Condor One: Book One The Democratic Party's 2012 nominee for President, David J. Windsor, and America are equally shocked when he is outted by his opponent just six weeks before the Fall election. Following his heart, David chooses honesty over media spin and overcomes the obstacle to win the election. Despite that success, dark forces around the world begin to plot against him, and President Windsor's security is a must. Inside and outside the White House, Secret Service Agent Shane Thompson becomes the President's shadow, always present and silent, ever vigilant. As the two men grow closer, Shane does far more than just his duty – he becomes as vital to David's happiness as he is to the President's health. Together they realize they must find a way to balance the President and the Agent against David and Shane before stress and responsibility tear them apart.
Read an Excerpt
IT was six weeks until the general election for the President of the United States and the stakes could not be higher. The state of the world was tense with a fair certainty that nuclear weapons had been introduced into Syria by Russia, the newly emerged and reinvigorated American adversary. Israel was reacting as one might expect: with the panic of a state facing the threat of extinction. All over Tel Aviv little cars with military escorts darted like bees between flowers as they shuttled the General Flag officers from meeting to meeting. Iran and its close ally Iraq were rattling their sabers so loudly that no one in Washington was getting any sleep at night. Pizza delivery vehicles were seen making regular visits to the Pentagon, a sure sign that the midnight oil of the Military Industrial Complex was burning brightly. The entire Middle East was once again the tinderbox that threatened to ignite the whole world. In the United States, another kind of war was raging: the presidential election campaign of 2012. Democrat David J. Windsor, a multi-millionaire corporate executive, was running against Speaker of the House Daniel Gorski, the Republican nominee. Both candidates followed the norms of their parties, firing millions of dollars of attack ads at each other and dividing the nation in the process. Everyone was worried about who would answer that White House phone at three A.M.
Windsor came from a liberal background and was related to the royal family of England, where King William had just ascended to the throne after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Prince Charles had declined the crown, clearing the way for William V tobecome King of England. Gorski was ever the conservative hawk who--while mouthing the rhetoric of smaller government, tighter budgets, and isolationism--practiced the exact opposites in a continued attempt to make America ruler of the world ... all at the expense of social programs and a decaying infrastructure that was well beyond becoming a potential danger to the American public. His social outlook was typical Republican fare: anti-gay, anti-women, and anti-minority, with a very strong dash of evangelicalism.
The Vice-Presidential candidates were wedded to the politics, philosophies, and priorities of their running-mates--or at least they professed to be. Windsor had chosen an older governor from the Deep South to help him carry that part of the country. Governor Barry Miller of Florida was thirty-five years Windsor's senior, but he wanted the job and had good skills. He added weight to the ticket in both age and experience.
The differences between the two candidates at the top of the tickets could not have been sharper, and this made most pundits agree that the nation's choice was clear. One was charting a course forward for the country; the other was promising the status quo legacy of the outgoing President, whose family had controlled the White House for twelve long, troubled years. The final debate of the campaign was due to begin shortly and had the full attention of the American public. The setting was the University of Central Florida, near Orlando, Florida. Once again, it all came down to Florida.
"David, we need to get going to the debate if we are going to be on time; it's about a fourteen-minute ride out to the University," advised sixty-four year old Mary, my longtime Secretary.
"Yeah, okay. Let's get going. Two minutes."
As the motorcade whisked along from downtown Orlando to the debate site, my mind wandered over the last six months of what was more than a slightly caustic campaign. The far right was determined to keep the White House in their column and the Democratic Party was determined to recapture the people's house after a very long twelve years of near dictatorial rule. If I were to become President, I would reverse many of the policies that had strangled the American people over the last decade--no more conservative buffoons on the Supreme Court while I was President.
"David, here are your note cards with every position that the campaign has taken since it began. We don't know what Gorski is going to throw at you tonight, but they feel their edge on you slipping away, so they may be desperate enough to try and create a controversy that they can ride until Election Day," Mary said.
