Strategy documents from an eminent consultancy circulating in the highest level of political circles around the President of the United States and the Governor of California have recently come into my possession. Having properly vetted these memoranda, and with slight redaction for redundancy, I present them for your perusal.
TO: Hon. Barack Obama, President of the United States
FROM: Lucas North, The Starbright Group
SUBJECT: Correcting Your Disappointing Level of Support in the Principal Target Population
Whilst your recent trip to the Mideast had the salutary effect of brokering a new rapprochement between an increasingly isolated State of Israel and the Republic of Turkey, it does appear to have fallen decidedly short of the major goal, as defined by many commentators and wise media outlets such as Politico, of making you as popular in Israel as you are in other nations of the world, including the United States.
As you are aware from the teachings of your critics, your Presidency cannot be considered a success so long as you are not a popular figure in Israel.
Fortunately, the opportunity to correct this situation has presented itself.
After several exercises in scenario building, we believe that you must undertake steps to short circuit the criticism of you as insufficiently supportive of Israel. These steps will, we believe, constitute a quantum leap forward for your standing amongst the principal target population.
Prime Minister Netanyahu has repeatedly declared a nuclear-capable Iran to be an "existential threat" to his nation. Yet the PM has not taken the logical step which that assessment implies.
This provides you with a golden opportunity to vault forward in popularity in Israeli public opinion surveys.
You can best effectuate this through adoption of a new doctrine of containment through prevention.
Utilizing a series of carefully targeted low-yield nuclear strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities, United States forces will succeed in stopping the Iranian drive toward nuclear weapons capability in its tracks.
This combination of doctrinal innovation with measured yet decisive action will achieve your goal of popularity in the target population.
Potential repercussions in the form of so-called "blowback" are anticipated to be minimal. Long-term threats can be effectively deterred by another doctrinal innovation: Placing Israel formally under the USA's nuclear umbrella.
Your popularity amongst the principal target population will be assured.
TO: Hon. Jerry Brown, Governor of California
FROM: Lucas North, The Starbright Group
SUBJECT: Increasing the Pop Factor in Your Popularity
Next week, you will lead California's trade mission to China, your first major international trip in this, your third term as Governor of California. Whilst this journey contains all the usual potential rewards of increased export and foreign investment opportunity, we believe that the trip holds a special personal promise as well with the Obama Administration's increasing emphasis on its geopolitical pivot to the Asia-Pacific region.
As we have discussed previously, there was a time when you were the preeminent pop politician in the United States. That is to say, "pop" in the sense of consorting with the Princess of Pop, and pop in the sense of having the fizziest favorability rating on record. No one could ever be sure what you might say in the course of your public effervescences.
Your return to the Governorship of California, lo these many years later, is by most accounts a great success. Yet, as you know, something is missing.
That sense of pop. By which we at Starbright do not simply mean the ability to attract paparazzi.
You are a pragmatic figure now. You exercise restraint in your public comments to an unprecedented degree.
It is effective. But it is not very much fun.
What we at Starbright propose for you will return you to another dimension of public acclaim, a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, and a dimension of mind.
Just as your one-time guru E.F. Schumacher taught that small is beautiful, another of your economic guiding lights, Joseph Schumpeter, preached the doctrine of creative destruction.
This is what we propose for your trip to China.
Any governor of America's largest state, itself one of the world's largest economies, can undertake a trade mission to the wealthy and rising People's Republic. More exports, more foreign investment, these are matters of routine.
Your unique value-added is to stir things up, to bring out the contradictions, as Karl Marx would say.
When you are in Beijing, you must go to the spot in Tiananmen Square where the "Tank Man" confronted a column of People's Liberation Army tanks cracking down on student protesters for democracy on June 5, 1989.
Demand to know who he is, what became of him, and why the democracy movement was suppressed then and continues to be suppressed today.
When you are in Shanghai, go to the building that the New York and London press identify as the center of cyber-attacks by a unit of the PLA on targets around the world.
Demand to be admitted to the facility and allowed to inspect it.
You will have injected the "pop" back into your popularity at home.
The added bonus is that our projections indicate that new Chinese President Xi Jinping will be happy to shower your delegation members with trade deals as you all depart the PRC.
You can check things during the day on my site, New West Notes ... www.newwestnotes.com.