Thursday, April 12, 2012

The First Debate

The four o'clock meeting in Senator Bellardi's suite at the Best Western was like a high-level military briefing prior to a critical battle that was destined to turn the war. All of the senator's key people were there including his personal bodyguards and two plainclothes officers from the California Highway Patrol.

Everyone in the room seemed on edge. Polls released today showed the senator to be only five points ahead of Juanita Dunsmuir, with up to 11 percent of the population yet undecided. Stevie was confident that the debates would turn the war solidly in Bellardi's favor.

Stevie was the on-site wordsmith, a walking dictionary, thesaurus, and grammarian. She would be called upon if the debate team needed to clarify a key statement. She had played a significant role in the crafting of Senator Bellardi's opening statements. Delivered with the senator's characteristic passion, this fifteen-minute address would doubtless send the Dunsmuir camp reeling. Truth and righteousness would prevail. It would be a first-round knockout.

The rest of the Friday and Saturday evening sessions would focus on nine specific issues: abortion, assisted suicide, gay rights, legalized drugs, crime and punishment—including capital punishment—church and state, values in education, pornography, and tolerance. Stevie had helped the debate team polish each position statement and Senator Bellardi would be free to use the prepared materials or speak from his own thoughts. Either way, Stevie was confident that he would blow the opposition away.

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