“The White House is the finest prison in the world” - Harry Truman
The mop bucket’s puddles serve as reflectors for the TV’s screens inside Joe’s diner. Outside a man casually smokes a cigarette in a late evening drizzle.
The program inside is President Richmond’s state of the Union. It is January 20th, 2021, one year to the day since President Keith Richmond was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States.
Richmond, a Wisconsin Democrat, took over from Republican President Ezikiel Kinkaide who himself was only President because his predecessor, Raymond Skinner was impeached after his attempt to launch a nuclear attack on Russia was squashed by his secretary of state.
The man inside is Kinkaide’s former chief of staff, Pierre Turgeon. Turgeon is critiquing in his mind the political planning that he knows went into the speech he is listening to.
You are so boring Mr.President
He thinks out loud.
How did you ever win?
Barry Michaels is avoiding Terry Carlyle. With their offices directly opposite in the white house, they are avoiding looking at each other.
Michaels is the Deputy Chief of Staff and Carlyle is the Chief of Staff. The Two have never interacted that much. Both of them are watching the state of the Union. The reason for their discomfort? The chief of staff wasn’t picked by the President.
Keith Richmond strolls out onto the veranda outside the oval office. The sun is going down and glinting of the rifle barrels of the formal secret service agents.
Getting Tired Ron?
Richmond quips to the Secret Service Man to his left. The normally stone faced agent grins.
A brief silence interrupted only by the sirens of Washington DC ensues.
And you sir?
Richmond’s grin fades. He walks a short distance down the veranda and stops looking toward the residence of the Vice President.
You know Harry Truman was right Ron, this really is the finest Prison in the world.
443 Days Earlier
Who do you like for chief of staff?
Franky, we don’t have to have that conversation now.
No Chris I think we do.
The Vice President Elect, Christopher Clemens, sighs and leans back in his chair. He has just received notice that Senator Rollins, the Republic candidate for President has conceded and his ticket mate, Keith Richmond will be the next President. The sherry has barely been opened and already this darned Capioni is talking insider posts.
I don’t know who I like
Well I have some ideas…