Book 2 Chapter 145

Two and a half hours later I was walking in the sand towards the bonfire on the beach. Two little boys met me, each carrying a beer for me and talking a mile a minute. There was a slight nice warm breeze – it was still seventy degrees.
The coordinators were getting everyone assigned to their cottages and transportation to get them there before dark. Each building would have one golf cart and one Gator. There was a hotel phone in each cottage to the main building where they could request transportation if those were gone.
The main building was where public computers were with a massive kitchen and dining area. Just off the main building were the two pools and a large hot tub. It is also where one needed to go to arrange transportation to the big island. A short walk from there took one to the docks where the boats to the big island were tied up.
The Skidoos were there as well as the flat bottom shallow-water boats for snorkeling.
Some cottages were like four separate two bedroom apartments. Others were like a large cottage with six bedrooms that all shared a living room and small kitchen.
The main cottage where I and my family were staying on the opposite side of the pool was the largest cottage on the island. It had ten rooms – many with private bathrooms – and it was two stories. Three of the rooms were joined by walk-through doors, just right for my family.
At the bonfire I tightly hugged and kissed each of my mates. We settled into a tight group touching, holding and talking. We watched the boys playing at the water’s edge.
It was 2100 when we walked back to the cottage. The people had cleared out. A few were walking the beach in both directions as we walked back. We bathed the children and put them in bed. Then we continued our intimate time before going to bed ourselves.
I slept in for me – it was 0600 when I found the first cup of coffee. It could have stood some improvement but it was coffee. I carried six cups and a coffee pot with several glasses of orange juice, apple juice and milk on a tray back to the cottage.
An agent placed a folder on the tray and held the door open for me to leave. I knew what the folder was – intelligence updates and other classified reports that I received every morning.
Vice President Harrison received the same report while I was on vacation and was handling the daily White House confusion for me.
I was on the second cup of coffee when I finished reading the updates. The coffee aroma had everyone else up. Even the two boys were up, wanting to know what was for breakfast.
I called the agent so he could have my questions answered by the appropriate people in the next hour or so.
Sara and Takeo – now eighteen months old – joined in the chorus. Together we made our way to the dining room and placed our food order. While we were waiting on the food, we planned the day.
First off this morning, we were going to walk the beach enjoying the sand and water. Then this afternoon was snorkel training for the two boys. I expected it to take a couple days for them to get the hang of it.
The water sports trainer gave lessons on the Skidoo and other small boats that carried divers to the coral and diving wrecks. One of the other things he did was teach beginning snorkeling for youngsters and they said he was the best.
He didn’t want parents to watch but several agents and Abra were going to – like it or not.
We walked several miles on the beach looking at sea shells and other things on the sand. Off shore in deeper water there was a Coast Guard patrol boat slowly patrolling along the island. A Gator was following us with the two officers carrying the football.
Several hundred yards ahead of us was an ATV. They were checking out anything unusual they saw.
Tomorrow we were going to work on our all-over natural tans – agents or no agents.
We talked as we walked. I steered the conversation to how they were handling all of the changes. All agreed things were doing quite well. Then I steered the conversation over to the upcoming election and the fundraisers and reminded them of the one on Wednesday.
Wednesday’s fundraiser was close at Greensboro North Carolina. The trip was less than an hour. It was being held in the Greensboro Coliseum; it had sold out in less than a week. I had a good feeling about the next three this week. All were sold out events, even the big one in Texas on Sunday night.
Air Force One was at the Patrick Air Force Base in case I needed to fly somewhere in a hurry. It was flying to the Grand Bahamas Airport to pick up my family, then fly to Piedmont Triad International Airport and then return us back to the Grand Bahamas around midnight.
Adam was flying to Patrick in a jet. He had been working on all three speeches for me and there had been several phone calls and emails. I had read through tonight’s several times. There would be time for several run-throughs using the teleprompter.
We had just finished lunch and left the boys at pool when General Ingram texted that I was needed on MTAC. The girls were getting towels and other things together so we could suntan. I sent them on ahead, telling them I would be along after I finished the video call.
”The Iranian’s are at it again. They announced military training exercises in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Oman in the area of the Saudi new oil terminals. The terminal is to go into service on Monday. Tankers are assembling at the assigned anchorage.”
”The first barrage of missiles was just four minutes after the announcement.”
”The Boxer was in the area verifying the tanker nationalities and crew makeup and was able to shoot down two of the missiles.”
”The land based Patriot 4 missile system that you ordered based at Mascat shot down four more as they entered Oman air space, eliminating the group of missiles.”
”The trajectory and arc indicated they would fall in the anchorage and on the oil terminal,” he added.
”I doubted the need for them at the time you ordered them there. Again your intuition or possibly some intelligence you have has paid off,” General Ingram said.
”I will have Ambassador Dillinger approach the Oman government about expanding the Patriot anti-missile systems there. More there could be beneficial,” I said.
If Iran carried out its plans based on the intelligence Robert had gathered, a large missile attack on all the Saudi oil fields and terminals were among the first targets as was Israel.
This was just the excuse I needed to beef up the antimissile systems there.
The Patriot antimissile systems that were first introduced in the 1980’s were hit or miss at best. Initial failures were at fifty percent, somewhat better than nothing.
Israel purchased some in the 1990’s and immediately began redesign and upgrades to the radar, increasing their effectiveness to seventy five percent. An embarrassed Raytheon doubled their efforts to improve them. The result was the Patriot II and then the Patriot III systems.
