SCENE: At the offices of Kornbluth Chadwick Communications – a big Democrat-leaning PR firm in Boston. A tastefully spare room furnished in the Danish style, with a full-height window overlooking downtown Boston, includes a number of people in just-ahead-of-the-fashion-curve PR-wear.
Hanna EPSTEIN-FAEGER, director of the firm’s political communications practice, sits at the head of a glass table and calls the meeting to order.
EPSTEIN-FAEGER: We’re here to find out what went wrong with the independent expenditure ad we did against Ted Cruz. Ruth?
Ruth LOWENSTEIN-NEDZVINSKI, an assistant project manager, picks up a sleek, buttonless remote, and presses “play”
EPSTEIN-FAEGER: I think we can all agree it was brilliant. Joshua?
Joshua-Micah KORN-FLEEBER, the ad’s producer – a slight man in a lumberjack beard wearing a “Feel The Bern” t-shirt under his hemp sports jacket, speaks up.
KORN-FLEEBER: That’s correct, Hanna. The ad includes all the things that we believe that the vast majority of voters respond to: belief in the need to reinterpret the Constitution, the throbbing desire throughout the country to repeal the Second Amendment and the traditional view of marriage and remove all reference to faith from public life – and, of course, Robert Reich himself.
LOWENSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI: Americans love Robert Reich!\
(Entire table nods assent)
EPSTEIN-FAEGER: And yet the focus groups, one after the other, showed that representative voters from west of the Hudson River and east of the Sierra Madre unanimously thought it was an ad for Ted Cruz?
KORN-FLEEBER: I’m sorry. I just don’t get it.
LOWESNSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI: One quote from one focus group said “this is a fiendish parody of the east-coast liberal echo chamber”.
EPSTEIN-FAEGER: The what?
LOWENSTEIN-NEDSVINSKI: No idea.
EPSTAIN-FAEGER: So – middle-Americans unanimously thought it was a pro-Cruz ad, and some thought it was a parody of how the left thinks?
EPSTEIN-FAEGER: I say it’s a blip in the data. Let’s run it!
(Everyone nods and gathers their notebooks, phones and tablets and moves to their next meeting)