You’re likely aware that this afternoon—perhaps even as you’re read this—President Obama and the vanquished fragment of corporate software that calls itself Mitt Romney are sitting down to lunch in the White House together. With the Tea Party’s plans to obstruct the Electoral College falling apart on, ahem, their divergence from what the Constitution actually says, this is Romney’s last, best chance to make a play for the Oval Office. What’s his strategy?
Of course he and his strategists will have come up with an ideal lunch order. The White House menu is very flexible: he could probably get just about anything on his plate by asking. The chef, Cristeta Comerford, hails from the Philippines, so this may be the time to meet Obama head-on with a spicy order that evokes his native Pacific Rim. Comerford has also spent time in Vienna, meaning Romney could catch Obama wrong-footed with a request for Topfenstrudel.
Then there’s the conversation. It’s no secret that Obama detests Romney personally and has better things to do than engage in wanton etiquette; he’ll keep his comments terse and practical. This gives Romney an opening to spin a few longer yarns, tell a shaggy-dog joke or three, really dominate the room’s airwaves. That’s the sort of tactic that might not play well with whoever’s waiting to clear the table, however. What’s certain is that both candidates will seek total control of the condiments, which most observers would agree is crucial. If either man comes out of it with mustard on his tie, well, there’s always 2016.
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