President Obama is having Mitt Romney over to the White House for lunch tomorrow, and our friends at Southern California Public Radio’s Take Two asked me to recommend a menu for the president that would help him communicate his aims for the meal. I’ll be on the air with them tomorrow to discuss this further, but in the mean time, here are the points I think Obama wants to hit, with some meal-based strategies for getting his message across…
Sitting down at the table
Obama message: We both said a lot of nasty things during the campaign. Let’s wipe the slate clean.
Meal-world translation: Plates replaced with Etch-a-Sketches.
Obama message: I’m sure losing that election was tough for you. I hope that with time, you’ll learn from the experience and it will make you a stronger person.
Meal-world translation: Lemonade. (When elections hand you lemons…)
Obama message: We both know we don’t like each other, and we both know that everyone knows we don’t like each other. But all politics is theater, so we have to at least try to pretend.
Meal-world translation: Tofurkey, a food so fake it would never be accused of authenticity. It’s a signal that they both know the chances of anyone actually believing they like each other any more now than they did before the election are as slim as anyone believing that Tofurkey is actually meat.
Obama message: I respect you, or at least I want to make it look like I do. I know you’re a savvy businessman. Let me show you that I can relate to your wise investor ways.
Meal-world translation: A salad composed entirely of greens grown in the White House garden. Obama can point out that he invested in plant futures by purchasing them as seeds, then watched his investment grow. The only overhead was the land and the labor, which were covered by taxpayers. Plus, now that Obama is using the greens at a working lunch, he can deduct the cost of the seeds as a business expense. Romney will be impressed.
Obama message: We can help each other. You’ve got some cred in the business community -- I may need something from them. You said you wanted to be in the White House? I’ve got the key. I’ll invite you over once in a while, to make you feel like you didn’t just waste the last six years of your life.
Meal-world translation: One slice of pie, two forks. As they finish the pie, the Etch-a-Sketch beneath is exposed. On the left side of the screen is an invitation to Camp David for Ann and Mitt. On the right side, a statement of support for Obama’s tax policy awaiting Romney’s signature. Will Mitt sign it, or shake it? Or both?
Photo: Flickr CC / dcJohn