THE SCENE: A small Italian restaurant in the Village. BARACK OBAMA and BILL CLINTON have just finished their lunch and are smoking cigars and drinking espresso. It is September 11, 2008, and their first one-to-one contact since the primaries ended. Phoniness is oozing from every pore of both politicians. The theme from “The Godfather” is heard playing in the background.
BILL: Well, how’d you like the food?
OBAMA (puffing on his cigar): Not bad, Bill, not bad. Chicago has great pizza, but the Italian food is much better in New York. Maybe Michelle and I will get a place here once I’m President, just like you and Hillary did!
BILL (smoothly): Why sure, Barack, that would be great! I’m sure Michelle and the kids would love New York. (some of Bill’s insincerity drops away) And maybe the people of New York can finally get that damn memorial built. The lights are fine, but every time I see them I just think of how that Saudi Arabian bastard got away with it, and I get so mad…
OBAMA (still totally insincere): Yeah, Bill, uh, me too. Anywho, I was hoping we could get down to business.
BILL (the mask back in place): Excellent idea, Barack! I’ve got some great ideas on how we can help each other. Here’s what I think –
OBAMA (interrupting): Really, Bill? Cause I was thinking you could campaign for me in Ohio, Pennsylvania and –
BILL (the mask dropping away completely): Shut up, Barack. I’m talking now, and I’m the goddamn President of the United States. Show a little goddamn respect, you little pissant!
BARACK (pulling up his chin and looking down his nose): Fine. I’ll take that from you – for now. Go ahead, (with sarcastic emphasis) Mister President.
BILL (leaning back in his chair): Look here, SENATOR. The only reason you’re here is because you’re in big, big trouble. The way things are shaking out, McCain is gonna be the next President. Yup, you’re getting your skinny ass handed to you by a 72-year-old man who’s stuck with the most hated brand since Edsel. And do you know why?
BARACK (snottily): Am I permitted to respond?
BILL (smiling nastily): Go ahead. I’d like to see if you can get one goddamned thing right, or if you are really as stupid as I think you are.
BARACK (sneering): I know why. Because I out-thought, out-played and out-organized your dumb bitch of a wife, and her bitter, menopausal, racist supporters can’t deal with it. And now, they’re voting for Sarah Palin out of revenge, just because she has a vagina!
BILL (laughing): HAHAHAHAHA! Whoo-ee, that was hilarious. Thanks for the entertainment! You are, in fact, dumber than a bag full of rocks, Barack. How you ever got this far is beyond me.
Truth is, you went against the Family. You think you can be head of the Democratic Family? That means you gotta have respect for the rules. You gotta keep your promises on the issues they care about. You gotta adhere to the traditions. And you gotta treat every member of the Family, like family. You can’t be calling them all kinds of nasty names, and expecting them to vote for you anyway.
OBAMA: But-but-but – they’re just women, Bill. I thought if I threatened them with Roe v. Wade, they’d come around. And why were they paying so much damn attention?
BILL (sighing): Because Hillary was a historic candidate, you idiot. There has never been a female candidate for President who has had even the tiniest chance of winning. Didn’t you think they’d care about that? Didn’t you think they’d watch every move you’d make? After all, your black supporters did the same for you. How could you not get that?
OBAMA (bursting out, standing up and pacing): DAMMIT! I deserve this Presidency. Why can’t they just see that? Why do I have to go around kow-towing to everyone? Why can’t they just elect me already? Bill, I’m so bored by all of this. I just want to sit in the Oval Office and be President!
BILL (shaking his head): Barack, you are such a fool. All your life, you’ve had everything handed to you because you’re so damn charming. But this time, the American people are sick and tired of bad government. They’ve had eight years of Bush, and they’re not about to turn the reins over to someone they don’t even know without a lot of careful examination. And if you think Hillary was hard on you, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
(standing up, putting a semi-fatherly hand on OBAMA’s shoulder) Maybe you should take off those shoulderpads and call the game. I just don’t think you can handle the pressure.
BARACK (furiously throwing BILL’s hand off): Oh, you’d just love that, wouldn’t you? Well, for now, I AM the head of the Family. And I’m smart, Bill. I’m smart! I got YOU out of the way with those charges of racism, didn’t I? And I beat Hillary in the primaries, didn’t I – stole the nomination right out from under her nose! I got Hillary to give that speech at the Convention, didn’t I? And I got this meeting with you, didn’t I? So far, everything is going my way. And you know what? It’s gonna KEEP going my way until I’m inaugurated in January of 2009. So why don’t YOU show some GODDAMNED RESPECT!
(OBAMA is breathing hard. BILL is looking at OBAMA with murder in his eyes. Then, slowly, BILL nods.)
BILL (softly, building to a crescendo): You’re right, Barack. You are the head of the Family – for now. So here’s what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna campaign for you in Florida, starting at the end of this month. You’re never going to win that state anyway, so it’s no skin off my nose. And every time I’m up in front of the public saying how they should vote for you, I’m going to show them what a REAL President looks like. And Hillary will do the same in the battleground states she’ll need to win in 2012. We’ll look like we’re supporting you, but in fact, we’ll be laying the groundwork for Hillary’s next run. (at the apex of fury) So enjoy it while you can, you fucking punk, because you are NEVER, EVER going to be President!
(Silence, while both calm down.)
OBAMA (speaking first): Fine. So we have a deal, then? We can pretend that everything’s okay and we’re all unified and shit, at least until I win in November? After that, Bill, you and Hillary are DONE. I mean GONE, Chicago style.
BILL: Yes, Barack, we have a deal. But after November, YOU are going to be the one that’s gone, Chicago style. And we’re gonna get Dean, Pelosi, Brazile and Reid outta there too.
OBAMA: May the best man win.
BILL: I’ll shake on that.
(The mortal enemies shake hands, and OBAMA walks out.)
(A waiter brings BILL the check.)
BILL: Barack didn’t even pay for it? Well, that’s okay. (addressing the waiter) He’ll pay in November, right, Mario?
MARIO: Never go against the Family, Mr. President. (The two men share a grim smile.)