"Thanks, Mary. I'm going to try and just be me--give the people one last chance to see me for who I really am. I'm asking for their trust, as well as their vote. I want to be as forthright as I can be--contrast that with Gorski's obvious spin. People are tired of that kind of 'politics-as-usual.' This is it: the final debate, and the final chance for America to see both of us together. I really hope that the people will get a good look at the polar opposites that are vying for the White House."
As the motorcade came to a halt outside the side entrance to the University auditorium, car doors flung open and Secret Service agents emerged from the various SUV's that were a part of modern day security, taking up their 'ground' positions ready for the candidate to exit the limousine. I sat in the back waiting for the signal from the agent at the door, Shane Thompson, that it was okay to exit the vehicle. I watched the final radio check, the agent finally opening my door so I could get out. A large crowd had gathered outside the auditorium, unable to get into the event since all available seats were already taken. I waved to the crowd as the security agents whisked me into the side entrance and escorted to me to a holding room where we would wait until the time drew near for the debate to begin. This way, my exposure to unforeseen circumstances was kept to a minimum. I had been advised that the crowd was not only large, but also friendly and about evenly divided between Gorski and me. I took the last few moments to go over my note cards for the final time as makeup people worked on my face and hair.
"Mr. Windsor, it's 7:55, we should move to the launch position for the stage, sir," advised Agent Alvarez, the agent in charge of my security detail.
"Okay, let's get the show going."
We quickly moved from the holding room to the left side of the stage and waited the final moments behind the curtains. The Secret Service for both candidates scanned the crowd one final time before both of us were exposed on stage. At exactly 8:00 P.M., I heard Anderson Cooper from CNN begin the announcement to the television audience that the debate was about to begin. Speaker Gorski was introduced first, and he came out from the opposite side of the stage to applause and took his seat. Next, I heard my name, and I moved out on stage and took my seat, smiling and waving to the crowd as the applause this time was for me. The red lights of the television cameras told me that they were on and showing us to the world. The final debate was scheduled to last ninety minutes, using the standard format from all our previous debates.
Our biggest policy disagreement was on foreign relations and how to deal with the situation in Syria. Gorski wanted a relationship that was confrontational while I wanted to seek diplomatic solutions to our problems if at all possible. I was not afraid to use our military might, but it was going to be my last choice if necessary. There really were no surprises or sucker punches and I was feeling that the debate was not truly a win for either Gorski or me until the final fifteen minutes.
"Speaker Gorski, we are in our final quarter hour of the debate and you may address any issue that remains," invited Cooper.
"Thank you, Anderson. There is one final issue that I think the American people need to be aware of as, it may affect their decision as to whom to vote for as their President. Certain information has come to light about the personal life of Mr. Windsor and I would like a response to this information from him. Mr. Windsor, are you or are you not a homosexual?"
The auditorium went deadly quiet as people tried to understand the question that was just asked of the Democratic candidate for President. Had they heard correctly? Had the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives just asked his opponent if he was gay? After a moment of total silence, multiple flashes occurred as the print media began to take photograph after photograph of the situation unfolding before the eyes of the world.
"Mr. Gorski, may I ask what relevance my sexuality has to do with the job of President of the United States? What is your purpose in asking such a question?"
"Mr. Windsor, the American people have the right to know if their President sleeps with men and if he violates the tenets of the Bible that we all hold so dear as we were founded as a Christian nation. As for my purpose in asking, it is to expose the truth about who you really are as a man."
"Gentlemen, I don't think that is a proper question to be asked during this debate and I would suggest to you, Mr. Windsor, that you not answer this question," said Anderson.
Part of the audience began to clap in agreement, while others began to murmur.
