Our Rick Perry Anti-Redemption Edition

As you splendid readers might – or more likely might not – remember, the hardworking staff recently noted The Weekly Standard’s rehab job on lame duck Gov. Rick Perry (R-Oops), who once again has presidential ambitions.

(Far more convincing – and entertaining – was Matt Labash’s rehab job on Louisiana legend Edwin Edwards, which ran in the same edition of the Standard.)

Regardless, here’s the flipside of Rick Perry, compliments of Amy Davidson’s piece in the July 28 New Yorker about the influx of Central American children across U.S. borders. Leading Republicans like (Cryin’) John Boehner and Ted Cruz (Control) have pushed back at Pres. Obama’s call for $3.7 billion to shelter the children and facilitate immigration hearings and deportations.

But, Davidson reports:

Other Republicans have gone further, suggesting that the surge of immigrants is part of a plot. Governor Rick Perry, of Texas, who has been using the crisis to reassert himself as a national figure, following his disastrous 2012 Presidential campaign, said, “We either have an incredibly inept Administration or they’re in on this somehow,” invoking a theory that children were being lured into the country so that they would grow up to be Democratic voters—agents of a President whose own Americanness has never been accepted by many in the Republican base.


Or words to that effect.

Maybe, contrary to Fred Barnes’s assertions in his mash note to Perry, the Texan hasn’t made very much progress after all.

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The Weekly Standard, Redemption Issue (Rick Perry/Edwin Edwards Edition)

From our Late to the Comeback Party desk

Last week’s issue of The Weekly Standard featured a pair of Act Two political characters – one failed, one jailed –  auditioning for the 2014 Comeback Kid designation.

Start with Fred Barnes’s take on Rick Perry, Version 2.0.

Google has not been kind to Rick Perry. Type in “Rick Perry gaffe” and you get 111,000 results. Google also offers “searches related to Rick Perry gaffe.” These include “Rick Perry drunk speech, Rick Perry oops, Rick Perry gaffe YouTube, Rick Perry gaffe debate .  .  . Rick Perry video, Rick Perry forgets department, Rick Perry debate gaffe.”

It’s a neat package of stories, videos, and political humor at WELL.v19-43.July28.Barnes.GaryLockePerry’s expense that covers everything that went wrong in his bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. The campaign was so dreadful it earned Perry, 64, a reputation as poorly informed and slow-witted. He was left for dead, politically speaking.

Rick Perry is no longer dead. He is alive, well, and hyperactive as a national political figure. He’s now a leading candidate to be the GOP presidential nominee in 2016, assuming he runs. He has admirers in the media. Jennifer Rubin, the hard-to-please blogger for the Washington Post, wrote recently: “The media and voters are seeing a Rick Perry largely absent in the 2012 race—shrewd, self-possessed, competent and calm.”

Well, we’ll be the judge of that, won’t we?

Meanwhile, meander east a bit and you bump into a profile by the redoubtable Matt Labash of classic Louisiana politician Edwin Edwards, former governor/prison inmate of the Pelican State, who is once again running for high office.

Conviction Politician

Out of prison, with a new wife and infant son, Edwin Edwards, 86, hits the campaign trail again

Gonzales, La.
The last time I saw Edwin Edwards, he was breaking the law. It was 14 years ago, in the cafeteria of the Russell B. Long federal courthouse in Baton Rouge, where a portrait of Russell’s dad Huey—the Kingfish himself—kept watch over the lobby. At the WELL.v19-43.July28.Labash-1.TWS-MattLabashbuilding’s ribbon-cutting several years earlier, Edwards, who was then in the last of his four nonconsecutive terms as emperor/governor of Louisiana (and who is now running for Congress), had joked that the ceremony was “my first invitation to a federal courthouse not delivered by U.S. marshals.”

Like all his best lines—and Edwards always had the best lines (on his electoral chances: The only way I can lose .  .  . is if I’m caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy; on his deliberative competitor: Dave Treen is so slow, it takes him an hour-and-a-half to watch 60 Minutes)—the one at his courthouse christening was dark, perfectly timed, and rooted in truth.

(And don’t forget the classic bumper sticker in his 1991 gubernatorial bakeoff with KKK poobah David Duke: Vote for the lizard, not the wizard.)

As usual, the rest of the piece is an un(L)abashed joy to read.

You’re welcome.

