Kerry/Begala/Carville Strategy


It's late at night in one of Teresa's mansions, and John Kerry is planning strategy with his cable-network consultants, James Carville and Paul Begala.

K: Sorry about the Dan Rather thing, guys, especially you, Snakehead, since it was…

C: I'm pretty damned tired o' that "snakehead" stuff there, John. Like I said before, it's just plain discriminatory and…

B: Yeah, discriminatory to every self-respecting snake in the world. (Laughter)

K: Knock it off, Paul, or I'll replace you with Al Sharpton and that'll mean no chance for you to be press secretary when I'm…never mind…I was about to say, James…you're right about the snakehead thing and I apologize…that I especially apologize to you since I asked you to get copies of the Court Martial proceedings against Dubya for refusing to carry out a direct order, but since Rather's stuff was all forgeries and it would be hard to chase down a court martial based on a forgery, I asked for the impossible…

B: Talk about impossible! You choose Al Sharpton and he'll get you impeached before you…can't you just imagine a press conference with Sharpton? The first question will always have to do with Tawana Brawley, and the second will have to do with why he hates Jesse Jackson…ha ha…John…the John and Al show…whew…Sharpton would probably get a "Don King" afro that'd stick up at least nine inches…ha ha…making him taller than you.

K: Not funny, Paul. Nobody…but nobody…stands taller than John Kerry, the scourge of the Viet Cong, winner of purp…

B: Spare us all that stuff, John. I've read that book Unfit for Command, and…say…you wouldn't have one of those ears that one of our guys - not you, of course - actually cut off a Cong guy…a sorta memento of the war that made you a hero…you know…like that picture of you in Ho Chi Minh City, or Hanoi or wherever…all those funny looking roofs and cities look the same.

C: Let's get to the strategy here, boys…I ain't got all day. I gotta go on Larry King Live tonight and explain why the goose-huntin' thing helps the campaign. What should I tell 'im, John? Nobody actually saw you shoot that goose and the republicans are laughin' their fool heads off and comparin' that little cornfield drama to the Dukakis Sherman-tank excursion, and even with that same thing a la Jane Fonda back in Vietnam.

B: Speaking of Jane Fonda, John. Did you ever get to actually touch her…I mean…that is…I don't mean…I just mean…you and her in that picture and you so close…did you maybe even get to speak to her…

K: Watch it, Paul. You're out of order on that. My relationship with Jane is private stuff, like my medals and…

C: Speakin' of which, John, did you ever git it straight about whose medals or ribbons or chevrons or dog-tags or dirty socks or citations or whatever you threw over the wall back in 1970 or '71 or whenever…you know…when you talked about all the war crimes our GIs committed and had those senators just about to genuflect right at your feet? I need to have all that stuff for Larry King tonight…you know how he is…all the powder-puff stuff, but sometimes he actually throws in a zinger or two, by sheer accident.

K: Stay off the subject, Snak…James. The medals are on the wall in my office…or are they upstairs hanging on the medicine cabinet where I can see…or did I put them in the safe deposit…maybe they're in the car…no…I thought yesterday about putting them…or was that last Wednesday…I changed my mind on Thursday…or was it Saturday, and…was that medals or ribbons, James?

C: Never mind there, old Cong bonger, I'll just tell Larry they're where the sun don't shine and he can, ha ha, fill in the blanks…you know…

B: Not funny, James. Larry King is a friend of mine. I know Larry King, and you're no Larry King, so don't even try to steal his show…sheesh…where the sun - that's doesn't - shine, James. Don't they know how to speak anything but Cajun in Louisiana?

K: Come on, guys. We're getting down to the wire here and the polls are scary, not that there's a chance I'll lose. I never lose.

B: Ha Ha! Like bouncing that ball to the catcher the other night to start that game…people are still wondering if…

K: Also not funny, Paul! I could have thrown the ball over the Green Monster out in left field if I had wanted to. I was simply making the effort not to show up the Boston pitcher that night. I never fall off my skis or lose at pinochle or anything else. But what do we have, now that the Rather thing has gone south and this weapons-cache thing has made me out a liar…strike that…I've never lied about anything.

C: Not even about those sliced-off ears, John? (Laughter)

K: Get serious, James. I had to get that Senate committee's attention. Can you think of a better way than…

C: Naw…forget the ears and the whacked-off arms. I got me an idea. There's a loony-tunes crowd on the Internet now that's claimin' that the cowboy knew all about what, when, where, why, and how on that 9/11 thing. Maybe Dan Rather can scare up some documents in Afghanistan to prove Dubya was over there plannin' 9/11 all along. I remember ol' Dan on the evenin' news hidin' behind them boulders in the Afghan mountains back in the eighties when Reagan was sendin' all those weapons over to the freedom-fighters so they could kick the Russkies off their turf. He might scare up somebody with the right model typewriter this time to pop off a memo from bin Laden showin' that Dubya was in cahoots with the Taliban…maybe even scare up the gal that typed it. Course, that might be kinda hard, seein' as how they kept those women covered up from head to toe.

K: Gee, I don't know…that's pretty far-fetched, James…but it would grab attention…like the ear thing back in '71. Dan might even get some proof that Dubya was AWOL from something or other…maybe his job in the oil field or at the Texas Rangers or whatever the hell he was doing back then, if anything. How about that, Paul?

B: Wild, James, wild! Can't you imagine the New York Times headline…something like BUSH BOMBED TOWERS AND PULVERIZED PENTAGON. Whew! Put something like that on MSNBC or CNN…makes no difference if it's true, actually, since we'd pop it on Sunday or even Monday night as the great October surprise…especially since CBS can't run that weapons thing because it's so, so false. It's Halloween anyway and if worse came to worst we could say Ralph Nader pulled off the whole thing as a prank.

K: Yeah, I can see the lead paragraph, "Bush swaggered and smirked in Air Force One during the great meltdown." James, you're genius material.