Dear madam yes­ter­day

The Covington News - - OPINION - ERICK ERICK­SON COLUM­NIST To find out more about Erick Erick­son, visit the Cre­ators Syn­di­cate Web page at www.cre­

Back in 1979, Ron­ald Rea­gan first an­nounced his in­ten­tions to run for of­fice by re­leas­ing a video. That is how it was done back then. It was not re­ally that much of a sur­prise that you would use yes­ter­day’s cam­paign tac­tic to de­clare your in­ten­tions last week.

Then you got in a van for a road trip. The press called it “spon­ta­neous.” Some mem­bers of the press re­ported your travel as you per­son­ally driv­ing to Iowa from New York. Ex­cept, Madam Yes­ter­day, you ad­mit­ted you had not driven your­self any­where since 1996. Your cars are sedans and chauf­feured; your planes are pri­vate; and your life­style is not ex­actly that of “woman of the peo­ple.” To your credit, this is the clos­est you have come to min­gling with the mid­dle class since fly­ing over them at 50,000 feet in a Gulf­stream to Davos.

What was most strik­ing about your van ride, other than not even pump­ing your own gas, was that it was not spon­ta­neous. De­spite Chuck Todd of NBC us­ing that word, this is the cam­paign tac­tic you de­ployed in 2000. The press doc­u­mented it back then. Even worse, this past week the press laughed that you were call­ing your van the “Scooby Van.” At your age, you may not re­mem­ber, but in 2000 you also called it the “Scooby Van.” So much for spon­ta­neous orig­i­nal­ity.

More trou­bling is that your events are so tightly scripted. The Daily Mail re­ports you wanted to ap­pear to meet “or­di­nary” Iowans, so your cam­paign staff cleared out a cof­fee house and stocked it with pre-ap­proved Demo­cratic op­er­a­tives. Then, last Wed­nes­day, you told the story of your grand­par­ents im­mi­grat­ing to the United States. The only prob­lem is that your grand­mother did not im­mi­grate to the United States. Per­haps though, like you, she took sniper fire land­ing in Bos­nia.

Your tightly scripted, shal­low cam­paign style is rem­i­nis­cent of Soviet era cam­paigns, an­other some­thing from yes­ter­day. You have avoided the press, know­ing they would oblige you with saint­hood any­way. Last week, do­ing your best im­pres­sion of a com­moner, you en­tered a Chipo­tle restau­rant in Ohio. Star­ing at your phone, no doubt check­ing email, and wear­ing over­sized dark sun­glasses, you or­dered a bur­rito bowl.

Frankly, Madam Yes­ter­day, I was a bit stunned that in your cam­paign swing to meet or­di­nary Amer­i­cans, you did not talk to the staff, tip them or let them take pho­to­graphs. In fact, I am pretty sure they had no idea who you were. The manager of the restau­rant did not even know you were there un­til the New York Times called and he pulled se­cu­rity footage. How very com­mon of you.

Nonethe­less, Politico wrote a thou­sand-word pro­file on the per­son who made your bur­rito bowl. Again, you may shun them, block them, run from them, hide from them and hire them, but the Amer­i­can press corp is go­ing to be in your pocket. They have thus far given more cov­er­age to your highly scripted AstroTurf cam­paign for pres­i­dent in one week than they have to any of the de­clared Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates.

Bor­row­ing a ref­er­ence from the past, so that you might un­der­stand it, I main­tain that you will be the Jim Hen­son of the Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal press for the next eigh­teen months. Your hand will be so far up their back­side, you’ll be able to move their fin­gers across key­boards and their lips into mi­cro­phones. They will write and say what­ever you want.

But, Madam Yes­ter­day, in truth there is some­thing else you must know. It is a ques­tion that ex­plains why your cam­paign is so con­trolled, so or­ches­trated and keep­ing ac­tual vot­ers as far from you as pos­si­ble un­less you have vet­ted them. It must ex­plain why in three days af­ter declar­ing his can­di­dacy Marco Ru­bio did in­ter­views with just about ev­ery ma­jor press out­let and you have failed to do a sin­gle one.

Madam Yes­ter­day, when your hus­band ran for pres­i­dent he cam­paigned for a “bridge to the 21st cen­tury.” So hav­ing crossed that bridge, why oh why must we go back to yesteryears to elect yes­ter­day’s can­di­date to lead us into to­mor­row?

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