Deep End | Onward, Ever Onward: The spirit moves Romney straight on to 2012. 

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My good friend and former missionary companion, Willard “Mitt” Romney, got the jump on everyone for the 2012 presidential election. The polls were barely closed when Mitt bounded up onto the stage at Gallivan Plaza to toss his hat into the ring. Just a few of the local news outlets covered the occasion, but in the days to come, the footage will get a lot of play on the national networks. By the way, if you look closely, you can see me in the second row, right behind three of his jut-jawed sons—Tug, Mug and Lug. n

Mitt hadn’t planned to enter the 2012 race quite as soon as he did, but he got so worked up watching the returns come in Tuesday night that he felt he had no other choice.


“When the spirit moves me, I answer the call,” Mitt confided in me the next day. But all of us at the election eve party at Mitt’s modest $20 million Deer Valley hideaway were surprised when our indefatigable leader jumped out of his large La-Z-Boy lounger and announced he didn’t have a minute to lose. So all of us, friends and family alike, piled into assorted vehicles and headed down into the valley and Gallivan Plaza, where an impromptu press conference had been set up.


I think most of us would have preferred to stay at Mitt’s hideaway, snuggled up with hot toddies as we watched the devastating returns come in. Everyone was already pretty much shell shocked by the last few days of the campaign. It had started innocently enough on the weekend before the election when McCain and his beauty-queen running mate Sarah Palin escalated their attacks on Barack Obama: not only was he a celebrity, a terrorist, a socialist, a communist and a traitor; the Republicans now had irrefutable proof that Obama was a peeping-tom, cross-dressing, child-molesting atheist.


This was just the usual, run-of-the-mill stuff from the McCain campaign. Things started to get off course a bit when an agitated and confused John McCain introduced Joe the Plumber at a rally, only to discover that Joe the Plumber was nowhere to be found. No one seemed to notice at the time that Mrs. McCain was also nowhere to be found. It was only later that an enterprising news crew tracked down Joe the Plumber and Cindy the Candidate’s Wife sharing a cozy cocktail in the bar of a Holiday Inn just off exit 33 of the Interstate.


It quickly transpired that the canoodling twosome had checked into room 204 at 1:15 p.m.—Joe the Plumber had called the desk at 1:52 p.m. to complain of a noisy ice machine just outside their room—and left sometime around 3 o’clock to browse around the gift shop before heading for the bar. (Mrs. McCain used a campaign charge card to pay for a keychain and a lifelike mechanical squirrel that waved its arms and sang, “I think I love you,” when you pushed a button on its hindquarters.)


The McCain campaign moved swiftly to discredit the story, claiming that the housekeeper and mother of six, Guadalupe Sanchez-Vaccario, who saw them entering and leaving room 204, was a well-known crackhead communist who had palled around with Barack Obama, Bill Ayers, Fidel Castro, Charles Manson and Charles Nelson-Reilly in the late ’60s.


What came next may have been a consequence of his wife running away with Joe the Plumber or may have just been his final frustration with his impotent campaign. Whatever the cause, the consequence was spectacular: After a long, rambling and sputtering diatribe against Barack Obama and “nappy-headed community organizers,” in which he alternately addressed the baffled crowd as “my friends” and “my fellow prisoners,” Senator McCain’s face grew purple, his eyes bulged out of their sockets, and blood began to spurt from his ears.


Some witnesses claim his head spun around, followed by a hairy hand that reached down from the clouds and snatched him up to heaven. This, at any rate, was the version promulgated by Sarah Palin, who said her running mate had simply experienced “the Rapture” of the “Last Days” that were now upon us.


When a reporter asked Mitt at his press conference whether Mrs. Palin would now be his main opponent, my old missionary companion flashed his best smile.


“You betcha!”


Meanwhile, Mrs. Palin was seen sneaking into a Red Roof Inn with Joe the Plumber. According to pundit Pat Buchanan, Sarah and Joe are the new Bill and Hillary.


D.P. Sorensen writes satire for City Weekly.

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