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October 3rd, 2012
07:56 PM ET

Letters to the President #1353: 'A few debate tips'

Reporter's Note: President Obama is making his final preparations for tonight’s debate, which I assume will include reading my daily letter to the White House.

Dear Mr. President,

The element of surprise is often critical in a confrontation, and I am a big believer in its power. For example, whenever I see my neighbors grilling chicken, I crawl over the fence, slip up right behind them, and shout, “You know, your cat has been in my yard again!” By the time they recover their wits, I am back inside, argument over.

With that in mind, I’d like to suggest that you consider a few “trick plays” in tonight’s debate, guaranteed to keep your opponent off balance. (Actually, Mitt Romney can give them a whirl if he wishes…I don’t care who tries them, I just want to see the reaction.)

1) Show up dressed like, and acting like a Founding Father. Throw out a lot of phrases like, “You sir, are a scoundrel and I shant stand for your pernicious speechifying! I herewith challenge you to a gentleman’s bout of fisticuffs!” The powdered wig is optional.
2) Respond to every statement from your opponent with a big smile, a chuckle, and the words, “That’s a good one.”
3) Spend the first twenty minutes describing a traffic jam in Boston you were once trapped in.
4) Use dental floss whenever you’re not talking.
5) Begin each of your responses with, “Meanwhile, back on earth…”
6) Each time your foe hits you with an indisputable fact, say “And I suppose you can do better?”
7) Adjust your chair over and over. When the moderator complains, ask for a time out.

I’m not sure if any of this will work, but then again I’m not sure all of the preparations you two are doing will work either. Ha!

Anyway, good luck to you and Mr. Romney both. See you on TV!

Regards,
Tom

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