by Mark Saporta, Only Senior Political Correspondent
In yet another shock twist in American politics, a recent Wikileaks trawl has unearthed a devious plot to take the Presidency, supposedly written by then-Massachusetts Senator and current Secretary of State John Kerry in early 2011.
The plan hinges on the order of presidential succession. As is widely known, if the President is impeached, resigns, or dies, the Vice President is sworn in as soon as possible. Less well-known is that the next in succession are the Speaker of the House, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and, crucially, the Secretary of State.
What follows is an unaltered transcription of Kerry’s five-year plot to become the President by whatever means necessary:
FEBRUARY 17, 2011
FROM THE OFFICE OF SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE CHAIR JOHN KERRY
TAKING THE PRESIDENCY: PLAN #1A
First, I must lay some groundwork over the next three years. Successfully executing the following will make what comes next far more doable:
- The Republicans nominate someone uninspiring to run against Pres. Obama in 2012. My “good friend” and Massachusetts “colleague” Mitt Romney should do nicely for this purpose.
- Obama wins re-election handily.
- Hillary Clinton resigns as Secretary of State with plans to run in 2016. As chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I am the obvious replacement.
- Partisan gridlock continues to choke Washington, stoked by efforts to defund the government in 2013 and a strong Republican victory in 2014 that wins them the Senate and an unassailable House majority.
- Speaker John Boehner is thrown out by conservative diehards, who also prevent his natural successor Kevin McCarthy from taking the office. He is replaced by Paul Ryan, essentially the only person in the House that can unite both the establishment and Tea Party. Dissatisfaction with Congress and the government in general continues to increase, especially among Republicans.
Next, I will exploit every channel I can to make sure that somebody with a criminal history is elected President in 2016. I have settled on Donald Trump as a particularly loathsome candidate. This will require some good fortune, but if my groundwork pays off the Republicans will hate their party so much that they will be willing to elect a lunatic over one of their own:
- At least ten candidates from all corners of the Republican party enter the 2016 primary, ensuring there is little concerted resistance to the next stage of the plan.
- Hillary Clinton faces at least one unexpected challenger, perhaps someone from the far left who can energize the youth by promising free college and legal weed. I leak the existence of her private emails to some Republican congressman (t.b.d.) who is going after her for some real or imagined crime.
- Donald Trump enters the Republican primary. Unless it seems like Trump will win through sheer chutzpah, I will anonymously manipulate Speaker Ryan and the head of the RNC into making a secret deal that gives Trump the primary. Either way, I will make sure there is a paper trail, real or fabricated, linking Ryan to Trump’s victory.
- Clinton wins the primary, but the challenge from the left and the emails take a toll on her favorables. Moreover, I exercise my pull with the Russians to get them to interfere in Trump’s favor. To everyone’s surprise, Clinton manages to lose to Trump (ideally winning the popular vote but losing the Electoral College for maximum public outcry), who has been managed by my top political agent Kellyanne Conway the entire time.
Now here comes the fun part:
- Shortly into his presidency, Trump is convicted of one of his myriad actual crimes and is forced to resign. Some well-placed bribes should ensure nothing goes awry.
- Trump’s running mate is a wild card, but my inside men on the Secret Service should be able to get the job done no matter who it is.
- I expose Paul Ryan’s “manufacturing” of the 2016 primary results through one of many potential back channels. He too is eventually forced to resign after a few short scandal-ridden months.
- The President Pro Tem will now be the last man standing in my way. As his office is defined by his age, though, his death from “natural causes” shortly after his inauguration should come as no surprise.
- As the next in succession, I, John Kerry, will become the 49th President of the United States.
The release of this memo will surely shake up Americans’ confidence in their political institutions for years, if not decades, to come. If it is truly legitimate, though, your political correspondent must express some degree of respect for John Kerry, perhaps the greatest political mastermind of the modern world.