August 29, 2008
The Light Bulb Goes On (Bob Franken)
@ 6:26 pm
It's 3 a.m. in Arizona. John McCain is pacing the floor, wide awake.
"What's wrong, sweetie?”
It was Cindy. He had awakened her from a deep sleep. Still, her hair and makeup were impeccable. She was perfect, as always. But he was agitated.
"I can't remember which house I'm in.”
"I know," she said quietly. "I've had that problem all my life."
All that did was distress him more.
"It's not just that. I have to pick a vice president, and there's nobody I like."
That puzzled Cindy.
"I thought you and Joe Lieberman had bonded.”
"I thought we had, too,” the senator grumbled, "but he started correcting me every time I made a mistake. I hate that.
“Then there's this guy Pawlenty. He's nice and all that, but he kind of blends in the woodwork. As for Mitt Romney — forget it. No way, no how, no Romney. He needs to get a job as a local anchorman somewhere."
Cindy sat quietly for a minute before she talked: "I have an astounding idea.” She was barely speaking above a whisper. In the last several years that has always irritated him.
"What's that? I can't hear you. You'll have to talk louder!"
"I HAVE AN ASTOUNDING IDEA,” she shouted. “WHY DON'T YOU CHOOSE A WOMAN?"
For the first time, he started to smile. His mind was racing.
"Condoleezza? Carly? Nah, can't have anybody who's going to show me up. Hillary? Nah. Not after what she said about me last week."
Then it was his turn to shout.
"SARAH PALIN! SHE’S A WOMAN!"
Cindy had actually heard of her.
"But she is totally unqualified. It would be Dan Quayle all over again!"
He was quick with a retort.
"I know Dan Quayle. Dan Quayle is a friend of mine. Sarah Palin is no Dan Quayle.”
Cindy didn't say a word. She knew it was useless to argue that this would make the charge Barack Obama was too inexperienced laughable.
It was time for her to put that silent faraway smile on her face. Never mind that this appeal to the disgruntled Hillary supporters was blatantly cynical. He had made up his mind.
"I'm going to call her right now, Cindy."
"Why don't you wait, John? It's just 2 a.m. in Alaska.”
That's the way it happened. How else could he have chosen Sarah Palin?
Visit Mr. Franken's website at www.bobfranken.tv.