“But, Mitch, this can’t go on!   Even my base is beginning to – “

“Mr. President, what do you need more than a win?  A big win, a gigantic win?”

“Nothing, damnit!  You know that!”

“Then stick with us.  Give us just another eight, ten, twelve days.   If Russia calms down, fire Mueller.  If Mueller refuses to go, close the investigation altogether.  Don’t reappoint.  We just need the time, maybe two weeks at best.   Two weeks and we’re home, voted, passed, locked in.   And you finally have a legislative achievement of which you can be proud.”

“What’s in it, the bill?  It’s got to be better than the last one.”

“Trust me, Mr. President, it’s foolproof.   We save billions, we give money to our friends, we reconstruct the safety net so that people who are undeserving have no means of entry at all.”

“You guys think this will work?”

“It doesn’t matter what we think, Mr. President.  No one in Washington understands or can even guess what’s in the bill.  They’ll never read it.  The Dems’ll scream – that’s a given. Your people will just be grateful you’re holding true to your vision, following through on campaign promises. That’s what matters. Not the promises themselves.”

“You only need two weeks more?”

“Probably not even that.   Snoopers and leakers haven’t gotten through our defenses.   No one knows what’s in the bill.   Hell, half the time even I don’t know.”

“Will it make Barron proud?”

“All I can say is that Elaine is standing taller and straighter even now.”

“And it’s a win?  I mean, compared to Roosevelt or Johnson, it’s bigger, isn’t it?   Far better.   More far-reaching, more imaginative.  Better for everyone, for the world!”

“If you can just give us the time…”

“It’s yours!   God, I hate going through this again.   I want to go back out on the trail, be idolized, be adored.  This damned thing is such a downer.”

“Trust me, Mr. President, we get this passed, you’ll never have to worry about it again.”



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