The Campaign Spot

The Ultimate Lowering of Debate Expectations

In light of today’s memo from Obama’s chief strategist David Axelrod, claiming Romney is the heavy favorite in next week’s first debate, here’s the likely next step in campaigns attempting to lower expectations for their candidate in the debates:

“As you know, our candidate goes into the debates as a heavy underdog.”

“You know he has a speech impediment, right? We’ve been lucky so far, most people haven’t noticed, but our expectation is that the night of the debate, he’ll freeze up, panic, and all voters will hear from him is a series of grunts, stammers, and incoherent noises.”

“There’s just no way of getting around it, our guy just falls apart every time he’s under the hot lights in a debate setting. Forget any previous debates you’ve seen. That was smoke and mirrors and a less-scrutinized environment. What you’ll see in the coming debate is an absolute meltdown that will embarrass him, the campaign, the party and the country. We fully expect his performance to not only surpass all previous candidate debate disasters, it will set a new standard for catastrophic, self-immolating candidate appearances.”

“During the first debate prep, he came out in his underwear. Yup, completely forgot to put on his pants – just a bundle of nerves, trying to remember any of his talking points, sweating profusely. He got halfway through thanking the moderators, couldn’t remember whether it was “Jim Lehrer” or “John Lehrer,” and he just started swearing a blue streak. Got so angry he kicked the lectern and it fell over, and the visuals were really bad because he hadn’t put his pants back on yet. When we tried to give him pointers, he just started screaming incoherently, finally got out a “I HATE YOU ALL!” and then ran off. We went into his room two hours later and found him under the bed, still crying inconsolably in the fetal position. We’re going to try to load him up with heavy tranquilizers to stabilize his wild, usually-uncontrollable mood swings and just hope for the best.”

“The other guy, well… you may think you know how good he is, but you don’t. You never hear about his awards for highest sales of ice to Eskimos in Alaska, year after year after year. I hear in his younger years, he used to seduce nuns just for fun. In his college years, he would go to the religious groups on campus and he would convert them to atheism, then he would go to the atheists group and persuade them that God existed.”

“In law school, he was constantly persuading his professors of the viewpoint they originally opposed, and by the end of the semester, the professors asked him to take over. Upon graduation, the dean said he really ought to be on the U.S. Supreme Court within the next few weeks. There were rumors that several Justices offered to retire to make room for him.”

“He’s like Svengali or something – just remarkably persuasive, every time he opens his mouth. The Dos Equis guy couldn’t stop talking about how interesting our opponent was. He speaks something like nine languages; we’re expecting he’ll make his closing remarks in English, Spanish, Chinese, French, Tagalog, American Sign Language, Esperanto and Klingon.”

“He inspired candidate loyalty in Ed Rollins, got Bill to stop cheating on Hillary, and Al Sharpton lost all that weight after our opponent mentioned he was worried about his health. Half of his campaign staffers used to work for us; he just calls them up and asks them to come on board. One day, when asked for an autograph, he said he needed a pen. The president of Bic pens appeared out of nowhere and signed over the majority of his shares. People just love the guy, can’t stop thinking about ways to help him, and every word he says is eventually carved into stone by devoted followers. His last Post-It note was put in the Smithsonian, right next to the Gettysburg Address.”

“Now that you know what to expect on the night of the debate, we’re hoping that we can do a little better than expectations and that their guy will perform a little worse than expected.”


The Latest