The setting is a Darth Vader-style black bus, capable of waging simultaneous nuclear warfare on two or more fronts, rolling through the farm fields of Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. An unlikely visitor has just boarded the bus…

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Little Ole Me (LOM): “You asked for me, sir?”

POTUS: “You are probably wondering why I summoned a Republican from Eugene, Oregon…even though that sounds like an oxymoron…or maybe just a moro…”

LOM: “With all due respect sir we probably don’t want my neighbors to know my political affiliation. They are already really concerned about neighborhood property values.”

POTUS: “Look I only have limited time. In fact my time is running out, if things don’t change pronto. Comprende senor?

LOM: “Si, el Presidente…I am willing to serve my country. What can I possibly do to help the red, white and blue?

POTUS: “You mean the Tea Party colors? Don’t get me started…Let me get to the point. You write Almost DailyBrett, a strategic communications blog…”

LOM: “You know about Almost DailyBrett? I don’t know if I should be flattered or appalled…”

POTUS: “The question is how can I change my image, my perception and my messaging to turn around my 39 percent polling numbers nationally, and in particular win Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Nevada and all the other swing states.”

LOM: “They really like you in San Francisco…

POTUS: “Think again. They don’t like anyone in San Francisco. Have you ever seen a happy social-justice activist?”

LOM: “Can’t say that I have ever seen a ‘happy’ activist in my entire life.”

POTUS: “What I really need to do is embrace Republican principles without setting off a rebellion among my liberal…err…progressive base…”

LOM: “That’s going to be tough sir. You are trying to do the right thing…Sorry sir…You are trying to do the correct thing without pissing off the pissed off. How can you satisfy the insatiable?”

POTUS: “I can’t afford a Ted Kennedy or Pat Buchanan-style primary challenge. I have enough problems with Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann…They are all more telegenic than me.”

LOM: “Especially Michele Bachmann…I get lost in her eyes…”

POTUS: “So do I…Let’s get off this tangent before I get in trouble with my Michelle, my belle. I already have enough comparisons with Jimmy Carter, particularly his incompetence, to have to face a similar primary challenge from the left wing of my party…”

LOM: “Mr. President. Can someone really run to the left of you? Do you really think it is still possible for a credible primary challenge to be mounted at this late date? And do you think the redistributionist social justice crowd is going to sit it out next November, if Mitt Romney or Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann is the GOP standard bearer? I think not.”

POTUS: “Maybe I just blame the Standard & Poor’s downgrade, the massive unemployment and the record $14 trillion deficit on George W. Bush and the Tea Party?…And then I can vilify the Republican nominee. I think I have a winning strategy. You don’t think I should run on my record?”

LOM: “Do the names Harry S. Truman and Ronald Reagan ring a bell?”

POTUS: “Of course, they were well respected throughout all 57 states, Alaska and Hawaii too…”

LOM: “Truman said, ‘The Buck Stops Here.’ You should declare that you are the president. You accept responsibility for the past three years, and you have a plan for the future.”

POTUS: “I do?”

LOM: “And Reagan campaigned for re-election with the mantra, ‘Morning in America.’ It was a message of optimism and hope. Why can’t you go back to offering hope for a better tomorrow? Maybe even a Shining City on the Hill?”

POTUS: “You know, I remember mentioning the notion of hope in 2008.”

LOM: “Do you remember when Bill Clinton fried his fellow Democrats with a massive welfare reform bill, so much that it even upset Hillary?”

POTUS: “You are reminding me about upsetting Hillary?”

LOM: “Sorry sir. I am just suggesting that you should infuriate Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. Let them start attacking you. Your polling numbers will skyrocket…even better than taking out Osama bin Laden.”

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POTUS: “Do you think I can send in the Navy SEALS to take out Harry and Nancy?”

LOM: “No sir. Something about the messy Separation of Powers gets in the way.”

POTUS: “And then what should I do?”

LOM: “Propose a true compromise. In exchange for closing corporate loopholes, you should offer true entitlement reform for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which represent 60 percent of the budget. Exempt everyone over 50 years of age from these changes, and then apply means testing and raise the age limit to at least 67 for all of those under 50. All additional revenue will be used for deficit reduction. Wall Street will be happy, and maybe Standard & Poor’s will restore the nation’s AAA bond rating.”

POTUS: “You mean be a leader instead of a campaigner. I am really great on the stump…Do you really think I should hack off Harry and Nancy?”

LOM: “Have you ever heard the German word, ‘Schadenfreude?’

POTUS: “Schadenfreude?”

LOM: “When Harry and Nancy are unhappy, I am happy and a whole lot of other people too, especially in the swing states.”

POTUS: “Sounds like a great strategic communications strategy.”

LOM: “Thank you Mr. President. Can I get off the bus now?”

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