[Interior of a bus. The windows are blacked out. A clearly nervous reporter with a British accent speaks quietly into the camera]
REPORTER: Day three. We aren’t sure where we’re going. The campaign has thus far refused to give any information regarding our whereabouts or our eventual destination, for fear of alerting the enemy to our presence.
STAFFER [in army fatigues]: Keep it down!
REPORTER: We’ve also been told to make as little noise as possible. Why this is, I don’t know. Rules are quite strict. Reporters found posting to the internet are assumed to be a security risk, and are let off the bus wherever it happens to be at the moment. I’ve heard terrible stories about reporters lost for weeks in the wilds of Kent or Putnam. Chilling. All I can tell you at this moment is that we’re moving, and we’ve been moving for some time.
[The bus screeches to a halt]
STAFFER: Okay, everybody out! Move, move, move!
REPORTER: This is it. Let’s go.
[There is a general scramble as reporters, staffers and others exit the bus. The camera takes a confused shot of the bus, which is painted to look like a school bus. The words “Not Joe Lieberman’s Bus” are painted on the side]
STAFFER: Go! Go! Everybody inside!
[Camera pans to reveal Rosie’s Diner, a wonderfully greasy establishment in Groton. Joe Lieberman, flanked by security, leaps out of the bus and heads for the diner.]
STAFFER: Too late! Look!
[The “Kiss Float” truck comes screeching around the corner.]
BLOGGER: [Yelling over a megaphone] Senator, we’d like to ask you a few questions--
STAFFER: Sh-[bleep]! Inside! Now!
[Another staffer stumbles and falls]
OTHER STAFFER: Help!
STAFFER: Leave him! He’s finished!
[Everyone races for the diner. Six goons surround Lieberman and hustle him inside. The REPORTER and his camera crew follow just behind. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief. Staffers collapse into empty diner seats.]
REPORTER: That was close.
[Cut to haggard STAFFERS sitting in a booth, smoking cigarettes]
STAFFER: They always know. I don’t know how they do it. There’s gotta be a leak or something, someone’s gotta be a spy. [He starts twitching] Everybody’s a spy…
STAFFER #2: I got a wife and kids back in California. What I wouldn’t give to be back there. Damn this campaign. Damn Connecticut.
STAFFER #3: [Identity blacked out] Look, man, I can’t talk openly. But you know, they said we’d be greeted as representatives of a popular incumbent. They said it would be easy, we’d be home by August. They didn’t say nothin’ about this sh-[bleep]. It’s total bull. The people here hate us.
STAFFER #4: [Examines greasy french fries] Food’s good, though.
[Cut to LIEBERMAN making the rounds in the diner. Two old men, a sailor and Zippy the Pinhead sit at the counter, sipping coffee]
REPORTER: The Senator is about to try to make contact with the locals. This can be a touchy business.
LIEBERMAN: Hi, how are you… hi, I’m Joe Lieberman… Hi…
OLD MAN #1: Huh? Whazzat? Tryin’ to read the paper. Go ‘way.
LIEBERMAN: Hi, I’m Joe Lieberman… hope I have your vote! Heh, heh.
OLD MAN #2: I’m a Republican. But I’d vote for you if I could. You’re great. Not like those other Democrats. Damn Democrats. Always raising taxes! Making poor Bill O’Reilly look bad! [Starts to boil over with insane rage] Always forcing pretty young women to get abortions! Making Osama bin Laden a national hero! I hate ‘em! I hate ‘em all! [Calms down] Except you.
LIEBERMAN: Ah. Thanks. Uh. [Moves on]
REPORTER: This has so far not gone well. This has sadly been typical of diner stops. We’ll see how he does with the last two.
LIEBERMAN: A member of our nation’s proud military, I see. Good for you! You know, I saved that sub base you work at.
SAILOR: Yeah, thanks. More cold winters in Connecticut. Look, maybe you can answer a question.
SAILOR: It’s about the war—
LIEBERMAN: Well, that’s great. Nice to meet you! [He moves on quickly]
[He comes to the last customer—who is Zippy the Pinhead]
LIEBERMAN: Uh. Hi.
ZIPPY: Sorry. I was wrestling with th’ meaning of modern life, as expressed by this Danish.
LIEBERMAN: Never mind.
REPORTER: Some days on the campaign trail are better than others. In the last establishment, he convinced three old ladies that Ned Lamont was some kind of demon from the spirit world. That was an all-too-rare success, though. Morale is low, as staffers wonder just what their mission is, and if they’ll ever be able to carry it out.
STAFFER: Okay, let’s move! The enemy is outside! We have to clear a path to the bus! Let’s go, move!
[Everybody springs into action]
REPORTER: And we’re left to wonder if we’ll survive it, at all. Reporting from somewhere in Connecticut, for BBC News.