presidential election only a day away, it seems like a timely idea to revisit my first posting to this blog.  Its methodology and conclusions are utterly non-partisan and, compared to the punditocracy’s tea-leaf readings, laser accurate.  I take you back in time to the March 2012 Gravitas, baby!

Can you absorb one more election pre-mortem?

In these days of radical downsizing—unless your organization is too big to downsize–may I suggest several more candidates for the axe:  Gallup, Harris, Zogby, Mason-Dixon, Quinnipac, and the other pollsters whose research occupies far too much of our mindspace.

The more reliable predictor of presidential electability is my “Cool Guy” political paradigm.   It’s an unscientific but utterly infallible measure.

Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts,...

What is the Cool Guy prism?  It insists that in national campaigns, the cooler candidate always prevails against a dorkier adversary.   Experience, policy expertise, wealth, family connections and other factors that we always thought vital only truly count when they add or detract from our perceptions about a candidate’s “Cool.” When so many of us suffer from the madness borne of election fever, doesn’t it make sense that we seek a more human remedy?

By “cool,” I’m not talking about the amount of McLuhanesque cool a candidate projects although I’ll admit it seems to be a television-age phenomenon.  First, let’s define our terms.  A Cool Guy is unflappable, genuine, and quietly confident. A woman, by the way, can be a Cool Guy but only if she’s really cool.

You want proof?  In the last presidential go-round, Barack Obama was indisputably cooler than John McCain not to mention Hilary Clinton and his other Democratic primary opponents.  Barack was way cool.  Absolute cool.  He couldn’t lose.

The real test of the Cool Guy paradigm, however, is whether it also applies to past presidential contests.

Whether you detest George W Bush or not, he presented enough ranch-hand cool to dispatch John Kerry in 2004. Four years earlier, against the vice-nerd, Al Gore, who labored to push every sentence up a hill, W was practically Rat-Pack cool.  Today, even with a big, new bankroll that should re-brand Gore as cool, what does he do?  He tells us the end is near.  Not cool.

Before George W, we saw the cool-meister, Bill Clinton, face down Mean Bob Dole.  No slouch in the understatement department himself, Dole had no chance against Slick Willie.  Even Clinton’s first national opponent, Bush 41, an incumbent President with a Desert Storm notch on his belt, couldn’t outcool Bill Clinton.

George HW Bush was nobody’s idea of cool.   And was the flame ever lower than whatever animated his opponent in 1988, Michael Dukakis?  But once Dukakis put on that geeky tank driver’s helmet, he was lost.

You can argue whether Ronald Reagan fits the Cool Guy paradigm but remember, the deciding factor is relative cool.  Reagan was, by that standard, sure to be a landslide victor over irascible Walter Mondale or his predecessor Democrat, the Puritan scold, Jimmy Carter.

And so it always goes.  Carter was cooler than the uber-bumbler, Gerald Ford.  Richard Nixon, by every known measure, was light years from Cool but, compared to George McGovern, perpetually at war with the Viet Nam War, or the pathologically Happy Warrior, Hubert Humphrey, he was a shoo-in.  1968 was also the year of George Wallace’s third party appeal to white-hot working class resentment, not the coolest image a candidate can craft.  Wallace didn’t help the cool of his cause by naming a warmongering Air Force General as his running mate.  Lyndon Johnson was not cooler than his 1964 opponent except in the public mind.  LBJ successfully hung the “warmonger” tag on Barry Goldwater, and Goldwater complied by threatening North Viet Nam with a return to the Stone Age.

Before LBJ there was JFK, unflappable, whip-smart, witty, and secure in himself.  He was as cool as they get.  What we’ve learned about Kennedy since then has only burnished his rep for Cool.

Does all this mean that Cool is objectively better?  Only in the eyes of the electorate.

Cool guys, in the heat of a campaign and under the sway of consultants, fritter away and even lose their cool.  How else to explain the loss of a lifelong cool guy, maverick, hero–John McCain–who under the glare of the national campaign, became the hot-under-the-collar candidate.  At the beginning of the 2008 race, the odds seemed to be against the inexperienced Obama, but the odds don’t have a chance against genuinely cool people.

