The Campaign

kerry

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Chapter 1.

They were waiting for him, as always, the second he left the building, and despite the phalanx of bodyguards walking in front of him trying to keep the way clear he found himself quickly surrounded.

"Senator, do you think your showing in Iowa means--?"
"Senator, when you said tonight that your adminis--"
"Senator, the Democrats say you're too inexper--"
"Senator, don't you think your new anti-abortion stance is too--?"

All at once the voices closed in from every side, the microphones and cameras were thrust in his face, blinding lights shining on him. Every time he left an appearance anywhere, especially a debate, he wondered why in God's name he'd decided to run for President.

"A few steps more, Honey Bear," a gentle voice whispered into his ear, cutting through the cacophony of reporters' voices. He turned to see his wife, Elena, her lovely red hair inches from his face, smiling at him, reassuring him, and suddenly he felt the hands on his shoulders pushing him down and forward into the limo. Thank God. One question at a time he could do. One voice at a time. But all of that noise, all of those people with all of that equipment bearing down on him: it was just too much to ask of anyone. Not for the first time he wondered when they were going to assign him Secret Service protection. Wasn't he doing well enough by now to merit it?

He slid into the limo seat. On his left, already paging through notes about something or other, was his press secretary Lauren Albright. She was related to the former Secretary of State, but he could never quite remember how. Whatever: she was bright and energetic, and she looked out for him well. As Elena slipped in next to him and her door was secured behind her, Lauren put her pages down and began to speak.

"Not bad tonight," she said.

He laughed. She could always manage to cut the crazy out of him. "Not bad? I actually had him on the ropes for a minute! Mr. Freaking Bombast had nothing to say! No reply at all! 'Not bad.' I guess not!"

His eyes met Elena's hand, which was petting his right arm as it lay on his lap. He smiled at her before he looked back at Lauren. "OK, Miss 'Not bad.' What was wrong?"

"You scored with that comment, to be sure. That's maybe the first direct hit he's taken in the whole campaign. But even though your change in abortion stance is popular, it's a change, and his push there hurt. So does your refusal to call for anti-immigration laws--"

"For God's sake, Lauren, we've been over this a thousand times. I am not selling out my own people. I'm Latino, for crying out loud!"

She bulldogged ahead. "I know, Sir, but I--"

"No more. Not right now. I'm so tired. Can we deal with this in the morning?"

Lauren had seen her candidate like this enough times to know when to give up. For the most part, he was who he appeared to be in public: a young, handsome, rising right wing star, a man who knew himself and knew where he wanted to go. Oh, he was green--that was a huge problem, and she knew it. They all did. This run was really a test for the next campaign; they all knew he wasn't really ready to be President now. But most of the time, in public, you'd think he was totally in charge.

But there were often times like this. Times when, behind the scenes, he just seemed to shut down, as if to say, I'm done. Let someone else run the show now. These were times that bothered her about him, that made her commitment waver, but she felt he'd iron them out by the next election. And at least he had Elena, who was always there to lift him back up when he got into these moods.

Thank goodness.

The limo pulled up to the Hyatt and they waited for the doors to be opened. Once everyone was out, the Senator said good night to his staff members and headed up to his suite with his wife. As they stepped aboard the empty elevator, he lowered his exhausted head onto her shoulders.

"I'm tired," he said, his voice barely above a whisper.

"I know, Honey Bear," she responded. "It's bed time. Let's just get you back to the room and we can get you to bed."

When the door opened, she took his hand and almost had to pull him out of the elevator, leading him down the hall the short way to their door, which she opened with her key. He immediately walked into the bedroom and collapsed onto the king-sized bed, falling face-first onto its comforter.

She laughed.

"You know we can't do it that way."

"Why naw?" he asked into the blankets, the sound of his voice barely reaching Elena.

"Because, Silly, for one thing you're all dressed up in your Senator clothes."

"So?" came the stifled response.

"We don't want them to get all messy and have to explain that to someone, do we?"

For a moment, he didn't answer. Then his head turned. "Guess not," he said, pouting.

"That's better. Now let me help you out of that silly suit." She pulled him into a sitting position on the bed and began slipping the suit off of him: jacket, tie, shirt. Then she pushed him back onto the bed and removed his shoes. Finally, after deftly undoing his belt, she grabbed his legs and in a practiced, one-handed move, whisked off his pants. The senator now lay on the bed in nothing but a pair of socks and an oddly thick pair of black compression shorts.

"Up," she said, and he lifted his rear into the air, allowing her to slide the shorts off of him, leaving nothing but a very obviously wet diaper.

