In an unadorned room in the rear of a wholesale plastic gear distributor, Chet Kimbrough read a piece on the Huffingtonpost. The article was by Peter Dreier, a former deputy mayor of Boston and currently the director of the urban and environmental policy program at Occidental College in northeast LA. He was a baseball fan–Kimbrough had last run into him at a Dodger game. Oxy was where Barack Obama, sometimes called Barry then, sporting a medium- sized afro, attended in 1983.
Dreier’s piece compared Hillary Clinton’s ungracious, non-exit speech of June 3 at the end of the Democratic primaries and Obama’s clinching the nomination to the now campy “Checkers” speech given by Richard Nixon in 1952. Nixon, the veep candidate to the popular Eisenhower’s bid for the presidency as head of the GOP ticket, had been accused of taking some eighteen grand in under-the-table campaign contributions. He gave a precedent-setting live nationwide TV and radio broadcast from Hollywood stating his finances were an open record, and that he did not maintain a slush fund–a claim would certainly come back to haunt and taunt him a couple of decades later during Watergate.
Nixon did say his family had received a cocker spaniel as a gift from a traveling salesman, but that, by gosh, “the kids, like all kids, love the dog, and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we’re gonna keep it.”
Dreier’s point being that Clinton and her camp were engaged in an act of desperation. Nixon gambled and asked the viewership to decide whether he should remain the vice-presidential selection. His move paid off, as the RNC received scores of letters and telegrams urging the party to keep him as the nominee, pressuring Eisenhower to not drop him as damaged goods. Clinton in her speech called on the 18 million who voted for her to go to her website and make suggestions on what she should do next. In the speech she’d stated she wasn’t going to make any decision–the idea being that her supporters would of course want her to stay in the race and this would put pressure on Obama’s camp to bring her on as the VP choice.
Kimbrough clicked off the article as the chime sounded announcing he had new e-mail. He’d remained online anticipating this message. He opened and read the brief note. It was from his contact to the former special ops soldier, an enforcer who’d done strong arm work for Countryman at the behest of the Fallenbee Directive’s Mace Gilmore. The man had said he wouldn’t talk to Kimbrough again, this after they’d been surprised by two of Mace Gilmore’s employees. But he’d reached out again hoping the man wouldn’t stay spooked. The note from his friend indicated there was a possibility the hired muscle might meet with Kang’s chief of staff once more.
Kimbrough tapped off a response quickly. The enticement he’d offered to the soldier was a book deal. He knew several head editors of New York publishing houses. He knew too that this was irresistible bait. Who didn’t want their vindication, their say preserved for history on the printed page? A decent advance, notoriety while maintaining his anonymity, with the mystery only adding to sales… that was one sweet deal. For surely even a hard case like the soldier might envision Brad Pitt playing him in the big-screen version.