The Humbling: “The ONE” goes to Don Clinton

The Humbling: “The ONE” goes to Don Clinton September 7, 2008

So, it appears that “The One” is going begging to Don Clinton, hat in hand:

The One strides in confidently and extends his hand to The Don. The Don looks up, contemplates the proffered hand, and watches The One’s smile fade as it is not shaken. The One retracts his hand, and tilts his head, comprehending, but not liking it. Still, he needs this meeting.

Don Clinton nods slightly, and with a silky hand motions The One to take a seat. Don Clinton’s blue eyes are grave, but there is a noticeable twitching about his mouth, as though he is suppressing a smile, or sucking on a peeled grape. He remains silent. The One looks about the room in discomfort, waiting for an opening. Don Clinton makes a point of playing with his pinky ring, and gives him none. Finally, clearing his throat and assuming a cavalier affect, The One speaks:

The One: Uh, thank you, Mr. President, for seeing me in your beautiful offices.

Don Clinton nods, but says nothing. More praise is due.

The One: I, um, think it’s er…a wonderful, a wonderful testament to your, eh, your um, unquestionable commitment to em, the uh, your solidarity with the black community.

Don Clinton, remembering when The One played the race card on him, narrows his eyes and does not smile. He leans back in his chair and waits, squinting through the smoke, his cigar tilting upward in his mouth, ala FDR. More praise is due.

The One: It – it was a masterstroke of erm, brilliant racist-baiting, erm…a stroke of masterburbating, uhhhh, stroking, ermmm…a master…stroke…of getting back at the Republican jerks who impeached you and foreplaying, I mean forestalling any future innuendo or scandals intern erm…in turn.

Don Clinton’s eyes are ablaze with anger. The One, too cool to cower, crosses his legs and wishes for a teleprompter.

The One: What I mean, is, uhm, when Charlie Rangel suggested you taking offices here, it just uhm, under- underscored your lifelong commitment to fairness and your emm, legacy of commitment to small community underprivileged paradigms and archetypes of social architecture of your gravity and boundless past and future greatness. Um. Mr. President.

Don Clinton leans back in his chair, highly amused. He takes the cigar out of his mouth.

Don Clinton: Jonah Goldberg.

The One: Excuse me?

Don Clinton: Jonah Goldberg told me to take my offices to Harlem, not Rangel. Rangel got me to build a house in the Dominican Republic.

The One: (frowing) Isn’t Jonah Goldberg a neo-conservative Neanderthal, Mr. President?

Don Clinton (puffs contentedly, then rasps): I can get along with anybody

The One: Oh…

Don Clinton: Everyone is my friend. Are you my friend?

The One: Uhhh..yes. Yes. I am your friend. I, uhh. Am…yes. Your friend.

Don Clinton: They said you were smart. I keep all my friends close.

The One: (knowingly conspiratorial) “…and your enemies closer?”

Don Clinton (sneers): Lao Tzu is for pseudo-intellectuals.

The One: (proudly) Machiavelli!

Don Clinton (unimpressed and growing bored): They say you’re having troubles.

The One: It’s a lie! Whoever they are, they’re wrong!

Don Clinton: (raising an eyebrow): Hillary says you are having troubles…my consigliere and I are as one. What do you ask of me?”

The One: (slightly annoyed, and stubborn, but wary): I’m not having troubles; I wouldn’t say that. There is change in the air and…uh… (gives up the facade) Look, Mr. President – ”

Don Clinton: “Godfather.”

The One: Godfather, whatever – I know you feel that my family disrespected yours.

Don Clinton: (holds up one finger) This is not a feeling. This is a knowing.

The One: (slightly deflated) I’m sorry my family disrespected you. I’m sorry I disrespected you. I kiss your ring. I kiss anything you want. Help me, Don Clinton. That feeble old McCain has brought in this gun-toting Alaskan putana with the bible angle and the oil angle, and even though she has never done anything worthwhile, and she’s not even smart, and she did not go to Harvard, somehow I’m flailing. I coulda whipped him. I coulda beat him at hoops and any vice president he coulda named. But I don’t know about her…she’s scary…” I could maybe beat her at hoops but she might look better than me in the trunks…it’s a risk, it’s a risk.

Don Clinton: (leering a little) She’s got nice legs, that Governor putana, eh? I wouldn’t mind me some of that. Get me an Executive Office Spanking in Anchorage, that’s what I say, Haw Haw! Get us a game of “Mayor, May I? Haw! That li’l girl’s got spunk. I love spunk. My ol’ consigliere and her oughta get together, they both know how to kill and dress all different kinds of –

The One: (with dignity) I beg your pardon?

Don Clinton: (remembers himself, shrugs and smokes) Women’ll stick a shiv under your ribs any chance they get; they’re full of surprises. (Leans forward and taps his desk) And you mind this, sir, that bearskin mama ain’t no chump. That there is a full-on-she-grizzly, with all the smarts she needs. She knows energy and she knows oil, and she can hand you your ass quicker than I can get into trouble with a blonde. (Sighs) I like ’em blonde. The bottle-kind of blonde.

The One: (Looking askance at Don Clinton, who has gone dreamy-eyed) Well, this one sure surprised me.

Don Clinton: (laughing and smoking) Son, when you’ve lived longer, you’ll know there’s a surprise in every one of ’em. And a shiv. And no matter what, the shiv always comes.

The One: Well, she’s not going to shove one in me…I will not be bullied and mistreated like this!

Don Clinton: Oh, get yourself a hankie, Candace, and stop bleedin’ all over my rug. The more you whine and cry the more that li’l Alaskan hootchi-goo is gonna laugh while she grinds the stiletto heel of those cute little size sevens straight through your pericardium and into your heart before you even know what’s happened!

The One: (falls to the floor in contrite supplication) Help me, Godfather, help me! What do I do? How do I get this mean girl to stop beating me up, and reclaim my glamor, my “it” factor? My minions in the press have been going after her with everything they have, and they’re getting booed! Next “I” might get booed, oh, what do I do –

Don Clinton: (leaps from his chair and smacks The One twice on the face, smack! smack!) You can be man! Be a man!

The One: (pathetic) I don’t know how. I just…don’t know how.

Don Clinton: (Sighing and taking pity) I know, kid. Hard to know what that is, anymore, ain’t it? Our whole sex has been cuckolded by the Official Women and their Eunuchs. But you’ve got to grow yourself a pair, and quick.

The One: I’ll do anything! Anything, Godfather! It’s just that she’s coming on strong and Biden keeps making up the weirdest damn stories, and besides he scares me with that doll hair…

Don Clinton: It will be a drastic remedy.

The One: Anything…

Don Clinton regards The One with a mixture of empathy and deep pity. He shakes his head regretfully and then resumes his place at the desk. Straightening his tie, he once more assumes a poised air of cool, collected wisdom as he picks up his phone.

Don Clinton: (softly) Send the Jr. Senator…

He sits back and blows a smoke ring. We hear the approaching sound of a heavy step in sensible shoes. The One, understanding, emits a gut-wrenching howl and the curtain falls.


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