Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Bullet

I have really dropped the blogging ball of late. But I've been keeping track of things that make me laugh or I find interesting and I've been emailing them to myself so I can use them for a future blog. Consequently, the crap is starting to pile up in my Inbox, so I need to get crackin'.

First and foremost, would you let this guy head your campaign for President of the United States??

No, no, not the lovely young lass in the green plastic sunglasses and bus-headrest-cover hat (me), I mean the portion of the young man over on the right.

Yes, I realize this isn't the best picture of Steve Schmidt. But the majority of my pictures from our high school trip to France are up in my attic somewhere and this is the best I could do for the moment. When I first heard of Steve's promotion to Commandante of John McCain's election campaign, I was stunned. I had no idea he had gone into politics, let alone that he was a muckity-muck in the 2004 Bush/Cheney re-election war room and that he got Ahnold re-elected Governor of CA. And while that all seems somewhat impressive -- if you're a Republican -- my friends and I zeroed in on some things that were far more important -- the fact that Steve's now bald as a cue ball and HUGE. Wait, here's another "Steve Schmidt: The Early Years" pic for comparison purposes:

Yes, there he is. White jeans, pastel blue Paris sweatshirt, holding a knife to the throat of one of our classmates. Oh, and he fake "married" me in Paris. If it's somehow legally binding, one of the major players in the Republican party is married to a liberal lesbian. You know, just like James Carville and Mary Matalin, but switch the parties. Anyway, I suspect he bottled up that knife-wielding, white denim wearing, hair losing rage and became Karl Rove, Jr.


I'm sorry, I just realized I haven't posted a pic of what he looks like now. Here you go:

I feel bad for him about the hair thing, but he could be a bit of an ass at times and I truly believe he has anger issues as a result of losing his hair so young. I can't say that I blame him. I remember seeing him a year of two after he graduated (he was a year behind me in HS) and his hair was pretty scarce. Poor guy. I just love that now everyone talks about it as if that makes him that much more of a pit bull. He's hairless! Hide the Democrats! He'll eat them alive!!

I've also read about his size and references to his playing football in high school. As you can see in the Early Years pics above, he was a scrawny girly-man. And until he got accused of slashing some seats on our band bus with a knife, he was a trumpet player in our scrawny 40-member marching band. Yeah, he's a real killer that one.

Truth be told, I think it's pretty damn cool that Steve's where he is. I'm sure we agree on virtually nothing politically -- or about the most ethical way to get someone elected -- but I would still consider him an old friend if our paths were to cross again. We come from a teeny, tiny town in NJ where everyone knew everyone and we were friends in school. So I'm happy for him and I hope for his sake that he doesn't destroy McCain's campaign. Steve's responsible for the recent McCain videos, including the ubiquitous Obama/Paris Hilton/Britney Spears "celebrity" video and is rumored to be responsible for the accusation that Obama didn't want to visit wounded soldiers in Germany without the press present. I'm guessing he also had a hand in the McCain tire pressure gauges. They raised many of us to be witty and sarcastic in North Plainfield, New Jersey!

I now know far more about McCain's campaign than I normally would because I check in every couple of days to see what Steve's been up to. Most of the articles and blogs are of the same tenor and here's a recent example:

Early and Often
7/23/0810:30 AM

John McCain’s New Strategist Basically a Dick

McCain's new strategist, Steve Schmidt, is kind of an asshole, The Wall Street Journal tells us this morning, although they don't exactly use those words. The New Jersey native, who worked on Bush's campaign and Schwartznegger's (and who is responsible for yesterday's angry-funny "Media Hearts Obama" video) is a "sharp-tongued" "military-like" figure who was promoted to strategist after McCain's disastrous June 3 speech, which was widely mocked and which Schmidt said made him "apoplectic" about the incompetence of the campaign.
Apparently he often feels that way! The Journal story contains many colorful anecdotes about the man McCain affectionately calls "Sgt. Schmidt," some of which would make even Machiavelli cringe. For instance:

• Anger, Schmidt says, "focuses people's attention when other means have been exhausted."

• "Our goal is perfection," he told McCain staffers recently. "We will never achieve it."

• "Two colleagues say that when Mr. Schmidt gets really angry, his nose bleeds, though Mr. Schmidt denies it."

• Says a guy who worked with him on the Bush campaign: "The nostrils would flare, he would get very red-faced and angry, and you would just want to quit … you basically wanted to crash a chair over his head."

• "During debates, he would time staffers with a stop watch to see how quickly they could dig up information contradicting whatever their opponent said and email it to reporters."

• "Sometimes he stares at a questioner for several moments while forming a response."

• A former assistant likened his perch outside Schmidt's office to "a small house at the base of a volcano."

• "He only gets angry when someone has made the same mistake twice or failed to pay attention."

That said, like any villain, he has his Kryptonite. According to the Journal: "He is deeply scared of snakes. After a rattlesnake bit his dog at their California home, he insisted that the entire family move."

Yowza. Good luck, Steve!

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