March 1, 2009
11. Ok, you may not actually recover from the part where you may have looked the American public in the eye and lied about the details of your anti-government heroics. This interpretation is now part of the public discussion. If it’s wrong, you must clean it up quickly.
12. We tend to forgive public figures who manipulate the truth to cover up weakness (see Clinton v. Impeachment) and lose our minds at the first hint of exaggerated strength (see Mainstream Media v. Al Gore for President).
February 26, 2009
1. There is such a thing as bad press.
2. You will recover from it.
3. Your competition for 2012 is not Governor Palin, as delighted as Democrats are by the prospect. You’re now competing against the version of you we just met, the party hack with bad advisers and worse comic timing.
4. Americans can handle the complexity of your thinking. We can handle the scary part of “scary smart.” Risk it.
5. Your intellectual curiosity is an enormous public asset. Come out as the Brown University-attending-Rhodes-scholarship-receiving-McKinsey consultant that you are.
6. A great gift to the nation would be a serious fight over who gets to be the “Party of Ideas.” You could lead that fight.
7. The country watched in horror as public incompetence destroyed communities and lives across the Gulf Coast. The mainstream media has moved on, but the rest of us are still paying attention to what happens next. Your career depends on getting it right.
8. Earnest, we like earnest, but you need to calibrate it slightly. More Eagle Scout, less kindergarten teacher.
9. You’re right to wonder about all the boas and wigs around you this month. They’re not all being worn by imports from West Hollywood — you’re representing a lot more queer, tax-paying Louisianans than you may realize. Consider the wacky idea of granting them full citizenship.
10. Natural disasters – even the volcanic variety — are never a good punch line.