Harold Smithee was ignored by almost everyone. His opinions went largely unnoticed by the world despite having some “really good ideas.” That was 2010. Now the man formerly known as Harold Smithee is the most quoted man in media. This is the story of how one man went from local small town gadfly to one of American politics new power players.
The Trenton, Missouri native had repeatedly tried to gain acceptance for his opinions on world events at Stew’s Coffee Shop, the local hangout. The lukewarm and disinterested responses to his enlightened opinions generally amounted to polite smiles and the occasional shrug.
— Tom Wellborn (@TLW3) September 19, 2013
Smithee readily admitted that his political views are a “bit outside the mainstream” in this Red-State town of 5,000. His opinions were clearly too rational and reasoned for the largely uneducated crowd of local farmers, hunters and housewives who lacked the basic skills to grasp his nuanced logic.
“I was explaining the other day that if we don’t do something about these AR-15 shotguns that are going around killing everybody we won’t have no people left. Then how will we afford Social Security for the next generation?”
His question went unanswered.
“One time, I was explaining to Sue [McMurdy, waitress at Stew’s] how the Republicans in Washington were trying to invade her womb with these invasive ultrasound things I had read about. Her response was to ask if I wanted a refill. How do you get through to people like that?”
“Then, one Sunday, as I was watching the morning news shows I realized that there is a group of people that always get noticed. These people aren’t great thinkers, but many folks in the media hang on their every word.” That’s when the 58 year-old furniture upholsterer decided to make the change.
The next day, Smithee went to the Grundy County courthouse to file paperwork for a name change. After a brief waiting period, Smithee became “Former GOP Adviser.”
That’s when his life began to change. Not more than a week after the change became official, the newly minted Mr. Adviser, received a call from Online Amateur Webzine, Salon, hoping to quote him on the upcoming 2012 presidential election.
A quote from the Salon interview was picked up and gathered steam online.
“I couldn’t believe that that Romney fellow had the nerve to bring up Libya in a presidential debate, of all places.”
— Tony Campisi (@Campi2nd) September 12, 2012
After that, Adviser admits, its all been a whirlwind.
“I honestly couldn’t tell you how many pundits have quoted me. Maybe all? The folks at the coffee shop still don’t listen, but that’s okay, because I have so many new friends.”
Former Bush adviser says the Romney-Ryan ticket will "probably lose. Maybe big." http://t.co/iIbBbgpW
— Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire) August 14, 2012
Former Bush adviser has colorful warning for Republicans who talk about rape http://t.co/eE2FPtiG
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) November 12, 2012
— Jeffrey Levin (@jilevin) June 7, 2010
Former Bush adviser says Rick Perry's biggest problem is that he sounds just like George W. Bush… http://t.co/OlwxBa6
— Taegan Goddard (@politicalwire) August 20, 2011
"They're in a mania," one former Bush adviser said about the Romney campaign: http://t.co/QvzFZMdD
— Mother Jones (@MotherJones) August 30, 2012
Former Bush adviser on #ThisWeek: For 2,000yrs "traditional marriage" wasn't monogamous, women were property, and they couldn't give consent
— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) March 31, 2013
Even with the 2012 election long-since decided, Adviser is still in high demand. His influence continues to grow accross the political landscape.
— Alan Colmes (@AlanColmes) September 19, 2013