"Thank you, Anderson, but I fully intend to answer the question. Let us be clear about the intent of the Speaker in asking this question. He hopes to make me run and hide, to be embarrassed, to cripple me in the closing days of the election since he cannot win on the issues facing this great nation. He expects me to lie, to try and evade the question and to attack him for asking it. He is wrong on all counts. Ladies and Gentlemen, in fact, I am a gay American. I have been gay all my life, and will always be gay. This fact has absolutely nothing to do with my abilities to be the best President you possibly could have, leading the American people out of the darkness that has been characterized by just such a question. It is the politics of fear, hatred and bigotry, and I soundly reject it. My being gay will have no effect whatsoever on how I conduct the affairs of state. I will represent the American people and their interests with pride, competence, and honesty, and I promise to never lie to the people of this great country. Finally, Mr. Gorski is also wrong as usual about this nation being founded as a Christian nation. It was not. The founding fathers were in fact Deists, and not Christians. In fact, if you read the words of Thomas Jefferson, you will find that he had a particular distaste for Christianity. As for the ministers and preachers that Mr. Gorski so favors, Jefferson had this to say: 'In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.'--Thomas Jefferson to Horatio G. Spafford, in 1814."
The applause was deafening. People rose to their feet and continued to clap and began to chant my name over and over again. Gorski looked as though he had eaten a rotten egg and was in shock at the opposite response his question brought about rather than the one anticipated. Anderson tried to bring the crowd under control but it took him over two minutes to regain control of the auditorium.
"Mr. Windsor, how do you think the evangelical vote will view this stunning revelation?"
"First of all, Anderson, I never had the evangelical vote to begin with, so in fact I lose nothing by being honest with the people. Second, those who consider themselves Christians will remember that the greatest commandment given to us by Jesus was to love one another and to love God. In fact, Jesus never said anything about being gay. So, if my being honest on this topic gives them pause, then I suggest that they examine the true pillars of their faith and go from there. I will not pander to the religious right in order to get elected. I leave that in the capable hands of the Speaker of the House."
"Now just a damn minute here...."
"I'm sorry, Mr. Speaker, but we are out of time, and I thank you for being here with us this evening on what has turned out to be an historic debate. Thank you and good night."
Once again, the crowd broke out in applause and began to chant my name. This did not please Gorski, who turned red and instead of offering the traditional handshake at the end of the debate, he simply walked off the stage. I moved forward and shook Anderson's hand and thanked him for moderating the debate.
"Mr. Windsor, it's going to be an interesting few weeks until the election, and I wish you good luck, sir."
"Thank you, Anderson, and I hope to see you again."
Waving to the crowd, I walked off the stage towards my group of people. The Secret Service detail actually came out on stage to meet me part way and escorted me off stage. Before I could really discuss anything about what had just happened, the Secret Service moved me quickly out of the auditorium and into the motorcade, which had already started their engines and were prepared to quickly move out once we were aboard. The sirens wailed and we took off at a fairly fast pace, leaving the University of Central Florida faster than we had arrived. The Secret Service was anxious and it showed.
"Mr. Windsor, can we have a few moments to speak when we get to the hotel?" asked Alvarez.
"Of course we can, just give me a couple of minutes to get relaxed and grab a diet 7-up."
Mary turned her head to me and said, "Well, that cat's out of the bag now, isn't it? I wonder how long it took them to come up with that information to ambush you with tonight."
"Oh, I imagine they've had it all along and only used it tonight because they fear they're losing this election. Gorski sure was pissed at the response from the audience, wasn't he?" I asked with a laugh.
"We knew this night might come. Now we have to see how it affects your poll numbers in the morning. The talk shows will be screaming tonight over this, you wait and see."
Arriving at the Hilton resort in Orlando, the security team did the usual things, and I got out of the limo and headed into the hotel. The press was everywhere shouting questions at me about the fact that I was gay, and wanting more information. I just ignored them and kept walking, having no intention of stoking the fires any more tonight. The Secret Service was able to keep the reporters far from me, and we glided into the elevator to ride to the top floor where we arrived at their version of the Presidential suite.
We entered the suite to the sound of ringing telephones and a stack of messages that had come in since the revelation on television. I waved them all off and headed into the main bedroom so that I could take off my jacket and tie. Wiping my face with a cold wet washcloth immediately brought back some needed energy.
