Donelle Macdonald smiled with professional confidence as she accepted her place one last time before all the American people. Her staunchest supporters and most determined opponents arrayed throughout the hall, at least pretending to have interest in the proceedings. She was certain the range of emotions felt by those in the room with her along with those of the hundreds of millions of viewers nationwide were varied, from relief, to disappointment, to anger, to downright boredom, but here all the influential politicians representing both parties maintained a careful façade of mild amiability. She knew the game well, even though she was not nearly as experienced as others in the room. However, she learned quickly, and could now read as well as produce careful rhetoric and half-truth with the best of them.
With these thoughts in mind, she started her fare well address as the words prepared for her in the last few weeks scrolled across the screen mounted on the opposite wall.
She started with the lengthy list of thank yous. From Ulysses S Grant her vice president who had been as a father to her from time to time, if your father still had to protect you from schoolyard bullies when you were 49, and did little better than a baby brother. To "All of you whom I've never met, but who spent much of their time contributing to the wellbeing of our fine nation." But as this practice was routine after 4 years of talking to all manner of critical audiences, she began to focus on the subtle reactions of her listeners. It wasn't hard to notice the victorious glee her opponents tried to conceal, the new president Mr. Nikolo Makiaveli would find it easy to succeed her, but soon he would find himself having to resort to some interesting methods if he wished to keep his approval ratings high. She knew the Republican Party would take a very long time to recover after her stay in the Whitehouse, but if she could leave the position with a better impression, it may only take one generation, rather than two, for the majority to forget about her performance. As she plodded onwards through her speech though, the futility of her actions began to sink in, in the same way it had so many times before. She had started her political campaign as something of an anomaly in politics, soft spoken and disarming in nature, but shying away from confrontation or heated debate. Everyone other than herself knew it would never last, as politics like war, would always change you, and not for the better either.
.... There is more of this story ...