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Totally Opaque Ad o’ the Day (Alvaro Noboa Edition)

From our Whiskey Tango Foxtrot desk

The hardworking staff has long had a soft spot for ads run by civilians in the New York Times. But this one takes the cake.

From Friday’s Times, page A10:


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Do you understand a single word of that?

Us neither.

(Q: How many lawyers can fit on the head of a pen? A: Uh, we need to make a phone call.)

So the headscratching staff dutifully plugged Alvaro Noboa into the Googletron and here’s what came back:


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So we went to Google News and got this:


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Our Spanish is a little rusty (Latin for “nonexistent”), but something’s going on here, yeah?

Let us know if you know something we don’t.

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Boston Globe Scribe Don Aucoin’s Son Also Rises in WSJ

Don Aucoin, whose fine theater criticism graces the Boston Globe on a regular basis, must be bustin’ his buttons over this piece in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal.

Portrait of a Prodigy

Is Matthew Aucoin the Next Leonard Bernstein?

Most 4-year-olds going to visit their grandparents in Florida while away the flight kicking the seat in front of them. Matt Aucoin spent the trip composing “Cloud Symphony.”

His scribbled notes for the short classical piece were hard to decipher but the music—his first composition—sounded the same every time he played it on the piano. “It was lovely. A little BN-DR398_0714ma_GR_20140714113656ethereal,” his mother, Carol Iaciofano Aucoin, recalls.

The wiry tyke with greenish-gold eyes went on to bang out Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” on a toy piano at age 6; two years later, after the first performance of one of his orchestral works, he took his bow perched atop a chair. At age 11, he played “The Marriage of Figaro” from start to finish by heart, leading strangers to assume he was sitting at a player piano. Around the same time, he wrote his first opera based on the magical animals in a children’s book.

Now 24, Matthew Aucoin (oh-COIN) has become one of the most sought-after young voices in classical music . . .

Dad turns up deep inside the flattering two-and-a-half-page (!) feature:

When Matt became fascinated by churches, his father, Don Aucoin, drove him around Boston so he could sketch them.

We’re guessing Don Aucoin is more than happy to play second fiddle to his son in this – or any other – case.

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G.M. Hits (Like a) Rock Bottom

General Motors as it once was:



General Motors as it now is (via Wednesday’s New York Times full-page ad):

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Body copy:

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Got that? Your house key = death trap if you’re driving a “vehicle involved in the ignition recall.”

Hey, G.M. – could you get any vaguer?

Not surprisingly, the ad also doesn’t mention this Page One upper right (power position!) piece in the same edition of the Times.

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Next, we’re guessing, comes G.M.’s full-page Times ad with the headline, Use no key.

Youse, sadly, heard it here first.

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Politico Pimps Out Its Daily Tipsheets to Advertisers

From its inception, Politico has pursued one objective: to win the morning. Toward that end, the (mostly) online publication has launched an armada of daily tipsheets.


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For some time now, those daily digests have featured embedded advertising along these lines (from the 7/15/14 Politico Playbook):

** A message from JPMorgan Chase & Co.: In May, we committed $100M to support Detroit’s recovery. Two months later, $20M is already being put to work. One of our initial investments will help a nonprofit community lender provide rehab loan financing for residents who bid in the city’s home auction –helping to bring Detroit’s neighborhoods back to life. Learn more http://bit.ly/1k8wcJs **

The double asterisk is Politico code for “advertisement.”

But the selling no longer stops there. Consider this advert creep in Politico’s Morning Score.

First, the usual:

** Katz Radio Group is your one-stop media partner. No other company can match the massive reach, local targeting abilities and effectiveness of Katz Radio Group. Timing is everything in an election. Let Katz Radio Group give you the reach and speed you need to effectively deliver your message. Contact: Patrick.McGee@katzradiogroup.com **

Then, the unusual:

** Want to Reach Voters? Time to Get Personal. Special Report by Pat McGee, SVP Political Strategies for Katz Radio Group

Radio is personal. According to Nielsen, more than 90% of Americans spend nearly three hours every day listening to Radio. That’s a huge amount of time spent with 9 out of 10 in any age group: millennials, moms, Hispanics, empty nesters — and yes, voters.

Research also shows 93% of radio’s massive audience hears commercial spots when they air, without delay or skipping. For political advertisers, there is no better way to make an immediate impact and influence voters than through radio’s enormous reach and local targeting abilities.

