A History of the first Female Commander & Chief (in six parts)
Written by Allister Muriér (2021), Edited by Drew Bowen (2033)
Statement of intent: There are two parts to this piece. The first and most obvious part is a basic story which tells the reader about a dinner party hosted by the first madam president on the White House lawn. This story is written by Allister Muriér, a figment of my imagination. Allister is a journalist and he was a guest at President Andrea Holloway’s party. He writes this story under the impression that Holloway is about to lose her reelection campaign; the man she is going to lose to, Milo Gregory, is a populist who appeals to “traditionalism.” While Gregory is mentioned throughout the piece, he is simply a specter. Allister Muriér’s goal is to paint a portrait of what this evening was like; hopefully Muriér communicates to the reader the sense of melancholy that I had while writing this.
Part two of this piece can be found in the footnotes. First, I would like to draw your attention to the dates in the heading above. Muriér wrote his article in 2021, four years after Barack Obama’s final days in office. In this world, Obama was a two-term president. The second date, 2033, is 12 years after Holloway’s final year in office. Milo Gregory was victorious over Holloway in 2021 and the results were disastrous, I and the reader share an ignorance in the full scope of how poorly it went following his victory. However, Drew Bowen has gone back over Muriér’s piece to provide some perspective on Holloway’s loss and Gregory’s victory. Bowen was one of Gregory’s campaign managers and the nephew of Ferguson Bakker, Gregory’s running mate.
Through the footnotes the reader gets a sense of Bowen’s remorse, anger, and cynicism. Perhaps I am the most like Bowen, but I am also completely different. While I share his anger and cynicism, his lack of compassion or empathy is something I do not connect with.
As the days of Andrea Holloway’s administration dwindled down, she and her husband, Daniel, hosted a dinner party on the Friday before Halloween, the full import of which no one grasped at the time. The president had spent all of the previous weeks, as she would spend the next few weeks, campaigning for reelection as the Democratic nominee for President of the United States of America. Several of the most important polls painted a grim picture for the prospects of reelection. Crucial states, such as Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, states she won in runaways in her first election, illustrated that Holloway needed to overcome long odds to add “two-term” to her resume. She had been unprepared for the populist onslaught of the relative unknown, Milo Gregory. The moment had taken its toll on Holloway. She had been somber and unpleasant the last few weeks, her normal fleet-footedness through the halls of the White House had slowed to a relative crawl. She wasn’t cracking jokes at the expense of the Republicans and she engaged more readily with hecklers. At a rally in Columbus two weeks before the party, she greeted a student who had introduced her by chastising him for wearing a red shirt. “Ohio bleeds blue, we need you!” she said. It was completely lost on Holloway that the primary rival of Ohio State’s football team, which happened to be based in Columbus, is the Maize & Blue Wolverines at the University of Michigan. Holloway was met with a chorus of boos at her own rally, most of which were playful in nature. This was simply a precursor to the fact that the world would be changing on election day. Her staff knew it, perhaps even the people knew it, only the candidate herself was deluded still.
The dinner party was perhaps more of a farewell party, it was hosted and presented by Lifetime (television for women). VIPs were asked to arrive at 5:30 PM. The lines to get in stretched beyond the back of the Treasury Building, the Secret Service struggled to check all the names and credentials for admittance. They struggled more with the ego and narcissism of the “Democratic elite” — the donors who are used to special treatment and immediate gratification. However, great care was taken to clear each individual guest as threats against the president had increased during the bitter election. Several of the guests were asked to step out of the line so that the Secret Service could verify their credentials for a second or third time. Much to the guest’s dismay, it was a chilly evening, and no one was fond of having their identity questioned in front of some of the highest profile Democratic donors, celebrities, and media personalities. I myself had my identification and press credentials checked at multiple points during my 30 minutes wait in line.
