Hypothetical questions they should ask at the presidential debates.

Dubious and far-fetched ideas.
July 20 2007 11:07 AM

Senator, Here's the Scenario …

The hypothetical questions they should ask at the presidential debates.

Barack Obama. Click image to expand.

On May 15, Fox News host Brit Hume brought excitement to an otherwise dull presidential debate with this question:

"Here is the premise: Three shopping centers near major U.S. cities have been hit by suicide bombers. Hundreds are dead, thousands injured. A fourth attack has been averted when the attackers were captured off the Florida coast and taken to Guantanamo Bay, where they are being questioned. U.S. intelligence believes that another larger attack is planned and could come at any time. First question to you, Senator McCain. How aggressively would you interrogate those being held at Guantanamo Bay for information about where the next attack might be?"

Here are questions that should be posed at upcoming Democratic and Republican debates.

*

Gentlemen, here's the scenario: As you are flying home from Moscow—having told the world you will never deal with terrorists—hijackers, posing as reporters, seize Air Force One. They vow to kill a hostage every half-hour, including your wife and daughter, until you release a murderous Russian general. I'll start with Senator Obama. Do you negotiate with the hijackers in the hope of saving lives, or do you flee into the bowels of the craft, then pick them off, one by one, with makeshift shanks and your bare hands?

*

Candidates, pay attention: An international financier has smuggled an atom bomb into Fort Knox. He loves only gold. Only gold. After an amazing sequence of events, including car chases, sexual conquests, and your defeat of the assassin known as Oddjob, you find yourself staring at the interior of a nuclear device. The final seconds are ticking down. This goes to you, Senator Clinton: Do you cut the blue wire, or do you cut the red wire?

*

Listen carefully: A computer from the future has sent a shape-shifting cyborg, made of prototype liquid metal, to kill you. At the last moment, the governor of California appears, saying, "Come with me, if you want to live!" We'll start with Governor Huckabee. Would you agree to run with this bizarre, Republican hybrid, if it requires you to soften your stances on gay rights and climate change?

*

A tornado has transported you to a magical land, where a jubilant throng of midgets greets you as liberator. They direct you toward a road paved with yellow bricks. We'll start with you, Mayor Giuliani. Would you consider capturing one of these exotic creatures and subjecting him or her to enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding and electric shock, if it means extracting vital information that will determine whether the yellow route leads home—or into a trap?

*

For unexplained reasons, you find yourself reliving a Groundhog's Day festival throughout eternity. Let's start with you, Senator McCain. After, say, 10,000 of these repetitive days, would you consider capturing one of the locals and subjecting him or her to enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, to gain answers about your predicament, or—for that matter—as a means of breaking up the endless monotony?

*

It is the year 2011. New York City is a super-prison. After an attempted hijacking, your Presidential Ejector Pod lands in the center of this urban hell. Fortunately, the White House is sending to save you a condemned criminal and war hero, the infamous Snake Plisken. Let's start with Congressman Tancredo. Should you lie low and wait for help, or should you make a desperate run at the wall that was built to keep illegals out of America?

*

Three criminals from Krypton, freed by a nuclear blast in outer space, have come to Earth with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal man. Worse, Superman has disappeared. The criminals' leader, General Zod, orders you to kneel before him as a symbol of America's defeat. I'll start with you, Senator Brownback. If the act means saving millions of lives, and perhaps buying time until the Man of Steel returns, would you forsake your belief in Jesus Christ and bow before this evil alien?

*

You see dead people. They do not know they are dead. Let's start with you, Congressman Kucinich. Have you figured out why you can see them?

Hart Seely's memoir as a Yankee fan, The Juju Rules, will be published next year.