Patriot V was in production. If the Patriot II was the cat’s meow, the V was the lion’s roar. In land based installations it was a mixed system with two Patriot IV batteries and one Patriot V battery.
On major ships only the laser portion would be installed to work with other close-in antimissile defense systems already installed on the ships.
The drawback on many Navy ships was there was not an extra 500 KW of power for each unit. The new Fordson class had plenty of electric power available; it was built to be able to handle new weapons of the future. The last two unnamed ships in the construction process would be the first capital ships to get four Patriot V’s.
To put one on each corner of a carrier would take two megawatts of power – enough to run a large town on a cold day.
The Thomas was getting two in the rush refit. With a little prodding, the Navy ordered it under the cloak of testing. The remaining Nimitz class would get two, possibly three, but as with the Thomas – generators would have to be installed to run them.
The Patriot V was a new generation laser. It could shoot high-intensity dense laser pulses five hundred miles, up to seventy thousand feet into the atmosphere – rapid fire like a machine gun – and it was automated.
The computers could differentiate among missiles, planes, helicopters and even small drones. The operators could program it to be selective at targeting.
At testing in the desert a multiple launch of fifty missiles were fired at its location at one time. All fifty were shot down and none made it closer than three hundred miles to the weapon. Those series of tests pushed it to full production.
I signed off on the General’s request then went to find my mates. They were almost a mile from the main cottage, laying on towels – naked – taking in the sun. I oiled my body parts and joined them.
Three hours later we were dressing and headed to the airport. Adam was on Air Force One waiting for me to do the final review of the speech.
It was the usual hour meet and greet with the power players and big donors. Then there was the speech with emphasis on the economy, jobs, terrorism and continued growth. There was also the ’get them fired up’ and ‘eight more years’ of growth and prosperity.
Two hours later I stood on the stage with my family, adding to the energy of the attendees and chanting with them. We walked to the edge of the stage with the Secret Service scrambling and the level was raised another fifty decibels. Ten minutes later I went back to the podium.
I banged on the podium to bring order back to the place. When it quieted down I began an off the cuff speech.
I expanded on all the prosperity that had been abbreviated during the first speech using data from my memory. The markets that I was told to only touch on lightly, I hit the data hard this time with the growing work force and increases in wages and benefits.
There are hundreds of thousands of jobs waiting for the June high school and college graduates. It was reported that as high as seventy percent of the college graduates had already been offered jobs if they were in the sciences, engineering, electronics and technical fields.
Those left looking for jobs were to ones that had taken the easy courses, just to get a college diploma and party.
With the growing prosperity comes home ownership; new and pre-owned were holding record sales volumes and I gave the numbers.
I gave the numbers of jobs for skilled employees that were needed – carpenters, brick layers, electricians, mechanics – and the skills that were needed to keep our country moving forward.
”Many of these jobs have a starting pay that is as good as or better than many beginning college graduates get, without the massive debt,” I said.
”The future is great and it is ours as long as we increase the number of growth minded conservatives in the House and Senate. We must have a President and Congress who believes that the people of the USA should be able to run their lives without the government interference that the socialist and communist so demand.”
“Taking your wages in massive taxes and bogus fees is wrong, destroying entire industries to satisfy some pie in the sky pipe dreams and promises is wrong.”
”The retraining they promise is a lie and they know it. To take someone that is mid-fifty with seniority at the apex of their income and benefits, then force them into the unemployment line and then back to a beginning level job, knowing they will never again reach that apex in their remaining working life is wrong,” I said.
”Even though there are a few wayward states and people – I believe in the good people of the USA and the future. That was why I accepted the Vice President position and now I am President.”
”That is why I am determined to push for security, our military, and your rights as written in the constitution for the great working people that I see in the audience and across the nation. I know what the good people of America can do.”
”You deserve the fruits of your labors and the benefits it brings – not others that only want to live off your labors that the socialist and communist so seek to control!”
”I only have ten more months to be your President but I intend to push policies and programs that light the fuse under our prosperity and push it to new heights. That’s my promise to you.”
”But I am also a realist and I know in an election year it going to be tough, but I promise you I am going to try.”
”It’s your – yes you – and my responsibility to look beyond the campaign lies and promises and chose a President who will continue the prosperity of the last sixteen years and not throw it in the trash bin of history. ”
”I don’t know and cannot tell you who that is.”
”That is why I ask for eight more years for the good of our nation. We must be determined to continue this prosperity and be strong for our children and grandchildren. To borrow a line from a movie, ‘We must choose wisely’,” I said.
”We need eight more years to build the strength of our nation, mark our place in history with the flag of America and solidify the destiny of our people.”
”Drive safely, good night, God Bless America,” I said.
”Eight more years!” I started the chant again – they were on their feet screaming and pumping iron.
I closed the notebook on the podium containing the paper copy of the first speech. By law it was an official presidential document that had to go into the federal archives for eternity. Someone will have to transcribe the off the cuff speech to join it.
I walked in front of the podium and waved good night. I pointed to some men in uniform and then saluted all the veterans and military people in the audience.
I spent an hour talking to the party chairman – with my family – in critical conversation. An hour and a half later I was standing in the sand looking at the reflection of the moon on the water, holding hands with my mates. I was lost in deep thought.
I knew there would be media there – what I did not know was that the entire speech was going to be rebroadcast on the political networks tomorrow evening. It was obviously a very slow news day in Washington for them to spend all that time on my musings.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.

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