photo by Gage Skidmore
Going into the final hours of preparation for Monday night's Double Your Chances round of Who Wants to Be the President?, we were given a sneak peek into Donald Trump's grueling preparation.
Just this morning, the Trump camp learned that there'd be no Celebrity Questions, as they were expecting. If not for an unnamed Russian hacker, who was able to seize a list of the real questions, Trump would've been going into Monday night's first round, completely in the dark. A Trump spokesperson, Gigi Tannenbaum, former dog walker of Ivanka's cockapoo, said "This is not the first time Mr. Trump has been treated unfairly. Switching the agenda to questions that Mr. Trump has no clue about is just one more way this game is rigged."
Mr. Trump, the Republican Presidential Candidate, was reassured to hear that he will have some of the classic Lifelines available to him: Switch The Question, Cut the Question and Double Dip, which is the ability to have a second shot at a question answered incorrectly the first time--in essence, a do-over. Also, Trump's aides were told that a Three Wise Men panel would be available to him if he should need it. This is a feature whereby a contestant "is allowed to ask a sequestered panel of three people... which answer they believe is correct." Although this is good news for Trump, he complained nonetheless, "Really last minute, people. Don't ya think? How am I supposed to find super smart guys who'll be available Monday night? There's a football game." Under pressure, Trump's three sons, Donald Jr., Eric and Barron, now plan to DVR the game to help out their dad. Barron, who would have been playing in his first soccer game Monday night, was convinced to clear his schedule when he was promised an airplane of his own. But all that concern was for naught since the producers of Who Wants to Be the President? choose the panel members, not the contestant. When Mr. Trump found this out, and the more jarring news that the panel would instead consist of all women, he said, "Not fair. How am I supposed to win now?"
Given the newly found intelligence, here are a couple of questions Trump's people are now preparing for:
What should the federal government do about the growing economic disparity between the poor, the middle class and the wealthy? Are you concerned about the poor?
Mr. Trump's people say that he has spent an incredible amount of time with this question. "Incredible time." He's considering four different answers but has not yet chosen one. He may even decide to use his "Walk Away" option, where he could opt to not answer it at all. "We'll have to see what happens." For now, here is a list of his potential answers:
1) I'm not that concerned.
2) I'm really concerned.
3) I'm really, really concerned.
4) I think, honestly, until they show some concern for me, I'm not gonna show any for them.
Trump's team told us that he has tightened up and locked in his answer to this question:
What should the federal government's priorities be in setting a sound energy policy?
"No one has ever done what I'm gonna do. Okay. This is big, big news. We are gonna blow up our energy production. Okay. Right here in America. The coal. It's gonna be great again. Hey, you coal miners out there--say goodbye to your families, because you're goin' down there again! And it's gonna be great. And we're gonna be really, really proud. As for oil and gas. We're gonna produce more. Much, much more. Coal's gonna be up. Oil's gonna be up. All of it. We are not gonna have a problem with energy. Trust me. I can fix this. Will it be a fuel fight? Who cares? What's wrong with a little fight? You can't be a sissy with energy. Okay. You gotta have a lot of energy. That's what's gonna make American great again. A good ol' fashion fuel fight. Am I right? We'll see what happens. It's gonna be great. Anyway, I've got lawyers."
A Trump spokesperson told us that he probably won't use the Lifeline option "Phone-A-Friend" ever again even though it will be made available to him. It backfired last week in a practice round when he used Phone-A-Friend to call Chris Christie. Trump thought he "had it in the bag" as he dialed his friend until it was Christie's wife who answered and refused to put her husband on the call. "I'm not putting him on, Don. We're late for a dinner in NY and he's driving and we're in massive traffic on the bridge. Do you know what he's like when he's pissed off and starving! Goodbye, Don."
It was a terrible waste of a Lifeline. "From now on," Trump admitted, "I'm gonna consult only one person to help answer the tough questions: me."
Through his spokesperson, Trump was asked, "What about Ask the Expert Lifeline? Would he consider using the Ask the Expert option?" To this Trump said, "Depends. Who's the expert?" When he learned it would be Hillary Clinton, he said, "If she can help me win a million dollars? Sure. I'm not an idiot. I'll do anything for a million dollars."
The producers of Who Wants to Be the President? had the uncomfortable task of clearing up the prize confusion. "That's another show, Mr. Trump. You don't win any money in this game."
Visibly flustered, Trump asked, "Whaddaya mean? Then, what am I playing for?"
Eva Lesko Natiello is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of THE MEMORY BOX, a psychological thriller about a woman who Googles herself and discovers the shocking details of a past she doesn't remember.