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An 'interview' with a K Street master of campaign clichés

He likes to keep a low profile, so I will refer to him only as the cliché master, a spin control and sound bite specialist. He's the sort of consultant the Mitt Romney and Barack Obama campaigns prize. In a recent 'interview,' I tried to get at the nature of his business.

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Mitt Romney waves as he arrives at the Franklin County Lincoln Day Dinner in Greencastle, Pa., April 22. Op-ed contributor John Pitney shares his satirical 'interview' with a Washington 'spin master,' the sort who writes speeches for candidates like Mr. Romney and President Obama. The cliché master advises Republicans to tell voters: 'This is the most important election of our lifetime. We can’t kick the can down the road anymore.'

Jae C. Hong/AP

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Deep in the corridors of power, hidden among the back rooms of Washington’s K Street, is the office of a gnomish guru, a consultant who specializes in spin control and sound bites. In a recent interview, I tried to drill down into the nature of his business. He likes to keep a low profile, so I will refer to him only as the cliché master.

Q: Do you prefer to work for Republicans or Democrats?

A: I’m neither a Republican nor a Democrat. I’m an American. At the end of the day, we need to rise above our petty divisions, get under the hood, and work together for the people. So I want to elect mavericks who will solve gridlock by hammering out bipartisan compromises.

Q: Okay, let’s look at both sides of the aisle. As the fall campaign heats up, what would you advise Republicans to say?

A: This is the most important election of our lifetime. We can’t kick the can down the road anymore. We must get beyond the tax-and-spend ways of the past and make the hard choices.

Q: What are those hard choices? What do we have to cut?

A: Pork – and all other kinds of waste, fraud, and abuse. Remember: We have to do it for our children.

Q: And what should the Democrats say on the campaign trail?

A. We have a vision of hope and change, where everybody works hard and plays by the rules. We need to protect the American Dream by investing in national priorities.

Q: How can we afford those priorities?

A: By making the wealthiest pay their fair share. Remember: We have to do it for the children.

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