[photo of Barack Obama, Getty Images; Project Runway logo, website]
[THE SCENE: A theatre with a long runway extending from the stage area. Seated beside the runway in three directors' chairs are BARACK OBAMA, MICHELLE OBAMA and DAVID AXELROD, Obama's right-hand man. On the proscenium arch above the stage, a sign reads: "Election Runway - You're Either In, or You're Out!" Written below it are the words, "DEMOCRATS ENTER HERE."
DEMOCRATIC VOTERS enter through the stage curtains and wander onto the runway, a veritable Rainbow Coalition of races, ages, etc. Whenever a single voter is intended to represent a group of people, that voter will have a sign or a label indicating as much. All are chattering excitedly.]
YOUNG VOTER #1: OMG, I am like so excited about this election! I can't believe we get to choose among so many great candidates. Finally, good-bye to Bush and those horrible Republicans!
MIDDLE-AGED VOTER #2: Yeah. God, the Republicans suck. Some of them actually said they didn't believe in evolution? What century are they living in?
[ALL THE VOTERS LAUGH DERISIVELY.]
OLDER VOTER #3: Look at us. We represent the best of this country. We've got a woman, an African American AND a Hispanic! Those Republicans are so boring. Nothing but white men as far as the eye can see!
[AXELROD clears his throat.]
AXELROD: Okay, people, let's get this show on the road!
VOTERS [muttering to themselves]: Who's that guy? What's going on? Where are the other candidates?
OBAMA [clapping his hands together]: People, please! Can we have a little quiet so we can start the show?
[THE VOTERS quiet down, but look confused. A woman raises her hand.]
WOMAN: Uh, Senator Obama? Where are the other candidates? I thought this was Election Runway!
[While the voters and the judges talk, HOWARD DEAN enters through the stage curtains and switches the sign from "Election Runway" to "Obama's Runway." He then bows and exits the same way he came.]
MICHELLE [smiling]: Tell 'em, Barack.
OBAMA: Democratic Voters, this - is Obama's Runway! As you know, in politics, one day you're in - and the next day, you're out!
[THE VOTERS mutter amongst themselves.]
VOTER #1: Wait a minute. I don't get it. I signed up for Election Runway. Is this a different show?
AXELROD [snickering]: Yeah, we just said that so you'd all show up. Fact is, this show is about US choosing YOU. [As Axelrod speaks, DONNA BRAZILE slinks in through the stage curtains. She has a big label on the lapel of her suit which reads "BOUNCER."]
OBAMA: All right, folks, let's get started. Let's see. David, who are our contestants this time?
AXELROD: First up: rural voters. What have you got to say for yourselves? You voted for Hillary in the primaries. What makes you think you deserve to be part of Obama for America?
RURAL VOTER #1: Obama for America? I thought this show was for Democrats! I don't know what Obama for America means. [The other rural voters nod and loudly agree.]
OBAMA: I'm sorry, rural voters. You don't belong with Obama for America. You're out. Auf wiedersehn! [BRAZILE steps forward and ushers them off the stage.]
AXELROD: Next up: the voters of Michigan and Florida. Listen, people, we'd really like to include you, but as you know, your elections were illegitimate, so -
FLORIDA VOTER [interrupting]: Now wait just a damn minute. It's not our fault our legislature monkeyed with our primary dates. Why are you blaming us?
MICHIGAN VOTER: Yeah! And Senator Obama, why did you and John Edwards remove yourselves from the ballot in my state? You really messed things up for us out here with that "Uncommitted" nonsense.
BLOGGER: And what about the other states that moved their primaries? Why weren't they penalized like Michigan and Florida? Could it be because you thought Obama would win them?
BRAZILE [stepping forward]: What the hell are these people talking about? Who do they think they are? We make the rules here - did you not see that my committee is called the RULES Committee? Sheesh! Just face it, you're not getting into Obama for America. You don't deserve it because you preferred that pandering triangulator to my guy. You're out! Auf freaking wiedersehn! Howard, give me a hand here!
[HOWARD DEAN comes back in and he and BRAZILE usher the Michigan and Florida voters and the inconvenient blogger out. HOWARD DEAN disappears again behind the curtain.]
OBAMA: This stage is looking better and better. Now, how about African-American voters? What do they have to say for themselves! [aside] As if I didn't know the answer to THAT one.