What does any of this mean for the Republican Party cool-o-meter this year?  Somehow, Mitt Romney has managed to make being filthy rich seem uncool.  His inauthenticity almost put him at a disadvantage against Rick Santorum who didn’t give a damn what his political consultants thought as long as he could talk out of his ass.  He’d be too damned comfortable playing role of the “Shakespeare In Love” censor who shuts down “Romeo and Juliet.”  That made him even less cool than Romney.

That’s the competitive frame for candidates going up against a President who, in one year, iced Osama Bin Laden and channeled Al Green.  A Prez.

The Mitt-meister out-cooled the President in the first debate.  Instead of smelling blood, he opined that Obama was a decent guy.  Most fair-minded folks would cconsider that a menschy, cool move.

Since then, Romney’s problem hasn’t been Obama as much as his own political allies, officials who rationalize rape, deny science, and wink at voter suppression.  That’s some seriously uncool, anti-democratic shit. The question is, has the Republican friction-machine done irreparable damage to its own candidate’s cool?

So, who do I predict will come out on top in 2016?   That’s easy.  The Cool Guy.

 

Win or lose, Mitt Romney’s got a 5-point plan

 

                       WIN

Ask Cesar Milan, “Who’s the pack leader now?”

Create cabinet-level department of 5-point plans.

Clear paintings out of National Gallery.  Replace them with pictures of Rafalca.

Retire campaign debt with gala “Night of 1000 people I pretend to give a shit about.”

Propose constitutional amendment to ban canine abortion except in case of rape or incest.

Meet environmentalists and tell ‘em to Frack this.

Convince American women I’m on their side.  Marry ‘em all.

Order Paul Ryan to stop calling me Zelig.

I got your 5-point plan right here.  

                        LOSE

Get a week-long pedicure.

Make an appointment with the sofa and some Pirate’s Booty.

Find a political philosophy and stick with it.

Get a dog that won’t complain about a little wind.

Develop a 5-point plan to determine the effectiveness of 5-point plans.

Prepare for 2016 Presidential campaign.  Moisturize.

Work on my compassionate grin.

See about the weatherman position at Fox News.

Join the touring company of “Book of Mormon.”

Obama challenges Romney to a duel

The Voice (U.S. TV series)

Following a savage rhetorical beating at the hands of his opponent, President Obama has taken the campaign battle to the Romney team with a daring, new challenge.  A one-night only singing competition between the candidates on “The Voice.”  Obama’s handlers laid out their strategy this way:  “If we can’t use actual sidearms, a free-market musical skirmish has got to be the next best way to settle this thing.”

English: Christina Aguilera sings "Can't ...

Deprived of his usual trick-bag of rhetorical traps, President Obama will have to rely on a silky falsetto and, to nudge the army of unmotivated millennial white kids, a knit beanie. With voting constituencies of challenger and incumbent hardened before the actual election day showdown, both candidates are confident a singing competition will connect them to the undecided portion of the electorate.  (Political demographers have analyzed and parsed this group into two subgroups:  1) People committed to their indecision.  2) The Re-undecided.)

English: Cee Lo

Hoping his hard luck story will resonate with the judges. Romney laid out his plan.  “I can’t imitate Al Green like Obama but I surely can make “Let’s Stay Together” my own by transforming it into a marching band piece.  It’s amazing how you can improve rhythm & blues by muffling the rhythm  with a high-velocity mixture of styrofoam and other petroleum-based products.”

Now, Mixmaster Mitt has to dig deep to find a song about deregulation that will make the chairs of Adam, Christina, and Blake spin in his direction. Until Cee-Lo Green supplies a picture I.D. and an electric bill, a Denver Boot will be clamped around his chair.

English: Blake Shelton at the 45th Annual Acad...

This will be one campaign event with no stump speechifying, debate zingers, scripted answers, or gotcha questions.  All that will matter to the judges are vocals that preserve their sense of hearing.   During the musical duel, expect to see dramatic cutaways to the campaign teams in the green room jumping up and down and imploring Blake Shelton to press his red button.  Others will simply implore Christina Aguilera to jump up and down.