Maya was there. She was not subtle in explaining that the president had invited her personally over the phone. I heard a Secret Service agent snicker, “per-so-n-a-lly.” I cracked a small smile, knowing full well that the president probably did invite Maya directly; a black female billionaire with a popular talk show is a powerful ally to have if you’re a Democrat during an election year. Maya made several declarations about Holloway’s opponent while in line (perhaps the first line she had ever had to wait in since becoming the queen of daytime television): “his running mate doesn’t have any children and isn’t married. You can’t trust a womanless, childless man. No way black folks in the south will vote for them… well maybe if they promise to put Dr. King on the hundred-dollar-bill.” She laughed, her posse laughed, apparently that was quite funny. But on this cool October night, with the wind blowing lightly, I didn’t laugh with them. The women, in their sleeveless gowns, looked more vulnerable to my eyes than they had ever looked before. They should have seemed powerful and strong to me. Afterall, a woman served as their president. But two men sought to bring them back down to size. Men of tradition they called themselves.
At the entrance to the White House lawn, all guests were required to turn over their cell phones and recording devices. The idea was to prevent any clandestine recordings from leaking to the press, specifically conversations the president might have while under the influence. (Unfortunately, a partygoer was able to record Holloway speaking with a Hollywood producer about “mob justice” and the #MeToo movement). The president had never been much for alcohol, but the election had taken its toll on her. She drank and tried to find the mirth that made her such an attractive candidate four years ago. As guests were ushered into the tent on the South Lawn a cool mist seemed to glow across the grass. The White House sat like a watchful golem, judging us for our excesses. Inside the tent a band played a jazz rendition Whitney Houston’s “Million Dollar Bill,” the lead singer was a slender black woman with a tempered but smooth voice, she wore a long shimmering red dress. She was no Whitney, nobody was, but she did the song justice.
“What a night. What. A. Night,” Holloway said from the stage. All of the guests had taken their seats, the dance floor was cleared, the band dutifully stepped aside to allow the Madam President to hold center stage alone. Just as she had done most of the election. The crowd roared.
“There are a lot of powerful women out here tonight. A lot of women who have spent their careers working twice as hard to get half as much.”
The crowd roared louder. This was her rallying cry during the election.
“For years the First Ladies have planned events like this. Jackie Kennedy once did the twist on a dance floor very similar to this. This time around my wonderful husband, and First Gentleman to the United States of America, planned everything.”
More roaring from the crowd. Appearances matter, the Madam President was the Alpha of their relationship. This is certainly by necessity when you’re the most powerful human being on the planet. But it would take a fool to assume that Mr. Holloway, a former Fortune 500 CEO, planned this dinner party. Perhaps his legion of assistants did, he certainly did not. However, this was part of the Holloway appeal. They played their relationship dynamic masterfully to the populace. Daniel was the constant doting husband, Andrea the powerful politician and gamesman.
The choice of the band was strategic, an all-black jazz cover band. They played everything with a jazz spin, they worked through sultry tunes, Southern rock anthems, gospel and soul, even American folk music. The band played music which Holloway no doubt chose herself. At this stage in her career, she was notorious for picking music which weaved stories for her crowds, emoted her own feelings, and communicated important messages to the media. Countless hours had been spent dissecting her choices, it was one of her most masterful political skills.
As our Madam President wrapped up her opening remarks, “your support is going to renew our lease for four more years. We’re so thankful to have the most diverse constituency in history,” I noticed more than a bit of melancholy in her words. The band struck up an interesting jazz cover of Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and the President sat down at my table.
“Are you enjoying your night?” I asked her. She looked at me pensively, no doubt weighing her response in her mind carefully.
“You know, Allister, I think I might be.” Her response, body language, the hollow tone of her voice, none of it left much room for a follow-up question. It was clear to me that the POTUS had no interest in giving me an exclusive into the mindset of the first madam president’s final few weeks in office. I cannot say that I could blame her. She had spent two years prior to her election campaigning on the “history” and “importance” of electing a woman. She had spent the next four years justifying her win and feminine presence in the oval office. The questions on her character were ceaseless. This is what happens with firsts.
“I’m glad you’re here. Hopefully whatever you’re writing can add some levity to my time in office.” She brushed the top of my hand with hers, took a drink of her champagne, and wandered over to Maya’s table. Her hand was cool, her eyes sad.
