Thursday, February 11, 2010

Becoming Senator

The scene is a radio station in a medium-sized town. There, one of the station's hosts prepares to interview a new senatorial candidate. The candidate is nervously reviewing his notes while his campaign manager sits off to the side.

Interviewer: We’re here today with Jonathan Hinder, who has recently announced his intention to run for senator from the state of Abyssia. Good morning. And thank you for coming.

Jonathan Hinder: Thanks for having me.

I: So. Why senator? Why now?

JH: Well, why not? You know, I‘ve been unemployed for over a year, and I’ve got a family to feed. What else was I going to do? (Laughs)

I: Has finding campaign financing been a problem?

JH: It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was just sitting down with the more, um, influential members of my community and agreeing to, um, ugh…

At this point, JH turns and motions for the campaign manager to approach. The campaign manager does and whispers to JH.

JH: …pay special consideration to their concerns.

I: Does that bother you?

JH: Does what bother me?

I: Well, you give the appearance of having exchanged votes for financial backing.

JH: No. Absolutely not.

I: But…

The campaign manager again approaches JH and whispers in his ear.

JH: This is about meeting with constituents and discussing issues. Nothing more.

I: But…aren’t you supposed to represent all the people in your district?

JH: Of course. And I will be.

I: But if you won, haven’t you agreed to—in your words—give special consideration to those who contributed to your campaign?

JH: No.

I: You don’t see the conflict?

JH: The only conflict I see is a government soft on national security and dedicated to deficit spending.

JH turns to the campaign manager and whispers “Did I get that right?” The manager nods.

I: What made you decide to run as a Republican?

JH turns to the manager before speaking, as if for confirmation.

JH: At the end of the day, I decided it was disadvantageous to run as a Democrat.

I: Could you extrapolate on that?

JH: Here?

I: Yes.

Panicked, JH again summons the campaign manager. The manager whispers in his ear. Relieved, JH turns and resumes the interview.

JH: You had me worried there! That’s normally something I only do in front of my web cam! (Laughs) Oh shi…

The campaign manager explodes out of his chair and approaches the interviewer. After much gesturing and heated whispering, the interviewer reluctantly agrees to have the last comment edited from the broadcast. The interview continues.

I: What made you decide to run as a Republican?

JH: When you run as a Democrat, people expect you to have ideas and solutions. It’s different when you run as a Republican. I mean, when was the last time you heard a Republican being asked how he was going to end poverty? (Laughs) As a Republican, all you’re expected to do is keep things the way they are. It’s kind of like being a bookmark. People have different expectations of Republicans than they do of Democrats. I mean, look at Michele Bachmann. (Laughs) Wait. That came out wrong. Can we do it over?

I: No.

There is another prolonged meeting between JH and the campaign manager. JH resumes the interview with a new sense of confidence.

JH: No bail-outs for banks and big business. That’s the direction I’m taking this campaign in.

I: Do you support the Republican strategy of obstructionism?

JH: We’re the Party of No.

I: You’re not troubled by the consequences of congressional inaction?

JH: People know who we are, and what we stand for.

I: So it’s a good thing to be known as the Party of No?

JH: Yes.

I: Why?

JH turns and motions for the campaign manager to approach. They have yet-another extended conversation. The interviewer is clearly irritated.

I (Sarcastically): Do you need to phone a friend?

JH: No, no. Um, we know what the American people want. They’re tired of long, drawn-out debates. They’re tired of waiting. Americans don’t like politics. They don’t want to think about them—they just want to move on to the next thing. Americans want fast, easy answers. And we’re here to give that to them. It’s like Greyhound used to say: “Leave the driving to us”. That’s what America wants. It wants us to do the driving, and it just wants to curl up and not wake up until they reach L.A.

I: Interesting.

JH: Yep.

I: Finally, critics charge Republicans are indeed the party of no. No ideas, no direction and no clue. What is your response?

JH: We know what America wants to hear. And that’s all you need to know.

No comments:

Post a Comment