Monday, April 14, 2008

The Democratic Conspiracy (a private conversation)

A quiet room. Not too fancy. Probably a hotel's private lounge. Leather chairs, wooden tables, a pitcher of ice water and some glasses. Maybe a muffin or five.

Enter Barack Obama, on cell phone.

BARACK: I don't know, Michelle. It doesn't make much sense to call attention to-- ...I know, Hon. I know. But she-- ...OK, OK. Calm down. I'll talk to David... I don't know. Either one. Why I had to have my two key guys both named David is beyond me. Look, I'll call you back. Someone's coming in.

Enter Hillary Clinton. Surprised to see Barack, she almost leaves, but thinks better of it and enters the room. She moves deliberately into the room as if she owns it, sits in a chair and pours a glass of water.

HILLARY: Would you like some water, Barack?

BARACK: Excuse me?

HILLARY: Water. I was just wondering if you'd like some.

BARACK: Uh, no. Thanks. There isn't any orange juice by any chance, is there?

HILLARY: Smiles. Sorry. Just water. Sips her water. Barack watches her, trying to figure this out.

BARACK: Uh, Hillary.

HILLARY: Yes, Barack?

BARACK: Is there a reason that you are here?

HILLARY: holds up her glass as in a toast Just having a drink, Barack. Wetting my whistle. Calming the old parched throat. You know how it gets when you talk all day.

BARACK: Yes, I understand that. But why here? Is there something I can do for you?

HILLARY: puts nearly empty glass down an looks directly at him for the first time Why, yes, Barack. Yes, there is.

BARACK: Well, if it's something within my power, I'll try to do it. What would you like?

HILLARY: I don't think you'll do it.

BARACK: Try me.

HILLARY: takes a small flask out of her purse and pours most of it into the glass I really want to win this time.

BARACK: rolls his eyes We've been all over that, Hill.

HILLARY: I know. I know. But I'm really tired of playing the bitch, Barack. I love this party every bit as much as you do. And damn it, it was supposed to be my turn.

BARACK: sits next to her Does Bill want to stop?

HILLARY: Hell no. Bill wants to keep going out there and making an ass of himself right up to the convention. He loves it! But that's Bill. He never did know when to stop. takes a swig of whiskey Want some? Crown Royal.

BARACK: No, thanks. Look. We agreed, Hillary. Way back in Iowa.

HILLARY: I know. And you and Howard and Al were right. My negatives are too high. Damn Bill and his cheap whores anyway. You know if I hadn't been saddled with the right's hatred for him, I might have made it.

BARACK: Hill, if you hadn't been his wife, would you even be a senator, let alone a viable candidate for President?

HILLARY: shrugs Water over the dam. I just--I can't keep saying these things.

BARACK: What things?

HILLARY: These monumentally asinine things you guys keep writing for me. Don't interrupt, Barack. You know what I mean. I think I've been a good sport. I even went along with the whole Bosnia thing, though I have no clue what kind of an idiot can't remember whether or not there was sniper fire when she got out of an airplane. But I said it--what? Four times before you leaked that video to CBS? Thanks a bunch for that. Give a girl some warning, why don't you?

BARACK: You knew we would discredit the story.

HILLARY: With video? I look like a lying fool!

BARACK: It wasn't that bad.

HILLARY: Right. And the blue dress was just another bit of dirty laundry. another swig

BARACK: OK, OK. You didn't look very good with that. But that's over and done with. What are you on about now?

HILLARY: Bittergate.

BARACK: Bittergate?

HILLARY: Bittergate. You guys have me running all over the midwest making a huge deal over that stupid fragment of a quote you said in San Francisco last week. Not only do I look arrogant for making San Fran out to be some elite and effete bastion but I also--once again--get to go around making mountains out of molehills. So people are bitter? Whoop de doo! They're out of work! They've been dumped on for years! Of course they're fucking bitter! Bill's said so. McCain's said so. Shit, I've said so--and I'm sure you'll dredge up video on that at some point. And you guys have me saying they aren't? Why the hell do I have to be the little pollyanna sweetcakes idiot?

