From the next Democratic debate, scheduled for Tuesday in Las Vegas:
"It's truly wonderful to be back in this beautiful state," said Hillary Clinton, "and as I think about the natural splendor of Sunrise Mountain, just to the east of this marvelous city, and how every new morning announces itself above the mountain's highest peaks, well, it just (choke) always moves me deeply. I really just (choke)...I'm sorry, may I have a moment here?"
"Speaking of being moved," Barack Obama quicky interjected, dabbing his eyes with a hankie, "I keep thinking how the the pioneers who traveled across this valley more than a century ago were actually spreading the promise of America, the same promise (gulp) that compelled my Kansas mother and Kenyan father (intake of breath) to inspire their son to, to, to...(head bowed)..."
"I am so moved by my own personal story as well," said John Edwards, seizing the opening, "because my daddy was a mill worker - have I mentioned that? - and he worked so very hard...um...(biting lip)...to give me a better life (long sigh), but this is not about me, this election is about all of you out there, and I want you to know how much ah feel your pain (loud gulp)..."
"Just a moment there," said Clinton, "It upsets me (teary grimace) to hear you appropriate one of my husband's lines. And I wish the two of you would stop making fun of me, because speaking as a woman, (louder gulp) we are tired of hitting our heads on the glass ceiling, I mean, the injustice of it...(anguished swallow)..."
"Hillary," Obama admonished, "I would suggest to you that the travails of African-Americans (muted sob) have been the greater injustice, if for no other reason than that they were brought to America in chains...(sorrowful swallow)..."
"As women, our chains were invisible. Blacks got the vote after the Civil War, while we women (louder sob), regardless of race, were denied the vote until 1920 (protracted gulp and swallow)...Excuse me. Does anybody here have a Kleenex?"
"Not a chance," said Edwards. "Kleenex is a trademarked product of a big corporation, Kimberly-Clark, and I have been fighting and beating the big corporations mah whole life (shoulders heaving, dabbing his eyes with his tie)."
"I'd lend you my hankie, Hillary, if you were more likeable," said Obama, "but as a mixed-race American with an inspiring personal story, I, I...(trembling jaw)...Forgive me, I'd just hate to see us slide backwards on our racial progress (strangulated sob). I mean, we've come so far, you know?"
"That's enough, all of you," the moderator interrupted, "Can we please move on? And please ignore all that wailing you hear backstage. I told Mr. Kucinich and Mr. Gravel that they could not participate."
"Fine," said Clinton. "I'll re-schedule my wracking sob for the closing statement."
"Tell ya what, John," said Obama, turning to Edwards, "I'll lend you my hankie if you lend me your eyedrops."