Articles written for the website of Time Magazine but NOT published!

Austin Powers And The Lost Mojo
by Martin Lewis
(Written September 11, 2000)

Well there's certainly a war going on. But it's not between Bush and Gore. The real battle is between Bush HQ in Austin, Texas and the RNC in Washington DC. And it looks like the RNC is now winning. The RNC side - lets call them the "DC Powers" have been arguing for Bush to stand and fight like a real Presidential candidate. Enough of the Debate debate.

Bush's Texas team - let's call them the "Austin Powers" - have been playing "Father's Son Knows Best" and this unexpected and unwelcome slide into underdog status wasn't in the playbook. Nor was the RNC backbiting.

But recent events have dictated that the Austin Powers re-group. The result is the hastily conceived Plan B. The sublimely titled "Real Plans For Real People" - with its deliciously surreal inference that Bush had previously been offering UN-real plans for presumably UN-real people.

But this shift - (just wait for the Bush variation on "I'm The Comeback Kid") - did force an utterance by G.W. that is probably more honest and guileless than anything he or Al Gore have said in months. When asked to explain the reason for the new schedule of interactions with regular folk - Bush answered "It's a better picture."

A more seasoned campaigner would have waffled some platitudes about wanting to meet more of the wonderful people of this wonderful land.

But George - with his eyes on the rapidly receding prize - blurted out the unvarnished truth. The Austin Powers have finally realized that "It's the Photo-Op, Stupid."

The buoyed-up Gore supporters will have to be extra-vigilant now. The Shrub hasn't spent 53 years to come this far, this close in order to become Bob Dole. Or Michael Dukakis. If Bush blows this - he has no 2004 Presidential campaign. The RNC will 'Soprano' him faster than you can say Newt Gingrich. The knives are already being sharpened. And the RNC has no intention of losing the House because of an Austin Power outtage. So this is going to be bitter, down to the wire. And scorched earth. As Dylan sang - "When you got nothin' - you got nothin' to lose."

Today's G.W. marks:

True Compassion: D Unintended Honesty: A+

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