Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Martin O'Malley Meets Bluto Blutarsky

It was two and a half years ago today - a quarter of a decade - that Martin O'Malley quit the campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, having been written off by the pundits and the Democratic establishment before he even got started.  O'Malley "just might" run for President again in 2020, and he just might assemble his old 2016 campaign staff to help him, but even as the Democratic Party strives to reduce the role of superdelegates at the next national convention, establishment Democrats - who never liked Martin O'Malley in the first place - may already be making sure he can't run again.  With a little help from their friends, the commentariat.
I can see it now . . . a recasting - okay, a ripoff - of a pivotal scene from 1978's National Lampoon's Animal House.  Martin O'Malley assembles his old 2016 staff for another go at the White House, but Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez has already set up new roadblocks against him.  We see campaign manager Dave Hamrick, chief strategist Bill Hyers, deputy campaign managers Adam Goers and Karine Jean-Pierre, policy director Sarah Miller, public engagement director Gabriela Domenzain, and communications director Lis Smith sitting and brooding at O'Malley campaign headquarters in Baltimore, along with special campaign consultant Bluto Blutarsky (played, of course, by the late John Belushi), who's lying on the floor, hands behind his head . . .
BLUTO:  Christ!  Eighteen years down the drain.  I may as well join the f--kin' Biden campaign!
HYERS:  My mother is going to laugh at me.  Again.
GOERS:  I can't believe I threw up in front of Chairman Perez.
SMITH:  Adam . . . face it.  You threw up on Chairman Perez!
GOERS (giggling):  Yeah . . . I did, didn't I?
JEAN-PIERRE:  Matt Schlapp will never stop ribbing me over this.
MILLER:  Hillary's behind this, I know it!
DOMENZAIN:  I say it's Booker.
HAMRICK (noticing Martin O'Malley walking in looking disheveled): Jesus, Governor, what happened to you?
MARTIN:  I got in a fight at the bar with some jerk working for the Mueller investigation . . . he called me a douche . . ..  Looks like I missed something.
HAMRICK:  Yeah, you did.  Perez isn't letting you take part in the 2020 presidential primary debates . . . he cited our bad numbers.
MARTIN:  But we're above the minimum threshold in the polls.
DOMENZAIN:  Not those numbers, Governor. New rule . . . Perez told us that any 2020 presidential candidate who competed in the 2016 Iowa caucuses and got less than one percent of the vote can't take part in the 2020 primary debates.
MARTIN:  Aww, man!  Ahh, we still got the forums.   
HYERS:  Oh yeah, another new rule, Governor.  Those forums you and Bernie did together in the 2016 campaign?  Not allowed any more.  And any candidate who takes part in them will be docked 50 percent of their convention delegates.
HAMRICK:  On the bright side, that likely means we'd have to give up only one delegate.
MARTIN:  So . . . Tom froze us out? (sitting down next to Hamrick)  Well . . . that makes sense!  Ain't that like Tom to screw me like that!
HAMRICK:  Whatever possessed you to make him Maryland Secretary of Labor anyway?
MILLER:  It's Hillary, I tell you, she's behind this!
BLUTO (getting up off the floor):  Hey!  What's all this lying around sh--?
GOERS:  Well, what are we supposed to do, you moron?
HAMRICK (to Bluto):  Come on, man.  Perez dropped the big one. We can't win.  It's over.
BLUTO:  Over?  Did you say "over"?  Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it . . . was it over when George Washington surrendered Fort McHenry?  Hell no!
HAMRICK:  Governor, doesn't your media consultant know anything about Baltimore?
MARTIN:  Forget it, he's rolling.
BLUTO:  And it ain't over now.  Because when the going gets tough . . . (long pause, waiting for a response) the tough get going!  Let's get 'em!  Who's with me?  Yahhhhhh!  (runs out of room)
(There is a long pause.  Bluto walks back in to the room.)
BLUTO:  What the f--- happened to the O'Malley campaign I used to know?  Huh?  Where's the spirit?  Where's the guts?  Where's the desire to get back at Molly Ball for pretending to forget Martin's name?  This could be the greatest presidential campaign season of your lives.  But you're gonna let it be the worst!  (assumes crybaby voice)  "Oh . . . we're afraid to go with you, Bluto, we could get into trouble . . . we might not get jobs with a Harris administration . . . Jake Tapper might make fun of us again!"  (drops crybaby voice)  Well, just kiss my ass from now on!  I'm not gonna take any of this!  Not me!  Perez?  He's a dead man!  Booker?  Dead!  Hickenlooper?  Dead!  Garcetti?  Dead!  The pundits?  Dead!  The Clintons?  Dead!  Donald J. Trump . . . 
MARTIN (getting up): Dead!  (walking up to a surprised Bluto) Bluto's right . . . psychotic, but absolutely right!  We gotta take these bastards!  Now . . . we could fight them with conventional campaign tactics, like flooding the Boston TV market with ads to reach New Hampshire.  But that could take years . . . cost millions of dollars . . ..
HYERS:  And make it hard to compete in California, Ohio and Pennsylvania.
MARTIN:  Not to mention make it impossible to go head-to-head with Booker in New Jersey at the end.  No . . . no . . . in this case . . . I think we have to go all out.  I think this situation absolutely requires . . . a really futile and stupid gesture for free media . . . like maybe an impromptu guitar performance at the Inner Harbor . . .
BLUTO (sotto voce):  No, no, that's lame, the mimes will yell at you again.  Something else.
MARTIN (continuing): Or something else . . . be done on somebody's part.
BLUTO:  And we're just the guys to do it.
HAMRICK (getting up): Let's do it.
BLUTO (as everyone gets up):  Let's . . . do it!  (as everyone runs out) Go, go go, go, go!  (Bluto runs out.)
And when Tom Perez is lying in a daze after a whole bunch of flags and convention bunting has dropped on his head, that might be as good a time as any for O'Malley to ask him for a chance at being the Democratic presidential nominee.
And how did O'Malley meet Bluto Blutarsky?  Well, it was at this Democratic fundraiser where O'Malley was playing "Danny Boy" on his guitar . . . 

MARTIN (gently strumming a guitar, singing): Oh, Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling . . . from glen to glen and down the mountain side . . ..  The summer's gone and all the flowers dying . . .  'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide . . ..
BLUTO (snatching Martin's guitar): YAHHH!  (smashes guitar) YAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!! AHHHHHH!!!!  (smashes guitar) AUGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! (burps, gives Martin back his guitar neck) Sorry . . .   
Ladies and gentlemen, the next Vice President of the United States, John Blutarsky! :-D

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