Obamacans at the Door

[The Scene: A rainy evening outside of Barack Obama’s national campaign headquarters. A hand pounds furiously on the door.]

BARACK OBAMA: [ from inside ] Coming!….Who is it?

SCOTT MCCLELLAN: Open up! It’s me! Scott McClellan! [politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com]

OBAMA: [ opens door ] Oh, hey. Hi Scott. What, um, what can I do for you?

MCCLELLAN: You gotta let me in, man. Can I come in?

OBAMA: Well, I suppo…Who’s that with you?

MCCLELLAN: Oh, him? That’s Bill Weld. Used to be Governor of Massachusetts [www.boston.com].

OBAMA: He’s a Republican too?

MCCLELLAN: Yeah, but, we heard you were giving shelter to…can we just come in?

OBAMA: Well, yeah, of course. It’s getting a little crowded in here, but, sure. Come on in.

[ INTERIOR: Large room filled with campaign staff, notable for their rumpled clothes and busy demeanors. Scattered around the room and distinct from the staffers are a large number of older men and women in suits, standing idle and talking amongst themselves. ]

VOICES [my.barackobama.com]: Hey, it’s Scotty! Scotty, what’s up! Bill! Long time, no see! Hey look! Scott and Bill are here!

OBAMA: So, yeah, what’s up, guys?

MCCLELLAN: Barack, I mean…Mr. Obama, I…I mean we…We’d like to announce our endorsement of you for president of the United States.

OBAMA: Really……Well, guys, that’s just great. I appreciate that, I really do. We’ve been getting quite a few of offers like that recently. I’d be honored to have your endorsement. Here, let me take your coats. So, if you don’t mind my asking, what changed your mind?

MCCLELLAN: Are you kidding? Have you seen it out there, man? It’s brutal. Just brutal. Any Republican who hasn’t sold their soul to the base is scared spitless right now.

OBAMA: I hear you, I hear you.

WILLIAM WELD: I’ll be honest with you, dear boy. It’s not like we really have anything to lose. Scott, for example, his book slamming Bush already came out. His name was already mud in most GOP circles. Myself, Bill Milliken over there, oh and there’s Lincoln Chafee and Arne Carlson, we’re not running for re-election. We’ve got no base to appease, so we’re free to break with the madness that’s infected our party.

OBAMA: Yeahhh…But, see, here’s the thing. And don’t get me wrong, I’m glad you’re here, but…Most of you don’t really support any of my positions on the issues.

MCCLELLAN: Issues? Who’s talkin’ about issues, man? We’re talking about survival! If McCain wins, he’s going to have that Alaskan fruitcake running roughshod over him before the inauguration! Have you listened to her? She shouldn’t be allowed within 400 yards of the Oval Office, not even on a White House tour!

WELD: Calm down, Scott.

MCCLELLAN: No! I Can’t “calm down,” Bill! It’s the end of the freaking Republican Party! The lunatics have taken over the asylum! I’m talking years, years in the wilderness before voters let anyone with an R next to their name anywhere near the reigns of power! I was just a Press Secretary for Bush, for crissakes, and people still laugh at me! It’s a tectonic shift, man! We’ve got to go underground, change our identities…Will I have to register as a Democrat, Barack? I will if I have to! I’m telling you, it’ll be chaos if McCain and Palin are elected! Like Mad Max kind of apocalyptic whatsit…Thunderdome! Or Palindome! [ Starts laughing hysterically ]Every partisan for himself! We’ll have to eat dog food, or worse! I don’t wanna eat dog food, Bill! I can’t….!

[ KEN ADELMAN [www.newyorker.com] approaches, slaps MCCLELLAN across the face, returns talking to CHRISTOPHER BUCKLEY [www.thedailybeast.com]. ]

OBAMA: Whoa! Hey, hey, calm down Scotty, calm down. Listen…In fact, everyone listen up! Now, I want all of you Republicans to know that, once I’m president, you can all just chill out, I got this. I know coming here wasn’t easy for some of you because of my so-called “most liberal record” in the senate. But the truth is, I’m not as beholden to the progressive ideology as a lot of you may think. I supported the changes to FISA, I’m OK with government-funded faith-based initiatives, I’m certainly not against solving problems through the military, and once we get our fiscal house in order, you’ll start to see some of the goodies for the upper class come back. Trust me on this. It’s not the end of the world, or your world, with an Obama presidency.

BUCKLEY: Pip, pip, old boy!

OBAMA: I know what it took for all of you to endorse me. And once I’m elected, I’m going to count on your support to help me lead. Together, we can make this country great again, beyond the wildest dreams of liberals or old-school Republicans. We’ll find a new way, a new partnership, and….[ Republicans in the room burst into simultaneous laughter ]…What…what’s so funny?

WELD: Dear boy, you don’t think this “partnership” that you speak of will last, do you?

OBAMA: Well, I…

BUCKLEY: Oh dear, this is too, too rich. My dear Obama, once you’re elected, every person in this room (not including your hard-working campaign staff, of course), but every Republican in this room will, as of, oh, November 5th, will go back to doing what it was we were doing before we were forced by circumstances – survival instincts, as Scott here suggested – to support you. That is, making it as hard as humanly possible for Democrats to get anything done, much less lead America into a new dawn, or what have you.

OBAMA: B-but…your endorsements…You’re telling me they’re all meaningless?

LINCOLN CHAFEE: Oh no. No, no. They’re quite meaningful. But only to us. You see, those of us who have been, um, hamstrung, shall we say, by the increasingly rabid Republican base, need to purge these people from the party, to marginalize them. Then we can go back to being an effective minority party. Obstructionists. It’s what we’re best at.

WELD: It’s nothing personal, my good man. Just business. The business of saving the Republican party.

OBAMA: …by endorsing me.

WELD: Exactly!

OBAMA: Uh-huh….(sigh)…Alright. Whatever. But if you’re gonna hang out here for another week or so, get a script from Betty over there and start working the phones. Put your self-serving behinds to work is what’s gonna happen here…

….and Joe! Stop slow-dancing with Colin Powell, dammit! The last time you two did that, we wound up invading Iraq!


– Michael Turner