Subject: McCain’s fateful selection of Sarah Palin
Date: Just before the Democratic convention
Characters: John McCain (played by a slimmed down, grayed up William Shatner); Steve Schmidt (McCain’s Karl Rove, played by James Spader with a shaven head. OK, we got a discount because they were already in town for Boston Legal.)
Setting: McCain compound outside Sedona. Midnight. Pitch dark. No sound but the howl of coyotes and tinkling of cocktail ice.
Scene: Camera zooms in on two glowing dots of fire. The cigars of McCain (M) and Schmidt (S).
M: Well , Scott, this whole VP thing is a pain in my tuckus. Can we run down my list again?
S: It’s actually Steve, sir. But sure, although nothing has really changed. They’ve all got real issues.
M: C’mon, let me have Lieberman. Please? I don’t understand why everybody’s so testy about him. Is it the taking Saturdays off thing? I’m sure I could talk him out of that. I never really understood why he didn’t take Sundays off like everyone else….
S: Well, not really, sir. It seems that many Republicans would be more comfortable if you chose–how shall I put this delicately–a Republican.
M: What a bunch of narrow-minded jerkoffs.
D: It’s a travesty, sir. But it is what it is
M: Ridge. The whole, “when does life start” thing, right?
S: In a manner of speaking, sir, yes.
M: Romney. Ugh. The guy creeps me out.
S: How so, sir?
M: He just wants it so much, and he’s so–I dunno–familiar. You saw him last weekend at the barbecue, right?
S: I suggested that he stop touching your tongs, sir, but he’s not a great listener.
M: No shit. Nobody touches my tongs. Hell, I was afraid to wear my “Kiss the Cook” apron, he was so lathered up. And you know how much I love that thing.
S: True, although your “Go Navy” apron was most appropriate for the occasion. And I thought the epaulets were a nice touch. Sir, permission to speak freely?
M: Why, sure Scott. You know you can tell me anything.
S: Sir, you’re using my scotch glass as an ashtray.
M: Shit! Sorry! Why didn’t you say something earlier? You’ve been drinking it all night!
S: I’m not a complainer, sir. Uhhh…sir?
M: YOU BET YOUR ASS YOU’D BETTER NOT COMPLAIN!!! YOU KNOW WHAT THEY DID TO YOU IN THE HANOI HILTON IF YOU COMPLAINED? THEY’D MAKE YOU WISH YOU’D NEVER COMPLAINED, THAT’S WHAT THEY DID TO YOU!!!!
S: Uh, Sir. Come back. It’s just us, on your porch talking.
M: Sorry, sorry. It was that coyote howling. Made me think of Maureen Dowd.
S: Understandably terrifying, sir. Let’s keep going. Pawlenty?
M: I get him to confused with that gooey stuff I always get at Olive Garden. Besides, he bores the bejeezus out of me.
S: Well, here we are again, sir.
M: Shit. I know. Happens every time. You know Rick, what I really need is somebody who can do the whole Holy Roller circuit for me. It just wears me out, gripping and grinning with all those religious nutjobs. Do they really think the world is 7,000 years old? I didn’t study much at the Academy, but c’mon! They scare me. That look in their eye. And ya know, I don’t scare easily. I’m a WAR HERO, remember!
S: Indeed. You’ve mentioned it.
M: But crimeny. Every time I see that picture of me on that stage with Falwell, in that silly looking robe? You know that feeling you get in your skull when you drink a Slurpee too fast?
S: Excruciating sir.
M: And women. Clinton supporters. They don’t get me. So what if I can’t remember how many cracks there are supposed to be in the f-ing glass ceiling. I need someone who can go talk to women for me.
S: Undoubtedly, sir, a woman with strong social conservative credentials would be a fine pick.
M: That’s right, a really smart, conservative woman.
S: (Suppressing a laugh) There’s always Senator Graham.
M: THAT’S NOT FUNNY. LINDSEY CAN’T HELP IT IF HE’S EFFIMINATE!! He just came that way.
M: Would she have to speak without notes?
S: Occasionally. You’re right. Never mind.
S: What about that gal up there in Alaska? Met her at the Governor’s conference. Feisty–held her own in the buffet line against Haley Barbour. No mean feat, that. What do we know about her?
S: Not a lot. Young, big family, super-right on social issues. NRA lifer. Knows her way around a moose carcass. Popular.
M: She sounds perfect.
S: Sir, at the risk of stating the obvious, she’s terribly inexperienced. You’ve been telling people that the chief qualification for a VP nominee is readiness to be Commander in Chief. Four years ago, she was mayor of a town of 6700 people.
M: GODDAMMIT! WHAT IS IT WITH YOU PEOPLE AND YOUR OBSESSION WITH MY AGE?? HUH!?? I’M NOT GOING ANYWHERE ANYTIME SOON! SHE CAN LEARN AT MY FEET!!! I’M TRYING TO WIN A F-ING ELECTION HERE! IF WE’D JUST REMIND PEOPLE I’M A WAR HERO, I COULD WIN WITH BOZO THE FREAKING CLOWN! YOU PEOPLE WILL NEVER LET ME TALK ABOUT NAM! PEOPLE LOVE THAT SHIT!! DO I HAVE TO GET FRED FREAKING THOMPSON TO DO IT FOR ME? HUH?!! DO I??! JUST DON’T MAKE ME KISS JIM DOBSON’S ASS AND PANDER TO A BUNCH OF POST-MENOPAUSAL CRAZIES!! IS THAT TOO FREAKING MUCH TO ASK?!!!
s: Calm down sir. If you really want Gov. Palin as your partner, we can make that happen. But just so you know, we really haven’t done much work on her. She seemed like a bit of a long shot.
M: I know, but she seems like a cool customer. Might help–somehow people seem to have gotten the impression that I’m a little bit of a hothead. Search me.
Besides, how much trouble can you get into in Walla Walla, Alaska, anyway?
S: Wasilla, sir.
S: Indeed, sir. Whatever, indeed.