IT WAS WITHIN a week from that day that Meredith had begun to establish a network nationwide, calling sponsors of events in states where she knew Bentley was planning to speak, effectively mapping out his entire campaign trail so she'd never have to cast the second stone.
And the first Bentley rally just so happened to be conveniently located right down by Charlottesville, Virginia -- two hours south of her apartment, and less than one short of crushing her spirit.
Going to his first presidential rally of many seemed like a good idea at the time, the best way to get the first look at something not many knew about, get the first look to turn her writing into part of the thing itself; as it turned out, though, the fatal flaw in that plan was Thomas Bentley.
She'd gotten into contact with both the event planner and the venue owner, had secured a place in the part of the event they were sectioning off specifically for press coverage. She planned to give a live feed covering the new information given at his first campaign rally, and later compile it into an article detailing his intentions as a candidate.
And while that wasn't quite where the wrench in her plans was thrown, it sure did lay the foundation for some real damage.
It started with the storm.
She wrapped her coat tighter around herself as she furrowed her brow, trying to both see and walk into the rain without getting it all up in her eyes. She muttered curses to herself as she pulled her hood back up over her (already soaking) hair, not foolish enough to think that pulling out her phone for a map would be a good idea.
She scowled. Oh, Bentley. Making her drive a cool two hours through this weather, and then holding his rally in the most secluded venue quite far off the beaten path. Her resentment for the man seemed to be growing exponentially.
She gritted her teeth before making a beeline for the coffee shop across the street, wind and rain whipping through her soaked hair and bouncing loudly from her thick raincoat. The moment she stepped into the shop was like a breath of fresh air. The door closed behind her with the tinkle of a bell, and she sighed. She pulled her hood down, loosening her coat as she embraced the warm atmosphere, the low buzz of animated conversation, clattering plates, and mellow jazz playing underneath it all.
Although she'd just stopped in to check the location on her phone, she was already tempted to stay awhile. She wiped the rain and smeared makeup from her cheeks with a tissue she'd stashed away in her briefcase. And then, as her screen quickly loaded, her jaw clenched involuntarily; she let out a groan as she buried her face in her hands.
According to the map, she was right on top of the address she'd been given, and somehow, just maybe, she wasn't exactly sure this hole-in-the-wall coffee shop was exactly the location of one of the first presidential rallies of the election. Call her a skeptic, but it didn't seem quite likely. (Then again, God, what had she expected when she went to Charlottesville?)
She approached the seemingly-friendly barista with a weary smile and a ten-dollar bill. "Hi, can I get a medium black coffee and directions to the Bentley campaign rally?" She knew her voice sounded exhausted, but the desperation she was sure was written across her face only seemed to amuse the young woman as she grinned.
"I'll upgrade you to a large for the low price of the bags under your eyes," she chuckled, and Meredith let out a soft sigh. The barista probably had a better sense of humor about her situation than she did. She tapped Meredith's order into the cash register, making change in record time and moving to grab her a cup. "Can I get a name for the order?"
"Nice to meet you, Meredith." She flashed her an I-make-my-living-in-tips smile as she jotted her name down in thick black marker, before glancing back up at her and adding, "And the Bentley rally was recently moved to the local library, about a block from here. It was supposed to be in the square about five hundred feet in front of this shop, but the storm came this morning out of nowhere."
She nodded to the windows at that, and Meredith couldn't help but glance at the grimace-inducing crash of thunder behind the harsh tattoo of rain. Even to call it a storm was a near understatement.
The barista spoke again, pulling her attention back to the counter before her. "Drop back and let me know how it is, yeah?"
Meredith gave her a small grin as she handed her cup off to another barista. "I'll be sure to, but it's only fair to warn you that if you're looking for positive feedback, you're looking in the wrong place."
She let out a light laugh, adjusting her hijab as she moved to reset the register. "Don't worry, not all Virginians are behind him. I'm one of the good ones." She shot her a wink with that, and Meredith's grin grew as she moved to the other side of the counter to wait for her drink.
