He’d interpret it later. Right now the important thing was to get on with the campaign.
“I need an issue I can double down on,” he told his marketing guy, someone identified in the organizational chart as the Traditional Values Articulator.
“There’s a lot of hidden potential in your tax returns,” mused the TVA. “Voters wish they knew how to get incredibly rich without doing any work and pay 15 percent in taxes. How about, ‘The Buzz from the Caymans Is Spreading Across America. He’s One Smart Dude.’”
That seemed a little wordy to the candidate, and he sensed other problems too. He asked his aide to keep thinking.
“You could throw in with the Birthers,” said the TVA. “You’ve been light on the pedal with that one.”
“It’s not that I don’t believe the president was born somewhere along the Kenya/Indonesia frontier,” said the candidate. “I mean, of course I don’t believe it. But it’s not that. It’s that my father was born in Mexico. And he ran for president.”
“And no one cared?”
“No one cared that he was Mormon either,” said the candidate forlornly. “It was a different time.”
“I still say ‘Polygamists don’t cheat on their wives’ could make one hell of a difference for you here in Florida.”
But the candidate wanted to go in a different direction.
“I don’t know why everybody laughed at ‘self-deportation,’” he said. “It seems like an awfully strong concept to me. It’s succinct. It’s civil. It’s full of good old-fashioned Republican volunteerism. And best of all, it respects the dignity of illegals. It says to them ‘You know you’re not wanted here so why don’t you go back where you came from?” in the nicest possible way.
The TVA was intrigued by the possibilities.
“There could be other applications,” he offered. “You could tell the Democrats that if they want to live in a left-wing police state why don’t they just self-deport themselves to Zimbabwe? Or you might explain away the millions of dollars in capital gains you simply chose to self-deport to Swiss banks.”
The candidate liked what he heard. “Now that you mention it,” he said, “I can’t understand why the president decided to boast about pulling the army out of Iraq and Afghanistan. Who can respect a once-great nation that slinks away? If I were president I’d say that our overseas forces were engaged in a routine self-deportation procedure.”
“The president’s a nincompoop,” said the TVA.
The candidate knew that. He glanced again at the drawing on his notepad. What did it mean? What was his subconscious trying to tell him?