Book 2 Chapter 196

I listened as the girls filled me in on today’s work. Lorrie had rented an entire wing of commercial buildings in the industrial park on Kent Island for a campaign center. It was only a few miles from the home office and a few more from Morton. It was just five hundred yards from the east end of the Bay Bridge.

            Being an industrial building, it was divided into very large offices and large empty work areas. Baltimore Office Supply was delivering office equipment and setting them up now as we talked. They had three warehouses one; in Baltimore, one in Philadelphia and one in Richmond.

            Bobs Construction had pulled all his crews to the building, putting up solid walls and doors to help deaden some of the noise and to keep the sanity of those working there. With walls and such, cable troughs would run across the top. There would be a place to run cables and not have trip and fall hazards.

            Ma Bell had been there all day running phone lines and activating them, then double checking them to see that they worked. Marcy knew how and when to torque them up. JBG had thousands of Verizon cell phones and thousand of business lines and direct numbers to executives.

            A bank of 800 numbers for toll free nationwide was set up. Fiber optic cables were already in the buildings for internet. Robert was sending computers and tech people tomorrow to get those systems up and running. Two days and Jones for President would have a working headquarters.

            Vicky was already setting up the necessary twenty four hour security. Security cameras would capture outside, inside and the parking lots. Entrances were going to be changed and limited.

            It was the new norm for the paid protesters to block, disrupt, threaten and apply graffiti and break windows at campaign offices. Hopefully security could discourage that kind of activity.

            A media team was hired first thing this morning to produce the TV and audio ads. They would set up a media room in the wing to record and develop TV and radio media.

            Carl Isham and Paul Ryder were flying in to Morton tomorrow. They had been pre-purchasing TV and radio ad time spots on all networks and all major market radio stations through their connections.

            That at least gave us a breather until the campaign made our time slot purchases and some ads could start immediately.

            With a combined calendar for all the girls that displayed all the mandatory events and meetings they needed to attend, we started picking out days, nights and weekends we could do campaign stops and rallies.

            After spending the night together with my family, they went back to the shore Saturday morning. They were going to check on the campaign HQ.

            The first ads were to hit prime time viewing tonight. I needed to prepare myself for all the interviews that I was going to have to do. In deep conversation we decided Jenny – for the time being – would be the coordinator handling that.

            She volunteered because the Curtis Warrens law firm was on payroll to handle JBG’s complicated legal matters. Her HR division had multiple lawyers on staff for internal problems, contract interpretation and modification.

            Saturday morning I had a joint meeting with the State Department and the Joint Chiefs. It was a planning session on Iran. Video conferencing with the Boxer and the State Department people in Iran took place. It was a long video conference.

            When the video conference was over, we had an outline for the new government of Iran and a time outline for different events that needed to take place.

            On the political side, first there needed to be an election to write a new constitution. The Iranians would elect the delegates to do this as the first step. One of those would be constitutional limits on the military and the power and influence of Islam.

            There would be a list of disqualifiers for the delegates such as holding any position in the former government or military officers of rank.

            There would be the need to design and develop a new judicial system eliminating any influence of Islam and the Koran. Former judges would be barred from participating. In fact, many were going to be tried and executed for their crimes against humanity with some of the sentences they had handed down.

            On the military side interrogations of the prisoners would need to be finished so it could be decided what risk they posed and their prior involvement in terrorism. Those that posed little or no risk would be freed.

            Iran would need a national security force. The makeup of that force needed to be outlined including what part former officers would have in that force. Many of the low level prisoners could fill the security force.                      

            Saturday afternoon at 1800 Marine One landed me at the Island High School football field. It was directly across from the industrial park. There were too many vehicles in the parking lot at the industrial park. The Island Fire Company engine and ambulance was there to provide emergency standby.

             With all of us in attendance, planning with Carl and Paul Ryder was started. The girls had been here since 0900. I was spending the night at home. Sunday morning I was back to the White House – alone.

            Sunday morning at 0800 I made an unannounced visit to Walter Reed to see some of the injured soldiers from Iran’s combat. I spent three hours at Walter Reed by design. The White House press corps was along but I would not allow them to take any pictures of any injured or me with them – unless the injured approved.

            At 1100 I walked in the rear security door to Sunday Morning Live studios. I was making an unannounced visit to Washington Sunday Morning Live. This time it would be just me; the girls were way beyond busy. This visit was a start for the campaign.