Her coffee was done in a matter of minutes; her same barista handed it off to her with a grin and a "good luck." (She did make sure to tip her well, though she couldn't pretend she didn't know that was the point of her shtick.) And with that, she was off to the races. The presidential races, that was.
She wasn't altogether thrilled to have to duck back into the downpour, nor to have to race five blocks down clutching her scalding coffee to her chest and yanking her hood down every two feet. She was all but shocked the coffee wasn't all down the front of her green blouse by the time she arrived at the library.
As it turned out, the local library was rather gorgeous. The place went several floors up, all of them visible from the opening in the middle of the room around which the staircases winded. It was abuzz with what she perceived to be everyone from the press to local politicians to voters to the opposition. No one seemed to want to miss such a kickoff event for the election.
As Meredith walked through the open area, she caught consistent snippets of conversation -- Bentley and President being a few key terms. From what she could tell, the building was split into equal parts scathing critiques of the man she was there to see and his most loyal supporters. By around the time she made it to the center of the room and seemed no closer to any sort of destination, she began to question exactly where she was headed.
"Excuse me?" She strode up to a man clad in a well-tailored suit, an air of familiar authority surrounding him as he interacted with those who seemed to have approached him.
He turned to her after letting out a jovial laugh at something another woman was saying, smiling widely in fading amusement. "Hi, what can I do for you?" His deep voice seemed to be on-brand with everything else about him.
"Hi." She couldn't help her smile growing at the man's demeanor; he seemed genuine, but Meredith had also pegged him as a politician from the moment she met him, so she didn't abandon her notion to be wary. "I'm here for the Bentley rally, and well, I get the feeling I'm in the right place," --she glanced at the packed room around her with a weary smile, causing the other man's grin to grow-- "but exactly where am I headed for the main event? Or is everyone just waiting out here until doors open somewhere?"
"Where Secretary Bentley is going to be speaking is another floor up, but everyone is waiting here for the time being." He gave her a once-over, pursing his lips as he eyed her attire. She knew her skirt-suit and blazer didn't exactly scream miscellaneous supporter, but she certainly did not come off as a politician of any sort. "Are you here with the press?"
Meredith's eyebrows shot up; while a part of her was shocked he had he pegged that easily, she supposed being able to read people was an occupational hazard when you worked in politics. "I... Yes, I am."
"Then you can feel free to let yourself up if you'd like. We have a part of the room sectioned off for reporters; just let them know who you are and who you're here with," he explained, and she raised an eyebrow. Security seemed awfully relaxed for such an inaugural event. He paused for a moment, considering himself. "Did you perhaps call ahead?"
"Yeah, I got in touch with the event organizer about a week ago," she said, her hands resting in her coat pockets. "Why?"
He smiled, nodding toward the nearest staircase. "Here, let me show you up there myself. Securing clearance for reporters is a bit of an ordeal."
She rose her brow once again, her mouth fell open into an 'o' shape in surprise. "Alright, thank you, Mr... ?" She trailed off, looking at him expectantly, and he offered her a hand to shake with a grin.
"MacDuff." She shook his hand with a smile of recognition. Things were beginning to fall into place in her head; this had to have been James MacDuff, both an old friend of Liam's and the man projected to be Bentley's running mate. It was a wonder she didn't recognize him sooner. "And you are?" he asked in turn, and she grinned.
"Meredith Garcia. I'm here with the Washington Post."
He raised a curious eyebrow, his easy smile never fading from his expression. "It's great to meet you, Ms. Garcia. Follow me." He started toward one of the staircases just off to his left, a bit behind him after bidding farewell to the many curious voters who appeared to have flocked to him. She turned to follow him with a deep breath.
She was having trouble not feeling small, this being the first event of such a magnitude that she'd attended to write an article; the big venue and bigger names didn't help. As she ascended the staircase, practical pumps clicking on the shining tile, she raised her chin, doing her best to remind herself why she was there, keep in mind that she, too, was among the population of suits who needed to walk with a purpose.