The candidates’ dogs bitch about the presidential campaign.

Irish Setter

Seamus Romney’s campaign notes:

Friends & Enemies

Ever since Barack Obama made gay marriage mandatory on the Left Coast, Hollywood types have been feeling their oatmeal pancakes and joining Harry Reid’s call to see Mitt Romney’s income tax returns.

Harry Reid represents Nevada, home state of Las Vegas which used to mean serious Cosa Nostra shit, but today, stands for little more than acrobats and country singers.   The place is thick with cowboy hats.  Why?  Is anybody expecting a cattle stampede in the Luxor showroom?

Beyond My Understanding

Mitt Romney - Caricature

Mitt Romney – Caricature (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

Reid’s charges sure capped off a rough month for the Mittster.  First came Mitt’s undiplomatic comments about Olympic security in London.   Listen, I’m willing to admit Mitt’s said some dumb shit during the campaign but the London insult?

Do we really want a President who sounds like a stooge for London’s chamber of commerce?  So I’m gonna give the man a pass for that step on the poop bag.  But what creeps me out about the dude is the borderline psycho chuckle that bubbles up from his throat when somebody asks Mitt a tough question.

Foreign Affairs

Whatever bad feelings he’s generated, Mitt made up for it with his trip to Israel which might just lock up the vote of women with back hair.

The Week Ahead

The more serious test of Mitt’s judgment is the way the Republican Vice-Presidential dog fight plays out.  Mitt was seriously considering a chick to be his bitch, but after serious thought he realized there was no bikini material there.  My personal choice was Marco Rubio.   After all, he responds to commands in two languages.

But the winner is Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.  He’s an intellectual so the party professionals have their work cut out trying to keep that little nugget secret from their constituency of high school drop-outs.  Uneasy lies the head that wears the cheesehead.

Many of you thought my prediction in last month’s posting of a Romney victory in November meant I was automatically backing the former governor. You’re all wrong.  No matter who’s running, I’m endorsing John McCain because we both know what it’s like to be confined in a cramped space.

Campaign Ads

Mitt is taking some heat about a TV commercial that claims Obama is undermining welfare reform.  It may not be technically true but here’s why it’s important to say it.  Nobody really believes a word Mitt says so we felt taking a stand, even a dishonest one, would keep voters engaged.  So, in a way, our distortion is saving democracy.  I get kind of emotional thinking about it.

Bo Obama’s campaign notes:

Friends & Enemies  

These are the Dog Days in D.C. so the celebrity fundraising parade continues.  Jamie Lee Curtis gave me a delicious scratch on the butt last month but her friendship with Michelle has gone too far.  She never shuts up about that damned Activia.  Nobody ever actually enunciates the word “colon” or “sphincter” but everybody knows what’s on their minds.

Now, West Wing staffers compete for Michelle’s favor by planning events like the 10K against Lactose Intolerance.  The last thing this content-free campaign needs is an event where the President has to run alongside bloated, gaseous cheese addicts.

Beyond My Understanding

English: Yarmulke with Happy Festivus embroide...

The dreaded Yom Kippur holiday is right around the corner.  Holiday? The Obamas make all of us fast in sympathy with our liberal Jewish friends.  Know what that means?  An empty dog food bowl, that’s what.  And a parched water bowl.  I’m praying we don’t repeat last year’s breaking of the fast with a canine colon cleanse.

Foreign Affairs

Am I sounding a tiny bit freaked out?  Who wouldn’t when faced with the prospect of returning to Nairobi in January.  So, I’m calling a big time out to stop and smell the roses and any musky reassurance that’s out there.

The Week Ahead

Monday:  Stop and smell the roses.

Tuesday:  Stop and smell a buttock.

Wednesday:  Do not stop.  Smell the House leadership anyway.

Thursday:  Stop and smell the botox dealers in Georgetown.

Friday:   Sign up for PETA.  Engineer canine overthrow of Western Hemisphere.

Campaign Ads

Our media advisers tell us voters don’t believe political ads, so we warn folks how dangerous it can be to insist on the truth.  It’s a game. Our commercials define Mitt Romney as a heartless douchebag before he has a chance to define himself as the douchebag with a heart.