"Julian!" she said. "How many times must I tell you how important it is to be sure to change your diapers when they are wet?"

"I'm sorry, Mommy," he said. "I didn't...are they very wet?"

She shook her head. "I swear. I am going to have to start checking you during the day if you don't learn to take care of yourself."

A tear slid softly down Julian's cheek as she rolled him onto the changing pad she had already placed on the bed and then undid the tapes. It was accompanied by many companions as she continued and finished the change, making sure to clean him thoroughly and use plenty of powder.

"Oh, stop crying," she admonished him. "It's not bad to wet your diaper. You're only little; you can't help it. but you have to be more careful so you don't get rashes. Mommy worries about you."

As she helped him into a footed sleeper and zipped up the back, remembering to snap the two snaps at the top, Elena smiled at her little boy, who could play at being a big huge Presidential candidate during the day but only she knew the truth about who he was when he was with her at night. It was their secret. And as she popped in his pacifier and helped him into bed, she knew that she had never been happier in her entire life.
 
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Title of this one caught my eye. I like the start, definitely caught the right feeling of campaigns and that "I just want to turn off" feeling is spot on and common to a lot of these people. I got a bit confused by the line "but she felt he'd iron them out by the next election" though. Is that supposed to be future perfect, as in he will have ironed them out by the next election (whereas this is a test run), or is it saying that he's got them mostly ironed out compared to how she had seen him in a past election?

Also, as a note on realism, I think the conditions in this day and age would make it impossible to wear a diaper during the day at a conference, simply too close press of bodies, especially for this setup where he doesn't get secret service. I don't know if that really matters, I've never looked for realism all that much when I read diaper stories, but if you did want to be more accurate, having her change him out of his big boy underwear and into a diaper in the evening could actually be possible in a hotel room, whereas I don't think having a diaper on during the day would really work.
 

kerry

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Title of this one caught my eye. I like the start, definitely caught the right feeling of campaigns and that "I just want to turn off" feeling is spot on and common to a lot of these people. I got a bit confused by the line "but she felt he'd iron them out by the next election" though. Is that supposed to be future perfect, as in he will have ironed them out by the next election (whereas this is a test run), or is it saying that he's got them mostly ironed out compared to how she had seen him in a past election?

Quite right about the future perfect. As she is reflecting, they are all pretty aware that he's not really ready for Prime Time at this point in his career.

Also, as a note on realism, I think the conditions in this day and age would make it impossible to wear a diaper during the day at a conference, simply too close press of bodies, especially for this setup where he doesn't get secret service. I don't know if that really matters, I've never looked for realism all that much when I read diaper stories, but if you did want to be more accurate, having her change him out of his big boy underwear and into a diaper in the evening could actually be possible in a hotel room, whereas I don't think having a diaper on during the day would really work.

Hmm...I'll have to give this some thought. I considered having him only wear the diaper at night, but there are events I'm thinking about down the line that would be better if he wears it during the day as well. I do know that a lot of us who are IC wear 24/7 and somehow manage it; it is a matter of tailoring the clothing to the fact that there is a diaper beneath it.

Thanks for the feedback!
 

dogboy

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Ah.....keep Rubio in diapers. Okay, I'm projecting here. The funny thing here is that all the candidates should be wearing diapers considering how they are treating each other. I think it makes for an interesting premise.
 

kerry

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Chapter 2

Lauren hated rap, but she had to admit it attracted the youth crowd. In truth, she hadn’t even heard of this CodeRapper NoChainz guy before Sheridan–seriously, the girl’s name was Sheridan; didn’t parents name their offspring anything normal anymore?–told her that this guy had a nationwide Top 10 hit and he was from right here in Manchester.

“Is he voting for us?” she had asked the girl?

Sheridan had smiled. “Ms. Albright, if he can get publicity out of it, he’ll vote for yesterday’s garbage.”

Lauren liked life when it was uncomplicated. But she didn’t like rap. And this guy? What in the world was he even saying? She leaned through the doorway to hear more clearly over the screaming of about 4000 people--by far the biggest crowd the senator had attracted since he’d been in New Hampshire. Oh, she knew they were here for the singer, but they’d hear the senator. That’s what mattered.

