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by Jennifer Hampster, 10/13/00

Dc: This is DCR, a news program not to be believed. With the election only weeks away, a rift has developed in the Enough! Party... a division serious enough to scuttle the campaign of Senator Sam Spleen. Our chief political correpsondent, Jennifer Hampster, reports.

Jennifer: In a remarkable joint press conference, Senator Spleen and his campaign manager, Rhonda Alonzo, revealed that they have been "fighting like badgers" throughout the campaign. Normally these internal political disputes are kept under wraps, but the fragile Enough! Party has no mechanism for squelching these fundamental differences, and this week the conflict erupted as it never has before. Senator Spleen told reporters that the fighting was over his traditional values versus cutting edge technology and so-called "new" thinking.

(sfx: mild reporter rustling, cameras, press conference feel)

Spleen: I am an old fashioned politician. I believe in one on one contact with the voters. There's a lot of give and take. I give the voters what they want to hear, then I take their contributions. Then I give them some more. I even enjoy the smoke filled room a little bit, though... (sarcastic) I understand that's not how things are done nowadays.

(sfx: hubub up)

Reporter 1: So do you and Ms. Alonzo get into actual fisticuffs, or is it more of a quiet resentment?

Reporter 2: Any hair pulling, Senator?

Spleen: No, no. You're... this is not professional wrestling, folks. It's just that... for example... I would want to go to a shopping mall or a factory gate to shake hands, and she would want me to host an internet chat or some such thing. And I just... I haven't done things that way. Ever.

Reporter 2: Rhonda, what's wrong with shaking hands at the factory gate, or the mall?

Rhonda: The Senator is exaggerating, believe it or not. I was perfectly happy to have him shake hands. But if you're gonna have a successful campaign in the year 2000, and especially if you're a third party candidate, you gotta be willing to do some things different, to try to get some attention, to separate yourself from the crowd, and the Senator... he wants to run the same old campaign, over and over again and I just... life is too short, you know?

Spleen: And I couldn't see the sense in the suggestions she was making. I mean... like with the debates. What good does it do, if I'm out on the stump saying I don't like the debates and don't want to be in the debates, to go ahead and push altered sound bites featuring my opponents and ME, supposedly debating them and belitttling them?

(sfx: reporter hubub)

I mean... I can belittle them without the technology! It's easy!

Jennifer: But Senator, you have to admit, the phony sound bites have been a big hit. Fantastic! People want more, they want to hear you thrash your opponents and turn them into whimpering, defeated cowards.

Rhonda: Yes! I'm trying to give the people what they want... a story... about a good man overcoming incredible odds and powerful opposition to realize his Dream! And thrashing his opponents is an important part of the climax, and we gotta provide it. Even if it didn't really happen.

(sfx: reporter hubub)

Spleen: Let me just say... the problem I have is... It isn't the truth. And I have always told the truth when it's convenient. And I plan to keep on telling the truth whenever and wherever I need to do so. It's a point of honor with me.

Rhonda: And I wanna say it IS true, but sometimes to show what's true you have to make up the details surrounding it. To kinda... illuminate it, you know?

Spleen: And that is the stupidest thing I've ever heard!

Rhonda: I'm NOT stupid. Losing is stupid! And if you would listen to me, you wouldn't be losing OR stupid!

Spleen: I'm stupid? Is that what you're saying?

Rhonda: You said it, not me.

Spleen: I ought to fire you! I'm the candidate, you know! I can do that!

Rhonda: You don't scare me.

(sfx: reporter hubub)

Reporter 1: So is this the end of the Spleen campaign?

Both: Uh, no. I don't see why. Nope.

Jennifer: But how can you go on, hating each other's guts like you do?

Both: Um... not really a problem. We're used to it.

Spleen: You have to remember in a typical campaign, a lot of the paid staffers hate the candidate's guts anyway. That's almost traditional. And I'm a traditional candidate, so I'm comfortable with that.

Reporter 2: And Rhonda?

Rhonda: I really need the money, so...

Spleen: Rhonda and I have decided to debate each other in two weeks. I know that it's a bit unconventional... but since no one else will debate me... I figure "why not?"

Reporter 1: But Senator, you said debates are boring!

Spleen: I'm committed to doing whatever I have to do to make it interesting for everyone.

Rhonda: And I am insisting that there be no folding chairs in the room.

(sfx: reporter hubub down)

Jennifer: (vo) Senator Sam Spleen of the Enough! Party and his campaign manager, Rhonda Alonzo, airing their differences in a joint press conference.

Dc: Wow, Jennifer, what a shocker! Open discord. Petty squabbling! A political reporter's dream come true!

Jennifer: It's a little TOO good. I called Spleen's running mate, Ohio undertaker Dwight Plotz, to find out how "surprised" he is by this.

Plotz: (phone) (w/organ in bg) Of course I'm quite distressed to hear about these hard feelings. I hope these two will soon realize that... life is brief and we need to cherish the time we have together. Even if it's painful.

Jennifer: (int) Mr. Plotz, do you think the campaign is dead now?

Plotz: No. Not at all. I've seen dead. We're not there yet.

Jennifer: (vo) When asked if this disupte was, itself, a publicity stunt, Plotz, Spleen AND Alonzo all declined to comment.

Dc: What does that mean?

Jennifer: Well, Duh!

Dc: Our chief political correspondent, Jennifer Hampster.


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