Not being any sort of ethnic minority, and being an agnostic, it’s hard for me to argue authentically that Andrea Holloway’s ties to the the black gospel community are legitimate. But whatever she has had to do to prove her authenticity, which I believe goes much deeper than jazz gospel music and all-black-choirs at campaign rallies, she seems to have done it. The black community loves her. The black religious community loves her more. Often these communities get conflated, that’s a grave error. The average conservative black preacher might be appalled by the excess and depravity of this party. The average black citizen, a person who loves hip-hop and Worldstar, might idolize it. But when Holloway spins her time in extravagance to the preacher… he doesn’t become accepting, but he does begin to understand.
That was Holloway’s gift as an orator and president. She is the ultimate realist, a level-headed woman who transcends the stereotype of the overly-emotional matriarch. Holloway connected people through her transcendent ability to prove some semblance of authenticity within communities not traditionally open to white people in power.
My respect for Holloway was always rooted in her concise approach to no-spin politics (or as no spin as it can be for a president). Her approach is the ultimate exercise in damage control. Politics is a MASH unit in the Korean War, the surgery is barbaric but necessary. But Holloway seemed to humanize her politic in a way which questioned the establishment types who view themselves as kings among men.
On the night of the party it truly was one of the most diverse crowds of any major White House event in history. There were men and women of all different backgrounds, there were representatives from the trans community, gay men and lesbian women, there were even a few moderate republicans. Some men wore tan suits, as a gag towards Holloway – she detested tan suits but had a good sense of humor about it. Women wore everything from jeans and rebel rock shirts, to Versace gowns. I saw one of Holloway’s brothers in a pair of cargo shorts and a tuxedo t-shirt.
In many respects that party illustrated exactly how untraditional Holloway could be about things like “dress code,” but hyper-traditional about things like fundraising. She spent at least 20 minutes speaking with Maya. It seemed to me that billionaires got at least 15 minutes, black female billionaires were worth 20, and millionaires were worth about 10 minutes. Even at a party it was Holloway’s prerogative to be thinking tens of thousands of dollars ahead. And, of course, she had to. Her competition was doing the exact same thing.
Upon her election Holloway was dismissed by her critics as being a flash in the pan; she was simply the first female president and nothing more. But what is missed in such belligerent ignorance, mostly espoused by white Republican men, is that the “first” of anything as important as a president changes history. Barack Obama as the first black president became a symbol for hope and change. Whether or not the hope was realized, or the change was achieved is debatable and will require decades of study. But him as a symbol creates a movement within the oppressed and downtrodden that is measurable.
One man, one woman, cannot change the shape of the planet. They are not enough to alter the course of history. It requires legions of followers, acolytes to a particular message. Holloway lost not because her message wasn’t pure enough, but because it lost its gravitas. Markets dip, employment climbs, wars on drugs don’t end, wars abroad maintain their status quo, and the two traditional old men running against the fiery up-and-coming woman say, “we told you so… we told you that she couldn’t make the changes she promised… strength and honor, god bless America.” Four years isn’t enough time to reshape 250 years of politics. This was an administration that truly needed four more years.
After 30 minutes Holloway took the stage again. She gave each member of the band a hug, lingering on the singer a second or two longer than other members of the band. Then she introduced Maya.
I found myself cheering with the crowd, while some of Holloway’s melancholy seemed to spread to me, perhaps it was my note taking for this piece, I couldn’t help but be excited to hear Maya speak. She was the glowing example of how to become a success in America:
1) Overcome disadvantages (drug abuse, miscarriage, your sex, your skin color).
2) Learn from your mistakes.
3) Leverage your skills, continue to grow them.
4) Mercilessly cut down anyone who gets in your way.
That’s America. Maya sugarcoated it for us, but I knew that she represented the pinnacle of success in a country which worships at the altar of success. As a writer I get messages from kids all the time, “how do I become as great as you?” No doubt Maya gets the same treatment, “how do I become a billionaire?” Holloway is on an entirely different level as America’s first madam president, just like Obama was the first black president.
