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Monday, May 29, 2006

Governor Theodore

Ted Nugent
China Spring, Texas

Dear Mr. Nugent :

I was delighted to see you announce your candidacy for Governor of Michigan this weekend. Overall, I though you did a splendid job in getting your message across and defining your political philosophy in this, your inaugural interview as a gubernatorial candidate. Even so, I thought I could offer you some helpful pointers that will maximize the utility of future interviews.

Handling the Media

  • When you announce your run for political office, consider doing so in a U.S. publication. While the readers of The Independent will, no doubt, become big boosters of your bid for Lansing, sadly, few of them will be eligible to vote in the Michigan election.

  • When doing political interviews, it is probably best not to preemptively deny rumors…particularly when the reporter has no idea what you are talking about. For example, this exchange:
    Nugent: "Neither did I poke my erect penis through a map of West Virginia - did you read that?"

    Reporter: "No."
  • During media interviews, refrain from teaching the journalist how to shoot an AK-47, and don’t pull out a hunting knife to trim your nails. These behaviors will not help with the urban vote.

  • I cringed a little while reading:
    He fires at a Styrofoam bear using his weapon of choice, a traditional bow and arrow. "Straight through the heart... dead bear," says Ted, as his heavily pitted target submits to yet another onslaught. "Both lungs... dead bear." The arrows, which he makes himself, keep flying. "Dead bear... dead bear... dead bear."
    I recommend that the next time you experience a maniacal bout, first ask any journalists to step outside the room. And, certainly avoid this type of behavior during a debate.

  • When a reporter asks:
    "What do these deer think when they see you coming?" …"Here comes the nice guy who puts out our dinner? Or, there's the man that shot my brother?"
    Reconsider your response:
    "I don't think they're capable of either of those thoughts, you Limey asshole. They're only interested in three things: the best place to eat, having sex and how quickly they can run away. Much like the French."
    I mean, just consider the heat that Arnold Schwarzenegger took from calling some legislators “girly men….”

  • The same can be said for your rather strongly stated philosophy:
    "Remember the movie Old Yeller? Everybody loved him. He brought us our slippers. We gave him cookies. But when Old Yeller gets rabies, you shoot him in the fucking head."
    This won’t play well among voters with young children--on a number of levels.

  • Finally, firing a .22 out of the window of your pick-up truck while shuttling members of the media may be constructive while running for office in Texas; however, voters in Michigan view this as falling outside the range of normal behaviors for a politician.

  • Foreign Policy

  • A well-formed foreign policy platform can be an asset in running for Governor of Michigan, but your statement that "[o]ur failure has been not to Nagasaki them [the Iraqi insurgents]," is just not really an appropriate start to such a platform.

  • As governor, your chief foreign policy issue will be trade. Saying that you "don't have to placate some Arab numb-nut because he holds all our fuel" doesn’t leave much room for trade negotiations.

  • You mentioned that you:
    "visited Saddam Hussein's master war room. It was a glorious moment. It looked like something out of Star Wars. I saw his gold toilet. I shit in his bidet."
    Certainly, the more conservative voter will be able to appreciate the rich metaphor of defecation on the “French throne” of the ex-dictator. However, scatological discussions are best avoided unless they somehow pertain to agricultural productivity.

  • Crime and Punishment

  • While being tough on crime is considered a positive attribute by Michigan voters, some might find disconcerting your statement:
    “I say if somebody robs you, shoot 'em. I'd like all thieves killed. And all rapists. And carjackers. No more graffiti. No more ‘snatch-pursing.’"
    At the very least, your suggestions of shooting graffitists will not play well with urban voters who would prefer to have fewer episodes of gun violence in the city.

  • Simple policy statements are always the most effective--especially with conservative voters. Even so, your statement
    "How do you get peace, love and understanding? First of all you have to find all the bad people. Then you kill them."
    will cause some voters to question your ability to work through complex issues.

  • I’m not sure you can refine the talking point:
    "I saw the riding crop. A lot. I felt it, I think, just once. But corporal punishment is real good. It teaches dogs not to shit on the couch."
    Consider leaving this out of future interviews.

  • Think about these points as your campaign progresses, Ted. With just a little refinement of your message (a little rephrasing here, a little behavioral modification there) I think there is an excellent chance that one day I will have the privilege of shaking the hand of the Governor of Michigan--the Governor who personally kills all the meat he eats.

    Yours verily,

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    We'll try dumping haloscan and see how it works.