BARACK: It seemed the right time for that move.

HILLARY: Jesus, Barack! You want me to be the bitch, then you want me to be fucking Barney! What next? I'm tired. I just want it to be over. But first I really, really want to win this one. I know you're supposed to do this big come from behind thing and all, and I drop out after North Carolina, but come on! All I really won with any significance were Texas and Ohio, and then you took Texas away too. This isn't even fair!

BARACK: We let you have New Hampshire.

HILLARY: Oh, golly gee whillikers. Thanks! You should have just won that and finished it.

BARACK: You know why we couldn't do that. Not enough vetting. You've said it yourself many times--

HILLARY: Yeah, with your scripts!

BARACK: Be that as it may, I simply had not been vetted enough in the eyes of the nation to be the front-runner yet. I never counted on winning Iowa. That was a huge surprise. I thought John would win it.

HILLARY: Not me?

BARACK: The negatives, Hill.

HILLARY: Oh. Yeah. Right. shoots remainder of glass

BARACK: When I did win, and I was suddenly a shoe-in in New Hampshire, Al and Howard called me in and explained why we needed this strategy. I was surprised that you'd buy into it, though. Why did you, anyway?

HILLARY: Two reasons, mostly. I had done all of the chart work with Bill and we knew after Iowa that I was never going to win the nomination. So when Howard and Al proposed this and told me that, if I helped, I would be offered a senior post in your administration and they'd pay all of the rest of my campaign debts, I could hardly say no.

BARACK: You always were sly about money.

HILLARY: You don't get to be worth $109 million by throwing good money after bad.

BARACK: You said there were two reasons?

HILLARY: Right: they promised me I could do some real acting.

BARACK: Oh yes: the crying scene. That was classic.

HILLARY: Thank you. blushes slightly I thought about acting, you, know, before I decided on politics.

BARACK: I didn't know that.

HILLARY: Yes, well. It's all the same anyway.

BARACK: Well the crying was great. Real tears. I don't think Meryl can even do that.

HILLARY: But it was all downhill from there. After Super Tuesday you guys demanded I play the Bitch, and there were the 3 AM commercials--God I hated those...and did you know that little tart was your campaign worker?

BARACK: Oh come one, how could we know that? And she was not a little tart; she was about five years old then and now she's a very sweet and personable seventeen-year-old. But I have to admit: what a serendipitous bit of stock footage that was!

HILLARY: All I've been doing since then is playing "Gotcha!" And I hate politicians who play "Gotcha!" They're the lowest of the low! And this "bitter" thing is the lowest, stupidest one yet. It's even worse than the one where you had me complain about the NAFTA deal with Canada. I'm bitching about your guy talking to them? My guy talked to them too! As if no one would find that out.

BARACK: Well, that was sort of the point.

HILLARY: Or how about that "Commander-in-chief" litmus test thing? Oh, no: Obama isn't ready but McCain is. Right. McCain might have been ready thirty years ago, but today the guy isn't even sure who's fighting who or where or why. I'd say he can't find Iraq on a map but I'm not 100% sure he could find the map! And you guys make me sound as if I'm more on his side than on my party's side?

BARACK: All part of the master plan. You have to make the attacks now so they'll be old news when McCain's people make them in the fall.

HILLARY: Well, I've lost track of you master plan. It's not working for me. And the math! I'm a graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School! I think I know a little bit of math. And I know that, no matter how you slice it up, I don't win this thing. No matter how many times you guys tell me to move the goalpost, I can never score the touchdown. All that happens is that I get to look more and more ridiculous! And now I'm spouting nonsense about how elite and out of touch you are? You? A--pardon me for stating the obvious--black guy who grew up without a father and then without a mother and was raised partly in Indonesia and cut his political teeth on the streets of Chicago? Sure. From the mouth of $109 million me.