“Tell us your secret.” Unfortunately, there is no secret. Who do you know? What skills do you have? How hard do you work? Are you lucky? The answers to those questions determine the outcome of your success or failure. Perhaps that’s not fair, but I would say it’s true. I think Maya and Holloway would agree with me, I haven’t asked them, if only privately.
“Madam president, I will never grow tired of saying those words!” Maya said to raucous applause.
“Just so you know how much we all love you, I planned a little something with your husband. It’s not easy to keep a secret from a president. I know your favorite band is Heart… it just so happens that you’re Ann and Nancy Wilson’s favorite president.”
For the first time all night the president looked both surprised and genuinely happy. Her face lit up with the type of joy that helped launched her into stardom. The women of heart took the stage, embraced both Maya and Holloway, and worked the crowd for donations (Daniel Holloway was a shrewd and capable fundraiser).
Nancy Wilson started things off with one of the most recognizable acoustic guitar introductions in rock history, the a-minor solo guitar of Crazy on You.
The president watched from right in front of the stage, for that one song she was just like any of us. A huge fan of Heart myself, I found Holloway the most relatable when she was strumming air guitar to Nancy Wilson’s famous solo. If only the rest of the country could see what I had seen, a normal girl with crazy dreams of being Nancy Wilson and going on tour. “Wild man’s world is cryin’ in pain/ What you gonna do when everybody’s insane… crazy on you.”
 Madam Holloway was a cunt. Her rise to power can best be described as assertive cunt-ness. And don’t come at me with “oh but if she was a man she would’ve fit in perfectly.” Nope. She still would be a cunt. Also, I voted for her. Why did I vote for her? Because sometimes you need a cunt who has a cunt to be in charge. And to be honest, I got caught up in the extravaganza of “our first female president.” I wanted to feel like I had a hand in history. I wanted to feel like my vote meant something special. I wanted to feel something, anything, that made me believe that voting was worth the time. I had always been taught that it was our civic duty, that voting was and is akin to saying our Hail Mary’s and Our Father’s. But what I learned through many campaigns with my uncle, the esteemed Ferguson Bakker, governor of Florida and Vice President to Milo Gregory, is that voting is more about who you can get to stay at home. In the United States of America, we purposefully make it difficult to vote. You need two forms of identification, you must vote in specific locations, you must do it on specific days and times, your elected officials put you into specific groups, your bosses tell you when you can and cannot go, your kids school has a half-day so that their teachers can vote, the lines wrap around the block. Voting is a joke. Our leaders have turned it into a joke. If you think voting matters you might be a joke. Holloway is still a cunt… and I voted for her… so I guess I’m a joke.
 I don’t think anyone really knew that she would lose. There was an underlying tension and uncertainty. But no one thought she would lose. Even my uncle thought the odds were long when it came to winning the White House. They underestimated the will of the people for a sense of control. The need for the unheard to believe they are heard, although in the back of their minds they know that they matter little to our political royalty. Cynical, I know, but I think that’s the truth.
 He’s a cunt too. Apparently one of the defining factors of the presidency. I hate him. But at least he was open about his utter black soul. Better to have an honest cunt than a dishonest one. I once saw Milo empty the contents of his wine glass on the head of a server at a campaign dinner because the wine was “too warm.” When the server brought him a new glass of wine, which was also too warm, he lost his temper, “you’re a total fucking moron.” This young man, probably 20 or 21, who was working for a catering company on a weekend at a private, invite-only, campaign fundraiser, no doubt had not one fucking clue about what temperature to serve chianti. He probably went to the wine sommelier and said, “the fat rich guy said his wine is too warm.” The sommelier opened a new bottle of wine, poured it into a new glass, and sent the young man on his way. The owner of the catering company said nothing to Milo Gregory… she fired her waiter. He left dejected and confused… the same way the rest of the fucking world felt after he was elected president.