The candidates’ dogs compare campaign notes.

From the Desk of Bo Obama

Bo in March 2010

Greetings from Pennsylvania Avenue via canine ESP.

How perfect is life at the White House? I’ve got a loving family, Universal Pet Insurance, and a presidential lap where I can curl up any time.  The best part of any evening is when the President gathers us around the fireplace and puts me into a happy coma by reading aloud from John Maynard Keynes.

I’ve even got my own Secret Service agent.  When he bites into the g-string he brought back from Cartagena, plays tug of war with me, and calls me filthy puta, I’m in doggie heaven.

My favorite time on the Presidential campaign trail has been my proximity to campaign fundraisers.  What dog worth his dew claws wouldn’t want to drink in the scent of George Clooney?  (Single malt scotch and English Leather).

When Oprah Winfrey scooped up my eye crud, we formed a forever mucosal bond.  And, as Dog is my witness, I saw a Seal Team 6 guy let Gwyneth Paltrow chew on a hunk of what he swore was Osama Bin Laden‘s ear lobe.  Former House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, sported the unforgettable bouquet of vaginal prolapse which she skillfully masked by spilling a carne asada taco on her lap.  I took it as a meat-filled omen that Barack Obama is a lock to be re-elected President.

From the inflamed bowels of Heaven, Yo.  Seamus Romney speaks!

Irish Setter

What’s it like on this side of the Rainbow Bridge?  As the kids like to say, things ain’t bad up in this bitch.  Ain’t no station wagons, crates, or politicians of any kind up here.

So let me address what’s on everybody’s mind:  my episode on the road with the Romneys.  Riding First-Class Crate on the roof of a station wagon from Boston to Toronto. That ain’t never gonna be my idea of fun.  But it was a whole lot rougher on the servants. They had to run alongside the car all the way to Ontario.

That little trip inspired my pet name for Mitt:  Sandusky.

Will the Romneys ever be as much fun as the Obamas?  Sure if you like being jarred awake in the middle of the night for a baptism in a Jewish cemetery.  But real fun?  Getting to fetch or play tug of war?  Never.  High times for Mitt Romney meant chasing after me and holding a dust pan under my tail while I pretended to crap in peace.

Things weren’t all bad at the Governor’s mansion.  Ann Romney once let Rafalca, her dressage horse, kick me in the head.  At least she asked.

What about Romney Care?  Lemme lay out my first-hand experience with it.   The minute the Governor’s son, Ben, graduated from medical school he got me wrecked on Cuervo jello shots and, just for laughs, took out my spleen.

Still, don’t you go selling Mitt Romney’s campaign short.  For one thing, Democrats don’t have a monopoly on celebrity endorsers.  Republican fundraising events showed off a whole lotta conservative glitz their own damn selves.  Between Ted Nugent, Jon Voigt, and Bo Derek, you’ve got some real past-your-prime beef.  They LFAO-ed at a Scottsdale fundraising party when a Secret Service dog sniffed out half an Oxy in Rush Limbaugh’s crocs.

Well, Bo, if you’re asking for my campaign prediction, I’m gonna have to burst your bubble.  Mitt Romney is gonna win the election in a walk.  If they had an American Idol style sing-off of soul classics, Mitt would claim the crown for “Deafen Me Now.”  But, the Mitt’s  got the advantage where it counts most:  in serious money.  How serious?  I saw Karl Rove‘s dog bury $3.7 million in the hillside behind the house.

An Infallible Election Predictor

Can you absorb one more election pre-mortem?

In these days of radical downsizing—unless your organization is too big to downsize–may I suggest several more candidates for the axe:  Gallup, Harris, Zogby, Mason-Dixon, Quinnipac, and the other pollsters whose research occupies far too much of our mindspace.

The more reliable predictor of presidential electability is my “Cool Guy” political paradigm.   It’s an unscientific but utterly infallible measure.

What is the Cool Guy prism?  It insists that in national campaigns, the cooler candidate always prevails against a dorkier adversary.   Experience, policy expertise, wealth, family connections and other factors that we always thought vital only truly count when they add or detract from our perceptions about a candidate’s “Cool.” When so many of us suffer from the madness borne of election fever, doesn’t it make sense that we seek a more human remedy?

