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Romney's Seinfeld Strategy
by Andy Cowan
TheSyndicatedNews columnist

Andy Cowan, an award-winning writer, whose credits include Cheers and Seinfeld, regularly contributes humor pieces to the Los Angeles Times and the CBS Jack FM Radio Network.

During a primary debate earlier this year, Mitt Romney did the opposite of milk an applause line by remarking, “As George Costanza would say, “When they’re applauding, stop.” This particular quote was loosely based on Jerry’s comments to George, and not an actual George line. Politicians are known for a lot of things but complete accuracy isn’t one of them. More recently, Romney cited his remedy for getting the economy going: “Look at what the president’s done and do the opposite.” As the writer who hatched George’s prescription for success on Seinfeld, “The Opposite,” I thought I’d take this opportunity to offer the governor additional ways of harnessing the magic of the opposite.

Instead of hiding from your flip-flops, do the opposite and revel in them! If a double-dipping, unemployed, follically-challenged man, hailing from a long line of quitters – who lived with his parents when the economy was booming – can reach new heights with the opposite, an unemployed (your self-description) hair-blessed man who’s never stopped running long enough to technically quit, who promises to restore the economy, thereby preventing a double dip, certainly can!

I don’t have to tell you. The very act of flipping and flopping is doing the opposite to begin with. So what if you used to be pro-choice? So what if you used to be for the national implementation of your Massachusetts health plan? So what if you used to be for illegal immigrants obtaining a path to citizenship? Only an egotist in love with his own ideas would slavishly cling to them. Like George, you were among a rare breed discerning enough to admit to yourself that every decision you’d made up to the times and places you decided to do the opposite hadn’t landed you where you wanted to be. So you did a 180. Republicans still have a love affair with the ‘80s. You could usher in… the 180s! Which would free you up enough to do the opposite whenever you got the itch, irrespective of the itch in your palms signifying you're about to come into some more money. Which reminds me – those $374,000 speaking fees of yours? Instead of “not very much,” from now on, call them “Very much.” If you’d like to bet me whether this helps you connect more with the voters or not, I’m in, but instead of $10,000.00, try the opposite: $00.000.01.

Do the opposite of hesitating to release all of your taxes. Eagerly release all of your taxes, going back to the lemonade stand revenues you declared as a kid. If you never declared them, you can once again draw on your experience turning lemons into lemonade, and claim you were the only kid on your block who didn’t take a salary, or you outsourced the gig to a needy kid in China, or you deposited the quarters into an offshore piggy bank. Meanwhile, as accountants sift through all those decades of returns, our eyes will glaze over, rendering the whole matter too boring to care about.

Speaking of too boring to care about, many in the media expect you to pick a safe choice for VP, like Ohio Senator Rob Portman, the opposite of McCain’s 2008 flash over substance game changer. Since they’re expecting the opposite, you have to do the opposite of the opposite, something that will not only change the game but change the constitution. The obvious veep pick… Mitt Romney! Who’s more ready to be president, the core requirement of your second in command, than the flash-free man who’s been running for the office since back when “amazing” actually meant amazing. So with you as both president and vice president, if the Republicans hold the house, Boehner would technically be a heartbeat from the presidency. And you think he gets verklempt now? In your amazing dual role, you’d sit next to him during the State of the Union, as well as deliver the speech. “Amazing,” circa now, that is. However much this would show you still like firing people (such as the person you were going to tap as veep) you’d also be doing the opposite… hating to hire someone.

Instead of trumpeting that you were a severely conservative Republican governor in your previous life, tell us you expect to be a casually…liberal…Democratic…governess… in your next one. The inference that women are the obviously higher life form you’ll come back as could help fortify your anemic numbers with the opposite sex.

Admit that corporations are the opposite of people – corporations. Instead of celebrating the height of Michigan’s trees, do the opposite. Don’t celebrate the height of Michigan’s trees. Instead of building a car elevator for your four car garage, build a consensus. The former goes up and down. The latter will stay put, if it’s a consensus about not celebrating the height of trees. Trade in the two Cadillacs for two Corollas. Strap your dog inside them.

And if these valuable lessons should help elect Mitt Romney the 45th President of the United States, I will be thrilled. The opposite.

Published: May 20,2012 19:37
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