To: Administration Political Appointees
From: Karl Rove
Re: How to Pleasure the President
In light of the recent unpleasantness in the media, a number of you 3,000 political appointees have contacted my office. Your message is that you understand full well that you serve at the pleasure of the President, but -- based on the examples of the Eight Who Shall Not Be Named -- you're just not sure exactly HOW to pleasure the President.
I applaud your initiative. As you have clearly recognized, in order to be a US Attorney, say, or a special assistant to a deputy assistant secretary of HUD, it is not enough just to be a Republican, or even a movement conservative who believes that abortion is murder, global warming is a hoax, evolution is a scam, God belongs in the schools, the gays belong in rehab, and the poor belong in poverty. No, you have correctly realized that your impeccable credentials are not sufficient in themselves to pleasure the President.
So what's a political appointee to do?
First, for the purposes of this discussion, assume that I am the President. Some of you may have the privilege of working directly with POTUS, but for the vast majority of you throughout the Federal government, when you talk about the pleasure of the President, you're talking about the pleasure of Karl.
Second, never underestimate the importance of nice clothes, a sharp haircut, and the value of staying in shape. My assistant Timothy Griffin, for example, made such a strong personal impression on me that I've fast-tracked him for a big rise in his career.
Third, as you go about your business, never forget that government is bad. Your job is to provide the American people as many occasions as you can to mistrust federal agencies, despise government programs, hate public employees, and conclude that there is no good reason to pay taxes. The press may have had a lot of fun with Brownie, but the truth is that, as far as this White House is concerned, he DID do "a heckuva job" for FEMA.
Fourth, knowledge is power. Know your talking points. Start your day by reading The Washington Times, and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. Watch Fox. Listen to Rush. You can never go wrong by repeating what you hear there.
Fifth, if you do find yourself in the presence of POTUS, let go of your own ego. Just as Simon Cowell appreciates contestants who enjoy his light banter, the President always takes a shine to someone with a flair for humiliation. He can size you up in an instant. A bald pate, a hare lip, a prominent nose, a five-syllable word, a melanoma: if he singles you out for a colorful nickname, let him know how much you appreciate it.
Sixth, know that a "performance problem" is not a stigma. It can happen to anyone. If it happens to you, realize that it is out of your control. The best thing you can do is put yourself in God's hands, and mine.
Seventh, if you should be informed that your efforts to pleasure the President have been inadequate, refrain from asking questions such as, "Why me?", "What did I do?", "Who made the decision?", "Can I have another chance?", or "What are you wearing?" Instead, the best thing to do is emulate the behavior of a true disciple. Ask yourself, "What would Scooter do?" In fact, a WWSD bracelet is an accessory that goes with everything.
Eighth, with the exception of Jeff Gannon, the press is not your friend. Disappointment is a normal human emotion, but a reporter's shoulder is not the place to cry. In the great locker room of life, if you find that you need a hug, turn to your own teammates. If you are tempted to turn elsewhere, just say these names to yourself: Joe Wilson. Paul O'Neil. Richard Clarke. Eric Shinsheki. Sibyl Edmonds. If it happened to them, it can happen to you.
Ninth, the Congress is not your friend. And I'm talking Republicans here, people, not Democrats. If Pete Domenici and Heather Wilson can turn on you, what do you think Mitch McConnell and John Boehner might do? If you've got a sob story to tell, tell it to your pillow.
Tenth, ix-nay on the she-talk. Professional standards always apply in the office. "What's HER problem?" is never the right response to constructive criticism from me, even if it's said under your breath to a co-worker.
I hope these ten little commandments will prove helpful to you as we head toward the finish line of the best Administration ever.