I fell asleep the other night while visiting Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room on CNN. And I dreamed.
"It appears that the FBI will not complete its investigation of the e-mail controversy until September or October. While I've done nothing wrong, I cannot in good conscience accept the Democratic Party's nomination for President with this investigation hanging over us. No matter what the FBI concludes, Donald Trump will try to mislead the public about its contents. Coming on the eve of the election, it would be a dangerous distraction from the imperative of keeping Mr. Trump out of the White House. So, I feel compelled to step aside for the good of our country."
But the cheers from Bernie Sanders supporters were short-lived:
"I admire Secretary Clinton's sacrifice," asserted the Vermont Senator. "And although I believe in my heart that I can beat Donald Trump, I recognize that he will try to demonize me as a naïve socialist, which unfortunately is still a dirty word among much of the public. So, rather than risk a Trump victory, I, too, feel compelled to step aside."
Secretary Clinton then stepped back to the microphone:
"So, Senator Sanders and I have agreed to recommend to our convention delegates that they nominate Vice President Biden for President and Senator Elizabeth Warren for Vice President. Together they will form a ticket that reflects both the foreign policy and legislative experience necessary to maintain America's greatness and the passion for economic justice into which Senator Sanders has so effectively tapped. And, not insignificantly, Senator Warren will bring us ever closer to shattering that glass ceiling and electing a woman as President."
The following day, Vice President Biden and Senator Warren held a press conference at which they agreed to accept the nomination if offered. And the Vice President added his own surprise by announcing that, in view of his age, he would serve only one term if elected.
A week later, with the Republican Convention about to begin, House Speaker Paul Ryan, inspired by the sacrifices of Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders, delivered a further shock to the political process:
"I recognize that Donald Trump won our Party's nomination fair and square. However, I am torn between duty to my Party and my obligation to be true to my core beliefs. Mr. Trump is not a conservative. Equally important, his bigoted utterings and his insistence on personally insulting those who don't agree with him are not who we are as Americans. I have deep policy differences with Vice President Biden and Senator Warren and wish there was another alternative. But I cannot in good conscience support a man who is so obviously not equipped to be President and who, if elected, will destroy the Republican Party, and possibly our nation."
The Biden-Warren ticket was nominated by acclamation at the Democratic Convention, and on November 8, they coasted to a landslide victory. The Democrats also regained the majority in the Senate, but while picking up seats in the House, could not overtake the Republican majority in that chamber. During the lame duck session of Congress following the election, the Senate confirmed Obama-nominee Merrick Garland as successor to the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Meanwhile, President-elect Biden and Speaker Ryan met to seek common ground on controversial issues like budget priorities, comprehensive immigration reform, gun control, and voting rights. They issued a joint press release saying that they were far apart on these issues, but they would continue talking and seeking compromise.
Secretary Clinton announced that she was through with politics for the foreseeable future and would focus on being a doting grandmother. Donald Trump returned to Washington, DC to cut the ribbon on the opening of his new hotel in the Old Post Office building. He petulantly asserted that the people were "stupid" for not electing him President, that the election was rigged anyway, and that "I am really rich." Jeb Bush became chair of the Republican National Committee and promised to be a high energy chair committed to taking back the White House for the Republicans in 2020. Senator Sanders took over the Democratic National Committee with a promise to continue the "political revolution."
I awoke as President Biden began his inaugural address, just in time to hear Anderson Cooper proclaim "Breaking News:" "A new poll just out shows that the unfavorable ratings for Donald Trump now exceed 80%, but he and Secretary Clinton are running neck and neck in the national polling and in key battleground states." Our long national nightmare continues.