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Now that both political conventions are over, we all know Al Gore and George W. Bush better than they know themselves. In fact, we can even predict exactly how they would respond to various scenarios.

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THE PRESIDENT IS ABOUT TO EXTEND Most Favored Nation status to a certain populous country. Anticipating this vast new market, a soft drink company—let’s call it "Loca-Cola"—has already invested billions of dollars in roll-out plans and has also just made a huge donation to the president's party. On a diplomatic tour of the populous country, the president takes a wrong turn during a routine prison visit. He stumbles upon a room where interrogators are using car batteries, jumper cables, corkscrews and pencil sharpeners in ways the Underwriters Laboratory would frown upon. Between shrieks, a dissident manages to communicate that this sort of thing is pretty standard practice in hundreds of gulags across the countryside. Within two weeks, that trade bill will be on the president’s desk.

ON THE ADVICE of his father, George W. Bush would normalize trade as scheduled but send in a covert CIA force to monitor the situation and foment a rebellion against the regime. He would then consult his Vice President, Dick Cheney, who would advocate pressuring Loca-Cola for more soft money. Bush’s popularity would remain high, but the horrors he witnessed in the prison would drive him right back to the bottle. Way back to the bottle. His loyal White House staff would spend the rest of Bush’s flailing term covering up his crippling but occasionally comedic alcoholism.

inside Al Gore’s head would tell him to normalize trade and not to worry so much. "Don’t try to be all things to all people," that little voice would say. "You can’t save the world all by yourself. You’re doing your level best, after all. You don’t have anything to prove…except to yourself!" Gore would act on these daring hunches and sign the bill.

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