I guess if a guy like me wants to be President, then it’s the decent thing to do to tell the people that he expects to give him financial support just exactly how he plans to get there from here.
The first thing I’m going to do is to run in Iowa. I’m not sure if I will run as a Democrat, an Independent, or if I will change my registration to Republican.
Initially, I’ll be a one-issue candidate. I’ll promise to remove the Department of Agriculture from Washington DC and plop it down in Des Moines, once elected, by executive order. Probably the best way of getting the word out is on the small town radio stations that do the farm reports. I can do those radio interviews from my home here and save a lot of money. The accident of my birth in Iowa gives me the imprimatur to stake out my claim as a favorite son and land some otherwise tough-to-get interviews on those rural radio outlets.
It’s reasonable to expect that this idea will gather a lot of grass roots traction, so in pretty short order, I’ll need to get on primary ballots nationwide. That costs money. Also I’ll have to find a way to pay my niece to help me get viral on the internet. She’s really smart, even though, to look at her, you wouldn’t think she had a brain in her head.
So now I’ve got cash to spearhead a campaign in Des Moines and the Quad Cities. I’ll probably have to start referring to my plan now as “devolution” and call it my “devolutionary” idea and call myself the “devolutionary candidate.” They like to think that big ideas need big names in those all-blue places like the Quad Cities. Cue theme music. “You say you want a devolution, well, you know, we all want to change the world…” I wish Lennon had left “you know” out of there, it’s such an annoying speech habit.
The front runners will do their best to get the press to ignore me, so at this point in my campaign, I’ll have to resort to some cheap and tawdry political stunts. Maybe I’ll promise to pick Sarah Palin as my running mate. And if anyone asks me why, I’ll tell them that it improves my chances of getting to see her naked. I’ll accuse Obama of hiding in the Rose Garden. All politics is local though, so I’ll mainly spend my time beating the drum for moving the Department of Agriculture to Des Moines. “Bring AG home! Bring AG home!”
At a point in time where I rise above 5% in the polls, the front runners will be compelled to speak out against me. It won’t get personal – yet. They’ll find out I don’t like ethanol and try to hang that around my neck, and I’ll respond that they’re just “playing to the boobs.” It’s a foregone conclusion that the machine politicos will argue that devolution is way too costly. “Costly?” I’ll counter. “Are you kidding? Back in the 90s, Linda Tripp was making $90,000 a year as a secretary.”
I’ll have some research people on board by that time that will fact check stuff like that before I say it. The truth is that the government has standard pay grades for its “General Schedule” employees – the hired help – and the “GS” folks get huge pay differentials if they live in expensive areas. And guess what, the differential is for Washington DC? 23.1%.
Compare at http://www.federaljobs.net/paytables/09gstbls.txt …
A GS-12 (step 10) makes $77,194 in Des Moines while a GS-12 (step 10) in Washington DC makes $95,026. “Are you standing there today, Mr. Obama, IF THAT’S REALLY WHAT YOUR NAME IS, trying to tell the good people of the GREEEEEAAAAAT State of Iowa that the federal government couldn’t move Linda Tripp to Iowa for $17,832? There’s lots of unemployed truck drivers and furniture movers here that would just love to have the chance to try. And what’s the government plan to do with all those wonderful vacant buildings they JUST WALKED AWAY FROM out at Fort Des Moines? HUUUUUH?” You know, demagogue it that way. That would be a pretty easy technique to train my campaign workers to use. They have that nutty caucus system in Iowa, and I need someone in almost every single caucus willing to demagogue.
As a practical matter, the government wouldn’t probably have to move many people at all. Lots would take retirement and/or take jobs at other agencies. Lots of civil service workers that presently live in Iowa would put in for the jobs. I wouldn’t probably point that out. People on both sides of the ideological aisle would figure it out. It’s win-win-win for Iowa Democrats, Independents and Republicans. And all politics is local.
So anyway, after I win Iowa, it’s on to New Hampshire. I figure I’ll claim victory if I get 10%.
I’m not sure I know right now what federal plum it’s going to take to bribe the Granite State voters. It probably needs to be something outsized because of the importance placed on their primary elections by the press. Maybe something like the Department of Education. New Hampshire has always struck me as a place full of schoolmarms anyway. Actually, I suppose that I won’t have the time, the inclination, nor the necessity to figure out what agency or department I need to pay them off with – it’s reasonable for me to suppose that they’ll have that figured out for themselves long before “THE KICKBACK EXPRESS” makes its way to Manchester. Of course, whatever agency it is that needs to find a home in New Hampshire needs to do it outside Manchester. The pay differential in the Boston-Manchester MSA is actually higher than Washington DC! Makes no sense to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.
Thank goodness their primary is only a week after Iowa’s. The Granite State voters only need to stay bought for that one week…
What I’ll really be navel gazing about is I might have to switch to one or the other of the major parties before I get to New Hampshire. I can’t wait too long to decide. They can’t reprint the ballots overnight. They have a funky system that allows independents to vote in either primary, but party members have to vote in the primary held by their own party. So you can see that’s a dead ender for independents – no primary at all if I take it right – and so it’s probably much better if I whore myself off to one party or the other if I haven’t already done so in Iowa.
Thinking ahead to South Carolina, I think the Palmetto State would be a walk over if I bribed them with the Department of Defense. It’s a smaller state though and maybe they’d be satisfied with Veteran Affairs. Not sure. The place is some kind of schizo, they elect both Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint. So it’s best for me to lay behind the log like I did in New Hampshire – I’ll let the Palmetto State porchclimbers come forward with their demands before I ever show my hand.
Nailing down the base shouldn’t be so tough. When you think energy you think of Texas… I kind of like the idea of the Department of Transportation in Oklahoma to sort of help establish my bona fides as a favorite son here. The Bureau of Indian Affairs would be nice too. More Indians here than anywhere else.
Kansas ought to install me as a favorite son too. I’ve always thought Kansas was slow to accept outsiders, so the Department of Homeland Security makes a lot of sense on the face of it. Interior needs to be someplace like Utah or Nevada or Wyoming or Montana. You get the picture.
The battleground states need some forethought. Ohio. Missouri. Virginia. Florida needs to be administering all the stuff for the old folks. I’ll ponder on Ohio, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Missouri later. No question but that they can be bought. A way better deal than Nebraska or Louisiana got for selling out on the healthcare bill. They don’t have to feel dirty afterwards, and they get something permanent.
I’m not sure that New York and California can be bought. Besides that, all the big cities in those states have the Manchester, New Hampshire problem. No savings in the pay differential. So screw them.
dennism (c) 2009