"Exit Wounds" - August
Last time, the candidates were off and running -
literally - to New Hampshire, where they settled into
their new digs to try to compete for HALF a President's
annual take (thanks to Dave for pointing that out). Who
was rubbed off the ballot? Chrissy. When was it over for
her? When staunch conservative Park won the challenge,
the title of that week's frontrunner, and, as a result,
the right to vote in the case of a tie. He ended up
playing the "reproductive rights" card, which Chrissy
Now the real test begins, back in Keene, NH. Keith tries
to rally together Lisa, Malia, and Bruce for that
time-honored reality competition staple... the alliance.
Basically, he's playing two-party politics, as was
painted out by Malia in the last episode. Bruce brings
up an interesting point, in that conservatives are
strategizing as well.
The leader of said camp,
Park, is probably the only one that's calm, cool, and
collected. "I feel like Bill. I'm back, baby. I am
bulletproof." Uhh... just something wrong with that.
Back at campaign
headquarters, Montel informs the candidates of their
next campaign test. But first, Joe Trippi, political
consultant gives the players some advice. "Differences
on your issues are what's going to matter here. Don't
hold back. If you believe it, say it. Even if the
American people don't agree with you, they'll respect
you for having the courage to do it and say it."
Now, the first
challenge. Give a speech on the war on terror in front
of hundreds of voters. An exit poll will be conducted at
the end of the rally, and whoever has the higher total
of the poll will be given exclusive access to Joe Trippi
for the rest of the campaign.
Oh, and did we mention
that you only have two hours to write the speech?
Right now, everyone is
being put against the wall, especially Joyce, who is
bent on telling everyone about her research on Gulf War
Illness. Park believes that we are winning the war.
Malia, of course, doesn't. "The reason why the war on
terror isn't working is because... it's this faceless,
countryless, personless war. It's basically like
shooting in the dark at anything that moves."
Bruce cites desperation on the side of the terrorists.
Jim wants to change gears and focus on the OPEC cartel.
Richard has two words on why the war on terror failed...
"I... Raq. That's supposed to be kinda funny." *blinks*
One hour to go, and
Keith's mulling the American dream. He wants to be
memorable in what he says and how he says it. He's going
for "rhyme lines". Example: "Distraction means
Thirty minutes, and Bob
wants to make sure his speech is powerful, impactful,
passionate, and real. So he goes for form and style to
hit the little guy. Not so, Pete (Bob's CM) says. "My
feeling, my position is... What's the question exactly
again?" Bob's doomed.
The bus heads over to
the rally. Once again, "Here are you American
candidates! Nitro! Gold! Laser!..." No, wait, that can't
be right. We meet Bob, Jim, Richard, Lisa, Bruce, and
Park once more time. Where's Keith, Malia, and Joyce?
They're around. Trust me. Malia's hyped, for one.
Mayor Michael Blastos
leads off the party with Malia, who does not believe
we're winning a war on terror because we're not fighting
a war on terror. Instead, she says we're winning a war
on civil liberties. Very anti-Savage of her. Park is
next, saying that if we don't face terrorists in Kabul
and Baghdad, then we'll have to face them in Keene and
Boston. Very good use of the alliteration, that man. Jim
wants to have sister schools featuring US schools in the
Muslim world. Richard says that this is not about
terror, but it's about corporate greed. Bruce seems to
have the most powerful words to date here: "If you want
Christian solutions to conflict, human solutions to
conflict, if you want to stop pouring gasoline on the
fire that is global terrorism, then I am your
candidate!" Lisa just wants the troops home and the
Patriot Act repealed. Joyce says that there's nothing
wrong with questioning authority, saying she's more
afraid of being a detainee than of the Taliban. Bob
one-ups Bruce here: "I believe we are winning the war on
terror... in America, but I think it's coming at a
tremendous cost to this country." Too bad it all falls
apart from there. People are seriously not picking up
what he's putting down.
Let's see if Keith can
do any better. Wouldn't take much, though. He says that
the White House was actually finding weapons of mass
distraction in Iraq, saying that dollars spent there
aren't being spent on health insurance and finding Osama
bin Laden. I think he's won them over. And so he has.
So people are talking
with the Keenites, a very liberal bunch. Park says that
he's told that he'll get votes, but he'll get nowhere in
Keene. "Pray for us and sacrifice a chicken for
us." At this moment, I'd like to say that I do not
support the needless sacrifice of animals for fashion,
science, or religion.
At the War Room, the
candidates are congratulated on such a large turnout.
Joe gives Lisa and Keith high marks. Now the exit poll
result... With 49% of the vote, the winner is... Keith.
But that's to be expected. Now the fun part begins. Each
candidate has been given a toll-free number. the next
challenge: get out and convince people to call that
number. Highest total becomes the new frontrunner, while
the lowest two must debate.
And to help you, two
things: a) a house party where you can woo voters or
campaign volunteers, and b) a package from Amazon.com
that will also be of some... help... somehow. In six
hours, we tabulate. Time to hit the streets.
Keith is loving the fact
that he is working with someone who helped Howard Dean
in his bid for the White House... even up to the whole
"work until you drop" spiel. The bar is set particularly
high, seeing as Keith is both African-American AND gay.