AA VOTER #1: We are behind you 93 percent!
AA VOTER #2: We love you, Barack!
AXELROD [satisfied]: Well, I think they're in, don't you, Michelle?
MICHELLE: Oh, absoLUTEly. You all are privileged to join Obama for America! Don't mind Barack's lectures on how you need to take more personal responsibility and all that crap. You know liberal white folks eat that shit up. Am I right? Anyway, you're in. You can go stand over there.
[BRAZILE, smiling, ushers them over to a spot on the other side of the runway. A sign hangs over it reading "Obama for America. Yes, We Can!"]
OBAMA [rubbing his hands]: Okay, we're really making progress now. Hey, what about this group - the, um, blogosphere?
AXELROD: Oh, they're definitely in - all except those bitter, delusional, racist, menopausal PUMAs. Go take your places, folks, you earned it!
[Two BLOGGERS go over to the Obama for America sign and stand next to the AA voters].
[A female Clinton voter steps forward.]
CLINTON VOTER: Excuse me, but this is crazy. Are you saying that you don't want us Democrats in the Democratic coalition? You don't want us to vote for you? You don't care if we stay home or vote for McCain in protest?
OBAMA [smiling]: You got it, sweetie! You're out. Auf wiedersehn!
[BRAZILE tries to usher the CLINTON VOTER out.]
CLINTON VOTER: Don't worry, Donna, I'll see MYSELF out - and I'll take my friends with me. [she stalks off the stage, taking all but two voters with her.]
AXELROD AND MICHELLE: Finally! [The bloggers in the Obama for America area cheer exuberantly.]
OBAMA [looking quizzically at the two voters left]: So, uh - who are you two?
NEW VOTER: I'm a new voter! A lot of my friends said they were coming, but they decided to buy the new iPhone instead. Oh well!
WEALTHY LIBERAL: I'm a, well, how do I put this without offending you poor people?
AXELROD: Hahahahaha! We know who you are. Okay, you and New Voter there, you are in. Welcome to Obama for America! [BRAZILE ushers them over to the Obama for America space. There are only six people there - NEW VOTER, TWO AA VOTERS, TWO BLOGGERS and ONE WEALTHY LIBERAL.]
[Awkward silence, as the successful contestants and the judges evaluate each other.]
MICHELLE [a little uncomfortable, aside]: Um, Barack, I thought you said there'd be a lot more of them.
OBAMA: [aside] Don't worry, Michelle. The rest of them will come around before Election Day. After all, who's gonna vote for that assclown McCain? Those polls are a bunch of bull. [Aloud] Congratulations, everyone! You are now part of the New Democratic Coalition. You are the ones you've been waiting for!
NEW VOTER: Omigod, I've never won anything before! I'm so excited! I'll bet we win a full withdrawal from Iraq!
AA VOTER: You think so? That would be fantastic! I hope it's universal health care. I'm a working mother and I sure could use it.
WEALTHY LIBERAL: Oooh, is it a serious commitment to countering the effects of climate change? I am really looking forward to that!
BLOGGER: I can't WAIT to get our Constitution back. I'll bet we're going to get a filibuster of that stupid FISA bill! No more spying on Americans!
[They all start talking at once. Unnoticed, OBAMA, MICHELLE, AXELROD and BRAZILE shrug, and start walking out a side door.]
BRAZILE: Jeez. What a bunch of whiners. If they wanted all that stuff, they should have voted for Kucinich, Edwards, or God forbid, Hillary.
AXELROD: Really. I mean, Barack might have promised some of those things, but those people should have known they were just best-case scenarios. Who keeps campaign promises anyway? Why don't they just ask for a pony or something?
OBAMA: I sure hope they don't think it's my job to do what THEY want. I don't even let the Party Leaders tell me what to do!
MICHELLE: Hey Barack? What exactly ARE you planning to do once you get into the Oval Office?
[All judges stop their exits. Brief pause while all look at Obama. He is stumped for a second, then grins.]
OBAMA: No one knows! That's the beauty of how David has run my campaign. All things to all people!
AXELROD: You got it, Barack. Let's hope those contestants over there don't figure it out before the election, though.
BRAZILE: You said it. Let's get out of here, people! [EXEUNT ALL JUDGES.]