March 10, 2006

Tonight and this upcoming weekend, Memphis, Tennessee, hosts the Southern Republican Leadership Conference: also known as the key location and time for choosing the most likely next president of the United States. (At the moment, the Democrats simply don't have a strong, broadly popular candidate to field. It could change.) Thus, what is orated in Memphis, this week, could be critical; and, since people are far more likely to vote against what is not liked than for what is liked: not saying the wrong things may well be just as important as saying the right ones. Mrak Halperin, David Chalian, Teddy Davis, Sarah Baker, Dan Nechita, and Mike Westling of ABC News have come up with what may be an almost foolproof option:

The scene: the Peabody Hotel, Memphis.

[A few trusted college and high-school volunteers, strategically placed around the hall, begin chants of "U-S-A! U-S-A!" as they hold aloft both pre-printed and "homemade" signs with various slogans featuring your name. As you take the podium, you should look up with mock surprise, as if the chants were divinely inspired, and the signs a total surprise.]

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. [Tell a touching, lightly embellished tale from the road involving high school basketball, J.J. Redick (if you have to ask, don't run) or NCAA pools.]

Ladies and gentlemen, I come before you as a missionary of [insert home state name*] values. HEARTLAND values.

Friends, YOUR values are MY values and they're the values of the AMERICAN PEOPLE and we're proud Republicans making sure THOSE are the values that are animating this great country. We will all continue to work together as a party. And a great party it is -- the party of Lincoln, Reagan, Mercer Reynolds, and Jack Oliver.

Friends, the DEMOCRAT Party can't beat our IDEAS. They can't beat our PASSION. They can't beat our RECORD. So they will try to focus on hiccups and irrelevancies and diversions and falsehoods in an effort to get us to BEAT ... OUR ... SELVES. And ladies and gentlemen, we ... will ... not ... FALL for it. Because friends, what matters isn't what you see when you look at some poll. [Pause for chuckles.] What matters is what you see when you look in the MIRROR.

[Look down and actually read this next part, or practice it to a fare-thee-well, because this -- if done well -- is what will get you third graf of Balz and fourth graf of Nagourney.]

And friends, I have NEVER been prouder of our party, or our PRESIDENT [pause for applause] , or our great VICE president [pause for thunderous applause] . And how 'BOUT that First Lady, Laurabush!? [Say as one word. The house comes down.]

Are you with me?!!?? [Pause for acclamation.]

When our President said, "we need to bring down the deficit", he was right then, and he's right now!

We have one of the most buoyant economies in history, and we have Republican leaders, and Republican policies, to thank for it! [Hoo-ah!]

In a time of new and hidden dangers, our country is ever safer, and we have Republican leaders, and Republican policies, to thank for it. [Hoo-ah!]

Hear me now: When OUR President said we need to restrain pork-barrel spending, he was right then, and he's right now!

When our President said we need to strengthen this historically strong economy, he was right then, and he's right now!

When our President said we need to keep cutting taxes on hard-working Americans, he was right then, and he's right now!

When our President said ALL the world's people deserve democracy, he was right then, and he's right now!

And, friends, when our President said that job one is keeping America safe, he was right then. And ... he ... is ... right ... NOW!

You know, a little earlier some of our FRIENDSSSSSS in the fair and balanced media were asking me about ... 2008. [Smirk, pause for knowing, mirthful ripple.]

And you know what I told them? I told them: I'm thinking about, what YOU'RE thinking about, and that's THIS November, and the chance we have to strengthen our majorities in the House and Senate to support the President's agenda, confirm rock-solid judges, and do the work of the American people, based on OUR principles and OUR values.

Friends, the other party is playing TWISTER, and DODGE BALL, trying to figure out what they stand for. Well, you know what? [Smile, pause for, "WHAT?"]

We don't NEED to listen to every Tom, Dick and [pause slyly] HARRY [if enunciated poorly enough, some in the crowd will think you said "HILLARY," which, come to think of it, might not be half bad either] to tell us who we are. We KNOW what we stand for. We KNOW what we believe in. It's what the American people believe in and we ... will ... fight for it, and we will prevail!

Ladies and gentlemen, THANK YOU for making me so proud to be part of this party. THANK YOU for your loyalty to our great PRESIDENT. THANK YOU for your hard WORK over the next eight months. And THANK YOU for being the BACKBONE of the greatest nation in the history of the world. God BLESS you, and God BLESS the United States of America!

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