As they walked, MacDuff glanced over his shoulder at her. "Do you happen to be the same Meredith Garcia who broke the initial article detailing the circumstances of this campaign?"
She couldn't help but notice how formally he spoke; she brushed a hair away from her face, the corners of her mouth curved upward timidly. "Yeah, that's me."
"Then I suppose that it's you who I have to thank for actually spreading real information about Secretary Bentley's campaign, as opposed to conjecture and gossip." His low voice floated back over his shoulder as she raised her eyebrows. "We consider ourselves to be lucky that your article, of all those written that day, spread like wildfire. Although I can't say that Thomas is thrilled about the light your tweets cast him in."
"Well, the goal was to give people more than a CNN notification update about the election. I'm as glad as anyone that they were actually reading it." Meredith gave a wry smile as she paused, considering herself. "As for the tweets, I hope he doesn't expect much to change."
"Oh, by no means," he chuckled, meeting her gaze with smiling eyes as they reached the landing of the second floor. "Besides, any press is good press when you're making an effort to popularize a candidate. Even the kind of press that involves blackmailing said candidate after he refuses to take questions." He gave her a knowing look at that, mischief dancing in his eyes that she hadn't thought to exist, and her jaw dropped slightly. He seemed to be reveling in her wide-eyed stare, raising an eyebrow when she was speechless for a moment as they continued.
"So you know about that, then?" she asked sheepishly, pursing her lips as he laughed.
"Oh, I certainly do."
"Between that and the tweets, I'm surprised you haven't had me removed from the premises," she joked, trying to ease the nerves that talking to this man was quickly instilling in her.
"That's assuming I'm not leading you to security so they can throw you out," he retorted, and her eyes quickly widened. He seemed to catch wind of her slight-but-genuine panic, grinning as he added, "That was a joke, Ms. Garcia."
"You didn't strike me as someone who joked, Mr. MacDuff." She raised her eyebrows, and he shrugged, his light smile diffusing ever-so-slightly the tension she was trying hard not to feel.
"I suppose I'll have to work on that, then." He hesitated for a moment, considering himself, but said, "In all seriousness though, I'm more than glad you ended up interviewing him. Speaking in confidence, his decision not to take questions about the announcement was a foolish one at best, and anyone would've told him the same if he had cared enough to ask."
"I get the feeling that won't be the last of those moments on the campaign trail." Meredith gave him an amused grin, and he all but rolled his eyes, lips pressed into a line to suppress a smile.
"I've worked with him for years; I don't get that same feeling." He glanced back at Meredith with an amused gaze as they walked, adding, "By now, I know that won't be the last thoughtless thing he does."
She laughed at that, fidgeting with the strap on her purse and the hem of her blazer. "For his sake, I'm glad he has you to keep him in check."
"For my sake, I'm glad there are reporters like you willing to help me with it." By then, they had reached the doors to the room where the actual event was being held, and MacDuff murmured a 'give me a moment' as he approached the lone security guard they had stationed at the entrance.
He exchanged a few words with the guard, flashed him a grin and gestured toward Meredith, who did her best to look neutrally pleasant despite the anxiety coursing through her veins. Ultimately, the man (who she supposed was venue security; he didn't appear to be with the government) gave him a nod, stepped aside to allow Mr. MacDuff and her into the room. He thanked him heartily as he took the door, held it open for Meredith with an easy smile.
"Thank you, so much," she said, proceeding into the room with him just a few steps behind.
"Of course, Ms. Garcia." He grinned, moving just in front of her, leading her toward a table off to the left in the back of the room. She sighed.
"It's Meredith; don't bother with the formalities." She waved away his unsure expression with a soft smile, and he pursed his lips.
