09/04/2012 12:14 pm ET Updated Nov 04, 2012

Open Letter to the Obama Campaign: Do's and Don'ts for Charlotte

Dear Obama Campaign Peeps,

You know how, when national tragedies happen, you can't stop consuming coverage of the events? Midwest tornadoes, hurricanes near the Gulf, school shootings everywhere, all the time?

That's pretty much how I feel about the presidential election.

I mean, no offense, but there are lots of reasons to turn away: the blatant lies, the transparent folksy shticks, the shellacked hairdos and blinding red pantsuits.

And yet, I could not stop watching the Republican National Convention. I just couldn't! Most people, you and I both know, watched Paul Ryan for about two seconds before they had to leave the room, assaulting furniture and tweeting nonsense expletives on their way out. Meanwhile, I was gripped.

And it just doesn't seem right. Something should come of my otherwise useless absorption in Susana Martinez and Callista Gingrich.

I think you got the memo about not inviting Clint Eastwood and thinking twice when someone makes a last-minute request to the prop guy. But perhaps there are other lessons you can take from the RNC.

So, I thought I'd attempt to share some of my thoughts: things you may want to consider doing, and not doing, as you embark on your own national trag -- I mean, convention.


DO: Feature a schmaltzy video about the candidate's personal life that reinforces all sorts of false tropes about soulmates and heroism so expertly, one can't be sure whether the cameramen from Fox and MSNBC are tearing up out of warm, fuzzy feelngs or devastating sorrow that they don't measure up.

DON'T: Have the man who introduces the candidate be more than thirty times more charismatic than the candidate himself. (Not to mention have such great, youthful skin. Marco Rubio, the Aging Women of America would like a word.)

DO: Pass the candidate through a chain of rousing handshakes before his super-anticipated last night entry.

DON'T: Let him share a clumsy, unintended embrace with a Secret Service guy. (Did anyone else catch this? Soooooo awkward.)

DO: Appeal to women voters and non-whites by featuring them in a prominence far disproportionate to their roles within the party.

DON'T: Forget to spread the word that it's almost 2013, therefore about thirty years past the time when shoulder pads were cool.

DO: Make sure those empty seats are filled up!

DON'T: Forget to tell their inhabitants that texting-while-speeching doesn't play well in Florida.

DO: Tell a lot of stories about grandfathers who worked in coal mines and families who pulled themselves up by their very own, hand-crafted bootstraps.

DON'T: Remind viewers that the top of the ticket were both born into the kind of gilded wealth only a teensy fraction of Americans can begin to comprehend. Oh wait... wrong party! JK, JK. Carry on!

DO: Dispatch as many dolled-up, curly-haired children as possible to play with balloons at the end of the night.

DON'T: Forget to remind the public that you're running against a party that has nominated a man called Mitt. And, as much as some people aren't inclined to vote for a black president, there may be just as many of us who feel a tad squeamish about electing someone who may be the Whitest White Man of All Time.

And, that's all I got. Good thing you're running the show and not me.

Happy nominating!