Magazine article The New Yorker

COMMENT ON THE BALL Series: 4/6

Magazine article The New Yorker

COMMENT ON THE BALL Series: 4/6

Article excerpt

Officially, administration officials say that they had expected the drop in support for the president, and that they were not concerned about the turn of events. "We put out a memo three months ago predicting that this was going to happen," Dan Bartlett, the White House communications director, said.

--The Times.June 23, 2003

MEMO

From: White House Office of Predictive Services

Re: POTUS Support Drop

After a thorough analysis of available data, this office has come to the conclusion that, sometime between the twenty-second and the twenty-fifth of September, a CNN-USA Today-Gallup poll will show that the President's approval rating has fallen to fifty per cent, the lowest it will have been since he took office. This should not be cause for concern, as Administration officials will be able to state unequivocally that they expected the drop. We may want to highlight some, or all, of the following positive developments that, based on our analysis, we can predict with a high degree of certainty.

[middle dot] The Cleveland Cavaliers will lose the first five games of the regular season, and the early word on their much touted eighteen-year-old phenom LeBron James will be that he has trouble shooting from the perimeter. But within the first fifteen seconds of his first game at Madison Square Garden, James will hit a seventeen-foot jump shot, and he will go on to score seventeen points in a 94-80 rout of the New York Knicks.

[middle dot] Variety will report that horror laffer "Scary Movie 3," during its frosh outing (opening weekend), took in a boffo $49. …

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