Barack and the five stages of grief

Bob Maistros Chief Writer, Reagan-Bush '84 campaign
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Denial: “What a joke. Harry Reid may have gone over the top with his “evil-mongers” crack, but he and Nancy have got one thing right: These so-called town hall protesters are so Astroturf you can practically see the Monsanto labels on their polyester shirts.

“And those Tea Parties? Fox News, Limbaugh and a couple thousand rednecks whipping things up for the cameras. Never could accept the fact that a I won so big last year. I’ll just sic Anita Dunn on them. We’ll freeze Roger Ailes out a little bit, and he’ll come crawling up with his tail between his legs, like the rest of the lapdog media.

“Heck, the public and the press are still solidly with me, we got that stimulus bill through like greased lightning, and it shouldn’t be any problem flipping a couple of RINOs again to get health care and cap-and-trade on my desk by Thanksgiving. Then I can spend Christmas working on some Franklin Roosevelt first-year comparison stories and flashing my pecs on the beach in Hawaii for the press again … I wonder if Time will use one of those shots for my Man of the Year cover photo.”

Anger: “Geemineez, where do I  get idiots like this? I ask Anita to do a little hit job on Fox News, and she gets the entire media sympathizing with them … even g-d- CNN! And she has a PR firm? Who are her clients, besides Mao and Mother Teresa? Harry and Nancy are so politically tone-deaf I’m thinking of buying them a couple of those Lee Majors Bionic Hearing Aids, and Kathy Sebelius has screwed up this vaccine thing so badly you’d think she was Mike Brown in drag. Actually, now that I think about it… .

“Anyway, then there’s that clown Creigh Deeds. I hand him a ‘blue-state special:’ I win Virginia for the first time since LBJ, and the Post presents him Macaca, the Sequel, with that McDonnell ‘barefoot-and-pregnant’ thesis. He still gets clocked by 20 points, and they’re blaming it on me! ‘Young lady?’ Who wrote the paper trashing working women again?

“And Corzine in New Jersey? Losing against some fat nobody splitting votes with a third-party candidate, in a state I won by 17 points? Hey, Goldman Sachs financial genius, repeat after me: MIDDLE-INCOME TAX CUT. Have you been in a coma since last year, or is that just your normal state?”

Bargaining: “Mary, look, you gotta give us your vote on health care or my presidency is toast. I know it could cost you your seat, but we’ll cook something up to give you political cover. It’s no biggie, if anyone understands and accepts a little horse-trading, it’s Louisiana. And how would Ambassador to the UN look on your résumé in a few years? Thanks, I knew you’d come through. Gotta talk to Ben now. Hey, Ben, I know Harry is working on a couple of things for you. He’s going to give your state the Medicaid expansion for free? Heck, they’ll be putting up statues of you in Omaha.”

Depression: “I’m cursed. I’m here in the sunshine in the Aloha State, but you’d think I’m Joe Btfsplk. I try to hold a classy little state dinner, and Desiree Rogers turns it into a reality TV episode. We get a historic health care bill through the Senate with 60 votes, and everyone’s treating it like the worst defeat since McGovern. Then, when I want to go play a little golf over the holiday, some loser sneaks on a plane with enough explosive strapped to his balls to take out Jack Bauer and Napolitano acts like it’s the biggest victory since V-E Day. Nothing like this ever happened to JFK.”

Acceptance: “Gotta do a photo op with Scott Brown soon. I wonder: Should we seat him with the Salahis at the next State Dinner?”

Bob Maistros was the chief writer for the Reagan-Bush ’84 campaign, a former Senate subcommittee counsel and a longtime public relations advisor for companies ranging from AOL to MTV to XM Satellite Radio. He now offers biting satire based on insights gathered at the front lines of headline-making corporate crises, political contests and the culture wars.