Campaign Ideas

Wednesday, November 03 2004

Last night while watching two men who spent a heap of money each and who had spent the last year or so trying to convince other people that they were the men for the job, a thought, or more like a formulation came into my mind.

Presidential candidates from 2000 and on have and will continue to nearly tie each other unless some kind of secret campaigning strategy is employed by one of the candidates that truly tips the scales in their favor. Because I know that future presidential candidates and their campaign managers, or even supporters, don’t read my site, I can reveal the following ideas while still keeping them secret for future use.

1. Future Presidential Candidates (FPC) can gain a competitive edge by endorsing all manner of product, for free. Imagine if it had happened for yesterday’s election. “Hello, I’m John Kerry, and I implore you to take a nibble of this Reese’s Peanut Butter cup. Simply divine. Vote for me in ’04.” Note that the last sentence would be squeezed in “legal terms fast speak”. If American Idol can get more people to vote for it than America can for a President, surely endorsing scrumptious candy would help.

2. If the growth rate of campaign fund trends continue (almost doubling every election)*, the 2016 election would be a good one to invent the cash cannon for. Picture a bazooka loaded with cash, and teams of campaign volunteers who fire it out of car windows at random pedestrians while yelling “Vote for Schwartz!” [though the Schwartz I’m thinking of likely wouldn’t try this idea]. Invent the money mortar while you’re at it to help spread the funds around even more. At current rates you could fire wads of $133 at random if you hoped to “influence” 14,520,000 constituents. This idea is risky, but if that was your only tactic, I’m sure that might win some points from someone somewhere.

  • Starting with Bush vs. Gore in 2004: $138.1M vs $71.8M, Bush vs. Kerry in 2004: $242M vs $223.4M. If campaigns nearly doubled what Bush spent each election, in 2016 candidates would spend nearly $1.9B. 14M is a number I picked at random, thinking it might be close to 20% of 250M (my guess at US population in 2016). I was close. It’s 17%, a healthy number to shoot for.

3. In 2010 a secret R&D group will stumble upon the perfect voice recognition algorithm, capable of running on cheap Pentium 4’s. Another secret R&D group will perfect voice synthesis. They’ll join forces and spend the next 4 years programming a truly artificially intelligent application that will be able to joke, gossip, listen to your deepest concerns and be as consoling and attentive as anyone ever could be. For the entire two years leading up to the election, the candidate who controls this secret technology will unleash perfectly intelligent robot minions of himself to call people on the telephone, win over their friendship and loyalty by calling regularly and asking how the kids are doing and did the dog get paper trained yet and oh you got a paper cut just now doesn’t that suck. They’ll never know it was a robot. The robots will continue to operate when the candidate is elected to keep ratings high, and ensure the reelection.

4. In 2024, the once secret R&D groups will reveal the scandal, admit they were behind all the nice phone calls, and suggest that they, as a independent entity, be able to run as President, using their vast array of upgraded PowerMac G10 Quantum Inside chips to calculate the best possible solution to any presidential problem.

5. In 2028, the once secret R&D group, now known as Muffin Man, will slip up in the lab, and a lavender (not gray, to everyone’s disbelief and confusion) goo will dissemble every human being on the planet and reassemble them into Tootsie rolls, which will be used to power the new leader of the free world’s nano assembly plants. We don’t know what happens beyond that, because of the initial disassembly bit.