All Is Well
“All is well,” the party chairman tells himself as he enters his office; his intern has prepared some fresh hot coffee for him and doughnuts are available. She gives him the schedule for the day. What a list! Some of the biggest donors are in town to visit with him; and the senior Senator from Arizona is coming by too! They’re going to love the positive news he has for them on the fundraising front.
The chairman’s handed a newspaper article to scan over. The intern highlighted the front page headline knowing he’d like the title. It reads: FBI CONFIRMS ONGOING INVESTIGATION INTO E-MAIL TROUBLES FOR PARTY FRONTRUNNER AS OUTSIDER CANDIDATE SWEEPS WEEKEND CONTESTS. But there’s more. The paper reports a poll showing Americans are ready for change, don’t like the opposition party’s likely nominee, and disapprove of the president they lost to in the last election.
The intern then lets the chairman know NBC wants him to come on the evening news later for a special live interview. He agrees to it. Gives him a chance to tell the country himself just how much things are looking up for his party.
The chairman assigns the intern some scheduled tweets he wants done from his official account. “We’ve got to spread the news on the registration and fundraising front,” He tells her. “We’ve got to keep hammering the opposition on their flawed candidate and those scandals. We have the momentum, not them. I want everyone who reads those tweets to realize all of this.”
Yep, things are looking bright this morning for the chairman. The issues are on their side, the mood of the country is on their side, the enthusiasm is on their side, the fundraising is on their side, and for the most part the polling is on their side. Victory is within reach. What a great time to be this party’s chairman.
“All is well” he tells himself.
At about noon, word got to the chairman that the frontrunner for his party’s nomination had committed a major gaffe. The candidate had been given three chances to disavow a hate group. The chairman watched a couple replays back to back as the intern started getting calls from panicky party allies; hoping that it didn’t look as bad it did. But it was that bad and he knew it.
“It’ll blow over.” The chairman told himself as his intern asked him how to respond. “Get our communications director on it. I want us to stay the course; keep tweeting about our momentum for November. All is well.”
Minutes later the party communications director had come out with a brief statement that the party absolutely disavows the hate group — but nothing on the candidate who had trouble doing the same. The chairman allowed his intern to retweet the statement as his own official response.
“All is well. This will play for a media cycle or two and then we’ll be back to the e-mails.” the chairman told himself.
A few hours later the big money donors started coming in for meetings. “Aren’t we in some trouble here?” one donor asked.
“What trouble? We have history and an enthused base on our side,” the chairman reassured him.
“Our likely nominee just had trouble disavowing a hate group! Good God man, how am I supposed to defend voting for this guy in November to my black daughter-in-law?” the donor demanded to know.
“All is well. It’ll blow over. You’re getting worried over nothing,” the chairman assured the donor as he left while slamming the door behind him.
But the chairman knew better. This was trouble. For months he’s tried to keep the frontrunner under control. But he can’t keep his mouth shut and the party is resisting him as much as they can. Even the “We have to back whoever the nominee is” speeches he made before the debates have been shown to be useless according to primary exit polling data.
After drinking some more coffee, the chairman decided to call the frontrunner himself while the intern was out for a late lunch. “Listen, you can’t go around waffling on questions about that group if you’re going to be the party’s face for the fall. You’ll become unelectable.”
“I know that. You don’t think I know that?!” the boorish candidate snapped back. “I’m just waiting until all the southern states finish voting. You know those dumb hicks down there love me. I’m YUGE down there. YUGE! But if I disavow that group I may lose some of the voters I need.”
“You do realize most southerners aren’t supportive of that kind of stuff anymore?” the chairman informed him.
“You and I know better. After this Tuesday I’ll make sure to disavow them. The hick vote will be all in by then. You just do whatever it is you do and I’ll just run my campaign my way. Be fair now. Don’t make me leave and run by myself as an Independent,” the odious man threatened as he hung up.
The chairman felt helpless. The party’s likely nominee was taking the autopsy report from losing the last election and throwing it in the trash before his very eyes. Yet, he couldn’t afford him pulling a Perot either. What should he do? What could he do?
After a few calm breaths the chairman tried to think back to all the good news he was receiving. The polling, the fundraising, the registration stats, the increased turnout, the scandals for the opposition. “All is well,” he told himself.
At about five, he welcomed the senior Senator from Arizona. His heart sank when he noticed he didn’t look happy as he greeted him.
“This sideshow that we have about to become the nominee is going to hurt us badly down the ballot. My team has internal polling showing that without him I win comfortably, but with him I’m in big trouble!” the senator warned.
“I don’t see how we could lose this time around though senator. We don’t have scandals to worry about. We have history on our side. The country wants change. We are that change. We have this, and the coattails of our victory will help sweep you back to office.” the chairman assured him.
The senator gave him an incredulous look back. “The polling may say all that, but with him as the nominee we lose and lose badly. We’re going to turn a year that had so much promise into a nightmare scenario that makes our worst modern day election losses look respectable. We are in big trouble here with this guy.”
“All is well. I hear you, but we have this. We have too much on our side. Worst case we can bring this guy over the finish line with us. We’ll mold him into one of our own if we have to. Come November the country will be asking for change, that’s us.” the chairman assured the worrying politician as they parted.
Like the donor, the senator left unconvinced and the chairman found himself questioning his instincts again. But he thought back to that newspaper headline. He looked over the tweets the intern had tweeted out for him. “We got this. All is well.” he told himself once again as he spiked his next round of coffee with some whiskey.
Finally, by half an hour to seven, the time had come for the live interview; but right before the chairman came on, his intern gave him breaking news. “There’s a riot in the city! They say it was incited by a campaign rally!”
“A campaign rally?!” The chairman looked out of the windows to realize there was a fire and police sirens in the distance. “Whose campaign rally?”
“You know who,” the intern replied with a worried look.
The chairman turned back to the camera as he got the countdown to go on live. He tried his best to smile, masking the worry gnawing at him at that moment, knowing they’d ask him about these new developments. The red light comes on and the interview begins as a brick breaks through the window behind him; and he tells himself, “All is well.”