Reporter's Note: The Republicans are beating on their war drums of debate. I am beating on my keyboard with another letter to the president.
Dear Mr. President,
As I mentioned yesterday, tonight is the first big night for the Republicans to square off and start debating the economy, foreign affairs, health care, immigration, entitlement programs, and the size of government. But of course what they’ll actually be debating is who will lead the charge to push you out of the White House.
It must be strange to see such a large group of people so hell bent on dragging you to the unemployment line. Although, to be fair, everyone knows that no president ever really loses. Sure, it is embarrassing if the vote turns against you, but your family will always be secure, your income will be beyond the wildest dreams of any average American, the Kardashians will always return your calls, and you will be accorded a special level of respect for the remainder of your days and beyond. Nixon was given the bum’s rush, but even he didn’t end up working retail.
Still, here comes the attack, as surely as an ill-considered remark from Biden. Ha! And with that, should come a caution for any office holder who’d like to keep his seat. While it is easy to watch the opposition sparring, and delight in how they are tearing each other down, the comfort of incumbency can bring grave danger.
Precisely because you don’t have to beat down a primary challenge, you will be tempted to think: A) that everyone in your party is behind you. Trust me, the polls say they are not; and don’t even ask about the independents who, btw, you absolutely must have to win next year. B) That your foes will do your work for you. i.e. they will rip each other to shreds and all you’ll need is a broom to sweep up their remains. And C) That they are so confused and befuddled that, whomever they select, they will never be able to organize an effective assault.
Each one of these tempting thoughts could be your undoing, just as they could unlace the boots of any president before the battle is even engaged. Bottom line: If I were you, I would watch the debate and look with earnestness into the eyes of each contender, and no matter what the polls say, ask yourself: “Is this the person who will wrest the presidency from my hands?”
So, after that little epistle of doom…uh…I hope your Monday is off to a good start! If I get a moment I’ll send a postcard from New Hampshire.
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