Presidential Candidates Play Masters

By Parker Richards | 6/24/16 7:56am

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Realizing suddenly that the American electoral system was broken beyond repair, representatives of many branches of government, all fifty states and both major parties elected to utilize a different system for electing the 45th president of the United States of America. While it pained Dartbeat to learn early yesterday morning that the traditional Masters tournament would be cancelled this summer, our sadness was quickly assuaged when we learned why: the presidential candidates already held their own championship on Dartmouth’s campus this summer term.

Dartbeat is now able to exclusively reveal the schedule for the Presidential Masters Tournament 2016. So without further ado, the new American electoral system:

Tuesday, June 14: All candidates assembled on the Gold Coast Lawn for warm-up stretches with their various campaign advisors and aides. In the early evening, Donald Trump took up a floor in the Hanover Inn (recently encased in gold leaf and turned into a money-losing casino) while all other candidates were relegated to Six South Street or, in the case of Green Party nominee Jill Stein, to a tent in Lyme.

Wednesday, June 15: The initial qualifying rounds began. Held at Psi Upsilon fraternity at the request of Donald Trump, who won the first coin toss to determine event location, play began at 10 a.m. According to Mr. Trump, Psi U is “absolutely, 100 percent top house. I wouldn’t ever play pong in any other house. Every other house? Sad. Crooked Hillary doesn’t even play pong with ruby-studded balls — can’t be trusted to be prez!” Hillary Clinton then requested that Trump delete his name from the bracket. Ted Cruz was eliminated from play early after he refused to create a tree or shrub formation with his cups, opting instead for a “Z” shaped arrangement or a pentagram. As of press time, Cruz campaign staff was still denying that their candidate was the Zodiac Killer. With Trump automatically advancing to face John Kasich (following the Ohio governor’s narrow victory over Marco Rubio in a game that one observer dubbed “the single most bland, boring, unappetizing political spectacle of the twenty-first century”), the initial stages of the Republican qualifying rounds were over.

Thursday, June 16: Referee-in-Chief Barack Obama, the outgoing Masters champion, presided over a match between Bernie and Jane Sanders and Bill and Hillary Clinton. The game was perhaps the longest in pong history, stretching for eighteen hours as save after save was made and neither candidate could land a winning hit. During the last four hours of half cup-half cup play, audience members described all four candidates as “droopy,” referencing both their states of exhaustion and their ancient physiques. In an attempt to connect with young voters, Hillary Clinton maintained a regular side beer throughout the game and, during hour fourteen of play, had to boot and rally. In a truly remarkable display of romantic commitment, her husband former president Bill Clinton pulled trig for her (although not with his finger, opting instead to demonstrate the trig-pulling capabilities he had displayed with former intern Monica Lewinsky during his series of ten pong games against Newt Gingrich). Of Bill Clinton’s trig-pulling method, Obama said: “This is why I’ve chosen to endorse Hillary. Not only does she understand the youth vote and what they want from their politicians, but she is not afraid to make bold, strong gestures of American spirit in front of all those assembled here today. Thank you. Obama out.” That Hillary Clinton would only allow her trig to be pulled by a wealthy white man from the establishment elite represents her lack of connection to everyday Americans and to the electorate at large, Sanders said. “How many times do you think she’s had the bosses at Goldman and Morgan Stanley pull trig for her? She still won’t say how much she was paid for her speeches to those banks!” he said, drawing massive applause from the assembled students watching the game. When Clinton ultimately beat Sanders at 4:17 a.m., he declined to acknowledge the defeat or to endorse her, claiming he was in the tournament until the final.

