On the record vs. off the record | Andy Hobbs

Editor: Thank you for discussing your eternal campaign. Will you give straight answers?

Candidate: No.

Editor: At least you’re honest.

Candidate: I’m putting my best foot forward. The media plays a critical role in shaping public perception for candidates. But please, ask me anything.

Editor: Federal Way recently launched its own animal services unit. Is this an example of what all cities should do — strive to become more self-sufficient?

Candidate: This is off the record, but Federal Way has the right idea by breaking away from King County. Other cities should do the same. Examples of Federal Way’s previous steps toward self-sufficiency include incorporation and creating a police department. In such a crowded county, sometimes it’s more efficient and practical to do certain things yourself.

Editor: What can you say on the record?

Candidate: King County Regional Animal Services provides premium pet shelter and field services to 27 cities and unincorporated King County. Next question?

Editor: If you have a D or an R next to your name, you are automatically hated by a chunk of the electorate. Why don’t we ever see an I, as in Independent, or an L, as in Libertarian?

Candidate: I am committed to serving the citizens in this non-partisan position, and will reach across both sides of the aisle to find common ground. But off the record, no one has enough mainstream appeal or resources to mount a successful third-party campaign. Besides, most voters are trained to follow party lines by default, just like their elected leaders.

Editor: Now we’re on the record. You are known for stirring up controversy with divisive proposals. For this election season, do you support a flag burning ban?

Candidate: If you want to burn the American flag, please wrap yourself in it first.

Editor: That’s clever.

Candidate: Thanks. I saw that line on a bumper sticker, but let’s keep that part off the record. The voters assume I create my own zingers.

Editor: Speaking of wedge issues, how do you feel about gay rights?

Candidate: Off the record?

Editor: Fine, off the record.

Candidate: If gays want to get married, then let them be miserable like the rest of us, or so said rapper Eminem. (laugh) I once saw a T-shirt that said “I support gay marriage if both chicks are hot.” (laugh) We’re still off the record, right? My perspective on this issue has evolved. My daughter is a lesbian. She has been in a monogamous relationship for nine years. They hope to adopt a child. They’ll be great parents.

Editor: Same question, on the record.

Candidate: It is important for us to stand up now and protect traditional marriage, which is under attack by a few unelected judges and litigious activists. We must fight the homosexual agenda that pervades the media.

Editor: Speaking of pervading the media, if you keep trying to tap me under this bathroom stall, I’ll nail your foot to the floor.

Candidate: Sorry, I have a wide stance. Any other questions? I need to catch a flight to Washington, D.C.

Editor: No more questions. Good luck with your eternal campaign.

Candidate: Thank you. Remember to keep the right stuff off the record. Public image will make or break a career. That’s free advice, young man. By the way, when will this appear in print?


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