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The US Republican Party's Vice President selection meeting.

Editorial Staff

This meeting never happened, but we were there anyway. Why don't you join us as we listen in through imaginary surveillance devices.

(we've made this Premium Content article free for all to read. )

Party Grandee 1: Well now we're fucked. Realistically, we've no choice. We have to approve The Donald. Shit, I'd rather have The Ronald: at least he dresses like a clown.

Party Grandee 2: True, but he's a very scary clown.

Party Grandee 3: And you think Trump isn't? It's lunacy: I think that many voted for him as a joke but it turned out there were so many who thought they were being funny that he actually won.

PG1: So, what do we do? We have to make him the Candidate. Do we hope he gets bored and wants to resign after three months? After all, by then he will have done what his ego requires and become President.

PG3: Will he last three months? He's a control freak. While he might pass his businesses over to assorted family, friends and acolytes, he won't be able to resist getting involved. So if we find evidence of his continued commercial activity, or he uses his office to promote Trump anything, or even to host official events at Trump anything, we can get him impeached. We can harass him out of office by giving evidence to his opponents to keep attacking.

PG2: and who do you think will do that? There's no point in giving it to the Democrats: ignoring the front-of-house people like Clinton, the people like us in the Democratic Party want Trump to win: then they can point to his endless cock-ups and say we can never be trusted again. We will become unelectable for the next three or four terms.

PG3: that is a real risk. What if we neutralise him with a powerful deputy?

PG1: Ah, the Vice President. What was it Wilson's number two said? Something about being in a cataleptic fit, unable to speak, move, feel pain. Being aware of everything around him but having no part in it.

PG2: True: he hosts events that the President can't be arsed to go to, he stands alongside the President at grand events, he is torn between hoping a sniper's bullet hits the President in the head, or himself.

PG3: But Trump needs a running mate.

PG1: Trump needs to take a running jump.

PG2: I've got a list of prospects.

PG4: we all have. I've written all the names on these scraps of paper. [he gets up, picks up a bowl from a side table, tosses the strips of paper into it, then passes a clean strip of paper to each of the others.] Here: write on this a number between one and one hundred, then keep it hidden.[they do. He takes a coin from his pocket.] I'll flip this. If it lands heads up, the person who wrote the largest number draws a slip. If it lands tails up, whoever wrote the smallest number draws a slip. [he tosses the coin that lands on the table and rolls along it towards PG2].

PG2: It's heads. [They all turn over their slips. PG3 has written 84 and that's the highest number. The rest are clustered around 50. PG3 pulls a slip from the bowl.

PG3: Mike Spence.

PG1: well, he's no worse than anyone else.

PG2: who is he?

PG1: Governor of Indiana. Red necks and born again Christians. Looks like a reasonably successful shoe salesman. Likes to post pictures of his younger self on his website but current media pictures show him as a bit chubbier and a bit more worn than his self-image wants to imagine.

PG2: want a giggle? I bet that Trump runs hashtags on social media that only have his name on while Pence runs hashtags with both names.

PG1: that sounds like we've decided.

PG4: the alternative is we read all these briefing notes, we discuss them all, we might even interview one or two of them. Can we really be bothered when the whole thing is so ballsed up already? I mean seriously: there's more bollocks than bull and there's a vast amount of bull around Trump as it is.

PG2: Oh, you Texan you. You just want Pence because he's a Redneck.

PG4: actually, he's so far from being a Redneck it's not true but if there's one thing we can assume is that if he became governor of one of the most Redneck states in the country, then he's got the ability to talk to ordinary people, which is something that Trump doesn't do: he just spouts vitriol and lectures and hectors the audience. He even said that the fact he's worked on a building site gave him a connection with the common man: I don't think Trump is going to play well across most of the country once he's in power. Pence, half way between shoe-salesman and minister, will.

PG1: you read the notes!

PG4: why do you think I was quiet while you were warming up. I've got 12 proposals. All of them broadly similar. All of them, in the great scheme of things, insignificant. But one thing about Pence: if anyone ever listened, he's got some serious knives out for Clinton and he focuses on corruption. He's going to be a very effective weapon if Clinton wins.

PG1: How so, if she wins, he's jobless and worse, he's jobless from a position that's barely a job at all. He's a bug, no a speck of dust, on the windscreen of a political juggernaut.

PG3: I get it. You think he's going to make it his life's work to constantly look for evidence of corruption and feed it to Clinton's opponents? Yes, like we were thinking of doing to Trump, but he'll be giving the information to the good guys.

PG1: Vote. Pence for VP.

[They all say "aye"]

PG2. Who's going to make the announcement?

PG1: give his profile to the secretary outside. Get her to get the PR people to make an announcement but to call Spence first.

PG2: Pence.

PG1: what?

PG2: his name is Pence. You said "Spence." So did PG3, earlier, and he had the notes to read from. Oh, God. We're about to select someone who no one will even find in Google.

PG1: whatever.

[They leave, each going their separate ways at the door]



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