You’re not going to be president. Ever. Your moment came, and your moment went. Bush took it from you. He had the money and the slime, and he took it from you. You thought you would have another chance, this year, but you didn’t. For a moment, when you got a bounce in the polls after selecting Sarah Palin as your running mate, you probably even thought you had the campaign won. You could taste it. You could picture yourself behind the desk, in the Oval Office. You could hear people calling you “Mr. President.” You could see yourself on national television announcing you had launched more wars. That must have felt good! It must have been exciting! But then the voters took a closer look at Sarah Palin. They didn’t like what they saw. The luster disintegrated. Then, things got worse. The economy collapsed. That damn Bush, again. Of course, it couldn’t be that the entire deregulation paradigm you’ve known, loved, and embraced has something wrong with it. Just as with that war you said would be a cakewalk, and which wasn’t, it couldn’t be that you were egregiously, horrendously, devastatingly wrong. Of course not. Diplomacy can be wrong. Peace movements are wrong. But wars are never wrong. Even so, it doesn’t matter. Nothing matters. It’s over, now. Your greatest goal. Your ultiumate aspiration. It was so close to happening, you could almost reach out and touch it. Like a dream that seems so real, and then you awaken and can’t quite grasp that it wasn’t. But you have to deal with the reality that it wasn’t. It’s gone. Just like that. And you’re not going to be president. Ever.
Now, I don’t want to upset you. Your temper is legendary, and you need to keep your cool, tonight. You desperately need for people to like you. Certainly, you have every reason to be seething, but you can’t let it show. You suffered for this country. You’re a maverick. You were intimately involved in the infamous Keating 5 scandal, and you had the honor and dignity to apologize for it, but now you want us to know it wasn’t really your fault, anyway. Nothing bad ever is. And you survived. You’re a survivor. You have the ability to flip-flop, lie, and be as nasty as Bush, because you’re a straight-talker with a cool bus who survives. You know how the game is played, and you play it. You’re one-of-a-kind. The nation needs you. The world needs you. You’re such an important person. You deserve to be president. You’ve earned it as few ever have. Certainly more than Bush ever did. Certainly more than Barack Obama ever will. But it’s not going to happen. You’re not going to be president. Ever.
I can only imagine your raging fury. Barack Obama is so much younger than you. He did not suffer as a POW. He did not serve in uniform. He did not help cause a major political scandal, and manage to survive it. He is handsome. He is articulate. He was the brilliant student you were not. If he wanted to, he could get the hot babes you no longer can. The guy’s infuriating! But he’s going to be president, and you’re not. He’s only been in the Senate for four years, but he’s going to be president. And you’re not. Not ever. Ever. Ever. Some punk kid who sweeps in out of nowhere and takes away your life’s dream, your destiny, and he’s going to be president. Some punk kid who didn’t come from a distinguished family, and he’s going to be president. Some punk kid who is uppity and outside the mainstream, and he’s going to be president. And you’re not going to be president. Not next year. Not ever.
You’re desperate. And it makes you ugly. It makes those around you ugly. But that’s just politics. And if you’re fighting dirty and below the belt, it’s Obama’s fault, anyway. He wouldn’t do what you wanted. He wouldn’t meet you at a series of town halls. He wouldn’t play by the rules you made up to compensate for the fact that you can’t compete with him. The normal rules aren’t working for you, and if he wouldn’t appease the pathetic desperation of your need to change them, and to conduct a campaign the way you need him to conduct it, you have to do what you have to do. Like a rabid dog. A mangy rabid dog. If you’ve grown increasingly unhinged and mendacious, like any generic merchant of slime, it’s his fault. You had no choice. You have integrity. You’re a maverick. He forced this on you.
So, when you get out on that stage, tonight, try not to think about it. Try not to think about the fact that this is the ignominious end of your glorious career. Try not to think about the fact that you are likely to suffer the worst electoral defeat of any Republican nominee since Goldwater. Forty-four years ago! Wow! That must hurt! This is not what you deserve! I’m glad I’m not you! I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I’d be pretty pissed off. I’d lose it. But you can’t. You can’t show what you must be feeling. When you look at Barack Obama- if you can stand to look at him!- you will be looking at the man who is taking away your last chance at the presidency. The man who ran only once, and will become president. The man who is decades younger than you, and will become president. The man who is attaining your life’s dream while taking it away from you. How you must hate him! How you must despise him! Who the hell does he think he is to deny you your destiny?! You’re not going to want to keep your cool. You’re going to want to vent. You’re going to want to throw everything you have at him. I mean, what the hell, right? But you can’t let it show. Even though you will be thinking about it every single second you are on that stage, with him, you can’t let it show. How you hate him! Because you will be on stage with the man who will be president. Something you never will be. Because of him! So, just a word of advice: stay cool.