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Tooke's Take

a PAW web exclusive column by Wes Tooke '98 (email: cwtooke@princeton.edu)

November 22, 2000:

How Bradley Got His Groove Back
With deep and abiding apologies to Santa Claus and his lawyers.


By Wes Tooke '98


'Twas the night before the election, and outside the White House

Not a voter was stirring, not even Jerry Krause;

The promises had been made to the Journal with care,

The government's cupboard would soon be quite bare;


The spin-doctors were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of cabinet jobs danced in their heads;

And Dubya with his tax cut, and Al with his big plan,

Were both hoping Nader would be an also-ran


When out in the Rose Garden there arose such a clatter,

Clinton sprang from his burger to see what was the matter.

Away to the Oval Office he flew like a flash,

Tore past the Secret Service and threw up the sash.


The spotlight on the crest of the newly-redone roof

Gave the lustre of mid-day to the Marines below,

When what to Clinton's wondering eyes should appear,

But a towering Senator Bradley drawing quite near,


With a little jump hook, so lively and quick,

Clinton knew in a moment it wasn't a trick.

More rapid than eagles the Marines they came,

And Bradley whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;


"Now Donnie! Now David! Now Paulie and Vinnie!

On Clarence! On Carry! On Dickie and Benny!

To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!

Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!"


As servants that before Hillary's temper do fly,

When they meet with her anger, pray to the sky,

So up to their positions the Marines they flew

With guns all ablazing and Senator Bradley too.


And then, in a twinkling, Clinton heard on the roof

The sounds of surrender-it wasn't a spoof.

As he staggered from the window and was turning around,

Down the chimney Senator Bradley came with a bound.


He was dressed like a Knick, from his head to his foot,

And his briefcase was all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of Congressional Records he had flung on his back,

And he looked like an accountant as he reached in the sack.


His eyes - how they sparkled! His features not wary!

His unguarded expression almost bordered on merry!

And Clinton suddenly realized, his heart filling with woe,

That Bradley had become a wolf - no longer a doe.


"So Bill," Bradley said, clenching his teeth,

"I have come for your crown, which you wear like a wreath.

The American people deserve more from their boss

Than a halfwit from Yale or a total Harvard loss."


Clinton spoke not a word, just collapsed like a jerk,

And Bradley sat down and went right to his work.

He fixed Social Security, passed a sensible tax plan,

And on social issues he was quite the man.


Across this broad nation Princetonians rejoiced,

And other Americans learned to salute their old choice.

Bradley's horrible primary was soon long forgotten.

That terrible night in Harlem when things turned so rotten.


For Bradley had climbed down from Olympus, he had gotten the call,

Those checks that you wrote weren't wasted after all.

He had talked to Phil Jackson, somehow found his Zen,

And he fought for what is right like other great men.


And when Bradley work was finally done, he gave a quiet whistle,

Then flew off to New Jersey like the down of a thistle.

The last words we all heard before he disappeared from sight:



Wes Tooke is a regular contributor to PAW Online. You can reach him at cwtooke@princeton.edu