Presidential Campaign 6 results
3.5Score

The Front Runner circles lapse of judgment in a losing cause

Movie Review: The Front Runner Jason Reitman recreates the late-80s political landscape to survey the moment when the sober Republic turned into All-American spectacle: Gary Hart’s soiled Presidential bid, spoiled by sex scandal and the rise of tabloid TV.

Jack and Vanessa get out of Dodge

Mob Rule: Part 40 When Jack realizes he's stuck between The Kennedys and his old mob buddies back in New York, he makes a bold squeeze play to abandon the Presidential campaign trail and return to the family fold By John Armstrong So now I was in the middle of a triple-cross, because surely the last thing Meyer and Frank expected was for me to come home having made a side deal with one of my co-conspirators.  But, like Sidney said, this was a game where the rules changed while you played. It wouldn’t matter anyway unless I figured out how to excuse Vanessa and myself from this party without getting shot. I had to keep myself ready for any opportunity to get a small head start on them, even a few hours. They’d relaxed on watching me so far as I’d noticed and as I thought about it I realized why. They’d hamstrung me in the most efficient way possible: I had no money. I’d gotten so used to Sydney or one of the others paying for everything or simply signing for it ...

From the frying pan to the panhandle

Mob Rule: Part 38 Jack learns that brokering political deals in Florida means biting into fat slabs of bad meat By John Armstrong So that’s what we did. When we got to Florida Bobby called Wallace and arranged a conference in Albany, Georgia for the following day, the closest reasonably sized city to both camps. I didn’t go along with them and I confess I didn’t argue hard for the privilege. I’d seen enough of Wallace, Conner, and the "superior white race” and so far as I was concerned, I’d be just as pleased if the next time I saw them it was to identify the bodies. Our two diplomats left with a driver around 10 a.m. and expected to be back for supper. While they were gone I thought I’d take Vanessa to the beach and let the sun bake the stress away. It was already over 80 degrees. I found Sydney drinking coffee and asked if he knew how to get to the beach and he looked at me like I’d already been in the sun too long. I was in my shorts and sandals, a towel ...

Courting the vote

Mob Rule: Part 31 The campaign begins to blur into a never-ending series of speeches, hotel rooms and handshakes until Lyndon B. Johnson offers Jack some Texas-style hospitality By John Armstrong It was just after ten when the phone rang. Personally, I had no plans to get up ever again unless forcibly removed at gunpoint. We were still in bed with a room service breakfast going cold on a tray; somewhere between the coffee and the first slice of toast it had been jettisoned in favor of more pressing activities. I stuck a pillow over it and it stopped for second then began ringing again almost immediately. Ignoring it further would just bring someone to knock on the door, so I kissed her one more time and picked it up and was told my presence was required in Bobby and Sydney’s war room. I begged 10 minutes to shower and then had to drag a naked woman halfway to the bathroom before she let me go. I tell you, that kind of thing does wonders for a man’s self-image. Two floors ...

Mob Rule: Part 30

Stealing from the Best Finding his comfort zone halfway between holy roller and Hollywood hack on the campaign trail, Jack suddenly realizes it's not about who you really are, but who people want you to be. By John Armstrong It was a good thing I made my move when I did. The next morning we left for California. We took off in more of the drizzling rain and grey skies that mean spring in Washington and arrived in the hard glare and 70 degrees-plus heat of early May in Los Angeles. The waiting limos took us down palm-lined streets to the hotel and I got right to work pacing the floor and chain-smoking, waiting for Vanessa to arrive. Bobby and Sydney were in meetings all day in a room reserved for just that purpose and again I was largely unneeded, except when I was briefly trotted out for inspection by men whose names I forgot immediately after Bobby introduced us. I had given up on trying to keep such information in my head. It had become a blur of faces and names and even ...

A train pulls out of the station

Mob Rule: Part 26 With a cigar and a stiff drink, Jack boards the Kennedy campaign train with full knowledge the contest won't be won on merit   By John Armstrong They cheered and jumped up from their chairs. Someone stuck a cigar in my mouth, and several of them called out “Speech! Speech!” Someone else began filling the whiskey glasses and stuck one in my hand. Bobby held his hands up for order and got nowhere. Finally Joe stood up behind his desk. I didn’t know he actually could but then I saw he was using his arms only to support him. “Order – Order, goddamnit!” Joe was used to being listened to, and it worked both ways – people were used to listening to him.  They settled down but stayed standing, all smiles and backslapping and handshakes. You’d have thought I’d already been elected, I thought. Then I corrected myself – as far as the old man and his cronies were concerned, I had. I wasn’t to be elected; I was going to be installed. It ...