Friday, December 2, 2011


Chapter 9: Onion Rings
[Go to beginning]

Karl Rove had a little more than an hour before his flight. He checked his voice mail and found the call from Reince Priebus he’d received while he was at the Mass GOP Headquarters, Talking to that arrogant bitch, Kangas. He touched the callback button, put his briefcase on one of the chairs at the small table he’d selected, and sat at the other. There were some fairly good sit-down restaurants at Boston-Logan, but Rove didn’t have time for a full meal. He just wanted a place to sit, have a beer, and hold his conference call.
Priebus answered on the second ring. Without prelude, Rove said, “Reince, what about that conference call?”
“Karl, have you been keeping up on the news?” Priebus said, making the word ‘news’ sound like a dirty word.
“What about it?” Rove said.
“Some woman is claiming that she had a 13-year affair with Herman Cain. Her name is--”
“Yeah, yeah, I read all about it. So what? He’s already had four women accuse him of sexual harassment. Maybe this charge will help him. The sex was consensual,” Rove said, with a guffaw.
“Well, Cain’s not open to any conference call, Karl. Says he ‘reassessing’ his campaign. And Romney and Perry..., oh and Newt, want a face-to-face meeting,” Priebus said.
“Jesus! What a fucking circus,” Rove said. “Hang on.” Rove ordered a beer and onion rings from the pimply-faced waiter, then put the phone back to his ear. “Reince, I’ve got a flight in 45 minutes. I’m going to email you an agreement for these jokers to read. Make copies and get them to sign it, and then-- ”
Priebus cut off Rove, “Karl, these guys aren’t going to sign anything. You know that. They won’t even--”
“Hold on,” Rove said. “What have you told them?”
“I told them you had a proposal for them, and that it could improve their--”
Rove cut off Priebus. “I said practically guarantee,” Rove said.
 “Yeah, well...” Priebus said.
“Shit,” Rove said, and ended the call.
Rove shoved several onion rings in his mouth while he opened his Contacts file and found Mitt Romney’s cell phone number. He touched the screen and waited for the call to go through, checking his watch as he did.
“Karl, what’s up?” Mitt said, sounding relaxed.
“Hi, Mitt. Listen, I’m between planes so need to hurry this, if you don’t mind.” Rove went on to describe his scheme for getting Buddy Roemer to run as a third party candidate on an Occupy Wall Street ticket.
Romney became cautious in the conversation as Rove described the “package of incentives” he thought Roemer would need to carry out the campaign. At one point, Romney, the paranoid SOB, asked, “Are you recording this conversation, Karl?”
Rove answered, “Hell no, Mitt, that’s illegal,” but Rove was recording the conversation and knew that Romney would never take him to court if it came out, because that would just damage him in the public eye.
Romney told Rove that he ‘wouldn't oppose Rove's plan,’ and although Rove would’ve liked a more enthusiastic endorsement, he settled for that; given Romney’s suspicious personality, that was as good as it was going to get.
Rove waved a waiter over, paid his bill, and started walking to his boarding gate. He started to thumb his cell for Newt Gingrich’s number, but the phone, greasy from onion rings, slipped from his hand and fell to the floor. Rove swore, picked up the phone and checked to see if it still worked. It didn’t. Rove swore all the way to the boarding gate.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, or are used fictitiously, and any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. 

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