October 11, 2012

One Term to Serve: Last Call at the VP Debate [McGehee]

Scene: The 2012 Vice Presidential Debate in Danville, Kentucky. It’s nearly over, and the moderator calls for closing arguments.

Martha Raddatz: “Each candidate will now have two minutes for closing statements, and we’ll begin with Congressman Ryan.”

Paul Ryan: “Thank you, Martha. Mr. Vice President, when you and President Obama took office, he appointed you to be in charge of deficit reduction. In the ensuing four years the national debt has climbed to $16 trillion dollars, and it seems all you’ve been doing as Vice President has been going around giving speeches with offensive comments, factual misstatements and truly bizarre depictions of a reality that most Americans only encounter in old Stanley Kubrick films or, if they were like the President in his younger days, while strung out on some spiked choom. Your purpose here tonight was, we all expected, to defend yours and the President’s record and give the American people reasons why they should stay the course for another four years — yet tonight you’ve told this Kentucky audience how glad you are to be in Kansas, followed with a bunch of jokes about Toto and flying monkeys that I’m sure will leave half our audience unable to sleep tonight; you’ve flirted with the moderator and told her her gray roots are lovely and the face lift scars barely show; you gave a shout out to your ‘amigos’ in the Juarez drug cartel while speaking a form of Spanish that consisted entirely of English words with an O added to the end; you told us about how the driver of your campaign bus turned out not to be pregnant, she just happened to weigh almost 500 pounds, but at least with ObamaCare she could get free birth control; and twice you addressed me as ‘Sarah.’ Mr. Vice President, you have to admit, if the people watching this debate tonight come to the conclusion that the man a heartbeat away from the presidency isn’t fit to be in that position, it won’t be because of anything I have said or done tonight.”

Martha Raddatz: “Thank you, Congressman Ryan. Mr. Vice President, two minutes.”

David Axelrod as Joseph Biden: “What, are we going to commercial?”

Raddatz: “No, Mr. Vice President. You have two minutes in which to make your closing statement.”

Axelrod: “Oh. Okay. Um, well. Congressman Ryan, you are … dreamy. I look into those big, soulful eyes of yours and I could just fall into them forever. Am I right, girls?” (the arena erupts into cheers and whoops, including some from the panel) “But now, I have to tell you, in America we don’t put people in the highest office in the land because they’re rock stars. We don’t choose our presidents and vice presidents because they’re dreamy, or they’re blank slates on which to project everything we want. We expect substance from our leaders. We expect competence and maturity, and seriousness. We don’t go for one-word catch-phrases like ‘math’ — ”

Ryan: “Or ‘hope’ or ‘change’ or ‘forward.'”

Axelrod: “Exactly.” (pauses, looks confused)

Posted by McGehee @ 9:07am
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Comments (7)

  1. I think I like this version way better than anything that might happen tonight.

  2. What Squid said.

  3. Axelrod is a method actor.

  4. From what I’ve read this morning, I’m not sure the actual debate differed all that much from this post…

  5. O no McG. Your work is genuinely funny. That deal last night was depressing.

  6. That deal last night was depressing.

    Maybe, but this:

    “Mr. Vice President, you have to admit, if the people watching this debate tonight come to the conclusion that the man a heartbeat away from the presidency isn’t fit to be in that position, it won’t be because of anything I have said or done tonight.”

    …seems downright prophetic.

  7. It would be intensely interesting to be privy to, to discuss with him Ryan’s (private) doubts about his . . . — I want to say “performance” here, but think that isn’t term I seek, having too much of the sense of “acting on a stage” about it, when I’m looking for a term with the sense of his communicating ideas of which he is himself uncertain — his “how did I do?”.

    People talk loosely about “how so and so did”, “did he win?” and so on. But even while the man himself might think “did I win?” he also might think “was I right?” and not have a final answer to his question.

    That is, at least it’s possible to conceive Ryan might have such a thought, even where never given voice. Biden on the other hand, most likely never.

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