Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Behind the Scenes: The Palin - Obama Presidential Debate

A MeanMesa Fiction

In our story, the Palin Bus has "caught on" among the information challenged Republicans across the country.  What had begun as an innocent "family vacation" quickly became a veritable glacier of support among the hill billies of the GOPCon base.
In state after state, more traditional Republican primary candidates found themselves unable to counter the political ground swell Sarah seemed to incite at every "bus stop," leaving the word tangled ex-Governess standing alone at the head of the field.  After another gut wrenching Republican Convention with giant venues packed with wheel chairs and plumbers dressed in Revolutionary War costumes, the Palin had boldly marched forth to accept the nomination.

Now, the day had arrived for the first of the Palin - Obama Presidential Debates.  For our story here, we move to the "green room" where President Obama and a few of his top political aides were busy, preparing for the first Presidential debate.

In The Green Room

The first aide spoke with a hidden agitation as the make up man put the final touches on the President's face.  "I don't know how they did it, but this place is packed with GOPCon base.  Hell, there are more than three thousand buses circling through the parking lot and then into town and back."

The second aide added, speaking to Obama, "There aren't more than a couple dozen Democrats out there, a couple of stragglers from the White House staff and a few Blue Dogs from the Congress.  They've got 'em cornered in a little patch where the cameras can pan over them.  The rest of that mob is straight tea bags, thousands of them."

The first aide broke in again, "The GOPCons have collected every neo-con who wasn't bolted down or locked up in an old folks home.  Man, what a budget they must have."

Obama, staring into the mirror offered by the make-up technician, responded, "They didn't even flinch when it came to spending their Citizens United money to pack this place, but that's all right.  I think I can handle this debate well enough to persuade some of them to vote for me."

The first aide, receiving an email on his lap top, sighed heavily.  "They're not taking any chances.  I just got word that thousands of television stations won't be broadcasting the debate.  The official reason is that they don't want any under age children to accidentally watch it."

Sighing, Obama spoke calmly.  "That scheme didn't work out that well for them when I gave the education message to school kids.  On the other hand, the push back didn't get started for a couple of weeks.  By that time, no one was particularly interested.  Still, we have to be hopeful.  There will still be millions of American adults watching."

The first aide, shuffling through a stack of papers in his hand, changed the subject.  "Okay.  We've been through the debate rules.  Are there any points you're not familiar with before this thing starts?"

Obama's eyes rolled back.  "I think I've got all the points.  I have to avoid answers about economic policy details, geography, American history or foreign affairs.  I've memorized all the authorized 'talking points' about socialism, taking the country back and 'noodle backs.'  How did we ever get into this mess in the first place?"

The second aide spoke with a determined acceptance.  "We've been over that already.  The billionaires got all the other media to schedule football games in this time slot.  All that was left was FOX.  Then New Corps  corporate thugs picked the venue, the moderator and set up the rules.  Hell, they even comped the tickets to all the throw backs they shipped in here on the buses."

The first aide broke into the conversation, "You said that there will be millions of American voters watching.  Well, you're probably right, except that the millions will be regular FOX viewers -- no one else watches that network -- and right after this train wreck is finished, FOX contest judges are going to say that Palin cleaned your clock.  They'll say that regardless of how the debate comes off -- we all knew that coming into this."

Obama breathed deeply.  "At least we got them to exclude the failed Republican candidates from being on the moderator panel.  That's something.  Maybe the questions will be a little more relevant.  You know that I'm anxious to talk about the issues, to put our proposals out to the American public."

A third aide slipped into the green room.  "They are still trying to teach the crowd about how to respond to the 'applause' and 'boo' cards.  It turns out that lots of the audience can't really read that well.  They're trying some crowd management cards with cartoon characters on them, you know, applauding and booing.  It looks like a lot of the audience has fallen asleep."

The first aide broke into the conversation.  "Excuse me, Mr. President.  FOX has just sent another memo with more debate rules.  It looks like they have agreed to removed the 'Colored' sign that was hung over this hallway, but they've installed a 'Gotcha Gong' out on the debate stage.  There will be a team of FOX radio pundits who will judge if one of your answers amounts to a 'gotcha' question for Ms. Palin."

The President looked troubled.  "I'm going to be answering questions, not asking them.  How can an answer be a question?  A 'gotcha' question?"

The second aide piped in, "We prepped you on every Rove/Norquist gimmick we could think of, but I'm beginning to think that this debate isn't even going to be about any of that stuff.  FOX can't actually ask any complicated questions or they will destroy their candidate.  And Ms. Palin sure isn't going to say anything particularly complicated, or she'll destroy herself."

The first aide offered a suggestion.  "We could leak a rumor about an international emergency and cancel this train wreck before it gets started.  You would have to rush off to the White House or something.  We need to get you out of here."

Obama turned to face the aide.  "You know that it's not my style to just run away from things like this.  I need a better solution.  We're running out of time."

The second aide smiled briefly.  "Well, I have made plans for a 'fall back' position here.  Anyone interested?"

The voices in the room answered in chorus.  "Yes!  What have you got?"

The second aide was already sending an email through secured channels.

A minute later, someone knocked at the Green Room door.  The Secret Service agent looked at those in the room.  The aide spoke at once.  "Let him in, let him in."

A young black man in heavy dark glasses and an outrageous costume ambled into the room.  Jaws dropped.

The aide immediately moved to introduce the young man.  "Please meet Mr. Jackson, everyone.  He is a post doctoral researcher in theory of communications and aberrent psychology.  He's putting himself through college with a part time job as a Stevie Wonder impersonator."

"We'll just send him out to the debate.  Later on, we'll say that we thought Ms. Palin was Tina Fey and that the whole thing was just a put on -- SNL or something."

Stevie Wonder (image source)
Obama, shaking the young man's hand, asked "Won't the audience know that it's not me?"

The aide answered at once.  "I've already thought about that.  The neo-con wingnuts will definitely think he's you because Jackson is exactly who they want you to be.  The token Blue Dog Democrats will want to act like they've never so much as laid eyes on you.  Plus, Jackson isn't particularly good at debating, but he's an expert at stand up comedy.  I think this is going to work out just fine."

The President was warming to the idea.  "You know, the scheme is a little breathtaking, but I like it!  Let's go with it."

Jackson, speaking to the President, said, "Sir, I'm one of your biggest fans.  I am so ready for this gig, I can hardly wait."

Obama, chuckling, patted the youth on the back and added one last comment, "Try to stumble a little as you walk out to the podium."

The Green Room was filled with laughter.

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