Disclaimer: Well, I suppose somebody could sue me, but I’m a starving college student, so they would only get the 71 cents I have in my pocket. But then I wouldn’t be able to do laundry. They don’t belong to me. (If they did, I’d have more than 71 cents, now wouldn’t I?) They belong to Aaron Sorkin, NBC, and whoever else is lucky enough to be a part of this.
Author note: I wrote this small campaign snapshot in honor of our universe’s presidential elections,
The two men were sprawled in two chairs in the Barlet for America campaign office in New Hampshire. It was late, and the usual hubbub that filled the rooms was missing. Most of the staffers were at home trying (and failing) to sleep.
The men seemed to be soaking in the temporary quiet of the star-spangled room. One had his head resting on his fist with his eyes closed. The other was staring at his watch. Both were bone weary from the whirlwind campaign; they had just flown back from a two-day, seven state tour and had, by instinct, returned to the office instead of their homes. They would be back on the road in another hour or two for the last push.
The man looking at his watch glanced up at his companion.
“It’s midnight Leo. It’s Tuesday,” Jed Barlet said.
“Seven days,” McGarry sighed without opening his eyes.
“Seven days,” Barlet repeated dreamily. “One week and the madness will end.”
“Ha.” McGarry opened his eyes. “Or it will start for real.”
“It’s so close, Leo. If I knew for sure . . . even that I was going to lose . . . I think it would be easier.”
Leo ran his hands over his face and settled his chin into his palm. “Yeah, maybe,” he said after another beat. “But that’s not the way it is. We could win. We could lose. And we still have seven days before one of those outcomes will become a reality.”
It was Barlet’s turn to try to wipe the weariness from his brow. “That’s your way of saying ‘Let’s get back to work,’ isn’t it? You’re a slave driver. We could at least visit our wives before we head out again.”
Leo gave his friend a small smile. “We’ve made it this far. We can’t falter now. Jed, these last seven days aren’t the push to the finish line. We haven’t really even reached the starting blocks yet.”
Looking more alert, Barlet stood.
“Then here’s to the eighth day.”
“And all the days that follow.”
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