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"Dig Deep and Dirty Committee" vs. the
"Vicious Group"
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 by Ron Cruger
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          The stocky bald man in the wrinkled grey suit stood up in front of the collected committee. He coughed to gain the group’s attention. When the eight men and five women sat quietly on the couches and soft chairs in the Hilton Hotel suite in downtown Lincoln, Nebraska he spoke.
          “Okay, now listen carefully. The most recent polls show our guy trailing their guy by two points. In a few short months we’re going to have an election so we have to accelerate our efforts. We’re all going to have to work harder, longer and smarter. A lot of what happens on election day will depend on what we do. For the next few weeks we are going to concentrate on finding out everything we can about Barack Obama and Joe Biden. I want each of you to dig into their histories and find every speck of dirt that exists. If either one of these guys ever stole a candy bar when they were six years old I want to know it. If either one ever ate a free lunch given them by a lobbyist we will tell the world about it. If Obama or Biden ever even glanced at another woman we’re going to tell people about it. The gloves are off. Now go out and find me some dirt.”
          At the same time, in a Sheraton Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, a group of five men and three women quietly sat, swigged coffee and munched on small sandwiches, carrot sticks and celery.
          A smartly dressed tall black man stood in the center of the group of eight. All put down their cups, quickly swallowed and looked up at the tall man who spoke in a reserved, deep voice.
          “Thanks for being here. I want to congratulate you and thank you for your hard work. Today’s survey shows that we are winning by two points. That’s not enough. Our guy, Barack, has to win this election and if we have to change our tactics we will. We need ammunition. We need to find out more about McCain and that woman, Palin. We’ve been nice guys so far, but now things are going to change. There has to be more about McCain that we haven’t found out. Did he ever get drunk? Did he ever slug someone? Did he use a lobbyist’s jet to go on vacation? Did that Sarah Palin ever shoot a bear that limped? Did she go to a wild party? Did she get drunk at a Tupperware party? For the next couple of months we’re going to tell the American voter about those two people. Your job is to go out and find every pimple and wart on them. The more you find the better our chance of winning this election.”
          The McCain/Palin election group in Nebraska left the hotel suite and immediately boarded buses, planes and trains and began searching for anything they could find out about Barack Obama and Joe Biden. The Obama/Biden election committee spread out from Charleston in a search for mud, gossip and scandal tied to John McCain or Sarah Palin.
          The search for “smear-material” had begun.
          Two days after the group meetings in Lincoln and Charleston, Barack Obama stood before a crowd of nine hundred voters in DeKalb, Illinois and asked for their votes.
          “This country is at a crossroads. We must end the war in Iraq and bring our brave soldiers home. We cannot afford to have John McCain and Sarah Palin leading our country. It will just be more of the same old George Bush if they get in office. We’ve learned that John McCain chews with his mouth open and has bad breath. He often forgets to replace the cap on the toothpaste and he has embarrassing gastric problems. And do you want a president that can’t use a computer or has never sent an e-mail? And what about that woman, Palin. Do you want a vice president who has a screechy voice? And Palin’s husband. Do you want a guy riding a snow mobile all over the White House lawn? Can’t you see Sarah Palin skulking outside the White House some mornings, blasting away at squirrels and gophers with her trusty rifle? My fellow Americans, do you want a president that looks like an old Charley Chaplin?”
          Obama’s speech went on for another twenty minutes. He touched on McCain’s age, his height, his wife’s fortune and McCain’s flat feet and ingrown toenails.
          John McCain had finished meeting with his election committee. He was given a folder containing notes for his speech to be given to a group of retired people and paraplegics in Beloit, Wisconsin.
          McCain was ushered into the high school auditorium. The retirees and paraplegics gave him a warm round of applause as he walked to the podium in the center of a small proscenium stage.
          “My friends, I thank you for being here tonight. I come to you with many reasons that you should vote for me and my vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. This country cannot risk having a president like Barack Obama. Let’s face it, that’s a funny name. He’s also too skinny to be president and I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but he has big feet. Check it out! There’s also a possibility that his wife will tell him what to do if he’s president of these United States. He’s left-handed and often misses free-throws. Last month he played a game of half-court basketball and didn’t shower afterwards. And Joe Biden! Do you want a vice-president that has had hair-plugs? And that glare from his whitened teeth when Biden gives us that big, phony smile. C’mon! And we’ve learned that neither Obama or Biden take their trash out at home. Ladies and gentlemen, we ask for your vote for a safer and better America.”
          Every speech that Sarah Palin gave centered on the “funny way that Barack Obama walks.” She repeated, in speech after speech, about Biden’s hair plugs and Obama’s low foul shot percentage.
          Joe Biden’s speeches concentrated on Sarah Palin’s tight skirts, tinted hair, irritating voice and funny, square eyeglasses.
          In the meantime, a retired woman in Minnesota held her husband’s hand as he lay at home in his bed suffering from a deadly kidney disease. They had no health insurance and couldn’t afford the hospital care that would avoid his certain death.
          In Culver City, California a young wife complained to her husband about the rising cost of food. Their two children would have to survive on having healthy meals only twice a week.
          The fifty five year old mother of a twenty two year old solder who was serving in Afghanistan, opened a letter from the Department of Defense, notifying her of his death – killed in action the week before.
          A single mother in Honolulu, Hawaii left her car in the garage and took the bus to work. She could no longer afford the high price of gasoline.
          In Washington, D.C. a financial analyst reviewed his retirement portfolio and saw that his net worth had been reduced by twenty percent due to the near collapse of the financial markets.
          In Westfield, New Jersey a sixty three year old woman, living alone in a small apartment, carefully counted the pills she takes for diabetes and glaucoma, making sure they would last her till the end of the month.
          In a speech in Orange County, California, Barack Obama asked his audience if, “Sarah Palin could be both a mother and a vice president.”
          John McCain, speaking in Kuna, Idaho, said, “Barack Obama didn’t go to church two Sundays ago. His fingernails are too long and his driver’s license has expired.”
          All across America voters listened to the speeches and shook their heads.