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The Last Chance Democracy Café, Episode 71
The Republican Follies, 2008: a musical
By Steven C. Day
Because sometimes only a song will do.
Clearly the public is much more interested in the Democratic presidential race this year than the one for . . . well, you know, those other guys. Even hardcore Republicans seem to be having trouble getting very excited about their candidates. And who can blame them?
Still, being the notoriously gracious bunch we are here at The Last Chance Democracy Café, we want to be sure the major GOP candidates receive all of the public attention they so richly deserve. Thus, when we decided to do a musical “theater” production, as a fundraiser for Claire’s charity, we could think of no better topic for the production than the Republican presidential race — as well, of course, as the media’s coverage of it.
So, without further adieu, welcome to our show.
(I’ll leave it to you to guess which café regular is playing each part: although I’ll break the rule once by telling you that Zach is playing Mitt Romney. He’s the only one with nice enough hair to pull it off.)
As our story begins (stage left), it’s a blustery March 2007 morning in New Hampshire. A small group of reporters and media pundits talk among themselves as they wait impatiently, in the cold, for Mitt Romney to arrive for a campaign speech.
REPORTER ONE: “I just can’t see how Romney can win the nomination, what with his liberal social views.”
REPORTER TWO: “You obviously haven’t heard the news. That’s the old Mitt Romney. The new Mitt Romney . . . Well, let me tell it to you this way.
(Reporter Two moves to the front of the stage and begins to sing.)
The Ballad of Mitt Romney
(To the music of “The Ballad of Jed Clampett”)
Come and listen to a story ‘bout a man named Mitt
A rich governor, as liberal as they git,
Then one day he said “I’m a’shooting for the top”
And out of his mouth came a flood of flip-flop.
Mealy-mouthed that is, two-faced, the twostep.
Well, the next thing you know Mitt’s hat is in the ring
His advisors said, “Mitt, dump that liberal thing,”
Said “far right is the place you ought to be”
So he reinvented himself quite conservatively.
Guns that is, Scalia love, antiabortion
But although Mitt’s close connection to New Hampshire (he is, after all, the former governor of the state next door) makes him an early favorite in the state, Rudy Giuliani looks formidable nationally.
The reporters and pundits reassemble (stage right) in a small town community center for a scheduled “media opportunity” with Rudy.