6 OCTOBER 2003
A trip to California will be called off because I, Potus the candidate, wish to be with my elderly mother in her final days.
Having lost my beloved father in January of this year (2003), I am a loyal son and am grateful for the gentle, loving guidance I received as a youngster from my beautiful mother, Jidette. Mother will be two years old in December, and her health is deteriorating.
The plan was to study the recall process in California. I've been urged by campaign staff since late summer to visit and see what it is that makes Californians so genuinely cheerful about seeing themselves become the laughingstock of the world. To learn the California secret, they believe, is to understand the fundamental oddity of human politics.
But, seeing Mother growing ever more tired and frail, I figured I'd just stay at home and discuss the matter at her bedside, instead. And, indeed, it has turned out to be a practical decision, as well. The wealth of wisdom my precious mother has to offer is almost boundless.
What's happening in California, and why? This is how I greeted Mother this evening as she rose from a long and sound sleep to pick through some grain and seeds she'd just received for breakfast.
"Well," Jidette answered, "right after the election, the party that lost wanted a second chance. They didn't have enough votes to carry the election, but they had enough to put a recall on the ballot. And now they have more than 100 candidates all trying to be governor, if - that's if - the recall succeeds."
Yes, I thought. It's become the nation's favorite entertainment. They've got strippers and hot rodders, and they've got a real, professional, wild-west-style bounty hunter - and even a couple of ordinary guys with famous names, Bob Dole and Michael Jackson, who simply could not resist playing the "name recognition" game in the crowded field of wannabe governors. So, what is likely to happen? I looked again to my elderly mother.
"Well," she said, "the worst of the worst usually has the advantage. That's because of money. But that's a long story. What you have is this over-the-hill muscle-builder, not real smart, and he's ahead of the pack as we head into election day tomorrow.
"What will probably happen is that the current governor, who was just re-elected less than a year ago, will probably get close to a majority of the vote. He's not exactly on the ballot, either, but that's the fun of it. You get to vote him in or out - and still vote for someone else at the same time. Now if 49.5 per cent of voters say 'no' on the recall, that's 49.5 per cent of the vote for the current governor. But he still loses, because that means there will be 50.5 per cent for the recall. The same voters also get to pick a replacement no matter how they vote on the recall. So with 100-and-some running, California could count 49.5 per cent of the ballots as being for the governor now in office, and less than ten percent going to a challenger, and who wins? Ha! The guy with ten percent of the votes!" she announced gleefully, looking more alert than we'd seen her in days.
So who's going to win? "Oh, I've just got a feeling it'll be that muscleman-gone-flabby who used to admire Hitler and tortures women," Jidette answered.
But then what? "There's a thirty day period to certify the election, and he'll be put in office."
We were quiet a moment as she removed a few seeds from her pouch and began nibbling on them. Then she looked up and said, "Son, I've got to make it through those thirty days until the next recall.... I'm kind of getting to enjoy it, you know...."
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