 Election time turned into a civil war. White men versus white women. Gay and lesbian versus trans. Everyone else was collateral damage. Of course, there were other categories and other identities which drew lines in the sand and went to war with one another. There always are. But this electing in particular felt like a defining moment in our nation. I cannot remember another time in my life when homes were so divided. Perhaps when Barack Obama was elected a second time. My mother voted for Obama. My uncle, obviously, did not. And it was a huge sticking point in their relationship. I voted for him too. My uncle never knew that about me. I had never voted for a Republican. I’ve only ever voted for Democrats. But I’ve only ever worked for Republicans. Do you think that makes me a hypocrite? Well, then you probably don’t know many employees on Capitals Hill. Our bosses fucking suck.
 No lower-class African Americans were listening to Maya. Not from her ebony tower. Milo spoke to the white betrodden. Maya’s words belied her sense of self-preservation. She needed people in political power to give her tax breaks, to ensure that her fortune was safe from the masses. She levied campaign contributions and lobbying to build her media empire. This happens across party lines, it isn’t a one-sided love affair. Money is money. That’s always going to be true. So long as people put their faith in politicians it will remain a fact of our political lives.
 He was gay. I knew it. My mom knew it. His closest friends knew it. How did this not come out before? One time, I don’t even remember what he did, but I was so upset that I almost called the police to report that he raped me. Maybe I should have. When I was nine-years-old my mom had left me with him (this was not the rape I have sense forgotten… I was 13 or 14 then… and this was before he was a politician), he started watching a porn while I was in my room playing. I heard the unmistakable noises of two people fucking, unmistakable even at 9, and went to investigate. Ferguson Bakker had me sit down on the couch with him and watch a man rail a woman in her ass. He asked me if I knew what love was. I asked him if that was love. He said it was.
 Women were lesser than men following the election. But what could you do when 51% of women voted for him?
 Post-election, analysts pored over every word she said during her reelection campaign. This sentence cost her around 1% of her total voter base. She forced them to choose and they chose Milo. Holloway could have won… she just had to play nice with old white men. If you’re going to point out a person’s privilege you do it after you’ve won your campaign. For some fucking reason Democrats just don’t get this. Making the claim that anyone works twice as hard as a dock worker, a coal miner, a tow truck driver, a mechanic, a plumber, or any other number of jobs that are traditionally held by blue collar white men, men with lots of money and political clout, is campaign suicide. That line gave me tons of political fodder to feed into the spin machines. Thanks.
 I was responsible for choosing all the music for Gregory Milo and my uncle. I typically chose the staples of the white conservative base: “God Bless America,” “America the Beautiful,” “Amazing Grace,” and the like. Sometimes I could get away with sneaking something in that was meant to send a message to my uncle, “I hate you” or “I know the truth.” I once chose a very well-known homosexual singer to highlight my uncle’s first campaign event in Alabama. He got wind of it and called me into his office. He said to me, “if you ever play a fag song at another event you’ll be walking back to Tallahassee.”
 She didn’t get the black vote needed because they saw her as pandering. She also had trouble getting the black vote for voters that WERE behind her because of voter ID laws, gerrymandering, etc. The decks were stacked against her before the election even started. They were stacked against her starting hundreds of years ago.
 My uncle fits this category perfectly. He thinks himself so much better than everyone. The sad thing is, he might be. He’s vice president now. What am I?
 Not true. My uncle had half as much money as Holloway and still won the election. He did this by highlighting the divisions between people. He worked on message, was controversial and got a lot of free press and media coverage.
 I helped my uncle seize this message, he honed it for poor white people who felt left behind by Obama and Holloway. Poor is poor regardless of skin color.
What have you done, Drew?
My uncle is a narcissist. Back in the day he would even tell you if you asked him. I don’t think he would do that anymore. Appearances and such. But mostly narcissists don’t care what you think of them, their too busy caring about themselves to notice your thoughts or feelings.
There is no such thing as a good writer. Just people who are better at getting attention for what they write.
 I hate this song now. This is the end, on to part I of the Holloway tragedy. A tragedy that has cost America her statehood, and millions upon millions of lives. I suppose I should go over the other five parts of Muriér’s profile of Holloway, I know this story better than any of you.