"Alright, Meredith." He took a few steps past her, grabbing a few things from the table and turning to hand them to her -- a lanyard and a name tag. She raised an eyebrow; apparently, calling ahead could open more doors for you than she expected. "Then I guess it's James to you, so long as we've done away with the formalities."
He led her a bit further into the room, carrying himself with an air of importance as she glanced around the area. "So most of this area is just going to be open to anyone, the general public, whoever wants to be here, but," -- He gestured off to the left, where many chairs lay roped off from the main crowd. The low clamor of political chatter flowed over from the area, a gaggle of pseudointellectuals carrying on about current events -- "this part of the venue has been sectioned off to be able to accommodate reporters and journalists. You'll find there has been enough space saved for you, seeing as you called ahead to confirm arrangements."
She turned to him with a warm smile as he motioned to the space. "Well thank you, James. I hope I'll be seeing more of you as I cover the campaign."
He raised an eyebrow, his smile growing if only by a millimeter at her words. "You're on this campaign for the moment?"
"Try the next two years," Meredith said dryly, "You'll be sick of me before the primaries."
He chuckled, folding his arms across his chest. "I wouldn't worry. I have, by now, known Thomas for longer than I care to remember, and still managed to let him rope me into managing his campaign." He hesitated for a moment, glancing toward the stage of the venue with a grin. "And if I can handle him that long, I can take anyone."
"Then you're stronger than most," she quipped, eliciting a snort from the man.
"Tell me about it." He glanced at her for a moment, considering her as he unfolded his arms. "I look forward to seeing you around, Meredith."
She smiled. "Likewise."
MEREDITH HAD SETTLED into the press section just minutes later, her glasses pushed up the bridge of her nose and her game face on. Her eyes narrowed, nose scrunching up as she focused intently on her computer screen, confirming with her boss that she had clearance to set up a live coverage feed, fact-checking and real-time reporting the nonsense she was wholly prepared for the presidential candidate to spew. She was so focused, in fact, that she didn't notice the reporter just to her left watching her with amused eyes. So it was to no one's surprise but hers when she nearly jumped out of her seat upon him finally saying something to her.
"What publication are you here with?"
When she finally regained her bearings, her smile was anxious, and she pushed her glasses back as she replied. "I'm, ah, with the Washington Post." She hesitated for a moment, still feeling off guard as she eyed the amused look playing at the man's lips, the laugh dancing in his eyes, before asking, "What about you?"
"New York Times." He leaned in, offering her his hand to shake. "Ben Hayek."
She pursed her lips, before taking his hand and saying, "Meredith Garcia."
"So what brings you here, Meredith?" He moved away once again to rest against the back of his chair, an inquisitive eyebrow raised, and she shrugged, giving a light smile.
"Same as everyone over here," she said, nodding toward the reporters on her left and right, "Following a story. Hoping someone will create one for me." She grinned at that, sharing a glance with him before looking to the stage. He chuckled, nodded.
"A noble goal." With that, he paused; he raised an eyebrow as he eyed her for a moment, spared her a sidelong glance. "You from around here? Forgive me when I say you don't seem exactly... the type."
She had to stifle a laugh at that, eyebrows nearing her hairline as she looked back at him, amused disbelief dancing in her eyes. "'The type'? What's that supposed to mean?"
He shrugged as he shifted his gaze back toward the stage. "You don't seem as cold or cutthroat as DCers tend to be."
"Now what makes you say that?" Her expression read curiosity now as she fixed her gaze on Ben. He gave her a knowing grin.
"You're making small talk at a work event."
She couldn't help her full laugh at that; he had her pegged. "Alright, you got me. I'm not from here. You sound like you speak from experience though; how long have you lived in DC?"
He again leaned forward in his chair, his smile an easy one at her reaction to his words. "Yeah, I've been covering politics for the New York Times for six years, now. Have yet to publish my big breakout story, though, unfortunately."
"So do only you report domestically, then?" she asked. He nodded.
