“Did you see the news?” I hadn’t heard that much pain in my former missionary companion’s voice since the time the German girl he had baptized suddenly refused to go out with him on late-night walks along the Seine.
“How can that little hothead do this to me? I’ve been busting my tail and now he picks this Alaskan gal?”
I couldn’t figure it out, either. It had come as a shock to me, too, and now, with Mitt bleating on the other end of the line, there on Fox News, my favorite network, the Alaskan gal was addressing the media, and just behind her, Senator Hothead, having just amazed the world with his pick, was staring at her ass.
“She looks pretty good, Mitt, I have to give her that. Something very familiar about her.”
In fact, the first thing that struck me was how, well, Mormon she looked. Not just looked, with her prim hairdo and dorky glasses (even so, something sexy about her, a lot sexier than the Relief Society gals in my ward), but sounded as well—her voice had that flat, sing-song, sweet-spirit quality common to squadrons of sisters droning on at conference, at sacrament meeting, in Sunday School (always pronounced skull in our Utah way) in Primary, in Mutual or at ward picnics.
There was a long uncomfortable pause on Mitt’s end.
“You know, you’re right,” Mitt finally said. “Wasn’t she one of the chicks we picked up that weekend in Rexville? Wasn’t she the beauty queen, and the other, I think she was stewardess on Frontier Air? Or was it United?”
“Don’t think so. This Alaskan gal was just a runner-up in the Miss Idaho, and the girl you’re thinking of actually won. Don’t you remember, she actually invited you back to watch the Miss America Pageant? Anyway, her name was Sandra, not Sarah.”
“Whew. I guess it would be embarrassing for that to get out,” said Mitt, now relaxing a bit. “But listen, I’m totally screwed if McCain and this gal win the election. And I’m screwed if they lose, because now all the rabid-right fruitcakes in the Republican Party are going gaga over this chick, and she’ll be the nominee in four years.”
“Well, they’ll need someone like you to be her running mate, you know, with heft and gravitas and financial acumen.”
“I could have done that for Senator Hothead, much as I despise him, and besides, with the actuarial odds on my side, I’d be in the White House before the end of the first term. I tell you, Bro, we’ve got to put the kibosh on this thing before it gets out of hand. No way I’ll be her first lady, I mean, vice president.”
Mitt’s mind was always racing ahead of mine.
“Where are you going with this?” I asked, confident that the large brain of my old missionary companion would zoom in on a plan.
“Here’s the deal. As you know, I’ve got the First Presidency in my pocket, and they’re gonna have to come out with one of their proclamations from the pulpit about family values, the ordained role of women in the home, blah blah blah. Here’s a gal with five kids, one of them a special-needs kid, and a knocked-up daughter to boot. What’s she doing running for vice president? Shouldn’t she be home with her children, providing them with the nurture only a full-time mom can provide? You get my drift.”
I was slow on the uptake.
“You mean the church comes out and tells the faithful to vote for the Democrats?”
“That’ll never happen in a million years. Besides, the Mormons will never vote for a man with the curse of Ham upon him.”
“You don’t think so? Remember The Godfather? This is business, Sonny. And the General Authorities always take care of business, especially when it’s pointed out to them, like they did with the 1978 revelation revoking the curse of Ham.”
I was shocked. “But that was a revelation from God. If the church tells people to vote for the Democrats, it will be the biggest flip-flop of all time.”
“You don’t get it. If the church doesn’t say the Alaskan gal should stay home and take care of her kids, they will be seen as the biggest hypocrites of all time.”
“You’re divinely inspired, Elder Romney,” I said, having once again to admit that my friend Mitt, who will some day be president, was right again.
D.P. Sorensen writes satire for City Weekly.