Carolyn Green checked her appearance in the mirror for the eighth time that morning, still not accustomed to what seemed banefully narcissistic, but which her staff claimed was one of those critical areas of public approval, especially now. She sighed inwardly as she wondered, again, just how she had let herself be talked into taking on this challenge. Well sister, she told herself, you said you wanted to make a difference and by God, you’ll do that one way or another.
Carolyn did not turn on the television that morning; she already knew what the news was saying. The election results had been mercifully predictable, which no doubt annoyed the media types. If God was truly merciful, Carolyn mused, He’d let America have some boredom for a while. President Shaw had called in his congratulations just after Texas made the win official, and – as expected – four hours before Derek Jordan conceded the Presidency to Don Reynolds. Governor Reynolds enjoyed a pleasant phone conversation with Senator Jordan, which was more than Carolyn could say; her attempt to reach her counterpart, Heather Connally, was met with a series of lame excuses by her Chairman, Sam Wilson. Sam was a good guy but a bad liar, and Carolyn could tell Heather was bitter from the loss. Horace Duke, the party chair, called around 5 AM with an ‘explanation’ about why Heather Connally was not available for public appearances or to talk with Ms. Green, but the whole tone smacked of hypocrisy, and calling her private line at 5 AM was simply a cheap shot. Connally would return to life as a United States Senator, where Carolyn had no doubt she would obstruct every move made by President Reynolds.
Carolyn looked around to make sure everything was ready; the hotel room would be tended by Secret Service as well as the 4-star staff, but Carolyn hated to leave a mess or forget things. Her own campaign chairman, John Lake, had set up a breakfast meeting for President-elect Reynolds and herself, along with party Chair Fred Barrett, and of course a crowd of press. Thus the need to act and look perfect, today of all days. Carolyn left the bedroom and nodded to Frank Gorshin, the head of her Secret Service detail. Frank was so good at so many things, that Carolyn had more than once asked him to become her Chief of Staff, but he had always told her he’d have to think about it. Frank brushed a cuff with a subtle movement of his hand, issuing a fast click signal to alert the team that the VP-elect was on the move.