Friday, June 17: In the final of the Republican Party’s qualifying round, Trump defeated Kasich by a wide margin, despite repeated attempts from Dartmouth students dressed in Oxford shirts, vests and boat shoes to convince attendees that the former Ohio governor was actually popular and had a chance of winning. Kasich refused to serve as Trump’s vice presidential candidate almost immediately after his defeat and also rebuked Trump for the decision to play one-on-one pong. (Trump responded by saying women were incapable of competing on his level. “Just look at Pocahontas Elizabeth Warren! Bad at pong, bad at America! Of course she backs Crooked Hillary.”) The day ended with all eliminated Republican players and most party elders — comprised of Masters veterans like Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney and Bob Dole — searching hopelessly for a way to get shot of their newfound candidate. “Is he even reliable enough to win a game of pong nationally?” Illinois Senator Mark Kirk asked. Kirk, who is facing a challenging reelection campaign, said he preferred not to endorse a candidate in the tournament.

Saturday, June 18: While major party candidates Trump and Clinton were given the day off to recuperate, minor party candidates squared off in a series of qualifying rounds held at other fraternitiesin the early afternoon. Said Trump, “So sad Wacko Gary Johnson and Know-Nothing Jill Stein can’t get into a frat like mine! #MakeMastersGreatAgain!” Stein almost immediately withdrew from the contest after learning that plastic cups would be used, along with beer cans that were seldom recycled. She spent the match period collecting as many empty cans of Keystone as possible and bringing them to nearby recycling facilities. Johnson, meanwhile, refused point-blank to play pong with “establishment beer,” arguing for homemade moonshine instead, which he and running mate Bill Weld began to produce in a corner of the basement. The efforts yielded a beverage that even Trump said was “almost as good as Trump Vodka, the world’s premier vodka.” (No corroborating sources would attest that Trump Vodka was the world’s most premier anything, although one candidate who declined to be named said he had used it to strip paint from a lawnmower and found it to be “pretty effective.”) While Johnson eventually triumphed over his Libertarian rivals in a series of drought matches, he was, in Weld’s words, “eight freaking sheets to the wind” by the end of the games and was in no state to play either Trump or Clinton the following day. However, after booting on College President Phil Hanlon’s pristine lawn, Johnson’s polling numbers rose to 22 percent among Dartmouth undergraduates.

Sunday, June 19: While the disqualified Cruz and also-rans Mike Huckabee and Lindsey Graham petitioned to take Sunday off as a day for the Lord (and, in Graham’s case, a day for bombing small countries totally incapable of withstanding American military might), their pleas were rejected. Said Trump, “There is only one god in this country and He is located right between my left leg and my right leg.” Later, he added, in reference to his eldest daughter, “Ivanka knows what I’m talking about.” Jaime of House Lannister remarked that he supported Trump’s romantic choices. A game of harbor among all candidates followed. The top two finishers — in this case, Clinton and Trump — advanced to the following match. Although Bernie Sanders requested admittance to the game of harbor, he was denied access on the grounds that he had not sunk enough cups to become his party’s nominee. Jill Stein once again sat out the match, forfeiting her role, while America’s Party candidate Tom Hoefling said that he would not play in any pong game that was racially integrated. The Constitution Party’s Darrell Castle came fourth in the match following Stein’s withdrawal while Party for Socialism and Liberation candidate Gloria La Riva attempted to tip over the table, declaring pong to be “an appalling exercise of elitism that disenfranchises the proletariat.” She was subsequently removed from contention. Due to the nature of the selection process, Prohibition Party nominee James Hedges was not invited. After narrowly beating Johnson into third place, Clinton and Trump were set for a final match the next day.

Monday, June 20: The final bout between Clinton and Trump was anticlimactic. Although Trump ultimately prevailed in a one-on-one format, excluding master pong player Bill Clinton from the game, the dubiously coifed mogul appeared off his game and gave up several cups to Hillary Clinton early on, including two that should have been easy saves. The game ended abruptly when the mummified ghost of former president Ronald Reagan, joined by the specter of former president Franklin D. Roosevelt and former president George Washington’s tricorne hat, smote both candidates down and declared the American experiment over. “I’m sorry but this has gone too far,” Ronald Reagan said. “The Gipper simply cannot endorse this madness and frankly it is a national embarrassment.”

Tuesday, June 21: In a shock announcement, Reagan’s ghost announced that he would serve as God-Emperor of America for all eternity.


Parker Richards

parker@richards.com