When I came out of the bedroom, Mary handed me my soda and I took a seat in the living room area of the suite. I motioned to Agent Alvarez to come over, and told him to sit down. While the low-level hum of business carried on, I asked Alvarez what was on his mind.
"In light of the information that you confirmed this evening, our job of protecting you might have just gotten a little bit harder. There are more than a few nut jobs and groups in this country who are going to go ballistic because you've admitted that you're gay."
"I realize that, but what would you have me do? Take a pill and become straight? It doesn't happen that way, Agent Alvarez, and if it did, I wouldn't take the pill. I'm quite comfortable being who I am."
"No, sir, I didn't mean it that way. I just meant that we're going to have to tighten your security even more when you are in public, especially the close-in security. Those agents will be at your side now all the time."
"I understand and can accept that. I like Agent Thompson; he seems like a really nice guy. Is he good at his job?"
"Yes sir, all the agents are good at their job or they wouldn't be on this detail."
"Fine, then I'd like Thompson assigned as close-in security."
"I see no problem with that sir, I'll notify him, and his new duties will begin in the morning. He'll have to keep the same schedule that you do, so if you could make sure that I always have an updated copy of your agenda, it will make it a lot easier."
"Fine, just see Mary any time you need an update. Now, let me be frank with you, Agent Alvarez. Do you believe that any of the agents, including yourself, will want to be taken off this detail now that you all know that I am gay?"
"Mr. Windsor, the fact that you are gay does not change the fact that you are the nominee of one of the two political parties of the United States and may in fact become President. This changes nothing, sir."
The meeting over, I turned my attention to the message stack that had now grown to one hundred and twenty four since my departure for the debate.
MANY of the messages I held in my hand were from big donors to the campaign; all worried that I had shot myself in the foot by admitting I was gay. One message simply said, "Couldn't you have waited until after the election to discuss your personal life?" It seemed they overlooked one thing: the other guy brought out the fact that I was gay; I didn't just volunteer the information. Of course, there had been rumors all during the campaign that I was gay since there was a total lack of evidence of any romantic connection to women in my life. I was never one to pretend to be straight by using a 'beard' as they used to say in Hollywood. This of course didn't mean that I never went out socially with friends who happened to be female. But the Republican attack dogs had their red meat, and now we would see what they were going to do with it.
Going to bed after talking with my staff, I replayed the conversation with the Agent Alvarez. I was pleased that he had agreed to allow Special Agent Thompson to become one of my close-in protectors. Thompson was a young agent, in his late twenties, tall, over six feet, about two hundred pounds, blonde hair and green eyes. He appeared well built as all the agents did, and his stunning looks had caught my eye when he joined the detail. He was very professional, always called me sir, or Mr. Windsor, and was an extreme delight to be around. I might actually enjoy this part of my security.
I woke up at 6:45 A.M., showered and dressed and sat down on the sofa while an aide poured coffee and orange juice and handed me a stack of papers, both local and national. Of course the lead headline without exception was the fact that the Democrat who had won the nomination for the election was a homosexual. The flavor of the accompanying stories went from amazement that bordered on glee from the New York Times, to announcements that the world was about to end from the Manchester Union Leader in New Hampshire. Just as in politics, the papers voiced opinions that jelled with their political and social philosophy. It was as I had expected.
"Good morning, David, did you sleep well last night?" Mary asked.
"Once I got to sleep, yes, I never woke up until this morning. Would you return these phone calls, and simply reassure the people that I am the same person they have supported all along, and that the fact that I am now known as a gay man doesn't change a thing? Tell them I am working hard to win the White House as I have been doing for fourteen months now."
"Of course, I'll handle these before we leave for the airport in ninety minutes."
