Dear Mr. Sullivan and Ms. Brown:
Ann and I would like to thank you for the overly generous gift. We can not fully express our gratitude for the depiction of President Obama as the “first gay president” with a rainbow halo over his head — golly gee, we had a good guffaw over that. You just don’t know what it means to us.
Up front let me say, I share the horror of my liberal friends in the use of wedge social issues to inflame the electorate and divert attention from the big issues of our time. I mean you guys keep telling us, writing books about Kansas and so on, and giving conservatives the what-for over resorting to issues that are highly divisive and really more rhetorical than anything. (I mean, it’s not like the president is going to do anything about gay marriage.) So I know devoting a cover and major story on the subject of one of these hot-button, culture war issues was a great burden, leaving yourselves open to allegations of gross hypocrisy. I tip my hat to you.
But really, to characterize the president as the first “gay president” was an unexpected joy for Ann, the boys and me. I’m not about to go stoking the flames of anti-gay fervor in my base. That’s not my style, and as I always say to Ann, a moment not talking about Obama’s economic bellyflop is a moment wasted. But you’ve done it for me! Why, I don’t suppose there is a social conservative activist in the country who wouldn’t toss his cookies (excuse my language) over that label. They tell me they are fired up and ready to go! It’s very important in business and government to delegate, so I am relieved that you and your other journalist friends have taken care of this for me. (Do you have Hilary Rosen’s snail mail address? We’ve been remiss in not sending her some flowers.)
But, oh God bless you both, to define the president by a rhetorical, meaningless gesture is really above and beyond anything we expected. The “recovery” president or the “jobs” president would, well, be silly, I guess. But so long as he’s carving an identity on an issue that ranks somewhere below “high speed trains” among voters’ priorities I’m just tickled to death.
Now we’d be ingrates if we ignored the halo. Oh my — you shouldn’t have! In one image you not only smashed — I mean crushed into little pieces and hopped up and down on it like our grandkids on a blow-up bouncer — your magazine’s credibility for the rest of the election, but took a meat ax really to the whole liberal media. They’ve been panting over Obama like lovesick puppies (watch out, he’s got the dipping sauce!), giving me some sympathy from voters who think stuff you did in high school is, well, really not cool to bring up 47 years, five kids and a governorship later. It’s not like you meant to parody liberal Obama-worship — you depicted it better than we could have ever imagined.
I know you’re both Brits so I figure this is your way of trying to rekindle the special relationship between the U.S. and Britain that Obama ran over with a mack truck. (Have I mentioned I’m bringing that Churchill bust back just as soon as I get to the Oval Office?).
In any case, you’re both just neat people and we can’t thank you enough. And listen, if they declare Newsweek a PAC our lawyers will help you with all that paperwork.
Mitt and Ann