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by Dale Connelly, 7/21/00

Dc: This is DCR, a news program not to be believed. With the major parties set to announce their vice presidential running mates, the Enough! Party made an attempt to grab some headlines this week when The Spleen campaign released the name of its choice for the second spot on the ticket. It's Dwight Plotz, a funeral Director from Festering Stump, Ohio. And he joins us now in the studio. Congratulations, Mr. Plotz.

Dwight: (very deep, compassionate) Thank you. I'm touched.

Dc: You're very much of a surprise. A political unknown.

Dwight: Yes, and let me say to those public servants who hoped to be Senator Spleen's choice, "My thoughts are with you and your families at this most difficult time. None of us like to see a dream die, and for some of them I'm sure that losing this opportunity to run for Vice President is very painful.

Dc: It's funny that you should put it in those terms, because it calls attention to your work experience as an undertaker.

Dwight: Yes, it's true, I am a grief manager and a bereavement consultant.

Dc: We don't use the word "undertaker" anymore?

Dwight: It's a perfectly good word. I don't use it … but if you're comfortable with it … your comfort at this difficult time is my foremost concern.

Dc: Vice President is a big responsibility. What qualifications do you bring to the job?

Dwight: Well, everyone knows the vice president is called upon to represent the president and the country at state occasions, including funerals. Of course that is a setting where I would be … very comfortable, and, I hope, useful.

Dc: Attending the funerals of foreign potentates and such.

Dwight: Many of them are quite elderly.

Dc: But isn't it a condition of being vice president that a person be ready to assume the presidency in a heartbeat? And are you ready for that?

Dwight: If I am elected vice president, it would be my strongest wish NEVER to have to assume the mantle of the presidency. But if I did … I would do so with dignity and compassion.

Dc: But what background do you have in say … foreign policy?

Dwight: None. Absolutely none. But, you know, the language of grief is universal, and on that level, I communicate very well.

Dc: I think you do. You have a very comforting and reassuring manner.

Dwight: You're so kind to say so. Thank you.

Dc: But on tax policy, nuclear arms, campaign financing, and so many other issues, you've taken no positions, you have no track record …

Dwight: I sense that this "experience" question is an issue for you.

Dc: I don't think these questions can be ignored.

Dwight: Of course not. I don't believe anyone will forget about your questions. And in a world where so much is temporary, isn't it reassuring to know that some part of what you're asking will never go away?

Dc: My questions will never go away?

Dwight: Not if they're immortalized in granite on a polished slab. In this state, they can stand the test of time and serve as a guidepost and an inspiration for generations yet to come. All for one low reasonable price.

Dc: Are you trying to sell me a tombstone?

Dwight: Not if you don't want one.

Dc: As a vice presidential candidate, should you be making a sales pitch?

Dwight: Of course not. If I offended you, I'm deeply, deeply sorry. And I want you to know I stand with you in this time of trouble.

Dc: Thank you. Mr. Dwight Plotz, an undertaker … a bereavement consultant, who has just been named senator Sam Spleen's running mate on the Enough! Party ticket for the fall elections.
With me now is political analyst Donna Chumkin to bring us some perspective on this highly unusual choice by the standard bearer of the Enough! Party choice. Donna?

Donna: What, am I supposed to do it with him sitting right here?

Dc: Well, why not? He's going to hear about it anyway.

Dwight: I'd be happy to go wait in the other room, if that will make you more comfortable, Ms. Chumkin.

Donna: Well … my opinion is not gonna change if you leave or stay.

Dc: Maybe it will be better if you go.

Dwight: I'll be happy to oblige.

(sfx: footsteps fade off)

If you need me I'll be just outside the door, standing quietly. Greeting any other guests you might have.

(sfx: door open and close)

Dc: OK. He's a very mellow guy.

Donna: Yes, quite unlike Senator Spleen.

Dc: Odd that they'd form a team.

Donna: Actually, not. What we see here is a new wrinkle in the conventional wisdom. Candidates used to go for an electoral/geographical distinction … you pick a running mate from a different region who can carry a key state.
But people don't have that kind of loyalty to their states anymore.
As people look at the candidates they want to know … is there anyone running for office who is just like me?

Dc: So we're looking for … ourselves?

Donna: We're looking for ourselves and we want to vote for ourselves. And so the smart presidential candidate chooses a running mate who is a temperamental opposite. That way, they can cover a larger range of personality types, and draw more votes.

Dc: What about policies? Is there …

Donna: Policies don't matter. It's personality.

Dc: So … was this a wise move by Senator Spleen, to name an undertaker as his running mate?

Donna: On one level it makes sense. But how do people feel about undertakers in general? We don't know, although you can bet there'll be some polling done on this very soon.

Dc: I suppose he's still standing out there.

Donna: You can bring him back in.

Dc: Mr. Plotz?

(sfx: door open)

Dwight: (off mic) Yes?

Dc: You can come back in now.

(sfx: door close, footsteps fade up)

Donna: I want to thank you for leaving the room, although there was nothing we talked about that I wouldn't say to your face.

Dwight: (fade on) Certainly. Of course I understand completely. And I'm anxious to be of assistance to you in any way possible.

Dc: Thank you, you've done enough.

Dwight: Should you have need of my services in the future …

Donna: Wow, I hope not!

Dwight: Of course. But if you do, I hope you can reach me through the White House, Washington, DC.

Dc: We'll be sure to call. Thanks.

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