Secret Service answered a knock on the door, revealing the morning courier with my overnight intelligence briefing, which both candidates for the White House received each morning so that we could stay on top of world affairs and talk intelligently about the issues. After all, either Gorski or I would be sitting in the Oval Office in just over three months, and whoever it was would be commander in chief. I had a second cup of coffee while I quickly reviewed the report and noted that there had been no easing of tensions in the Middle East, and that Russia was still trying to keep the pressure up on Israel to make concessions involving inspections of their supposed nuclear weapons. This of course, would never happen. This was merely a ploy by the Russians to build up influence in the region and secure their much-needed source of oil. In another part of the world, Chavez of Venezuela was threatening war with his neighbor Columbia. I considered Chavez one of the more dangerous persons in South America because he believed his own propaganda.
I finished my coffee, handed the briefing book to Mary, and got my jacket on. My suitcase had been packed for me, and we were ready to leave for the airport. Special Agent Thompson, looking very handsome in the morning sunlight, asked if we were ready to go.
"I'm all set, lead the way, Agent."
Thompson spoke into his hand mic, "Condor is on the move," and out the door we went and into the motorcade to the airport. It took only another ten minutes and we were aboard the chartered aircraft and settling in for the next stop on the campaign.
After we were airborne, I asked Mary to call a meeting in the front of the aircraft with my closest aides. The topic would be how the campaign would change now that the fact that I was gay had been publicized.
"Okay, people, we have an entirely new campaign in front of us in the closing weeks. Gorski thinks he scored a touchdown by outing me to the American people last night. It's going to be your jobs to handle the flack that we get from the revelation. John, schedule a meeting with the gay leadership council, the ones we met with about four months ago. We are going to need every bit of their support now. Make it for this Saturday in Washington."
"How long do you think we'll need?"
"Better make it for two hours and ask them to have their PR people there along with their field coordinators. Sam, you prepare a statement that we'll all use about my love life. I have no one special in my life; I'm not seeing anyone, and I have been too busy running for President to even have time for much of a personal life. This should eliminate any furtive questions about who sleeps in my bed. Count on the Republican smear machine to try and dig up every guy I have ever slept with and try and get a statement from them. Fortunately, my past boyfriends are all still friends, and I know I can count on them to be discreet. Besides, I'm sure they will all want an invite to the White House if I'm elected, and that is way more important to them than five minutes of fame from some newspaper story."
"How do you want to handle any probing questions on how long you've been gay, and that sort of inquiry?" asked Mary.
"I do not want to hide or run from this thing. We tell the people the truth, as much of it as they are entitled to. They don't have the right to know what I do in bed, but they do have the right to know that it is with men. I felt no need to bring it up before as it is not germane to the job of President, but since the opposition has brought it to light, we face it head on. No lies."
"Understood, Dave," replied Mary.
"Now as luck would have it, our next campaign stop is back in California, specifically San Francisco. So, we should get a good reception today and at least have a one-day delay in the attacks that are coming. There shouldn't be any protesters. Sam, schedule a stop in the Castro. We might as well embrace this thing. Eddie, write up a few comments that I can make if there is an opportunity to speak; maybe two paragraphs, but make them policy type comments. Anything else we need to discuss?"
"A real interesting piece of information here, Dave: overnight, we raised a little over one million dollars over the Internet in new campaign donations. It's money we can put directly into the battleground states on television ads the week before the election."
"You're kidding? The Republicans blast us with the gay thing and we bring in a million bucks because of it? Any idea where the money came from?"
"I'm told it's mostly small donations from new donors spread across the country. Sixty-four percent were from males, the remainder from females. It could be the gay community, or it could be people who now believe in you as the first totally honest candidate for President to come along since Roosevelt."
"Okay, give me a daily report from now on regarding internet donations for the preceding twenty four hour period. Anything else? Okay, let's break and work on the stuff for the rest of this week."
Everyone went back to their seats and Mary handed me a cup of coffee, smiling and telling me things would be all right. That maybe, just maybe, Gorski did us a favor. After all, I would no longer have to hide the fact that I was gay.
As she walked away, I saw Agent Thompson looking at me and look away quickly when I noticed him. I motioned for Thompson to come over and sit down next to me.
