by Jon Worley
"Just another case of a geek trying to imitate the popular people and failing miserably."
You just knew someone in the Bush Administration would come down with cancer once those folks saw how John Edwards' poll numbers jumped after his wife announced that her cancer had returned. Once again, though, the Prez bumbled the follow through. Tony Snow isn't continuing to work as he's being treated. He's taking a leave of absence to spend time with his family. What a wimp.
Actually, Snow's illness is something of a surprise change of strategy for the Prez and his pals. Most of the time, they're not copying the successes of others but rather implementing crazy new ideas that have little to no chance of working.
Whether ideas are new or pilfered, however, the botched execution is all too familiar. People are sorry that Elizabeth Edwards has had a recurrence of cancer, but the wide swath of good feeling that has flowed toward the Edwards campaign has some from her determination that the campaign must continue. Sure, there are plenty of folks on all sides of the punditry who question her decision, but the public at large seems to admire it. The simple fact is that Tony Snow blew this PR opportunity. He missed the message: We the people don't sympathize with cancer victims. We sympathize with cancer fighters.
So now what? The Prez's Snow-based cancer bubble has already popped. But since he's shown a willingness to follow rather than lead, perhaps he's casting about for some other public sympathy junkets. Let's see...
Chances are, though, the Prez would find a way to screw up these bullet-proof PR bonanzas. Rather than get assassinated, he'd decide to exit via auto-erotic strangulation. Or he'd lie about sex...with his wife. Or the Creepy Veep would start bleeding in his stomach--from ulcers. There's a delicate balance between eliciting sympathy and freaking people out. I'm not sure the Prez has figured that out yet.
Oh well. He's got three more years. Anything's possible.