Mark Levin, one of my favorite commentators, claims to broadcast from a nondescript underground bunker. I have a vision of David Axelrod's command headquarters on the 80th floor of the Sears Tower, overlooking Mayor Rahm Emanuel's city hall, it's walls covered with "to do" lists:
Opposition research - done by the Republican candidates, Colbert/Stewart, CNN/MSNBC. Let's see if we can find some dirt on Romney's 1968 mission in France (emphasis Mormon mission), or maybe a follow-up with Gingrich's second wife, or Santorum's earmarks.
Secure the base: Sierra Club - Keystone XL, check; abortion rights activists - gig the Catholics, check; peaceniks - accelerate Afghan withdrawal, check. Form "African Americans for Obama", check; find a leader for "Hispanics for Obama", open; recruit Jesus for the "Tax the Rich" speech, check; work on the "Bringing Us Together" speech, 2d Quarter.
Follow the money: a few discreet Wall Street and Hollywood parties, check; update the online contribution app for the kids, check; cancel the anti-PAC sermon - send a few cabinet mebers to PAC events;tamp down expectations of an advantage, TBD.
Influence the Republican primaries: brainstorming session - done; get them off the economy and onto social issues - in progress.
How boring. Every-thing's covered. What about a wild card? A war with Iran - too dangerous until after the election. What about a third party candidate? Wahla. Ross Perot (19%) cost HW reelection in 1992; Ralph Nader (3%) cost Al Gore election in 2000. If we can just peel off a few percent from the Republicans by getting the right candidate... Thus is born Americans Elect.
What an idea! Create a new party using the internet. Find some liberal political gadflies who can claim partisan neutrality. Funnel them $10 or 20 million - just be sure nobody knows where it comes from (donors will want to avoid retribution, after all.) Get it on the ballot in all 50 states - or at least the electoral swing states. Let the public nominate candidates, select a presidential nominee and a VP nominee from a different party, and draft a platform. Have an on-line convention in June to select a nominee. How cool.
So, how's it going? Peter Ackerman (a global democracy advocate and tax-challenged investment banker), his son Eliott Ackerman (an Iraq/Afghanistan veteran), and Kahlil Byrd (a sub-Sahara Africa media organizer and campaigner for Massachusetts Democratic governor Patrick Duvall) have it underway, claiming over 2,500,000 signatures on their petitions. Other prime movers include several also involved with Soros-funded International Crisis Group. They have hired Arno Political Consultants, a group of questionable repute, to manage signature gathering, and are on the ballot in at least 15 states - including California, Florida and Ohio. Leading candidates in their process (which does not yet require candidate approval) include Ron Paul (R), Jon Huntsman (R), Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I), ex-Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer (R), New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I), and ex New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson (R). Roemer or Johnson would probably ernjoy the free ride.
The media continues to make much of the fact that many Republicans are not satisfied with the declared alternatives. What about Christie?; what about Jeb Bush?; what about Mitch Daniels?; blah, blah, blah. To some extent this is just the media trying to generate a story, but it does fit with a plan to pump up a third party candidate to be provided with a pre-packaged campaign. And if it happened to be a minor Republican candidate appealing to disillusioned Republicans, wouldn't Axelrod find that to be a coincidence. Just sayin'.
This week's "bonus" is a radio interview with Mark Levin in which a neurosurgeon describes Obamacare rules limiting care for "units" over 70 years of age.