It's a few days before the election, and Charles Smith, the sitting president, is hoping for a second term. Trouble is, his poll numbers are in the toilet (or, as the script has it, "lower than Gandhi's cholesterol"), he's intensely incompetent, no one takes him seriously (even his Secret Service guys tend to go missing when he needs them), and he has no money for advertising. What Smith does have, though, is a kind of coarse, stupid venality, lots of energy, no conscience and a strong instinct for self-preservation. As David Mamet's play opens, Smith is more interested in whether his wife can keep the Oval Office couch than in the fact that Iran has just launched a nuclear strike. Called on to perform the president's annual turkey-pardoning ceremony — for which the National Association of Turkey and Turkey By-Products Manufacturers usually pays $50,000 — he tries to shake down the association for a couple of million, threatening to pardon every turkey in America if... More >>>
Kevin Hart and James O'Hagan-Murphy talk politics in November.