            It only took them five minutes to do makeup and wire me up. Someone quickly found a chair for me to push out as the Secret Service took positions on the set and in the audience.

            ”Good morning Arthur, Candy, David; it good to see you again. You said I could drop in any time. Is this a good time?” I asked.

            ”Any time you drop in is a good time,” Candy said.

            ”Good morning Senator Vauxhall, how are things in North Dakota? I really didn’t mean to step in on your thunder today,” I said.

            Senator Vauxhall was a second term conservative senator from the cold state of North Dakota. Minot Air Force Base was in his state, home to the B52s and newer B21 bombers, plus it was the only Air Force base that had operational silo housed ICBMs.

            ”I think you brought the thunder with you; I can hear the jets rumbling overhead. Besides, I get some one on one time with you. I am sure – given Thursday’s announcement – your one on one time is tough to come by,” he said.

            ”The ground war is over, did you expect it to be over so quickly?” Candy asked.

            ”We had a plan and it was not to do what they thought we would do. The heavy bombing campaign was designed to break the back of the IRG from day one and it worked. After that it was just a matter to isolate and destroy their army where ever we found it,” I said.

            ”Madam President, when are the troops and bombers coming home?” Senator Vauxhall asked.

            ”The bombers will be the first group to come home or to their assigned bases in the next couple weeks,” I said.

            ”Madam President – the ICBMs at Minot – how do they stand in the Russia agreement?” Senator Vauxhall asked.

            ”They stay for the time being but the warheads will be replaced with warheads that comply with the agreement limitations. Those upgrades are to start in the next few months. Negotiations to limit the number of ICBMs are slated for next summer. The prospects to reduce that weapons group looks promising,” I said.

            ”Now on to more recent events, up until Thursday it looked like you had no interest in running for President. Thursday night you blew that theory all to hell. According to delegate interviews, no one was expecting you to drop that bombshell. What changed or what happened?” David asked.

            ”Obviously there was some planning,” David added.

            ”My family and I had talked several times and it just didn’t feel right. Then after the debate we felt a little better about making a decision to go in that direction. I still had not made up my mind on Wednesday night, but Thursday’s convention fiasco convinced me it was the thing to do,” I said.

            ”My family was so convinced after the debate that I was in and they were so sure that they had our attorneys draw up all the paperwork and have it ready to file on Friday. They even went as far as to lockdown a dozen web addresses we could use, even the key one ‘Jones for President’,” I said.

            ”I don’t think you will have to worry about any more debates with Candidate Finney. Rumor is he needed medication after the nomination. His campaign has already said there will be no more debates with you come hell or high water,” David said.

            ”You chose Vice President Harrison to stay for the ticket and he accepted. Why not go with someone younger?” Candy asked.

            ”You cannot buy the experience and connections he has at any price. You can buy knowledge but the experience wins every time. Time and time again I have had to reach out for that experience in some of the decisions I have made. We know how each other thinks and what to expect and above all we respect each other,” I said.

            ”Have you found and when do you expect to get into a campaign headquarters?” Candy asked.

            ”Campaign headquarters will be on Kent Island, staff will start arriving tomorrow. The phone banks are operational today and being answered. Contractors are working around the clock to finish it up,” I replied.

            ”When do you go on the campaign trail officially – although it looks like you have been on the trail for months?” Arthur asked.

            ”Mid-week – Wednesday will be the first – with several stops in Florida,” I said.

            ‘‘Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana are on the first southerly swing. Stadiums are being contracted.”

            ”The next swing is a north-east swing through New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine,” I said.

            ”The media ads started running last night in major markets,” I added.

            The party flooded the TV with ads Sunday during the sports games and races. Then during prime time and on the cable shows both kinds of ads were run; those for donations and those of a candidate.

            After the show I went back to the island to meet with the girls. They were wanting my input. They really didn’t need it – they were going to spend a lot more time at the headquarters than I was.

            I was impressed with the progress. They sent me pictures of the empty buildings; just big open squares. The people that had leased them before apparently went belly up or moved into buildings that they owned. The building owner paid to have them demoed and cleaned when they were vacated and that helped us a lot.

            Edit by Alfmeister

            Proof read by Bob W.

Merry Christmas to everyone.

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