When you ask someone what their favorite radio station is, they almost always have an answer. Your favorite radio station reflects who you are and what you care about most. Radio inspires, it influences and it brings communities together.

If you want to reach voters where their neighborhood is and their passion lives, let Katz Radio Group, your one-stop media partner, deliver your story one market at a time to millions of voters across the country.

Contact: Patrick.McGee@katzradiogroup.com **

That’s Politico totally pimping out their editorial space.

Then there’s this, from Politico’s Capital Playbook (it appears in the email version, but not on the web):

** Capital Playbook reader survey: We need your feedback! Will you click on the link below and complete a short reader survey? It will take less than a minute to complete, no personally identifiable information will be collected, and all responses are confidential. Thanks for your participation, and your continued, loyal readership!! Take Survey **

Think that might be a paid placement? Here’s the top of the survey:

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 12.01.03 AM

Don’t know about nuclear energy, but pretty sure stealth marketing is an important component of Politico’s advertising mix. (Extra credit: “Mike Allen, native advertising pioneer.” WashPost’s Erik Wemple here, the hardworking staff here.)

Politico’s editorial credibility?

You tell us.

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The Pimping Out of Fenway Park

Yesterday the hardtsking staff noted the new Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy Boardroom at Fenway Park, available for $6500-$9500 a pop. And we promised to call Brendan Hankard – Manager, Premium Sales and Services – to discuss the finer points of pimping out Fenway Park.

But we didn’t, for reasons that are too boring to enumerate.

We did, however, come across these other Fenway selling points:

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You can sample them all here.

Yes yes – we know: Every sports venue does the same . . . and more. Our question: Is there anything the Red Sox wouldn’t sell?

We’ll definitely ask Mr. Hankard later today.

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It Was a (Gosling’s) Dark ‘n Stormy Night Game at Fenway

From our Late to the Corporate Party desk

The hardworking staff knows as well as anyone that everything is for sale to marketers these days (see Michael J. Sandel’s definitive 2012 Atlantic piece here), but this ad in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal kind of took us aback.




First off, do you really want your board meeting to be Dark ‘n Stormy?

Second off, is there any part of John Updike’s lyric little bandbox that isn’t for sale now?

Third off, does it have to be sold to a liquor company?

We’ll be calling Brendan Hankard – Manager, Premium Sales and Services – later today to discuss the finer points of pimping out Fenway Park.

Meanwhile, got $9,500?

Us neither.

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Why the New York Times Is a Great Newspaper (LeBron James Edition)


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Why the Wall Street Journal Is a Great Newspaper (Andrew Marvell Edition)

This weekend’s installment of the Wall Street Journal’s excellent Masterpiece series examines “To His Coy Mistress” (c. 1650s) by Andrew Marvell.

First, Marvell’s marvelous poem (via the Poetry Foundation):

To His Coy Mistress

by Andrew Marvell

Had we but world enough and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down, and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust;
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapped power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

Now, the Journal:

‘Carpe Diem’ in 46 Immortal Lines

The most marvelous seduction poem in the English language combines the logical precision of the mathematician with the wit of a courtier and passion of a lusty lover. Andrew Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” has wowed a regiment of English majors, generations of suitors and their valentines since it was written 3 1/2 centuries ago. T.S. Eliot liked it so much that he raided it twice, lifting an image for “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and lampooning a couplet in “The Waste Land.”RV-AN867_MASTER_G_20140711173629

Marvell (1621-1678), one of the great mystery men of English letters, lived a shadowy life on the continent that led to speculation that he was a spy or double agent. An avid fencer, he impressed his friend John Milton with his command of foreign languages. For 20 years he served as a member of Parliament. His poems operate on “metaphysical” conceits, metaphors exquisitely spun out. Some of the poems achieve a maximum of intellectual complexity and ambiguity.

“To His Coy Mistress,” though, is aggressively straightforward, New School professor David Lehman writes in the Journal.  “It mounts the carpe diem, or ‘seize the day,’ argument that neatly falls into a dialectic you can summarize in 11 words: ‘If we had forever—but we don’t; therefore, let’s do it.'”

Nut graf:

The poem pivots memorably, decisively, at the start of stanza two: “But at my back I always hear / Time’s winged chariot hurrying near.” (This is the couplet that haunted Eliot.) The tone moves speedily from jovial to threatening . . .

For the rest, carpe Journal.

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