She tried an old technique her mother had taught her to filter out a single stream of words from a mass of garbled sound: all you needed to do was to isolate one absolutely clear phrase. Once you had it, you could concentrate on that voice, that wavelength of speech, and hear what the next phrase was. Gradually, the rest of the jibber-jabber would become background noise. She searched for something meaningful from the rapper and landed on “waiting in the jungle.” Moments later, she was desperately sorry she had ever tried:

Waiting in the jungle with my mama playing bingo,
In the salad with the bald man drumming like Ringo.
Teaching roots, wearing boots, never coming back no more.
Gotta fight, day is right on the night’s plutonian shore.

She couldn’t listen any longer. She knew that, if she did, her brain would either turn into some kind of pudding–and she instinctively knew it would be tapioca because she loathed tapioca–or it would find a way to contact Uber and get the hell out of Dodge.

She fought her way back through the few dozen outrageously excited superfans near the doorway and, relieved, made her way into the lobby.

“What the hell was that?” she said, intending no one else to hear. But a man’s laughter sounded behind her and she turned quickly.

“That,” said the reporter–he was clearly a reporter–with the soft wave in his blond hair and the gentle, friendly voice that at once put her at ease, “was a completely insane phenomenon called CodeRapper NoChainz. He raps these ridiculous things that make no sense at all, and kids are beside themselves all over the net trying to break his ‘code.’”

She stared at him for a moment. “That...that is genius.

The reporter smiled. “It is, isn’t it? For decades parents have said rap music makes no sense, and now this guy comes around and creates raps that literally make no sense and, even further, invites kids to use the kinds of techniques they learn studying poetry in high school to decipher hidden meanings. He’s like the greatest gift to English teachers everywhere, or he will be once they all hear about him.”

“Wow,” she said. “Impressive.”

He smiled again. “But I’d have thought you would already know all of this, Ms. Albright. I mean he’s your candidate’s entertainment, and you are the press secretary.”

Suddenly she felt trapped. The sweet reporter was, after all, a reporter, angling for a story. But he stopped her suddenly.

“Oh. Wait. No, I’m not–I didn’t mean to put you on the defensive. I was joking. Got to remember you can’t really do that around here.”

She waited for a beat, but then decided it was all right and relaxed. “Yes, well, I booked him on the advice of some staff members. They vetted him for me. Apparently they are fans.”

“And he’s for Garcia?”

She smiled. “He’s here, isn’t he?”

The reporter nodded. “Pardon me, I’ve been very rude. I know you but I haven’t introduced myself. I’m Josh Bryant, Huffington Post.”

She stiffened. “HuffPost? You guys hate us. It’s like you go out of your way to make fun of us all and write the nastiest things possible about every GOP candidate.”

There was that smile again. She focused on keeping her anger visible. “Yes,” he said. “HuffPost is a liberal media site. Granted. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t try to look at Garcia and see if there is anything to like in him. After all, someone has to be nominated by the Republicans this year, and our readers need to know whom to root for. Right now, for the casual–and even the fairly discerning–readers, it seems as if any one of them would send us back to the 1950s in domestic policy and pretty much destroy our standing with the international community.”

“That’s not tru--” she started, but he interrupted.

“So help me prove it,” he said. “If Garcia is the one, help me see he’s more than the panderer who just changed a lifelong position on abortion to appease the far right.”

She thought for a moment. No use in arguing; she’d made the same point with the candidate herself. “How would you suggest I do that with a HuffPost writer?”

He flashed that smile once more. “Get me access to the candidate.”

That could become dangerous, she thought. She looked at him for a long time. “I can’t promise how much access. And if I don’t like what I see in your columns, I’ll cut you off in a heartbeat.”

“I wouldn’t expect anything less,” he said, that smile looking more like a Cheshire grin.

A huge eruption of applause and cheering from inside the hall told them both that the rapper had finished. They turned toward the doorway.

“Well, HuffPost,” Lauren said, “welcome to your first night in the official campaign press corps.” And as they walked into the auditorium to the reverberating sound of four thousand young voices, led by the rapper on the stage, chanting “Julian, Julian,” she watched his face carefully, wondering if she’d just opened up new possibilities for reaching across the aisle or held the door open as the fox sauntered into the hen house.

He’s definitely a fox, she thought, and there are about a thousand and one ways this could get very ugly. But... She studied his eyes as they walked in, and hoped that she was as good a judge of people as she always had believed herself to be.

 
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kerry

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I think the conditions in this day and age would make it impossible to wear a diaper during the day at a conference

I decided to add a pair of compression shorts over the diaper, which would (as I know from experience) resolve most issues of sound, touch, and odor. ;-)
 

AnalogRTO

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The idea for the story is one that should have been obvious to so many authors, after all, politicians and diapers have so much in common...
 
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