GOP inside scoop: still chilly on Romney

“On behalf of Fox News, let me call this session of America’s Vast Right Wing Conspiracy to order. Vice President Cheney, you have the floor.”

“Thank you, Roger. When we all met about a year ago, there was broad agreement that to defeat Barack Obama we want this presidential election to be about Obama and not about our candidate. To achieve that, it was essential to find the most anodyne, inoffensive, bland candidate possible. And given the field of contenders that emerged, it became clear that our best choice was Mitt Romney. Karl, please continue.”

“Thank you, Master. We believed we had the perfect Stepford candidate in Mitt Romney. A man with no principles, no convictions he’s not willing to change to get ahead, a truly empty vessel of ambition with a recognized Republican pedigree, ready to do precisely as told on the campaign trail and in office. It was like W all over again, but not quite as stupid.”

“Stupid is underrated.”

“I couldn’t agree with you more, Secretary Baker. As I was saying, Romney’s spinelessness and overall lack of character and personality seem like a winning formula. So it came as a shock to discover – credit where credit is due to our opponents – that even a cardboard cut-out of a man like Romney could leave any footprints. Who knew he had a dog, that he had a car, that he had rope? Who imagined that he had a dancing horse? Did any of you ever hear of Palestinian culture or a known Polish soldier? Who would have dreamed there was anything wrong with being your average billionaire next door?”

“Another sign of how that Kenyan Muslim socialist is polarizing the country with his lies.”

“I couldn’t agree more, Ambassador Bolton. But to focus on the future, we need to find a candidate that will seem as innocuous as possible to the American public, someone with no history, no achievements whatsoever, that will give our opponents absolutely nothing to use against him and provide no distraction from Obama.”

“Is there anyone out there who is more white bread than Mitt Romney?”


“Of course, black people can be white bread, too, Condi…”

“Thank you, Karl.”

“You’re just not one of them…”

“May I interrupt?”

“Go ahead, Ari.”

“We’re talking about finding someone who’s as close to white bread as possible. But everyone in public life has a history, has a past, has a record, no matter how much they try to cover it up and deny it…”

“What’s your point, Ari? I’m living on borrowed time.”

“Sorry, Mr. Vice President. My point is that if we want white bread, then why not just nominate white bread?”

“Pardon me, are you saying we should nominate a slice of white bread to be the president of the United States?”

“Of course not, Mr. Vice President, Don’t be ridiculous. I’m saying we should nominate a loaf of white bread.”

“That’s the most cynical thing I’ve ever heard, dripping with utter contempt for the American public and the political process.”

“I like it, too, Secretary Baker. How do you think it would poll, Karl?”

“You’ve got the white, which offers an extremely effective contrast with Obama. You’ve got the bread, slang for money in my generation, again a strong contrast…”

“I’ve been sitting here, listening quietly to all of this…”

“And no one told you to change that, Peggy…”

“I felt I had to, Grover, because it seems to me we’re missing a fundamental point. There are a lot of people in this country today that won’t accept white bread. There are Republicans – and Democrats – who don’t want to bring additional carbs in their already difficult lives. There are Republicans, Democrats and independents who won’t accept processed flour. There’s the entire issue of gluten. So I think that we need to think about all of these issues very carefully before we choose a nominee for this election that’s so terribly important.”

“Peggy has a point. Maybe we need to offer the electorate something less controversial than white bread. What about a burger?”

“Karl, have you forgotten my cholesterol?”

“Sorry, Mr Vice President…”

“Something everyone likes…”

“Orange juice. Gets us a lot of traction in Florida.”

“And it’s a morning drink… Morning in America. That’s always been a winner for our side.”

“But we’re going to face a lot of questions with orange juice. Fresh squeezed or frozen? A growing percentage of juice and even oranges come from overseas these days. It could make our candidate the issue again, not Obama.”

“Orange juice and questions both give me acid. We need something more solid, less controversial…”


“No, that’s the movies, that liberal Hollywood crowd. Not the element we’re going for.”

“I’ve got it. A chocolate chip cookie. Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies?”

“I agree that people like sweets, but you still have to contend with chocolate allergies, processed flour…”

“Oatmeal raisin?”

“Too lefty.”

“Not to mention fruity.”

“And we’ve gotten awfully far from white bread.”

“Right. It’s got to be plain, inoffensive, likeable but not overpowering or particularly attractive.”

“Whoever invents that will make a fortune…”

“Wait, how about vanilla ice cream.”

“I like it.”

“Everyone does. Who doesn’t like ice cream?”

“And what’s plainer than vanilla?

“Now, with something so white, to broaden its appeal, something brown as a running mate…”

“As always, you make a compelling argument, Condi. But you can’t put two cold candidates on the same ticket.”

“So are we all agreed on vanilla ice cream?”

“Run down the assets for us, Karl.”

“Vanilla ice cream provides a clear color contrast with Obama. It’s very likeable, very desirable, but not the least bit memorable. It’s totally easy to swallow. It’s completely malleable, can be bent and shaped to any position we want. And there’s a huge bonus.”

“What’s that, Karl?”

“It melts away by inauguration day, and then we can run the country any way we want.”

Totally globalized native New Yorker and former broadcast news producer Muhammad Cohen is author of Hong Kong On Air, a novel set in his adopted hometown during the 1997 handover about television news, love, betrayal, high finance, and cheap lingerie. See his bio, online archive and more at; follow him on Facebook and Twitter @MuhammadCohen.