The U.S. vice president, wondering if he really couldn’t do a much better job than his boss, finds a way to answer that interesting question.
Godwin Pope is restless. The filthy rich Silicon Valley entrepreneur, having been sweet-talked into running with the low-life Louisiana politician who cut him off at the knees in the presidential primaries, has found the pitcher of lukewarm spit that is the vice-presidency to be as stultifying as all of its incumbents warned it would be. Worse than the boredom for handsome bachelor Pope is the frustration of seeing his opponent-turned-running mate royally screwing up the job that Godwin could have done well. This is not just his opinion. President Jack Mahone’s poll figures make President George W. Bush’s numbers look robust. Everybody agrees he’s in over his head. And now the party insiders have started to admit that the wrong man is in the Oval Office. The last straw for Godwin is a request from the president to do what in less august circumstances would be called pimping. Then the vice president, who made his zillions seeing and seizing opportunities that would be invisible to lesser mortals, spots a way to bring Mahone’s wretched rule to an end. There is a splendid confluence of chance events, involving a satellite sale to the Chinese, the dreams of the president’s country singer brother and some spectacularly compromising videos of a prominent football player that, with just the right tweaking from Godwin, will almost certainly do the trick. Does it bother Godwin that his manipulations unwittingly involve the love of his life, a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter trying to redeem her career after revelations of sexual impropriety? Or that he is essentially framing an innocent man? Or that his scheme will involve his only real friend? Hey. Politics ain’t beanbag.
Playboy editor Malanowski (Loose Lips, 1995, etc.) deftly shoots fat fish in the barrel that is the nation’s capital.