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by Jennifer Hampster, 7/14/00

Dc: This is DCR, a news program not to be believed.
Speculation has begun concerning the possible vice presidential candidates for the fall election. The Republicans and Democrats have their lists of names, compiled for a variety of reasons not the least of which is the ability of a particular candidate to put a lock on a certain number of electoral votes.
In the Enough! Party, where the chance of victory is so slim, the criteria are different. Jennifer Hampster is our chief political correspondent.

(sfx: cocktail party)

Jennifer: When the movers and shakers who guide the Enough! Party gather for camaraderie and gossip, the talk almost always goes to the tactics of the party's presidential candidate, Senator Sam Spleen, who has been out of sight since March.
But once they're done talking about that, insiders drift towards the
question of Spleen's vice presidential nominee … Who will it be?

Partygoer 1: I was thinking Judge Crater might be a good one.

Partygoer 2: No no no. He's not known!

Partygoer 1: Well he disappeared.

Partygoer 3: But he's forgotten now. What we need is someone who is still known.

Partygoer 1: Waldo?

Partygoer 3: How about Amelia Earhart?

Partygoer 1: Great, we need a woman on the ticket.

Partygoer 2: Jimmy Hoffa could help us with the labor vote!

(sfx: crowd fade out)

Jennifer: But these names of famous disappeared people are just wishful thinking. Political analyst Spin Williams says what the Enough Party needs is someone to serve as a counterpoint to the enigmatic Spleen, someone who is not afraid to be seen in public.

Spin: (phone) They need a home run here. Someone who loves being in the public eye. Someone who is well known. Someone who is widely respected and will bring in a lot … and I mean a LOT of votes.

Jennifer: (q) One of the names I've heard mentioned is Oprah.

Spin: That is not going to happen. Oprah is already more powerful than any vice president in the nation's history. Oprah can make a book a national best seller. Find a modern vice president who could even convince his friends to read a specific book.
I tell you there has been no one. NO ONE!

Jennifer: Plus the VP has to go to lots of funerals.

Spin: Yes, and I think Oprah would find that discouraging.

Jennifer: (annc) So who is really on the short list to run with Spleen in the fall? Campaign manager Rhonda Alonzo was questioned about that at length this week.

Rhonda: I can't reveal any names to you. That would be wrong.
But I can tell you what the Senator is looking for. Obviously his priority is to find someone who can step right into the presidency.

Reporters: (hubub)

Reporter 1: Well Rhonda, who would that be?

Rhonda: Use your brains! Who could step right in? Someone who has been president already could do it, couldn't they?

Reporters: (hubub)

Reporter 2: Are you talking to former presidents?

Rhonda: Unfortunately, none of the living former presidents is willing to join a new third party. Surprise! But you know … there are other ways.

Reporters: (hubub)

Rhonda: I don't want to name any names, but there are several people around who have SHOWN they can be presidential and look presidential even though they have not actually been the president. Now I leave it to you to figure that one out …

Reporters: (hubub)

Reporter 3: Is it Al Haig?

Rhonda: Give me a break, huh? I said someone who has SHOWN they can look presidential. Someone who can face the cameras. Hint hint? Someone who can … (slow down) … calm the people in a time of trouble. Someone who exudes authority.

Reporter 1: Are you talking about Martin Sheen?

Rhonda: Um, no, but there's an example, certainly, of someone who has shown he can be the president, on TV. I love The West Wing, I'm sure you do too. But there is more to being president than just the TV.

Reporters: (hubub up)

Reporter 2: How about Kevin Kline? He was president in Dave!

Reporter 3: Morgan Freeman! I loved him in Deep Impact!

Reporter 1: Bill Pullman in Independence Day!

Reporter 2: Harrison Ford played the president in Air Force One!

Reporter 1: Lynne Thigpen in Bicentennial Man!

Reporter 3: Didn't Ed Asner play the president?

Rhonda: Hang on now. Hold it. Settle down.

Reporters: (hubub down)

Rhonda: While it's true that all the people you mentioned have played the president and would make wonderful running mates for Senator Spleen, let the record show I have not mentioned anyone's name in particular. And I would caution you about jumping to any conclusions.
There are many fine American character actors who have played the president. For example, Forrest Ackerman played the president in "Amazon Women on the Moon."
So if you think this is a short list or an easy job, let me assure you, it is not.

Reporters: (hubub down)

Jennifer: Spleen campaign manager Rhonda Alonzo. The list of actors who have read for the part is closely guarded. Insiders suggest this is really a race between Morgan Freeman, whose president in Deep Impact was very calming and stable, and Bill Pullman, whose president in Independence Day flew a jet, which the voters seem to like.

Dc: And not Harrison Ford?

Jennifer: His president in Air Force One got thrown out of a jet. That's very different and not at all reassuring.

Dc: Chief political correspondent Jennifer Hampster.

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