SCENE: A secure, undisclosed location somewhere deep beneath Washington, D.C. Representatives from every conservative PR tank and farm team have gathered for an emergency meeting.
Tony Perkins looks nervous, unsure if he should be glad he gets to go first. He reaches out and makes his choice. Grinning broadly, he holds up the long straw for the others to see and, chuckling to himself, makes his way to the back of the room.
“It’s not fair,” says George Weigel of the Ethics & Public Policy Center. “We had to take Santorum. We should get a pass this time.”
“Just pick, George,” says the intern from Heritage. They sent an intern just to show up the others. Heritage is cocky like that.
Weigel picks a long straw and almost begins to sob with relief.
Gingrich picks next, another long straw. Then the lady from AEI and then a guy from the Petroleum Institute. They both get long straws too, but the oil lobbyist tries to act like he hadn't been worried. “It might have been OK for us,” he says. “You know, ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ and all that.” Nobody’s buying it.It’s the Club for Growth’s turn next, and Stephen Moore looks like he just drank curdled milk.
“Do we really have to do this?” he whines. “Why not talk radio? Or Fox?”
“Have you seen her in interviews?” Gingrich says. “We stick with the plan – cushy think-tank post, ghost-write some books and buy ‘em back. Instant best-selling author and elder stateswoman. You know the drill. Now pick.”
Moore gets lucky, another long straw. And a string of long straws follows – for Dick Armey and Michelle Bernard and Mark Tooley from the Institute on Religion & Democracy, looking even twitchier than usual.
Brent Bozell is up next. The odds are getting worse and he hesitates.
“Look,” he says, “let's work something out here. What if we just agree to take Sanford instead? …”