Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Obama/Clinton - the ticket, the scene

The other day, Richard Reinert bravely posted a sketch he wrote in the comments section. I say that's brave because it's a vulnerable thing to do. He's opened himself for feedback, even though he didn't ask for any. His desire is to see this piece he wrote performed. If you're interested in putting it up, shoot him an e-mail.

The idea is timely and fun. It's a "what if" scene about an Obama/Clinton ticket coming to fruition and being celebrated at the inaugural ball.

My comments are after the scene.

Obama and Clinton -What a Ticket! - A Political Parody
By Richard Reinert

The Scene: President Barack Obama and Vice President Hillary Clinton and their spouses are attending a formal dance in the White House. Presidents Obama and Clinton are dressed in tuxedos. Michelle Obama is wearing a backless evening gown with a slit that shows off her legs. VP Clinton is wearing a black pantsuit. Two guests are chatting with their backs to the camera. The camera zooms slowly in on Michelle and Bill as the guests whisper to each other.

Guest No. 1: I agree, this is a lovely event.
No. 2: Yes, I really like the music chosen by the First Lady. It’s so “American.”
No. 1: And who knew she could dance like that!
No. 2: Bill Clinton too!
No. 1: Who knew?
No. 2: Well, I think the President knew.
No. 1: Which president?
No. 2: It is confusing, I must admit.
No. 1: Not to Michelle and Bill.
No. 2: Yes, they seem to be getting along real well. By the way did you hear the title they gave Bill?
No 1: No. What is it?
No. 2: Second Gentleman. I hear he isn’t too happy with it.

(Bill slides his hand a little down Michelle’s back. She smiles and moves his hand up.)

No. 1: Look at that!
No. 2: Well, I never! And they said this combination wouldn’t work. Huh! So much for political gurus!
No. 1: Things are quiet enough now but there’s going to be some mighty big fireworks later tonight.
No. 2: It’s not the Fourth of July. Where are these fireworks?
No. 1: How about upstairs and Number One Observatory Circle?
No. 2: Oh, dear. Do you think we should alert the Secret Service?
No. 1: What, you think they haven’t noticed?
No. 2: Maybe it’s time to call Al Gore. He’ll know what to do.
No. 1: Forget it. He’s in the Gansu Province of China.
No. 2: What’s he doing there?
No. 1: I understand he is saving the Giant Panda from extinction.

(During this, Barack and Hillary are discussing nuclear missiles and China but they have had a hard time concentrating since they take occasional peeks at their spouses. An aide runs over to them.)

AIDE: Mr, President and Mrs. Vice President, the Prime minister of Iran wants to meet with both of you ASAP.

THE PRESIDENT: Damn! Can’t it wait?

HILLARY: Yes, please do tell him I’m exhausted. Tell him to come to the White House tomorrow about noon, won’t you? Bill and I have to get back to Number One Observatory Circle right away. I have a few important issues to discuss with him.

THE PRESIDENT: I’m busy too.

AIDE: I don’t know if it can wait very long Mr. President and Mrs. Vice President. He says that the Israelis are bombing his country.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, what of it? I’m a little tired of having to straighten things out between those two. He is starting to annoy me. McCain was right. I should never sat down with him. Listen, the Vice President and I have more important things to attend to tonight. Don’t you agree, Hillary? Just tell that Iranian he has to wait until tomorrow.

AIDE: Yes sir, I’ll tell him but it’s not exactly something we should put off very long.

HILLARY: Yes, We have some domestic issues to take care of tonight! Like right now!

(President Obama approaches Michelle and Bill from one direction. Hillary comes from the other side. President Obama and Vice President Clinton are each accompanied by several large Secret Service men who glare menacingly at their opposite set.)

THE PRESIDENT: It’s time to go, Michelle.

MICHELLE: All right Obama. Let’s say goodnight properly to Bill and the First Lady.

(Before they leave the ballroom, Bill Clinton and Michelle Obama give each other a slightly long and seemingly intimate hug. Hillary and Barack shake hands quite formally as they look on at Bill and Michelle with obvious displeasure. They all part company, Secret Service men in tow. As they leave, Bill Clinton turns and calls out to Michelle.)

BILL: Oh hey, Michelle, don’t forget tomorrow. Hillary and Obama each have some important State business so I guess it’s just you and me at that ball they are holding for us in Charleston tomorrow.

MICHELLE: Thanks for reminding me Bill. It should be lots of fun.

BILL: What dress will you wear?

MICHELLE: Oh, I don’t know. Do you have any suggestions, Bill?

BILL: Well, now, I like that smoky see-through number you wore to the reception in Hawaii last week.

THE PRESIDENT: Hawaii? What Reception?

MICHELLE: Okay Bill, but only because you like it.

THE PRESIDENT: Let’s go Michelle. It’s a school night and the kids have to get up early.

HILLARY: Come on Bill, get a move on.

(As the couple separate the Secret Service agents followed both. The President closes the door on them and when the President and Michelle are alone, the conversation resumes)

MICHELLE: Barack, you seem upset. Is it about Hawaii? I told you about the Hawaii reception but you were too busy to even notice that I was gone.

BARACK: Forget Hawaii. Did you think I wouldn’t notice what you and that old windbag were doing tonight?

MICHELLE: Why Barack, we were just dancing. Do I detect a green-eyed monster? Bill and I were just fulfilling our diplomatic duties as First Lady being polite to a former President. Really Barack, we were just dancing.

BARACK: Michelle, I would call that dance you were doing with him a lot more than diplomatic. You should have you were shaking your thing. And he had his hands all over you!

