Republican to-do checklist:
1) Pooh-pooh all the talk about a war on women.
“If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars, and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars,” said the Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, during a week when a USA Today/Gallup poll found Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney among women in key swing states by 18 points.
This comment was extremely unsettling. What was it that made Priebus think about caterpillars? At least if you mess with women, women can fight back. We’re already losing all the bees, and the bats are in trouble. We do not want these people picking on caterpillars at all.
2) Seek out news about the mood of the womenfolk.
“My wife has the occasion, as you know, to campaign on her own and also with me, and she reports to me regularly that the issue women care about most is the economy,” Mitt told a meeting of editors in Washington this week.
It sounded as if Ann Romney was, say, a native of Turkmenistan who had occasion to return to her native people and bring her husband back word of their hopes and concerns.
3) Make Rick Santorum get out of the race.
This is becoming a Republican obsession, and I am sure it will be a hot topic of conversation at Easter and Passover dinners, when American families will get together and express their amazement at the news that Rick Santorum is still running for something.
4) Keep Mitt on script.
The other day Romney reacted spontaneously to a comment by David Plouffe, an Obama adviser, that Mitt was the “godfather” of the individual mandate in health care reform.
“If I’m the godfather of this thing, then it gives me the right to kill it,” Romney said.
Think about that for a minute. What do you think he was going for there? A Mafia metaphor? Romney also tossed in a mention of Rumpelstiltskin, so maybe either a Mafia metaphor or some sort of weird fairy-tale image? (“I am your evil fairy godfather, and I am putting you into a coma from which you will never awake. Especially since your health insurance expired.”)
5) Watch the Masters golf tournament.
But not with approval! “Don’t you think it’s time Augusta National joined the 21st century — or the 20th — and allowed women members?” tweeted John McCain. (O.K., possibly not personally. Possibly tweeted by a minion on behalf of John McCain.)
“If I could run Augusta, which isn’t likely to happen, of course, I’d have women,” said Romney.
There are two ways to look at this. One is that this is another sign of an increased gender consciousness in the Republican ranks, albeit a teensy-weensy, poll-driven one. Another is that it is heartening that the whole men-only-golf-club thing now seems so pathetic, even the Republican high command wants to steer away from it.
Although, in that case, somebody had better tell John Boehner to ditch his.
6) Prepare for the next big primaries.
“On April 24 — is that — what day is April 24? Is that a Tuesday?” Mitt asked the crowd at a rally this week. “It’s a Tuesday! I need you to — it’s not that coming Tuesday. It’s the one after that, or is it the one after that? It’s the one after that!”
As Mario Cuomo said, we campaign in poetry, govern in prose.
7) Prepare for the convention.
Which will be held in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 27. Where, in the name of safety, the City Council is attempting to ban water guns from the area around the coliseum but is prohibited by Florida state law from banning handguns. Sure looking forward to Tampa.
8) Try to figure out what to do for the four months in between. That’s enough time to run an entire season of a TV series.
Star Trek, the Mitt Generation — A time machine takes Romney 100 years into the future, where Newt Gingrich is plotting his next political comeback.
Romney Top Chef — Ann impresses the judges with Mitt’s favorite meal of meatloaf cakes with catsup and brown sugar.
Undercover Boss Reunion Show — Mitt goes back to visit workers who were laid off after Bain Capital bought their factories and discovers that every one of them is doing great.
The Amazing Race: Michigan — Team Romney overcomes a Roadblock in which Tagg is challenged to measure the height of the trees.
Republican Swamp People — The Romneys move to the Everglades in an effort to woo the swing state of Florida. Excitement ensues when Mitt tries to drive to a rally with an alligator strapped to the roof of the car.
By: Gail Collins, Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times, April 6, 2012