A writer goes through “the most invasive process in politics”—being vetted as a running mate by the same person who vetted Sarah Palin in 2008:
It starts unobtrusively enough. ‘So you’re the vice president, and the president is visiting Seoul,’ Frank begins, unspooling an elaborate scenario in which the president’s hotel gets decimated by a car bomb, 200,000 North Korean troops cross the DMZ, and the Joint Chiefs urge me to take out Pyongyang with a tactical nuclear weapon. ‘Do you authorize the strike?’ he asks, trying to get a sense of my political judgment (as much a part of the vet now as excavating secrets). I wonder if the question is also a reaction to Frank’s Palin experience, recalling the scene in <i>Game Change</i> in which Palin reveals that she doesn’t even know that there are two Koreas. But I push those thoughts aside and dodge the question by asking for more military options, trying to cover my fecklessness by name-dropping Seal Team Six. Next, Frank hits me with an easier hypothetical, about a deadlocked Senate and a Supreme Court nominee who appears to be against gay marriage. ‘Do you support the president and cast the tiebreaker in favor of the president’s nominee?’ he asks. Of course I do, I respond. I‘m a team player. The president can always count on me.
“Wanna Be Veep? Okay, but This is Going to Hurt.” — Jason Zengerle, GQ
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