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by Dale Connelly, 3/10/00

Dc: Last Tuesday was a watershed day in presidential politics for this election year. The Super Tuesday contests in a large number of states settled many questions about who has the strength to carry on through the general election in November for the Democrats and Republicans.
Super Tuesday also had a profound effect on the contest in the Enough! Party, but not in the way people expected. We were fortunate enough to have microphones close to each candidate on that final, frantic super Tuesday night. Let's review what happened.

(sfx: tv sound under)

At 8:45pm, Governor Dick Burstyn had every right to be disappointed in his prospects as he went over the exit poll numbers with his campaign manager, Rob Lackey.

(sfx: paper rustling)

Rob: Governor, with middle aged women you're … last. Middle aged men are highly skeptical of your abilities. They think you're a weenie.

Burstyn: Hmmm. Interesting.

Rob: Young women … hate you. And young men … young men think you're OK, but they're not voting.

Burstyn: How about seniors?

Rob: With seniors and inbetweeners … you're dead last! It's the most hopeless thing I've seen in all my years in politics.

Burstyn: Come on, Rob! You're only 22!

Rob: Well, it's still the worst thing I've seen.
Would you like to talk to the press now?

Burstyn: Are you kidding? The night is young! Let's have some more of those Plains Patty's Buffalo Burgers! (fade) They're the salvation of this campaign. I figured buffalo meat would be gamey. But no! I think that's a wonderful discovery … one that will last my whole life …

Dc: Although all the polling data showed governor Burstyn dead last … he stubbornly refused to throw in the towel or anything else. Meanwhile, the Spleen camp became anxious … as the Ten O'clock news drew ever nearer, they were anxious for a concession. With fifteen minutes to go, Senator Spleen was not in a good mood.

(sfx: rally in bg)

Our microphone caught the candidate just outside the convention hall, where his supporters were already celebrating, and the Senator was conferring with his campaign manager, Rhonda Alonzo.

Spleen: What could be taking him so long? He can count, can't he?

Rhonda: The fact remains … until he gives up, we haven't won our victory "cleanly." The way you handle this will set the tone for the rest of the campaign.

Spleen: I say we go out there and take his head off! I'll tear into him so hard, there'll be nothing left to concede! That'll show 'im.

Rhonda: I know you're upset.

Spleen: Upset! How could that little twerp …

Rhonda: The most important thing now is to be gracious.

Spleen: Gracious?

Rhonda: And dignified.

Spleen: So you're telling me I can't go out there?

Rhonda: No, you have to go out there. But when you do … be gracious. And dignified.

Spleen: Can I claim victory?

Rhonda: Not until he claims the defeat.

Spleen: Awwwww. Gol! This really isn't fair.

Rhonda: Or you could stay backstage here, and I'll talk to the press and your supporters. And the free world. You know how you get flustered when I don't let you speak your mind.

Spleen: Oh, all right! I'm going out!

Rhonda: Do NOT declare victory. Don't make any proposals, plans or promises. Be gracious! Be understanding!

Dc: Senator Spleen came out to talk to the press at 10:02 Tuesday night.

(sfx: applause up and under to out)
(sfx: cameras clicking)

Spleen: Thank you. Thank you so much. It's been … it's been a long night! And we're all very, very tired.

Reporter 1: Are you going to declare victory?

(sfx: loud cheering)

Spleen: (using discretion and reserve) Uh … no, not yet.

(sfx: crowd disappointed)

Reporter 2: All the networks are projecting you the winner.

Spleen: We'll have to wait and see what happens.

Reporter 1: If you could speak to your opponent, Governor Burstyn, right how, what would you say to him?

Spleen: I would congratulate him on a hard fought battle.

Reporter 2: Would you tell him to give up?

Spleen: Ha ha ha ha. Of course not. I understand where he's coming from. You can't work for months and months on something so important as a presidential campaign … as we both have … without feeling some sympathy for a guy whose grasp apparently exceeds his reach. Or … I mean the other way around. His reach exceeds his grasp. Yeah.

Reporter: So you sympathize with Governor Burstyn?

Spleen: I certainly can seed his … oops. Ha. A little slip there.
I meant to say I certainly can see his point, not … I certainly concede.

Reporter: You concede?

Spleen: Ha ha. A little Freudian slip, I guess.
What I said was … "I can seed …"

(sfx: reporter uproar)

I mean, I want him to concede! Secretly. Me, not him! I mean him, not me, him! Him! Why won't you listen to me?

(sfx: uproar under)

Dc: In the melee that followed the Senator's misstatement, a reporter was punched out and in the crush Senator Spleen was pushed off the platform, requiring hospitalization, but he was later released.
By the next morning, Governor Burstyn was on the morning news shows being gracious in the midst of turmoil and controversy.

Burstyn: I've reviewed the tapes with my staff, and I'm of the opinion that he DID concede the contest to me. We did a slow motion zoom in on his lips and it was pretty clear what he was saying.
Be that as it may, that doesn't change the fact that Senator Spleen did get more votes than me. There was a lot of stress last night. He may change his mind again. I wouldn't be surprised if he did. Of course I'll respect his flip-flop on this important issue.

Dc: Spleen sent campaign manager Rhonda Alonzo to speak to the press.

Rhonda: The Senator is resting comfortably. His doctors have examined him and say he's in perfect health. The campaign has been very stressful. Some reporters got carried away last evening and the Senator was put in the awkward position of trying to correct a mistaken impression that then took on a life of it's own, thanks to a little irrational exuberance in the press corps.

Reporter 1: Why isn't the Senator talking to us himself? There are reports on the Internet that there's more to this than you're letting on.

Rhonda: He's just a little tired from all the commotion last night.

Reporter 2: (off mic) Is he nuts?

Rhonda: Uh, no, the Senator is not nuts. But thanks for getting that out int he open.

Reporter 1: Is he dead? There's a website says he's dead.

Rhonda: No, really, he's not dead.

Reporter 2: Does that mean you've freeze dried his brain?

Reporter 1: And is it plotting strategy from a jar in the campaign bus?

Rhonda: I'm not going to dignify that with an answer.

(reporters fade into spirited hubub)

Reporter 2: How cold is the jar?

Reporter 1: What have the doctors done with his body? Is it undergoing experiments?

Dc: As a result of all this confusion and commotion, the race in the Enough! Party continues to be a contest despite the apparent wishes of the voters who overwhelmingly chose Senator Spleen. Governor Burstyn, responding to the rumors, has offered his sympathies to the Spleen family and has proposed a tax credit for suspended animation services. The Spleen campaign has not issued a formal statement in the last 36 hours.


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