As I write this, Hillary Clinton is giving her concession speech. It’s gracious, well-meaning, self-effacing and hits the same old marks we hear every four years from the only person who can order 40,000 balloons and still have a disappointing party. It’s a speech filled with calls for unity, offerings of hope, praise for democracy and I think I even heard her enthuse about the right to a free warship. America, huh? Essentially, it is the typical concession speech—but is this really the way anyone wants to go out?
For a losing presidential candidate, the natural feeling is to act so damn presidential that everyone realises how good a candidate you really were. Well what better way of displaying that than by speaking only the words of other Presidents? I got together with a few famous fictional US Presidents—obviously, none of them were women, that’d be ridiculous—and we quickly bashed out a better address that she’s free to use if she wants a do-over. Hell, stranger things have happened this election season. It runs, with some explanatory analysis, as follows:
This sets a casual tone. Relax, you’re speaking to fans, friends and financial donors who really aren’t all that fussed about spending $10,000 for a few dinners and not much else. (President Beck, Deep Impact)
Shut up, shut up. Sit your monkey ass down. Chill out.
Understandably, the crowd will be rowdy at this point. But stand up straight and exercise the control you will forever be unable to hold over the entire country. Shut them up. (President Camacho, Idiocracy)
I realise I don’t deserve to be congratulated. None of us do.
Yeah, that’ll shut them up. (President Marshall, Air Force One)
I address you tonight not as the President of the United States not as the leader of a country—but as a citizen of humanity.
Presidents are often thought to be Illuminati-controlled Reptilians—dispel this early. (President, Armageddon)
Shit, I know shit’s bad right now…
(President Camacho, Idiocracy)
…we are faced with the very gravest of challenges.
Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing centre stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.
Don’t say your opponent’s name. That would just be petty and make it easier for future politics students to CTRL+F the relevant sections. Make them read through the whole thing. (President Shepherd, The American President)
He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of “it” and telling you who’s to blame for “it” …That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections.
Sure, you used to be with “it” but then they changed what “it” was. This is natural. The crowd will likely boo at this point but don’t worry, it’s at your opponent. (President Shepherd, The American President)
Atrocity and terror are not political weapons. And to those who would use them, your day is over.
(President Marshall, Air Force One)
[But] we can’t be consumed by our petty differences any more. We will be united in our common interest.
This is a concession speech after all. (President Whitmore, Independence Day)
Through all the chaos that is our history; through all of the wrongs and the discord; through all of the pain and suffering; through all of our times there is one thing that has nourished our souls and elevated our species above its origins… and that is our courage.
Bask in the cheering that accompanies this line. It… could be a while until you hear it again. (President, Armageddon)
There is no weapon as powerful as that of an idea whose time has come.
A woman will serve in the highest level of the Executive! Simple as that!
Always good to slip a joke in there. (President Evans, The Contender)
Why be enemies? ‘Cos we’re different? Is that why?
The crowd will almost certainly shout “no!” at this point. Otherwise you may be in the wrong room. (President Dale, Mars Attacks)
That’s what I thought!
You know best. (President Camacho, Idiocracy)
Now I understand everyone’s shit emotional right now but listen up!
(President Camacho, Idiocracy)
We will not go quietly into the night. We will not vanish without a fight. We’re going to live on. We’re going to survive…
Build up the tower of hope… (President Whitmore, Independence Day)
…underground for two years. Until the air clears and the dust settles.
…and when everyone’s looking up, duck into the bunker beneath. Those midterms will come sooner than you think. (President Beck, Deep Impact)
And don’t forget Taco Tuesday’s coming next week!
Godspeed… And good luck to you.
Drop the mic. Split the joint. Clinton out. (President, Armageddon)