I got a big response to the last chapter, many of them quite interesting. In general it seemed like a real twist that nobody was expecting.
One set of responses was that Bush sold out for considerably less than what the market rate would be. $20 million? It should have been more like $200 million! Well, maybe yes, maybe no. Very, very few people would be able to cough up that much cash on their own, and Carl is one of them. The only other way to generate the $200 million is through a consortium or partnership. This is one of those things where nobody can know. Anybody more than the two people involved makes it guaranteed somebody will talk. (For instance, the partners start arguing about who gets what goodies.) This is a secret you take to the grave! Additionally, whoever buys the VP slot has to be a legitimate contender. If Bill Gates shows up as the candidate, even though he can write a $200 million check, nobody will believe he is legitimate.
I did get a few responses going the other direction, that $20 million was overpriced. I was reminded of John Nance Gardner's quote that the Vice Presidency was "not worth a bucket of warm piss." I would simply point out that this was under the Presidency of FDR, who, whether you agree with his politics or not, was not a weak President. Bush was far weaker as a President.
Is it possible somebody would do this? Ask Rod Blagojevich, now spending time at Club Fed for trying to sell Obama's old Senate seat.
Some interesting responses: Everybody thought Cheney would have done this, without a hesitation! 99% thought Bush was a real fucking dummy and incredibly lazy. However, not everybody thought Bush was that venal, in some cases because he was too stupid and lazy to be that venal. (Their words, not mine! Don't write me on this! I am just the reporter!) This also came from some readers who had actually met Bush and Cheney. Fascinating!
Finally, for everybody who was concerned Carl was just repeating history, I think this proves things can change. It is, however, a slippery slope…