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February 18, 2013 | 73 comments
Getting Barack ready for Oprah.
It’s been a tough year for the self-unemployed. I am one of them — one of the millions of free-lance writers and artists. A few days ago, I had a brainstorm: I would give the gift of gab to corporate executives who are worried about their year-end performance reviews. Most salary-men (and women) hate the task of having to evaluate their own performance. Aren’t we all taught as children not to go around telling everybody how great we think we are?
So I placed an ad in the New York Times which said:
Are you trying to climb the corporate ladder? Don’t make the same mistake that most of your colleagues do in writing their own performance assessments without professional help. With my help you will have a self-appraisal that shines like a mackerel in the moonlight. But it won’t stink. I write for leading magazines and newspapers, and I have done time in a corporate lockup that is just like the one that you inhabit. Trust me. I can help you on your most important writing assignment of the year.
Probably I italicized too many words there. It’s a habit I can’t seem to break. But at least I avoided the most common error in writing ad copy: I didn’t throw in too many exclamation points!!! For a cost of just $242, my ad ran the entire week of Dec. 6. By the end of the week, I had no fewer than eight calls from needy and nervous corporate executives.
I could see my little investment was going to pay off handsomely. Then things got really interesting. I got a call from the White House.
“This is Trevor Goodchild from the White House Office of Communications,” a voice said. “Is this the Andrew Wilson who placed the ad in the New York Times offering help on self-appraisals?”
“Please hold for Mr. Robert Gibbs, the press secretary. You will be his next call. He will be with you in two or three minutes.”
This gave me a chance to collect my thoughts. I could guess why Gibbs wanted my help. It seemed obvious. Like most of the corporate execs who called, he was worried about some of the stupid things he had said — only in Gibbs’ case, his gaffes became national news. Just the other day, he had laughed off the dumping of hundreds of thousands of highly-classified U.S. embassy cables into the public domain as a matter of no importance. He said of Wikileaks, “Our country is stronger than one guy with one website.… We should never be afraid of one guy who plopped down $35 and bought a web address. Our foreign policy is stronger than that. We’re not afraid of one guy with a keyboard and a laptop.”
Like hell we don’t care about “one guy with a website” who might tap into DOD’s computers and then decide he might just want to unloose the entire U.S. nuclear arsenal. Truly, a scary thought. Even so, if this were the only problem, I knew I could help Mr. Gibbs with his performance review. I will tell you what I was going to tell him. Here’s the secret. When you are doing your self-appraisal, you may own up to some bone-head mistakes, but you do so in a way that lets the boss know that he is not infallible either.
Then Gibbs came on the line.
“Hello, this is Robert Gibbs. Am I speaking to Andrew Wilson?”
“Good. I liked your ad and hope we can work together. May I call you Andy?”
“Please do. Hope you don’t mind if I call you Gibby. My favorite pitcher went by that nickname. And you and he have the same first name. Bullet Bob, they called him. Now listen, Gibby, you aren’t the first guy who’s tripped over his tongue. You know the old Japanese proverb — All trouble comes from the mouth. If this is about Wikileaks and some of the dumber things that you have said over the past year, you’ve come to the right place. I can help you.”
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?