Monday, June 6, 2011

The Backup Plan

"I'd be more than pleased to tell you what's going on with FOX News, Rupert. Quite frankly it's been a bit of a pain to have to keep you in the dark this way. We just felt that things would be better off if we kept you out of the loop for a while."
You know, Roger, FOX News is my company, so in a sense you work for me. So I don't mind telling you point blank that I want to know just what the hell you're doing with that idiot Sarah Palin.
An idiot, true, but a most useful one. And an idiot who should be waiting in my office right about now. Let's go there now, and I think I can make everything  much clearer to you.
Good evening Mister Murdoch. Mister Ailes, Sarah Palin is waiting for you in your bunker.
She looks familiar to me for some reason.
Apparently she was working for Rahm Emmanuel before he departed for Chicago... Ah, there she is, the girl of the hour. Good to see you, Sarah.
Hi Mister Ailes. Hi Cranky Old Man. I was just thumbing through the Wall Street Journal.
Very good, although I would suggest that you might enjoy it more if you held it right side up.
Oh... You know, I find it more challenging to read it upside down. Specially the stock quotes. Trying to tell all those sixes from nines, and eights from eights.
See, Rupert. She's very, very bright.
Yes I am! My bus tour rocked! All these guys are going around, saying they were gonna run for president, and all anybody wanted was me! I'm gonna do another bus tour!
You shall indeed, Sarah, and FOX will be there to film every minute of it. Now maybe you would like to show Mister Murdoch how well you can dance. I've got 'Papa's Got a Brand New Bag' cued.
My favorite! Whee! She's doin the jerk, she's doin the fly, don't play her cheep cause you know that she ain't shy. She's doin the monkey, the mashed potatoes, jump back jack, gonna see you later alligator... Whee!
That's vaguely disturbing...
But in a good way. Sarah, if you could be a good girl and go sit in the reception room for a few minutes, I need to talk to Mister Murdoch alone.
Okie dokie, they've got donuts out there. But don't keep me waiting too long. Your newspaper doesn't have any comics in it.
...sigh... For years, I dreamed of owning the Wall Street Journal, and I am not going to bespoil it by including Garfield. Are you seriously promoting Sarah Palin for president, Rupert?
I'm still in the room, you nasty old man.
Indeed you are, and... that being the case, perhaps you could clarify something for Mister Murdoch.  Sarah, do you really want to be the president of the United States?
Are you kidding me? That has got to be about the worst gig in the world. Heck, I didn't even like being governor of Alaska.
You see, Rupert, even though I have a master plan and a backup plan, being a person of some not insignificant insecurities, I feel the need to have a backup to my backup plan.
That's me! I'm double redundancy!
I'm a pragmatic man, Rupert. I like Pawlenty but I could live with most any of the GOP candidates. But the more I watch this race play out, the more I worry that a moderate nominee like Tim Pawlenty or Romney would alienate the sizable activist wing on the right. They are our bread and butter, after all, and we must eat...
That's certainly a dynamic that's playing out. I take it that you think you have a plan which could bridge that gap. And I get the feeling that this plan somehow involves Ms Palin.
I'm the secret weapon!
To be kept behind glass and used only in case of emergency and for round the clock exclusive coverage. But if it looks as though a sure loser like Romney is on his way to the nomination, we break that glass and launch Sarah as an independent candidate.
We would certainly be able to get her name on all the state ballots easily enough, but what good would that do? She could never win the presidency.
Could if I wanted to, but I don't want to.
For one thing, she could win certain states that a Romney couldn't win. And more importantly, it would be great television.
A ratings bonanza!
What you end up with, Rupert, is a delightful little scenario where neither candidate would have the delegates to win. And that, my friend, according to the twelfth amendment, means that the election would be decided by the House of Representatives.
I love the twelfth amendment.
I suppose that all makes a certain kind of sense. And it would be great television. The only problem I can see is what would happen if the Republicans did lose the House.
Heh heh... according to the twelfth amendment, it's not members who vote but the states, one vote per state, so even if the GOP does lose the House, there are more little red states than big blue ones.
I really love the twelfth amendment.
So we'll get our guy in the White House, FOX News will be an even more unstoppable powerhouse, and Ms Palin will get all the publicity and attention her little heart desires.
I'll be more famous than God! No disrespect intended, Mister Ailes.

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