"Something like that." He leaned back in his chair, opened his mouth to continue speaking, but was promptly cut off by the clamor of the crowd who'd all just been let in. He instead chuckled, sharing a look with Meredith. "Seems like a lively crowd."
"That is certainly a word you could use for it," Meredith shrugged, and Ben snorted.
"More apt." Meredith paused a moment, sharing a grin with the man, before turning back to her laptop. "Anyway, them letting the guests in must mean Bentley's not too far from going on stage. I really should finish setting up my live feed." She gave him an apologetic look, and his smile didn't falter.
"Hey, don't let me stop you. That is what we're here for, Meredith." He hesitated a moment, reaching into his bag and withdrawing a small piece of paper. "Take my card, though. Let me know if you ever need anything -- a contact, some info, whatever."
She raised her eyebrows, surprised but pleased at the development, and took the card with a smile. "Why thank you, Ben Hayek."
He grinned. "Anytime, Meredith Garcia."
SEVERAL MINUTES PASSED yet before Bentley went on, and even more did so as he skirted giving details on his actual policies. It kept Meredith on her toes, though, raking through his voting records, previous statements and speeches, as well as his actions as the Secretary of State. Meredith couldn't help but wonder how many calories she had burned through the speech, what with having spent the past hour running sprints through a mile-long list of everything Bentley had ever done.
This time, he did, in fact, take questions. (That's a first, thought Meredith dryly.) Most of his answers seemed practiced, canned, meaningless fluff, because no one in the general crowd had come to play hardball with their questions. Unfortunately for him, Meredith had worn her gym shoes -- metaphorically. (Realistically, she hobbled through the storm in her most practical pair of black pumps.) Regardless, she wasn't there for a scrimmage. She wanted a game.
Her eyes scanned the crowd around her, searching for one of the event attendees bringing microphones around so those in their seats could post questions to the Secretary of State. She smiled as she caught one of the men's gaze, flagging him down to bring her the mic.
Once it was safely in her hand, though, her sharp gaze was fixed back on Bentley, laughing as he assured a voter he wouldn't be raising taxes, so long as he could help it. The woman he was addressing seemed to be pleased with his answer, so the spotlight in the crowd shifted to Meredith. Perhaps she had imagined it, but Meredith could have sworn she saw Bentley's smile widen as he caught her eye. (She certainly hadn't imagined it when his eyes roamed her figure, lingering for a moment on the neckline of her deep green blouse.)
"Secretary Bentley," she began, no trace of a smile any longer settled on her lips. "As president, how would you plan to conduct the United States in the current humanitarian crisis in Yemen?"
His expression was steady as his piercing gaze met her own, wearing a smile that was all but strained. "My stance on the war in Yemen hasn't changed, Ms. Garcia," -- She certainly didn't remember having given her name when she stood to speak -- "and I firmly maintain that the United States has not done enough to help the innocent citizens in Yemen suffering through this war, through no fault of their own."
He gave her a warm (fake) smile, about to turn away and address another question, but she wasn't done. "Alright, well if the situation has escalated to its current state -- and the U.S. has done next to nothing thus far -- under your watch as Secretary of State, what reason do we have to believe that will change with you as President?"
He hesitated a moment, a fire lit behind his eyes as he recognized her challenge for what it was; she could hear a murmur of discussion from the section of reporters around her, could see Bentley's jaw tick under the stage lights despite the smile he retained. "Ms. Garcia," he repeated slowly, before turning slightly to address the entire crowd, "and to all those present today, I urge you to recognize that one person cannot start a war, and nor can one person finish one. Many factors, political and global, went into the escalation of the crisis in Yemen, and the State Department has made a genuine effort to do our part to aid and support the Yemeni people through it."
"Yes sir, up front in the blue?" Meredith's immediate reflex to push him further was cut off before it could continue. Bentley's charismatic facade was back, stronger than ever as he addressed the man he'd called on to end Meredith's interrogation, but his cutting her off seemed far from well-received, if the uncomfortable buzz of the crowd was anything to go off of.
