Political Animals
The Woman Problem

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Future Starts Slow

Margaret: "Hate to be the one to burst your bubble, babe, but that ain't news."
Elaine: Can't get the words out -- what this means, where we go -- fast enough to stop her.
Margaret: "Is this the point where you ask us what we think, then you ignore what we say and do whatever you want? Because I for one prefer not to have the New York Post going through our garbage cans, counting our liquor bottles again. And I know the boys don't want to go through the hell we all barely survived two years ago, just so you can be Queen Shit of the United States of Elaineland."
Elaine: "I'll take that as a nay?"

Doug shines, admits he's agreed to be her campaign manager; T.J. thinks she's going to be the best President the family's ever had. That's when Bud arrives. Hale and hearty and full of pithy idiom; unannounced. Doug seethes; it's like just thinking of him made him appear. It was meant to be a secret.

Bud: "Hoo! It's hot as a goat's ass out there tonight!"

THROUGH TO THE KITCHEN

The boys watch their parents chuckling after dinner. It's weird. Weirder for Doug, who remembers it better. Who is carrying, we'll see, more of the burden. He sighs; he pushes back his chair. More wine.

T.J.: "Get me one of those shitty mineral waters while you're up?"

To break them up Doug tells Elaine to stop doing the dishes, but she says it keeps her calm. Bud, of course, steps right in it: "I let you boys grow up soft. Running around the governor's mansion like a couple of princes..."

Bud's big news, dropped just as casually as this sideswipe at their lives as men -- "You're not on the campaign," Doug nearly sputters -- is that he's located the mad pollster, Jubal Jacobs.

"No sense in staging a DNC coup unless you know you can pull it off and Jubal's the only pollster who can read the tea leaves this far out."

Elaine's vague reference to "what Bud did" can only mean something adulterous and his response -- "Well, that was a pack of lies!" -- only confirms it. She agrees to let the "crazy old bastard" with whom Bud lies he's now on "excellent terms," but only if Doug goes along. He's the only one she can trust, you see. The only one that can actually carry the burdens she barely realizes she's handing him. And pretty soon, it's become a fishing trip, so nobody knows why they're really up there. The boys struggle and whine, carping about their responsibilities, but he's got her on the hook and knows they'll follow. Bud takes T.J. away.

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