MICHELLE: Now Barack, you are being just plain silly.

BARACK: Silly? It’s not silly when one’s wife spends the evening cuddling up to an old white man like him.

(Michelle puts her hand around his neck and kisses him on the cheek.)

MICHELLE: You know you’re the number one President in my life and you always will be. Although I do admit I like his white hair and that cherry red nose of his is kind of cute too.

BARACK: White hair? Cherry red-nose? You’re giving me white hair and I’m sorry but I don’t think my nose will ever be cherry-red! While I’m trying to keep the world free of terrorists, you’re snuggling up to an old has-been. That’s what he is! A has-been!

MICHELLE: Come on honey; let’s get some rest. Please relax while I check on the kids.

(She leaves and the President picks up the telephone.)

(Scene switches to Hillary and Bill)

BILL: Hillary, Michelle looked pretty fine tonight, don’t you think? That dress was snazzy on her.

(Hillary is steamed up.)

HILLARY: Yeah, she wears sexy gowns and I have to wear these stupid pants suits! I’m fed up with high necklines and pants suits while she looks ”snazzy!”

BILL: Now, now, Hillary, honey, you looked great tonight too. You look just fine in pants suits. Okay, Michelle has a nice figure and she looked pretty good in that dress but you look better, at least to me. Honest honey, I really mean it. I really do.

HILLARY: Bill, don’t give me that political line in that Southern drawl you use when you try to sound sincere. You’re a moron if you don’t know that I see what’s going on between you two! Did you have to give her a big kiss in front of everyone while Barack and I have to deal with more important matters. We are trying to keep the world safe for democracy while you flirt with his wife. I saw you your hand on her back.

BILL: Now, now, Hillary, I didn’t do anything inappropriate. I was being polite.

HILLARY: You call that polite? I suppose you were being polite with Monica too!

BILL: Now honey, that happened a long time ago and you promised not to bring it up again when I agreed to let you run for President.

HILLARY: What did you say? You let me run for president? Listen to me Bill! If you had behaved yourself, I would be the President! And you wouldn’t be the Second Gentleman!

(Back to Barack and Michelle.)

BARACK: (Speaking on the telephone.) Yes, get me the Secretary of State. He waits ... Don’t you know who this is? … No, I don’t care if he has gone to bed. Get him out of bed and on the line right away.

(As he waits, Michelle returns to the room)

MICHELLE: Barack, what are you doing on the telephone. Who are you calling?

BARACK: The Secretary of State.

MICHELLE: Barack, it’s past midnight. Can’t it wait until the morning?

BARACK: No. I just made a big decision..

BARACK: Hello, John, this is the President – President Obama. Yes I now it’s late. … No, it can’t wait. Tomorrow, you will announce that Bill Clinton will be the next U.S. ambassador to Tadzhikistan.. …

Have I asked him? No, but He won’t turn it down. He will like the scenery there. Call a press conference for tomorrow at 7 AM. …I don’t give a damn about procedure. Just do it!

MICHELLE: Barack, I think this is affecting your judgement. Let’s go to bed.

BARACK: Right now I need a smoke. (He goes to the door, opens it and calls.) Do any of you guys out there have a cigarette? No, not menthol! Geez, it was never like this on “The West Wing!”


Richard Reinert

- My suggestion Richard is that you just focus on the split scene between the two couples. It's a great idea. Skip the guests, skip the ball, cut to the heart of the scene. And I like that Bill flirted with Michelle, but the trip to Hawaii without the others knowing about it is a bit of a stretch in logic. I think focusing on Bill's advances, misinterpreted or not, is the way to go. I would also like to see more distinction between the couples. How do they differ in how they get ready for bed, for example. How do they really feel about Hillary being vice-president and Bill being second gentleman? I think there's more to explore there. I love that Hillary has a formal pant suit that she wears.

Another scene to explore that your scene hints at is a scene between Bill and Michelle. A scene where Hillary and Barack have to leave the other two alone in the Oval Office and Bill starts trying to seduce Michelle. Hell, the Oval Office is his old stomping grounds. That could be a lot of fun, too.

- Picky stuff - It's not a parody. This is a matter of semantics (damn Arabs!). A parody imitates something else very specifically, like a West Wing parody. This falls more into satire territory. You're showing the human consequences of an Obama/Clinton ticket.

Also, there's a section where you say that Barack and Hillary are discussing nuclear missiles and China and are interrupted. Well, script that. Otherwise, you are pimping the actors into having to make stuff up, which means you might get something that doesn't fit and changes the focus of the whole scene. "So, Hillary, did you hear about China bombing Delaware? That was something. Happened around 3am. I should have called you."

Thanks for posting your scene, Richard, If anyone else has feedback for Richard, or is interested in using the scene, please post it in the comments section or e-mail him. For feedback, be constructive. Don't be a dick. It's not helpful.


Yesterday, I asked...

"The person recently named the ambassador of Japan tourism is who?"

18% said "George Takei"
- Probably wouldn't work. I heard he doesn't like sushi.

9% said "Hulk Hogan"
- Visit Japan. And an old bald man in a doo rag whose fifteen minutes were up fifteen years ago.

No one thought it might be "Godzilla"
- He's always destroying Tokyo, so it would be a good way to get tourists to see the rest of the country.

72% got it right with "Hello Kitty"

According to The Associated Press, the tourism ministry of Japan on Monday named Hello Kitty as its choice to represent the country in China and Hong Kong, two places where she is wildly popular among kids and young women. Hello Kitty is very popular and this should really boost the number of visitors to Japan. Until she hacks up a furball or paparazzi catch her licking herself or pooping in the sand on the beach.