"I just wanted to say, Agent Thompson, that if you are uncomfortable being close-in for me because I'm gay, I'd like you to tell me so I can pick another agent to take those duties over for you. I don't want you to have anything on your mind but your job."
"No sir, not at all. I'm very comfortable with this assignment. In fact, sir, I'm proud of you in many respects."
"Proud of me? For what?"
"You could have danced all around the revelation last night, but you didn't. You handled it with honesty and pride and I respect you very much for that. You could lose the race for being honest. It's not something the Service is used to seeing: a politician who is honest and above board. I'm very pleased to be your close-in agent, sir, and I consider it an honor."
"Thank you; I really don't know what to say to that, Agent. I promised myself a long time ago when I decided to run for President that I would not lie to the American people unless it was a matter of national security and for their well being. You know, you're probably going have much longer hours now with these duties than you did before--don't you have a wife or girlfriend who is going to be upset with you over that?"
"No sir, I'm single and unattached. It may sound corny, sir, but the Secret Service is my partner."
"Well, Agent, don't waste your youth without the love of that special person in your life. A career is fine to be married to, but it makes for a cold bed on a winter night. And frankly, Agent Alvarez looks like a tough wife to have looking over your shoulder all the time," I said with a laugh.
"Yes sir, you have no idea!"
As Thompson got up and walked away, I couldn't help but wonder what he looked like out of his suit. He reminded me of a young Brad Pitt, and his hair was incredible. Damn, I couldn't even check out his ass; his suit jacket hung down too low. I chided myself for that thought. Now was not the time to be thinking of Thompson in that way.
I handled several calls from worried main-line contributors who were bundlers, assuring them that the race was not lost because I was gay. I understood that these people worked very hard to gather up donations from many different people and then bundle them up and send them into the campaign. The 2012 Presidential campaign was projected to cost in excess of one billion dollars, the highest in campaign history. There simply was nothing I could do about the fact that Gorski had outted me, at least not until I became President. After reading more briefing papers on our campaigns' various positions, I took a nap in order to look my best in San Francisco.
It was six weeks since we landed in San Francisco to what turned out to be a triumphant campaign stop that solidified our support in California. It was election night 2011, and we along with the rest of the world were glued to our television screens. The Windsor party was in the Presidential suite at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The polls had us dead even with Gorski, with projections that went both ways. No one knew who was going to be the next President until the votes were counted, and it was one hour exactly until the East Coast polls closed and the first results would come in.
Over the previous six weeks, Gorski and the Republican Party tried their best to paint me as everything from the devil to a sex maniac. They made dire predictions that if I was elected President, Western Civilization would collapse and communism would finally win. Some even predicted that the Roman Catholic Church would implode, signaling the beginning of the end of mankind as foretold by Nostradamus. If it had not been so sad, it would have been funny.
As I looked around the suite, I saw that those closest to me in this world were with me. My mother, who had endured the terrible accusations in the press over the revelation of my sexuality, was here; my campaign management team, which in my opinion was the finest in the world; two secret Service Agents, one of whom was Agent Thompson; and a couple of hotel wait staff serving everybody snacks and drinks. I was again admiring Thompson who looked stunning this evening in his black suit, white shirt, blue tie, and beautiful blonde hair. He still reminded me very much of a young Brad Pitt, with that brilliant blonde hair the color of straw. He smiled at me when he saw me looking him over and I nodded my head to him and smiled back. I wonder if he knew how hot I found him. True to his word, he never left my side the entire time he was my close-in agent, and we had come to know each other well in that short time. I also noticed that Alvarez had barked at him on several occasions, for nothing more than being with me all the time. I detected a note of jealousy in Alvarez over the situation, and I was keeping an eye on things.
Walking over to where Thompson was standing, I asked him if he would like to sit down with me and watch the returns.
"Ah, thank you, sir, but that would be against our post orders, and if Alvarez caught me sitting down with the principle, I would be chasing counterfeiters on Guam within a week."
"Well, I don't want you to get into any trouble, but you don't have to worry about ever being assigned to Guam, I'll see to that."
