During the first debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, something totally unexpected happens.
In front of 100 million or so viewers, they fall in love.
The transcript doesn’t show it, of course – the dialog is brisk, the invective is heavy, and the accusations fly back and forth. But it’s clear as a bell to anyone watching. The body language is unmistakable. Those in the audience later report an amazing electricity in the air between the two combatants, a primal energy that cannot, will not be denied.
It soon becomes clear that their arguments about fiscal policy, immigration, and environmental protections are nothing but foreplay.
Like Sam and Diane on CHEERS, or Maddie and David on MOONLIGHTING, Hillary and Donald are about to move into the pantheon of all-time great love affairs. Not since Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor will two people so willingly throw themselves into what everyone is sure will be a train wreck of stupendous proportions.
During the second debate, conversations veer wildly off-topic, as the participants are obviously engaged in a mutual mental undressing. “We were waiting for the moment when Hillary would just lose it and tackle Donald right then and there,” Dr. Phil, one of the debate moderators, would say later. “That cougar was ready to pounce, no doubt about it.”
The third debate gets cancelled, and is replaced with a candid tête-à-tête between the two lovebirds and Barbara Walters.
Within weeks, both candidates have divorced their spouses, who then take comfort in each other. “It’s a win-win, if you ask me,” says Bill, at a press conference on the beach with Melania at their honeymoon resort in the Azores. “We may not be in the White House, but then again we don’t have to be in the White House, you know what I mean? Now shoo, I have some, uh, suntan oil to apply here.”
After complex negotiations, a historic bipartisan arrangement is made. The election will proceed as planned – but whichever person wins the Electoral College (the “First President”) will get their choice of foreign or domestic policy as their primary responsibility, and the other (the “Second President”) will take the other – with the option of their roles reversing after two years. It is also agreed that they will alternate doing the dishes, and have pizza night every Wednesday.
“We’re gonna make an awesome team,” says Donald. “Amazing. Huge. Nothing like it ever.”
Hillary, for her part, smiles quietly to herself.
And waits for the right moment to arrive.