At a packed news conference at Faneuil Hall in Boston, Senators John Kerry, the Democratic nominee for president, and Senator Ted Kennedy, announced their plans to wed this summer at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. Their respective wives, Teresa Heinz Kerry and Victoria Kennedy, stood by, beaming.
"We intend to be fully integrated as a family," Mrs. Kerry observed. "We fully support the right of anyone to marry anyone they choose."
"This is about freedom of choice," Victoria Kennedy added. "If anyone even suggests that this is a marriage of convenience, let me tell you now that it’s a lie."
"You mean, " a reporter from the Boston Globe asked, "that this has nothing to do with politics, with Ted Kennedy getting into power through the back door, so he can tax and spend until there is nothing left to tax and spend?"
"I will answer that question," Senator Kerry fumed, standing up to the microphone. " I am my own man. My economic policies are entirely my own. George W. Bush has cost this country millions, tens of millions of jobs. I will put America back to work. And with Ted, Teresa, and Victoria by my side, we will change the course of the country back to the good old days when we were the government and we could tell everyone what was good for them."
"Then this is a marriage of liberalism to liberalism, isn’t that it?" Jason Blair, now working for The New Republic asked.
Ted Kennedy flashed his thousand-tooth smile.
"Let the wedding party begin. Gay or straight, we will take over the state."
"But how will this help the economy?" a Times reporter pressed.
Kerry gritted his teeth and jutted out his prodigious chin.
"More marriages mean more jobs. More catered dinners, more bands playing tedious music, more bridal gowns and tuxedos. None of these jobs will be out-sourced. I will put ten billions dollars in the budget to subsidize these events, and will insist that affirmative action be part of the overall plan. If anyone plans to get married on Bermuda, it will be a tax penalty, and I mean pronto."
"Let me elaborate, "Kennedy interjected. "As a group of four, we can reduce the costs of our medical premiums."
"But you get all your health care free," the Times reporter challenged.
"And I will see to it that everyone can sign up for those same benefits," Kerry boomed. "They will have to pay, of course, which we do not, even though we are collectively worth over two billion dollars."
"So where will you go for the honeymoon?" Liz Smith queried.
"The four of us will head off to Erehwon," Kennedy explained, "to plan the new society, which will be even greater than the Great Society, newer than the New Deal and freer than the Four Freedoms. We will make the world safe for democracy, we will see to it that the state will, once and for all, tell everyone what to do, everywhere in the world."
"Even Haiti? I used to vacation in Haiti. Can I go there again?"
"You bet," Teresa laughed. "This time the Marines will stay there forever."
"And how about a side trip to Baghdad?" Liz asked.
"No problem," Victoria smiled. "John and Ted will never cut and run."
"But I thought John was against the war."
"You’ve got that wrong," Teresa answered. "He voted for the war."
A visibly agitated Kerry grabbed the microphone from her and shouted:
"Teresa is confused. I voted yes because I thought the resolution asked if we supported freedom and democracy in Iraq. Everyone is for that. I had no intention of supporting military action. Had I known what Bush had planned, I would have been out front in my opposition to it, just as I am today, just as Ted is."
"But you won’t cut and run."
"Exactly. Just as I will never cut and run from Ted. This is one marriage that will never be dissolved. Count on it."
The cheering crowd began throwing flowers at the couple."
"One last question," another reporter asked. "What makes you so sure you will win?"
"Hey, " Kerry grinned. "Bush is married to Dick Cheney. How can we lose?"
Richard Cummings [send him mail] taught international law at the Haile Selassie I University and before that, was Attorney-Advisor with the Office of General Counsel of the Near East South Asia region of U.S.A.I.D, where he was responsible for the legal work pertaining to the aid program in Israel, Jordan, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is the author of a new novel, The Immortalists, as well as The Pied Piper — Allard K. Lowenstein and the Liberal Dream, and the comedy, Soccer Moms From Hell. He holds a Ph.D. in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University and is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He is writing a new book, The Road To Baghdad — The Money Trail Behind The War In Iraq.