06/17/2005 09:10 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

John Bolton's Next Move: The Charm Offensive

With John Bolton's confirmation as U.N. ambassador once again on hold, conservative forces are scrambling to put together a strategy to help the perpetually embattled nominee turn the tide. Solution: it’s all about marketing. What Bolton needs to do is mount a good old-fashioned publicity campaign, one designed to win the hearts and minds of ordinary Americans. A few predictions:

CHILDREN’S TELEVISION: In a perfect gesture of quid pro quo, Bolton appears on an episode of Sesame Street, instantly softening his image while helping the beleaguered PBS establish new conservative bona fides. Segments include Bolton’s musical homage to the letters W, M and D; a scowl-off with Oscar the Grouch; and a charming duet with Kermit the Frog entitled, “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Mean.”

PRIME TIME: Bolton pitches a sitcom to CBS President Les Moonves, who is desperately looking to fill the shoes of departing prime-time ratings champ, Ray Romano. Everybody Hates Bolton takes a self-deprecating look at the former State Department Undersecretary’s chaotic domestic life, including a hilarious episode in which he handles his meddling mother once and for all by sending her on a cruise -- to Guantanamo Bay.

BOOKS: Hunkering down with his laptop, Bolton churns out a trifecta of quickie page-turners tailored to appeal to a cross-section of American readers, including: Tuesdays With Morons, an inspiring memoir detailing Bolton’s weekly staff meetings at the State Department; Sycophancy for Dummies: A Kick-Down, Kiss-Up Guide to Getting Ahead; and the self-help manual, Whoever Moved My Cheese Better Put it the Hell Back or Your Ass is Outta Here.

INTERNET: Hoping to foster cyber-goodwill, Bolton launches, an all-John-all-the-time web site featuring an interactive “Confirm John” game, a “Bully Blog,” and the site’s popular chat nook, “Bolton’s Berate Room.”

LAS VEGAS: Luring the convalescing Roy Horn out of involuntary retirement, Bolton guest stars in a Siegfried & Roy spectacular at the Mirage hotel, sporting a star-spangled leotard and plumed headdress, while facing off with a white tiger. In the show’s grand finale, the veteran animal trainers take turns putting their heads in Bolton’s mouth. PETA immediately decries the stunt as inhumane -- to Siegfried & Roy.

MUSIC: Politics makes strange bedfellows, as Bolton joins up with noted red state musicians Ted Nugent, Brooks and Dunn, and Britney Spears to record a new video-single entitled We Are The World (And Don’t You Forget It). Bruce Willis narrates the exclusive behind-the-scenes footage on the DVD edition, which includes a clip of Bolton dropping his pants and showing Alice Cooper the “I ♥ the U.N.” tattoo on his left buttock. (All proceeds from sales of the DVD go to the Tom DeLay Defense Fund.)

MERCHANDISE: Bolton corners the t-shirt-bumper sticker-coffee mug market with a cleverly whiskered spin on the classic “Have a Nice Day” logo. Sales skyrocket, and People magazine immediately declares Bolton’s trademark upper-lip hair “Sexiest Mustache of All Time,” surpassing those of Rollie Fingers, Charlie Chaplin and Frida Kahlo.
Bolton Smiley JPG.jpg

-- Bruce Kluger and David Slavin write satire for National Public Radio