In a late night move designed to steal momentum from the Democrat National Convention, John McCain announced his vice-presidential candidate. He has selected Harold Eugene Ford, Jr., the current chairman of the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and former member of the United States House of Representatives from Tennessee.
The announcement was made last night in an ABC exclusive with George Stephanopoulos, Cokie Roberts, and George Will. During this exclusive interview, the two candidates sat down to speak candidly about their synergies and discuss strategies for victory on November 4th, 2008.
George Stephanopoulos posed the first question to John McCain:
“Senator McCain, we did not hear you mention Representative Harold Ford as a possible VP candidate. When did he first appear on your radar?”
“Well, George, as you know, I give thoughtful consideration to all aspects of this campaign and have always been open to several possibilities.”
“But when did you first contact Representative Ford?” Stephanopoulos continued.
McCain responded, “Well, George, this decision is a big one and after reviewing all of the candidates, Representative Harold Fold clearly stood out amidst all the rest.”
“Senator McCain,” Stephanopoulos belabored, “with all due respect, you are not answering the question. When did you first contact Representative Ford?”
“Look, George, that’s a fair question. We actually made our final decision just this morning and decided to proceed with the announcement this evening.”
Stephanopoulos: “And the first contact?”
McCain: “George, ah, that would be this morning as well.”
Stephanopoulos responded, somewhat incredulously, “so, your first call to the Representative from Tennessee was…this morning? How did you …I mean, what led to this quick decision?”
“George,” McCain said proudly, “you know I am a direct person so let me give you a direct answer. When Barack announced that Joe Biden was his VP candidate, I had to balance things out. I mean, Barack has no experience so he gets his experience through Joe Biden. And obviously, I already have experience but I am not young and…”
“Black!” Stephanopoulos intervened.
“There you go George, playing that race card.” McCain retorted. “No, it’s not because he’s black at all. It’s because he’s a celebrity. I need celebrity now, George, more than ever. Did you know that Harold has been to the Playboy mansion?”
George Will now seized the interview realizing his angle. “But, Senator McCain, you are aware that your campaign manager, Terry Nelson, is the one who put out the playboy ad about Representative Ford which basically sank his senate bid?”
“Really?” said a surprised McCain, “then this really is meant to be!”
Cokie Roberts, for reasons that would soon become obvious, wanted to involve Representative Ford in the conversation: “Representative Ford, you will likely have debates with the Democratic VP nominee, Joseph Biden. Like you, he is fine, but combative, orator. Do you think that you will be able to hold your own in these debates?”
“I’ll whip that old white man’s ass,” Ford spoke confidently, as he always does.
Excitedly, John McCain chimed in, “And I’ll take down Barack’s black ass.”
All four people in the room, including Representative Ford, stared directly at John McCain.
“Ooops. Wait. Look, we’re having fun here right?” McCain looked around for confirmation.
Ford looked hypnotically at Cokie: “Continue please Cokie.”
Disarmed by what she would later secretly refer to as Ford’s Seductive Stare, Cokie stammered: “Hmmmm, Representative, why do you think you and John McCain make a good pair especially given that he is a Republican and you are a Democrat?”
“Cokie,” she liked his use of her first name. “Cokie, John and I have always been independent thinkers unafraid to cross the aisle for our principles. Party designations are petty. They’re labels. We’ll rise above the labels and bring our country to new, amazing destinations.”
Cokie knew what destination she would like to share with Representative Ford. And Representative Ford knew what destination he would like to share with John McCain’s daughter, who looks remarkable like his new wife. Party of three?, he secretly wondered.
George Will, beside himself with this new pairing, sought to end the interview with the seeming silliness of the occasion: “Senator, if you and Representative Ford are able to win the White House, do you know how many houses you would then own?”
Senator McCain produced his manufactured smile and said: “Good one George.”
A pronounced pause ensued. Representative Ford spoke: “George, George, and Cokie…Cokie…thank you for your time this evening. You are looking at the winning team on November 4th, 2008. Goodnight.”
Not only was Cokie smitten, George Stephanopoulos appeared somewhat hypnotized by Ford’s words too. George Will wanted to keep talking, but he had to go to a baseball game.
On the way out, Ford said to McCain: “Did you see Cokie practically drooling in there?”
McCain looked at him: “Stay away from my daughter.”
Ford smiled and responded, “We read each other’s thoughts old man.”
McCain returned the smile: “Let’s go get us a presidency, my brother.”
Get your copy of his latest book entitled Obvious Conclusions, stories of a Midwestern emigrant influenced and corrupted by many years living in San Francisco and abroad. It just received its first outstanding review "...reminiscent of David Sedaris or Augusten Burroughs" on Amazon UK.