Political Animals
The Woman Problem

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Future Starts Slow

IT'S COZIER, AT A WINDOW SEAT

When Diane and Elaine meet again. What Margaret's done -- what Margaret does -- is show Elaine where the weak places and the bad guys are. She never resented Diane, it was always about making decisions for women without asking them: I can't tell you to retire and be with the woman you love who is dying, because that benefits me. And I really can't tell you not to retire, because that's three PR disasters in one, not to mention a very high chance of disappointing you or your hopes for me or shitting on your legacy.

Garcetti wanted to put us in a bind, he thought he'd start a war between women. He had no idea the bind would come from love. He has no idea how that happens, nor how often. It drove us apart because we loved so much; it pitted my love for you against your love for me. Anyone who's ever been in a family -- hell, anybody who's ever loved -- knows that's a shit-ton more dangerous. Nearly foolproof. And it worked. It always works.

But it makes us stronger, too. And it doesn't take a man to make it happen.

Elaine: "Do you remember my first moot court competition? I was the only 1L you chose and I thought I was pretty hot shit. And then you proceeded to eviscerate my argument, word by word... I had so much flop sweat, I... I thought I was going to float away."
Diane, nodding: "I was extra hard on you. I wanted you to learn to be rigorous and brave and not to give up."
Elaine: "It was a good lesson. I came back the next year and we beat Harvard and Yale... Diane, I don't want to be on the Supreme Court. I want to run for President again."

Diane nods, approvingly, and her back goes straight. Shot through with admiration. "All right, counselor. Convince me you're not doing this because it's still a competition to you and you didn't come in first."

"It's different this time. I can't turn away because its 'hard,' I can't turn away because it'll piss people off. I do have deep convictions about what's right and what's true. And unfortunately, Paul Garcetti did not have you for a teacher and he didn't learn to be rigorous or brave. Or to stand up for his convictions. So I have to run again. And yes, I have to win. In two years when I become President, I will name your replacement."

Diane thinks.

"Corinne will be gone in two years."

Elaine nods, disappointed; can't look Justice Nash in the eye for a moment.

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Political Animals

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