Memo to George

We've found our next winning campaign and it's about sex -- not! That's right, it's time to take our abstinence campaign national.

Published August 25, 2001 10:00PM (EDT)


To: The President
From: Andrew H. Card, Jr., Chief of Staff
Re: Communities of Character: Re-think
cc: Karl, Karen


Mr. President:

Holy mother of Godzilla. You're making Page 1 on vacation more than you do when you're at the Big Desk in the Double-O. But don't -- I repeat don't -- pull the plug on your R&R. Just keep snagging bass in the Crawford pond, and try your best to plow through McCullough's John Adams snorefest (sit tight -- Dick says Cliff Notes are on the way). We'll put out the brush fires.

For example: In the wake of all these new charges that we totally blew the budget surplus -- led by chief DNC dork Terry I-Wanna-Be-Like-Bill McAuliffe -- we considered a variety of responses and decided to go with this succinct rejoinder: "Yeah? So what?" (OK, so it doesn't have the kind of hard numbers that give Greenspan a woody, but it buys us time.) And as for John Can-I-Buy-Another-Vowel DiIulio's resignation from our Faith-Based ops, not to worry: Everybody stopped paying attention to that circus the moment you delivered your stem-cell masterpiece. (Which reminds me: May I just say three words about that final decree? King Friggin' Solomon! What a balancing act, boss! Are you sure W doesn't stand for Wallenda?)

In any case, as we nurse these B-list bunions on our Administrative piggies, here's what you may want to start thinking about for your return: Ari tells me that our Communities of Character plan isn't goosing Ma and Pa Kettle like we thought it would. As touchy-feely as our original blueprint was -- curbing truancy, promoting adoption, gang prevention -- polls say we're still flat-lining in La-Z-Boy Land. Even Karl's mission to seduce the 3 C's (chicks, Chicanos and Catholics) is yielding a case of blueballs the size of the Rotunda. Conclusion: We need to toss some cayenne into the C of C stew. Here's what we've come up with.

TACKLING DUMMIES: As a red-blooded, dove-shooting, rib-gnawing Texan, you know nothing brings out the stars-and-stripes in a man like football. And since our South Lawn Tee-Ball games were such a hit this summer, Dick decided it's time to slap on the shoulder pads. Coming this fall to America's backyard, it's Congressional Flag Football: Republicans vs. Democrats, mano-a-wimpo -- aka, time to kick some serious donkey butt. The Dems may love pork, but they're gonna hate pigskin when we're through with them.

Think of the matchup: We've got former All-American J.C. Watts at QB, throwing the ball to former All-Pro wide receiver Steve Largent, and former Nebraska head coach Tom Osborne running the show. And who've the Dems got? Barney Frank at tight end? Personally, I can't wait to see Dick "The Stick" Gephardt get steamrolled by "Big" Dick Armey on a power sweep. Mmm, baby. (We do have to watch out for NYC's Jerry Nadler, though -- the guy's a continent. I mean, when Jerry sits around the House, he sits around the House!)

But the real Cheez Whiz on this nacho platter will be our head cheerleader -- the very same man who tossed his pompoms at Andover. That's right, boss, you'll be our one-man pep squad. Now, I know you're a little rusty, but don't sweat it: the Log Cabin Boys have volunteered to give you a little refresher course (choreography -- it's in their blood). I can hear it now: "Hey, hey! That's OK! We took Florida anyway!"

SEX AND THE COUNTRY: Once again, the op-ed hysterics and Chicken Little Democrats have sold America a crock of ka-ka with their finger-wagging about this so-called incurable epidemic of teenage sex. According to our in-house tracking, high school kids -- boys in particular -- actually don't like sex. Truth be told, they find it time consuming and surprisingly messy. These young people may not be saying it out loud, but clearly they're crying out for better role models, more decent diversions. For instance, "American Pie 2" may have grossed $45 million its opening weekend, but do you think all those teens would have flocked to such a raunchy slice of decadence if, say, a real comedy like "Cinderfella" was showing down the street? I mean, what do you find funnier: Jerry Lewis or some sicko humping a pastry? So sad.

Solution: We need to hit the road with ordinary Americans who can attest to the joys of abstinence -- real people from the Administration who can say without hesitation that one doesn't need sex to lead a fulfilling life (Karl, Karen: flip a coin). We'll hit the rec centers, bowling alleys, neighborhood malt shops -- all those places kids like to hang out these days. Yes sir, if Nancy Reagan can scare the reefer out of the hands of our youth, surely we can slide the panties back onto Miss Liberty.

1600 MADISON AVENUE: You don't have to be Procter and Gamble to know that you can't sell soap without the bubbles. In other words, consumers need a comfortable, instantly identifiable logo that reminds them why they're coughing up their tax rebate. Starkist has Charlie the Tuna, Snuggle has that nauseating little bear; and do I even have to mention the Pillsbury ("Nice Tan") Doughboy? In short, what we need for our Communities of Character is a character -- a colorful, fun, animated icon that instantly says to America: I'm your pal. And, brother, have we got one lined up. Check this out: You start with your basic Uncle Sam; lose the goofy top hat and shave the head; throw some shades on the guy, maybe a nostril stud; then swap the grand-pappy beard for a slick goatee, put him in baggy pants from Hilfiger--and voila! So what do we call this new hip-hop-happy symbol of America? Say hello to U. Sammy.

Call me.


P.S.: Too bad about Helms' hanging up the Grand Wizard's robe in '02, huh? See, this is where we might have benefited from getting behind cloning. A coupla scrapings off the old coot's spotted noggin, and we could've packed Congress with a parade of little Jesses straight through to the next millennium.

By Bruce Kluger

Bruce Kluger is a columnist for Us Weekly magazine.

MORE FROM Bruce Kluger

By David Slavin

David Slavin is an actor and voice-over artist.

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