"Thank you, sir, I appreciate that," he replied with a smile, the smile that made my knees go weak.
"If I am elected President tonight, will you be able to spend some off duty time with me, just to chat? Sure, I have a lot of people around talking to me all the time, but you are someone I would enjoy getting to know better."
"That would be possible, sir. I voted for you, by the way; of course we're not supposed to talk about that with anyone."
"Well, thank you, you have good judgment."
We smiled at each other and stared into each other's eyes just a moment longer than usual. I was beginning to think that Thompson might be gay. Could I be that lucky?
"If I have a victory speech to give tonight, stay close to me, will you?"
"Sir, is there a problem that we need to know about? Is there a threat?"
"No, no, nothing like that. I'd just like you to be near tonight. There will be a lot of emotion flowing freely from many people and I need to count on you to keep me from getting overwhelmed."
"Of course, sir, that goes without saying."
"Very well then, nothing to do but wait for the returns," I said as I turned and walked back to the sofa and rejoined my campaign people.
It took over six hours for all the returns to come in, and it wasn't until two A.M. that a winner of the entire race could be called: I was to be the next President of the United States, thanks to the good people of Washington State who put me over the top. As the declaration by the media swept over the room, all hell broke loose in a cacophony of celebration. We almost didn't hear the phone ring when it did. We got the room calmed down, as Mary came in from another room, and announced that it was Gorski on the phone. I assumed it was his concession notification to me.
"Hello, Mr. Speaker."
"Hello, Mr. Windsor, I'm calling to congratulate you on your victory and to formally concede the election to you. I don't know how you did it, frankly, with your being gay revealed to the world, and I think you are going to be tested severely in more than just a few ways. My advice to you is to surround yourself with good advisors; you're going to need them."
"Thank you, Mr. Speaker, for your good wishes and concession. Never underestimate the American people, for when you do, they will do something that will surprise you every time, like electing me President. If you will excuse me now, I have a speech to give."
I hung up the phone and reflected for a moment on the sadness and slight bitter tinge to Gorski's words. I would not have wanted to make that concession call either and I'm sure he was glad that it was over. Losing to a gay man must have made it all the more difficult for his own ego to accept. Mary advising me that Agent Alvarez wanted to see me interrupted my thoughts.
"Okay, Mary, tell him to come in, and tell everyone else we are leaving for the ballroom downstairs where I will make my victory speech."
"Yes, Mr. President."
With those three words, the immensity of the situation struck me like a thunderbolt. In just a little over two months, I would be the President of the United States.
"Congratulations on your victory, President-elect Windsor."
"Thank you, Agent Alvarez, we'll be going down to the ballroom shortly to make the victory speech. What can I do for you?"
"Well, sir, now that you are officially the next President, there will be some changes that you will notice. First, your security detail will increase by ten men everywhere you go, with an advance team doubled in size. The regular Presidential detail will be replacing all of the agents that have been with you during the campaign. Your present agents will be assigned support duties or assigned to a different area altogether. Your motorcade will now include an additional two 'battle wagons,' and you will be given a new limousine that will have advanced communication gear on board, and is up-armored even more than the limo you have been using. The police escort will be increased, and all personnel that come in daily contact with you will be required to have a full background investigation and clearances for the White House. Any questions, sir?"
"Not so much a question as a request. I would like Agent Thompson to remain with me as my personal bodyguard."
"Sir, I'm not sure that's possible. Agent Thompson doesn't have the advanced training required of the White House detail, and it's normal procedure to change out the team."
"Then schedule Agent Thompson for the necessary further training. I want him with me, is that clear, or do I have to call the Director?"
"No, sir, that won't be necessary. I'll have to inform the Secret Service Director of this departure from normal procedures, however. He has the final say on the matter."
"Actually, I have the final say in this particular matter. Shall we head on down to the ballroom?"
"Of course, sir, the team will be in the hallway waiting."
"Okay, Mary, is everyone ready?"