Meredith retook her seat, though reluctantly, her jaw tight and arms folded across her chest as she stared disdainfully up at the presidential hopeful. Ideally, a hopeful would be all he could become, if she had anything to say about it -- and this time, she wouldn't be cut off.
A NUMBER OF questions (that weren't hers) and a struggle to not be trampled by the crowd on her way out of the auditorium later, Meredith found herself back on the lobby floor, this time with Bentley roaming around shaking hands, as opposed to his associates.
She finally caught him at a free moment, right between kissing babies and schmoozing voters, and didn't hesitate to weave through the crowd, making a beeline for where he stood.
"Secretary Bentley," --He turned to her with wide eyes, visibly startled at her approach-- "Care to make a statement for the record about your approach to counterterrorism worldwide?"
He couldn't help but grin at her no-nonsense attitude, recognizing her immediately by her expectant expression and businesslike tone. He already knew she'd shown at the event, but it was apparently too presumptuous to have thought her questioning during the rally would've been all. "Thought we had agreed you were callin' me Thomas."
She raised an eyebrow, surprised for a moment at the confirmation that he'd recognized her, and folded her arms, suddenly feeling rather defensive. "You'll have to forgive me for supposing that when you nearly hit someone with a car, you'd be in a bit of a rush to forget it."
It's hard to forget a lady who extorts you for an interview you weren't plannin' on givin'." He raised his eyebrows with that, returning her challenge, though the mischief dancing in his eyes never withered.
Heat crept up the back of Meredith's neck at that, though. She wasn't sure what she expected when she decided to grill Bentley on his policy, but it certainly wasn't that things would be turned back on her. "I needed a story," she ultimately said, lamely.
"And you're willin' to do anythin' to make one then, huh?" He took another step forward, encroaching on Meredith's space -- and while it would've looked to anyone else they were having a friendly conversation about his campaign, Meredith’s skin was crawling.
His expression was still pleasant, but she scowled. "I wouldn't say it's my fault nothing you're doing is enough to constitute its own story." She paused, considering his raised brow, before adding, "I'd think you'd want press coverage, but your strategy so far isn't going to get it for you."
"I seem to be doin' just fine on that front, Meredith." He glanced around him, looking smug as he surveyed the area. "We got reporters from all the big publications in the area. And you're here." Bentley gave her a very pointed look with that, eyebrows raised expectantly, and she knew he was right. With the name he already had, it'd be a cold day in hell when his presidential bid didn't receive twice the air time as anyone else's.
Sighing, she decided to change the subject, knowing exactly which role she was filling so far in this game of cat and mouse. "Anyway, who are you thinking of as your running mate, Mr. Be--" He folded his arms, and she hesitated, "Thomas?"
His eyes shone with satisfaction at that, a satisfaction which Meredith couldn't quite place the source of. "Off the record?"
"Not unless you need it to be." He pursed his lips at that, his smile still hardly contained as he looked down at her.
"Alright, but just so y'know, nothin's official." He glanced across the room a moment, his eyes flitting back and forth before his expression split into a grin. "You've met James?"
She raised an eyebrow, couldn't help but smile herself at that as she looked back at Bentley. "So he's really who you're considering?"
"Don't see why not." He looked down at her with a fox-like grin, and added, "Don't tell me you've got an issue with that; from what I heard you two were gettin' on just fine."
"No complaints here." She laughed, brushing a loose hair behind her ear, and gave him a roguish smile. "Seems like he's the only thing that'll make these next two years tolerable."
"Well, sweetheart, if you get sick of me, you can always feel free to harass the Democrats," he said matter-of-factly, and she rolled her eyes, gave a huff of mirthless laughter.
"Fat chance." He raised an eyebrow at her cynicism, and she explained, "I'm signed on to follow your campaign right up until the election -- or when you lose the nomination. My editor's decided you're someone to watch, and I'm the poor sucker stuck doing it."