BARACK: OK, OK, Hill. I'll tell you what I can do. I'll call Howard and I'll tell him to let things go where they will right now in PA. No more superdelegate announcements until the 23rd, OK? We'll cancel the scheduled meltdown you were supposed to have next Sunday in Pittsburgh, and I'll stop using the Annie Oakley line. It's stupid anyway; I don't even really like it. We'll let Pennsylvania go as it goes, and either way we play the game out as we planned it. OK? And Hill: VP is still there if you want it. We can work this out.

HILLARY: gets up to leave near the door, she stops, turns. No we can't, Barack. You've made me look too much like an idiot and you know it. You can't win with me on the ticket. Pick Clark. He'll put you over the top. But I want Secretary of State. We'll see if I don't duck some sniper fire. We'll see if I can't negotiate treaties... exits

BARACK: opens cell, hits speed call David? Yes, we have a problem... Yes, she's cracking... I'm not sure. She may or may not hold... No, you can't use Bill again... I know it's fun, but-- ...No. Hold on--call waiting--Michelle? ...What, Hon? ...Yes, it was Hillary. She's cracking. I'm on the other line with David now trying to figure out--I don't know which David--one or the other--what? ...Do nothing? ...Oh... Right. Have I mentioned that you're going to make a great First Lady? Tell the girls I'll be home early. Bye.--David? Sorry. Look. Never mind... No, I know I sounded like it was an emergency, but I don't think it is... Yes she might break down... Yes she might tell them about it. But if she does, she'll start saying things that will make absolutely no sense to anyone who is listening. And how will that be any different from what she's been doing all along?... Exactly. Good night, David.

Humming to himself "Hail to the Chief," Barack leaves the room.

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it's your hair that i notice first
streaked with morning
it frames your face
you lying there eyes closed
soft breath not quite there
i follow its path as it bends the sheet
and i can touch you there
touch what i feel is you
in the spark of daylight
you'll rise
pull on the wrinkled shirt from last night
say something you think is beautiful
drink some coffee
from behind my paper
and drive away,
leaving a kiss on my lips
and a hole in my heart
where a fire ought to be

Favorite Films

  • The Wizard Of Oz
  • Amelie
  • The Princess Bride
  • Casablanca
  • Annie Hall
  • The Lord of the Rings
  • All That Jazz
  • Citizen Kane
  • Love Actually
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Big Fish
  • When Harry Met Sally
  • Almost Famous
  • Bull Durham
  • Notting Hill
  • Apocalypse Now (Redux)
  • Magnolia

All-Time Favorite TV Shows

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Gilmore Girls
  • M*A*S*H
  • The West Wing
  • The X-Files
  • The Daily Show
  • Ally McBeal
  • Picket Fences
  • All In The Family
  • Seinfeld
  • The Mary Tyler Moore Show
  • Star Trek
  • Firefly
  • Wonderfalls
  • Northern Exposure
  • Get Smart
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show
  • Twin Peaks
  • The Larry Sanders Show
  • Monk
  • Felicity
  • St. Elsewhere

Current TV Shows I Enjoy (in no particular order)

  • Perception
  • Major Crimes
  • American Horror Story
  • Louie
  • Suits
  • The Newsroom
  • Falling Skies
  • Franklin and Bash
  • Veep
  • Scandal
  • Fairly Legal
  • Girls
  • Don't Trust the B---
  • Justified
  • Portlandia
  • Psych
  • The Middle
  • Person of Interest
  • Happy Endings
  • Hart of Dixie
  • Real Time with Bill Maher
  • Nikita
  • Raising Hope
  • Castle
  • Drop Dead Diva
  • Covert Affairs
  • Elementary
  • Rizzoli and Isles
  • Revolution
  • The Last Resort
  • Alphas
  • SNL
  • Revenge
  • Community
  • Suburgatory
  • New Girl
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Grimm
  • Nashville
  • Downton Abbey
  • Smash
  • Homeland
  • Fringe
  • Glee
  • Haven
  • Community
  • Warehouse 13
  • Modern Family
  • Vampire Diaries
  • The Daily Show
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • The Colbert Report
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Leverage
  • Rachel Maddow Show

xkcd - A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and