THE MAVERICK WEARS PRADA
Revised third draft
© Oct. 29, 2008
INT. A HOTEL SUITE — in the middle of the day in the middle of Ohio.
NICOLLE WALLACE, a slender, preppie-looking blonde wearing a string of pearls is pacing and frantically thumbing her BlackBerry. She is a top McCain adviser under STEVE SCHMIDT who has been seconded to SARAH PALIN. On the TV, MSNBC’s DAVID SHUSTER is asking ANNE KORNBLUT about rumors that PALIN has gone AWOL after McCain advisers anonymously labeled her a rogue “diva” and a “whack job.”
How’d she get away?
TRACEY SCHMITT, another blonde sorority type in pearls, also a Bush person who became a McCain person who was then sent over to manage PALIN as her press secretary, sits slumped in a chair, dejectedly checking her BlackBerry messages.
How the heck should I know? She told me she was going to the bathroom to change out of the Jimmy Choos into something more Target for the Joe the Plumber “They’re Not Smears, They’re Just Facts” Bus Tour. She never came back. I called Todd. He’s not picking up.
Steve’s freaking out. You know how he is about message discipline, much less completely losing a candidate. He’s got enough on his plate scaring the nursing-home Jews in Florida and painting Obama as a Palestinian Marxist Madrassa Child. Maybe all of those dudes painting their chests for Sarah and screaming “2012!” have her looking past the old man. Steve says he will annihilate her if she sabotages this campaign to get started on the next one, or if she plants negative stories about me — I mean McCain — with the base. Are the clothes gone from the belly of the plane?
It’s not like we were ever gonna return them anyway.
Think like a diva. Where would you go rogue?
Sean Hannity’s pocket. Could he pant over her more? Or maybe she’s hiding in Elisabeth Hasselbeck’s dressing room at “The View.”
She’s probably at The Weekly Standard, plotting her shining city on the tundra with Fred Barnes and Bill Kristol. I can’t believe Barnes called me a coward because I tried to update that $30 Wasilla beehive that made her look like the girlfriend in an Elvis movie and upgrade her from pleather to leather. And besides, she’s not going to find real Americans at Saks and Neiman’s. She’s got to go to Barneys and Armani for that.
Between us, Nicolle, she doesn’t look $150,000 different. Maybe we should have spent that money on getting Henry Kissinger to put on his snowshoes and best leer and tutor her.
Look, Tracey, maybe Sarah doesn’t know who Berlusconi is, but she does know who Valentino is. She saw those labels. She knew we were being sartorial socialists and spreading the wealth to Neiman’s and Saks. She liked being pampered like a movie star. We should have learned from W. If you can keep a war off budget, why can’t you keep a wardrobe off budget? I told the press if someone wants to throw me under the bus, my personal belief is that the most graceful thing to do is lie there.
That’ll be the day.
I’ll be glad when this blind date from hell is over and I can get away from the dysfunctional Palin clan and back to walking my dog, Lily, in Central Park with my pinko liberal friends. I knew Katie would be brutal, but thank God I arranged that interview because now I can go back to my gig as a political analyst at CBS.
I’m gonna miss Todd. He’s hot.
I won’t miss him or his 20 calls a day playing stage dad. He’s probably the one who masterminded her breakout.
(Her BlackBerry rings to the tune of “Eye of the Tiger.”)
Uh-oh, it’s Steve.
(She listens and then hangs up.)
Does McCain know the maverick’s maverick has gone all mavericky on him?
McCain is calling off the search.
He’s fed up with her getting bigger crowds and contradicting his message. He’s fed up with her interrupting him on TV interviews and taking them over. He’s fed up with her drilling him on drilling. He’s fed up with never being able to discuss anything with her, like the latest violence in the Congo. He’s weirded out by the way she keeps trying to explain the Rapture to him. His exact words to Steve were: “For my End of Days, I’d prefer to finish the race with Lieberman.” So forget Sarah. Let’s find Joe.