"Honestly, 'signed on' sounds to me like you had a say in the matter." His grin grew as he folded his arms across his chest, drawing ever closer to Meredith. "So you decided you wanted to spend the next two years of your life with me. Honestly, I'm flattered, Meredith."
Bentley's smile was far too smug for her liking, and for the sake of professionalism, she resisted the urge to slap it off his face, choosing instead to say, "Don't get too cocky. They're jacking up my pay for this too, Thomas." (That wasn't true, mind you, but she needed an excuse that made it seem like they twisted her arm. She couldn't allow Bentley the satisfaction, otherwise.)
"Oh, yeah?" He raised an eyebrow.
"Sounds like you owe me, then." His grin had mellowed out to a soft smile by then, which almost felt more threatening given the circumstance. She felt herself swallow roughly as Bentley fixed her with a chilling stare. "And it sounds like I'm gonna spend the next two years figurin' out how you can ever pay me back."
@Mere_Grcia: And into the presidential race we go. See my recent article for the Washington Post for an update on Secretary Bentley's future political plans -- or in cases, his lack of such.
Leaps and Bounds or Drones and Airstrikes: Thomas Bentley's Foreign Policy
Replying to @Mere_Grcia:
@EllaSadek: I take it you took the job, then? 😉
Replying to @EllaSadek:
@Mere_Grcia: Here's hoping I won't live to regret it 🥂
Replying to @Mere_Grcia:
@AudsHaber: I don't think you know how unreasonably proud it makes me when you publish new articles
Replying to @AudsHaber:
@Mere_Grcia: have i mentioned at all recently that i love you? oh my god?
@LiamHaber wants to send you a message. Accept?
Offscreen, Meredith couldn't help but furrow her brow at the notification. Why wouldn't he just text her? What was so important that it couldn't wait for him to open a different app? Hesitantly, she pursed her lips and pressed accept.
@LiamHaber: WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU ACCEPT THE OFFER
@LiamHaber: YOU COULD'VE BEEN WRITING PERFECTLY GOOD ARTICLES ABOUT DOMESTIC POLICY OR,,, TAXES
@LiamHaber: as proud as I am of you for smearing Bentley in your article, rethink your priorities, jfc
@Mere_Grcia: cool it, asshole. it's a good opportunity and has already, ironically, gotten ME good press as a reporter
@Mere_Grcia: just because you hate him doesnt mean he isn't good for my career
@LiamHaber: mere, please, i love you and you know how adamantly i support you and your career
@LiamHaber: but please, for the love of god, it's not too late to reconsider
@Mere_Grcia: always fun talking to you, liam.
@JamesMCDuff started following you.
@JamesMCDuff liked your recent tweet.
Meredith hesitated, pursed her lips as her phone lit up with the notification, before tapping on his profile.
Messages to: @JamesMCDuff
@Mere_Grcia: yknow, id think that as a campaign manager, you wouldn't like tweets smearing your candidate
@JamesMCDuff: please, meredith, if you managed a campaign youd understand that no one will ever hate a candidate as much as their manager
@Mere_Grcia: im begging you to let me use that on record
@JamesMCDuff: for my sake, it'd better not be
@Mere_Grcia: no fun
@ThomasBentley: Thank you all, people of Charlottesville, for an incredible turnout at an astoundingly successful first campaign rally! So much love for the people of my hometown.
Replying to @ThomasBentley:
@Mere_Grcia: would you mind defining 'success', if only for bookkeeping purposes? we seem to be operating under different definitions
Replying to @Mere_Grcia:
@LiamHaber: i may have to approve of your assignment after all just for tweets like these
Replying to @LiamHaber:
Replying to @Mere_Grcia:
@ThomasBentley: How would you feel about defining success as having been able to see you all afternoon? ;)
Replying to @ThomasBentley:
@Mere_Grcia: how do i dislike a tweet
@LiamHaber liked your tweet.
@ThomasBentley liked your tweet.