Jacqueline Cartier: Playbook for new presidents | TheUnion.com
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Jacqueline Cartier: Playbook for new presidents

As a citizen of the United States, I truly wish our president-elect the best of luck and huge success. We must all remember that we are Americans first and political party members somewhere down the list. Just like in families, we may have internal squabbles, but if attacked from the outside, we stand solidly behind “our guy” because while we may object to certain personalities, we have immense respect for the office and the sacrifices made by those who came before us.

The subsequent paragraphs are filled with extemporaneous sarcasm, my native language:

It has been a number of years since I worked for a president, and I’ve noticed that the rules have changed. As newbies to feigned outrage, we must follow the 2016 Democrat playbook, updated for 2020. It includes details on how to welcome and support a new president of the opposing party.



First, we must be infuriated at a “rigged election.” It doesn’t matter if there is proof or not, we must be indignant about how the election is fraudulent, invalid and stolen, shouting chants about how “he” is not “our” president and making sure well-known has-beens go on speaking tours tearfully proclaiming injustice.

Second, we must insist that the election was fixed by foreign interference; evidence is optional. It will be called collaboration rather than collusion because we mustn’t offend the new cooperative alliance. Last time it was Russia, but that is so 2016.



Red is this year’s color of choice, and we’re not talking MAGA hats. This shade of red has us dancing with China. And unlike the Republican president, the Democrat, via his immediate family, actually did rake in millions of dollars from questionable foreign sources, making the accusations much more entertaining for those endless televised inquisitions.

Meanwhile, the transition team is busy creating a “For Sale” sign from the remnants of unused factory buildings and drafting a creative listing for Zillow, which excludes the actual structure of 1600 Pennsylvania, yet buyers are well aware of its hidden value. The open house is scheduled for Jan. 20.

Third, we must begin massive investigations immediately. Nothing says welcome to the White House like a subpoena. Inaugural invitations must include a list of defense attorneys, instructions on how to respond to no-knock raids, and photos of their new bling … adjustable steel bracelets.

Fourth, the official White House welcoming committee must include FBI agents (for your security, of course), who offer compassion and assistance regarding any concerns, taking copious notes, infused with confidential snarky comments, as they engage in a warm and friendly tete-a-tete/interrogation (tomato, to-mah-to), while gathering charming tidbits of trivia/evidence (tomato, to-mah-to), for a future surprise party/congressional hearing (tomato, to-mah-to) hosted by a secret admirer/special counsel (tomato, to-mah-to).

Fifth and most important, the gift that keeps on giving … impeachment. Same tune, different orchestra. The prologue is written by the welcoming committee, with subsequent acts structured around selectively edited diplomatic conversations and scenes featuring dramatic sneak attacks on staff, friends, and family, followed by a chorus of prior business dealings examined with the thoroughness of a proctologist, culminating in a full censorship of media communications timed perfectly with an upcoming election. The epilogue is still being written.

All truth that contradicts the preconceived narrative will be thoroughly reported/buried (tomato, to-mah-to) by the major news outlets and social media platforms.

Welcome to the White House, Mr. President … let the games begin.

Jacqueline Cartier is CEO of Winning Images, a public affairs firm specializing in communications and crisis management, serving government and corporate clients both here and abroad. Cartier is also a newspaper columnist, magazine publisher, and author who has worked on public policy and controversial issues from the White House to local jurisdictions.


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