Joe tells him to hit the house party first.
Joyce, on the other
hand, has no idea where to start. Begin at the
beginning, I always say, as we rip open our packs to see
office supplies. Because you can't get them anywhere
other than Amazon.com in Keene for some reason. Lisa's
strategy: mobilize her e-mail contacts.
Five and a half hours
left, and Bob needs to figure out how to get to the
house party. Keith, Joyce, and Jim are already there.
Jim sees Keith in action and looks like he's about to
pass a stone. Bob finally makes it to the house party,
just as a voter asks if a draft if inevitable. Bob
personally thinks not. Jim seizes the opportunity to
promote national service, military and otherwise. Good
gambit on his part... Will it work? Probably not, as
even Keith doesn't offer a yes/no answer, only that he's
100% opposed to it.
Five hours later, and
Lisa's e-mailing the heck out of the computer. "Mass
e-mailing is the future." As a person who gets spam on a
regular basis, I can say that mass e-mailing is also
annoying. Bruce thinks of the same idea, but also uses
the phone. Meanwhile at the party, Bob tries to save his
dismal speech with an even more dismal platform
assessment. Cell phone calls from your mother... also
don't help. Bob tries to play up the "disenfranchised
constituents" card, but it can only get him so far. Then
the cell rings again. And Bob makes the fool mistake of
Speaking of cell phones,
"What's up with people in Keene having dope cell
phones?" Malia asks of voters who have cast theirs for
Malia on the spot.
Four hours left, and
Joyce hits up the supply store to get some flyers out.
Will color help? Park heads up to the church to spread
his gospel truth. Luckily, he IS able to get inside to
have a word. They get some word on other churches in the
area. Lisa, on the other hand, gets out on the street
after jocking in the computer area. Malia also jocks the
streets. Jim gets hammered on AIDS. Keith sells himself,
and people in Keene are buying.
Two hours left, and
Joyce races back to the store to pick up the rest of her
flyers. "There's more pressure on to get the votes than
to get your message out." She hits up a Marine house.
One hour left, and Bob's
taking up a baseball game. He pimps himself at the end
of the game. He honestly thinks he has the most
supporters. I dunno, boss... Wait, a busy signal. I've
seen so many episodes of Idol to know how this works...
and it's not how this works. All this time, Bob has been
giving out the WRONG NUMBER. Even his CM thinks that his
leadership skills need work.
Four minutes left, and
Keith doesn't have his rap down. The line is "I don't
need your luck, I need your vote." "Discipline is
discipline," Joe says. "That wasn't our A game." We'll
see what game it is in a moment because the polls are
now CLOSED. Here are the standings...
Bruce - 25%, second
Keith - 10%, third
Richard - 8%, fourth
Park - 6%, fifth
Malia - 5%, sixth
James - 4%, seventh
Three people left, Bob,
Lisa, and Joyce. Facing elimination...
Joyce - 3%, eighth
Bob - 2%, ninth, or last.
Lisa, with 38%, is the
new frontrunner. Lisa would've rather taken third or
second, because now the others think that she has this
machine behind her. And she does. "The people".
So next time, Joyce's
veterans will have to face off against Bob's... well,
Bob. He's trying so hard to be Mr. America that he's
actually getting on everyone's nerves. Lisa puts it
succinctly (warning: this is Showtime, and you can
actually get away with swearing): "Americans are so
turned off on generalities because everyone says the
same bulls(^_^). You're like a woodpecker on someone's
shoulders that just won't go away."
But in the end, it seems
like the "I'm not a politician" deal may go through.
Next up, the debate, as Joyce believes that she doesn't
have a voice for those who don't believe in her." Bob
just wants to have fun. We'll see what fun topic Montel
has for us. "Why you should be in this race?" That's
fun, right? Both Joyce and Bob come into this in a
virtual deadlock. Joyce says she should remain in the
race because she's the only candidate that should return
to a true constitutional government. "[Our out of
control government] needs to be challenged, and I
believe I can do that," she says. Bob says that he's
just not a politicians. "We learn from our mistakes" is
his only defense... and a proposal for peace and
economic growth... that Montel calls him on. But does
Bob follow up on his statement? Sorta, to separate
Israel and Palestine while holding Jerusalem in an
independent state. Joyce goes into her Gulf War illness
bouts. Bob says that Joyce doesn't have the strength or
the stamina. Joyce says that Bob is very bright, but
responds emotionally too much. Time to vote for who will
stay in the race.
Lisa: "I think that
JOYCE brings diversity."
Jim: "Bob, I'm disappointed in the way you chose to
Malia: JOYCE - "In the end of the day, Bob, you were
just too condescending for me."
Keith: "JOYCE, we may not agree on much, but at least I
know I can trust you."
That's four. That's
enough. The other votes:
A 7-0 sweep. Sorry for
you, Bob... But that's politics. He's his own worst
enemy. *looks at Bob* Yep. Next time, the American
Candidate train crosses the River of Dreams into
Allentown, where a press conference separates the Uptown
Girls from the Piano Men. No, that doesn't make any
sense, either, but hey, it's My Life.