The candidate was clearly tired and very frustrated as the debate preparations continued into their third hour. He looked over to his wife who was sitting with his Chief Strategist and complained, “Oh, come on! The other guy doesn’t know any of this malarkey! Why should I have to remember this stuff?” He picked-up the thick ‘Debate Preparation Workbook’ and dropped it on the podium with a THUD! to emphasize his exasperation.
His wife leaned over and conferred quickly with his advisors. After a moment, she turned to the candidate and honestly replied, “Honey, everyone knows the other guy is an idiot, okay? But he’s bullet proof on that score. It just doesn’t seem to matter to his base.” She paused for a second and then continued, “But he’s getting good at convincing swing voters that you might be ‘slipping’ a bit mentally. So, we’ve got to prove you’re on top of even the smallest detail of governing. We know it’s hard, but let’s just go for another hour or so and then we’ll call it a day, okay?”
The candidate looked at his watch and then nodded reluctantly and added, “But just one more hour. No more. So, go ahead with the next question?”
One of his assistants turned the page of the ‘Workbook’, conferred with the others, and then asked, “What is the capital of Myanmar, sir?”
His answer came in a clear and strong voice, “Naypyitaw”.
As the candidate stood in front of them, his outstretched arms firmly holding the podium and waiting for the next question, the others said nothing. There was amazement in their faces. This was not some old man struggling with a failing memory, they thought collectively. No, this was the former Vice-President, firmly in command of the facts and ready to rumble!
Finally his wife, grinning broadly, clapped her hands together and congratulated him. “Oh, Joe, that was marvelous! That’s the kind of reaction we want the American people to see during the debate. A resolute, knowledgeable candidate, in control of the details and confident of his abilities. Keep it up, honey!” Still smiling, she turned to his assistants and conferred again about what the next question should be.
The candidate smiled as he waited for the next question, his inner voice silently congratulating him. ‘You still got it!’ it was saying. ‘And that cute blonde in the front row who called you 'Honey' seems to be responding well, too. You should find out who she is and what’s she doing afterwards, you old dog.’