"Yes, sir, I'll call down to the reception area and let them know you're coming so they can advise the networks. I'll remain here, answer the phones and watch you on the TV."
Opening the door to the suite, I found a dozen agents waiting for me and we headed towards the elevators. We got into two elevators that were being held for us and were whisked non-stop to the ballroom on the second floor. When the doors opened, another group of agents and police officers were waiting to escort me to the waiting area of the ballroom. The noise was deafening, the crowd in full celebration mode, and it took another five minutes to get everyone calmed down so that the Congressman who was going to introduce me could speak. When the noise level settled to reasonable, I moved to the edge of the stage platform behind the curtains.
"Ladies and gentlemen, it is my extreme pleasure and honor to introduce to you the next President of the United States, David Windsor!"
The crowd erupted once again into a chaotic celebration as I walked out onto the stage, waving at the crowd and television cameras. Balloons rained down from the ceiling like snowflakes at the North Pole. The ballroom was packed, two thousand people, all-pushing forward waving and hollering. I looked around for Agent Thompson who was very much a security blanket for me. I found him standing down on the floor directly in front and slightly to the left of the podium. Anyone rushing the stage head-on would run into Thompson and three other agents standing in front of me.
I continued to wave at the crowd and smile as the band played 'Happy Days are Here Again' with gusto. It took another ten minutes to get the crowd quiet enough to begin speaking.
"I am pleased to inform you that a short time ago, Mr. Gorski telephoned and conceded the election to me." Once again, the crowd roared their approval and another five minutes passed before I could continue.
"Tonight is an historic occasion, a night in which the Democratic Party has reclaimed the White House after a long dark period in American history. As I said to you on the campaign trail, I will never lie to you, never mislead you, and always work for you!"
Once more the crowd roared with approval.
"Tomorrow is a new beginning, a beginning for the rebirth of America, an America that you can be proud of around the world. I intend to restore the dignity, honor, and democratic leadership that America has been known for in the past, and will once again be known for in the future. Together we can move this country forward so that our social programs can meet the needs of those who need them the most while maintaining our national security. I pledge to you tonight that I will never use the American military without just reason, and after full consultation with the representatives of the people who labor in Congress. To the friends of America, know that our friendship will continue as long as you treat your citizens with dignity in full recognition of their human rights. To our enemies, a special message: Do not misunderstand or underestimate me because I am a gay man, for before all other things, I am first an American and the President of the United States. If forced to, I will not hesitate to use American military might in the face of aggression or endangerment of the interests of the United States."
The crowd went absolutely wild over this statement. As I'd hoped, this part of my speech laid to rest many fears of those who were concerned that a gay man would not be a strong leader in military affairs, and that he might reduce the image of the United States. The public had a lot to learn about who David Windsor was, and would be as President.
"And so, my fellow Americans, you who have placed your trust in me will not be disappointed. In the days to come you will hear who I am choosing for my cabinet, and other important positions in my Administration. I invite you to walk with me as we go forward and make this great nation what it should be. Thank you and God bless you all."
I continued to wave at the crowd and shake hands with those on stage as cameras recorded the event for posterity. Finally, I left the stage, meeting the heavy security presence, which swiftly took me back up to what was now the Presidential suite.
At that moment in a different part of the country, six shadowy men threw invectives at the television screen. They were not pleased by either my election or my victory speech.
"It's a sad day for America when the President of this nation is a homosexual. He's an embarrassment, but as happened before with JFK, we can once again correct a mistake made by the voters. We will 'unelect' this man and remove him from the White House for good," said the man in charge.
"But who will be our Oswald?" asked another in the room as he took a sip of Scotch.
"One thing's for sure, we have no shortage of willing and able Oswalds. We'll leave that issue up to the mechanics of the operation. After all, that's why they get a lot of money from us each year."
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is terrible. It is not vey well written and totally unbelievable. It is nothing but a platform for the author to make snarky comments and vicious remarks about the Republican party. I frequently read m/m books and this is one of the worst ones I have ever read.