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Four Days in Denver

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Hillary: The Republicans would drive up your negative if you got the nomination.
Barack: Sure they will. Five points? Push me up to 38 percent? What if they push your negative up two points? Fifty-one percent? It’s hopeless, Hillary.
Hillary: Well, let’s see what happens on the next ballot.
Hillary turns to leave.
Barack: I don’t care how many ballots you want to put us through. I don’t care if this convention takes two weeks. I came here to win, and that’s what I’m going to do. Nothing will make me back down. Nothing will make me take the number-two spot. Nothing. You’re up against someone who is prepared to do as much damage as you are. (beat) And the press is gonna blame you for all of it.

Hillary has never seen this kind of ruthlessness outside of her family. For the first time ever, the thought flashes through her mind that this guy could maybe turn out to be a good president, maybe he could stare down the Putins of the world.

Barack: When you walk out of here I’m going straight to a press conference and announce that when I get the nomination, my choice for VP will be Wesley Clark, and—
Hillary (laughs): Not gonna happen. Wes has been with my campaign from the start.
Barack (continuing): —and on the next ballot, the possible Obama-Clark ticket’s gonna get me the Arkansas delegation and another—what do you think—200 superdelegates at least?
Hillary: I’m not gonna let you have Wes for a phony unity ticket.
Barack: Too late. Michelle is meeting with him right now.
Barack’s iPhone buzzes. He checks it.
Hillary: He won’t accept anything without my—
Barack holds up the iPhone. close on text message: CLARK DEAL DONE. LUV U, M. Hillary looks pained—as much by the Clark deal as by the love in the Obama marriage. Barack gives her a moment to process the shock, then …
Barack (softly): I want you to come with me to the press conference.
Hillary: No way.
Barack: I need—
Hillary (bitterly): You don’t need me. You’ve got my biggest supporter as your VP. He’s got you covered now on foreign-policy credentials, military experience.
Barack: It’s not a unity ticket unless you say it’s a unity ticket. I want to tell the press that I asked you to be VP, you turned it down and suggested General Clark. I want to give you credit for saving the day, saving the party. I want you leaving Denver with your head held high.
Hillary: I, uh, I …

Barack: Wes has already agreed to that story.
CLOSE on Hillary, thinking about it …
Barack: I can win the nomination without you, but I can’t win the election without you. I need you, Hillary.

CUT TO:
Press conference. CLOSE ON Hillary smiling from ear to ear, as camera motors whir, a thousand camera flashes pop. REVEAL she’s holding her arms straight up in a Rocky-style victory pose. WIDEN to reveal her left hand gripping Wes Clark’s hand, her right hand gripping Barack’s hand. MOVE IN for a two-shot of Barack and Hillary as we PRE-LAP the sound of the growing roar of 20,000 people.

Hillary (voice-over, shouting): I give you the next president of the United States, Barack Obama!

CUT TO:
Barack stepping up to the podium, hugging Hillary, and waving to the adoring convention crowd. Hillary slips offstage, leaving Barack alone to soak up the standing ovation.

Hillary spots Bill in the crowd of superdelegates at the back of the podium. Bill is hugging Charlie Rangel and holding the hug long enough to make sure every news camera in the building gets the shot. Repair work on the Clintons’ relationship with black America starts now.

Hillary goes to Bill. They hug, smile, and join in the standing ovation as if happy days really are here again.

Bill (whispers): Don’t worry. McCain’ll kick his ass.

FADE TO BLACK, then roll credits over still shots of cheering, crying delegates, including the fat man, and the sound of an endless standing ovation.


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