By “cool,” I’m not talking about the amount of McLuhanesque cool a candidate projects although I’ll admit it seems to be a television-age phenomenon.  First, let’s define our terms.  A Cool Guy is unflappable, genuine, and quietly confident. A woman, by the way, can be a Cool Guy but only if she’s really cool.

You want proof?  In the last election, Barack Obama was indisputably cooler than John McCain not to mention Hilary Clinton and his other Democratic primary opponents.  Barack was way cool.  Absolute cool.  He couldn’t lose.

The real test of the Cool Guy paradigm, however, is whether it also applies to past presidential contests.

Whether you detest George W Bush or not, he presented enough ranch-hand cool to dispatch John Kerry in 2004. Four years earlier, against the vice-nerd, Al Gore, who labored to push every sentence up a hill, W was practically Rat-Pack cool.  Today, even with a big, new bankroll that should re-brand Gore as cool, what does he do?  He tells us the end is near.  Not cool.

Before George W, we saw the cool-meister, Bill Clinton, face down Mean Bob Dole.  No slouch in the understatement department himself, Dole had no chance against Slick Willie.  Even Clinton’s first national opponent, Bush 41, an incumbent President with a Desert Storm notch on his belt, couldn’t outcool Bill Clinton.

George HW Bush was nobody’s idea of cool.   And was the flame ever lower than whatever animated his opponent in 1988, Michael Dukakis?  But once Dukakis put on that geeky tank driver’s helmet, he was lost.

You can argue whether Ronald Reagan fits the Cool Guy paradigm but remember, the deciding factor is relative cool.  Reagan was, by that standard, sure to be a landslide victor over irascible Walter Mondale or his predecessor Democrat, the Puritan scold, Jimmy Carter.

And so it always goes.  Carter was cooler than the uber-bumbler, Gerald Ford.  Richard Nixon, by every known measure, was light years from Cool but, compared to George McGovern, perpetually at war with the Viet Nam War, or the pathologically Happy Warrior, Hubert Humphrey, he was a shoo-in.  1968 was also the year of George Wallace’s third party appeal to white-hot working class resentment, not the coolest image a candidate can craft.  Wallace didn’t help the cool of his cause by naming a warmongering Air Force General as his running mate.  Lyndon Johnson was not cooler than his 1964 opponent except in the public mind.  LBJ successfully hung the “warmonger” tag on Barry Goldwater, and Goldwater complied by threatening North Viet Nam with a return to the Stone Age.

Before LBJ there was JFK, unflappable, whip-smart, witty, and secure in himself.  He was as cool as they get.  What we’ve learned about Kennedy since then has only burnished his rep for Cool.

Does all this mean that Cool is objectively better?  Only in the eyes of the electorate.

Cool guys, in the heat of a campaign and under the sway of consultants, fritter away and even lose their cool.  How else to explain the loss of a lifelong cool guy, maverick, hero–John McCain–who under glare of the national campaign, became the hot-under-the-collar candidate.  At the beginning of the 2008 race, the odds seemed to be against the inexperienced Obama, but the odds don’t have a chance against genuinely cool people.

What does any of this mean for the Republican Party cool-o-meter this year?  Somehow, Mitt Romney has managed to make being filthy rich seem uncool.  His inauthenticity has put him at something of a disadvantage against Rick Santorum who doesn’t give a damn what political consultants think as long as he can talk out of his ass.  He’d be too damned comfortable playing role of the “Shakespeare In Love” censor who shuts down “Romeo and Juliet.”  That makes him even less cool than Romney.

That’s the competitive frame for candidates going up against a President who, in one year, iced Osama Bin Laden and channeled Al Green.  A Prez.

What about a convention-brokered, outlier candidate/savior like Sarah Palin.  Unless a slow jam becomes her campaign soundtrack and she learns how to purr into the mic, most voters will think she’d best cool her heels right where she is.

So, who do I predict will come out on top in 2012?   That’s easy.  The Cool Guy.

The Cool Guy Wins