We flash back to BALTIMORE, MD in 1954, where we meet the 14-year-old NANCY D’ALESANDRO, the daughter of Tommy, Jr., (Old Tommy) and Annunciata (Nancy) D’Alesandro, and sister of Tommy III (Young Tommy), both former mayors of Baltimore — yes, that Baltimore, one of the most corrupt cities in the country, where city and county officials are routinely frog-marched off to jail. Young Nancy gets a rude introduction to the unfairness of life when, as Old Tommy is about to run for governor — oh, let’s let Time magazine pick up the story:
The whirlwind next struck at Tommy’s parking garages and in a few gusts forced him to quit the gubernatorial race. A contractor named Dominic Piracci, who seemed to have a corner on the city’s garage-building business, was convicted of fraud, conspiracy and conspiracy to obstruct justice. Piracci and Tommy had long been friends, even before Piracci’s daughter, Margie, married Tommy D’Alesandro III.
Piracci had erased some names from his ledgers. Among the names deleted: Nancy D’Alesandro. On the witness stand in Piracci’s trial, Nancy admitted getting six checks totaling $11,130.78 from Piracci. But she swore that $1,500 of it was a gift to their newly wed children, Tommy III and Margie. The rest, she claimed, Piracci lent her to pay off debts incurred in her feed business and a venture with a skin softener called Velvex.
It’s not easy for Nancy to see her dad’s gubernatorial hopes go up in a puff of cement-mixer dust, nor to see her mom’s skin-softener business crash and burn. Like an Italian Scarlett O
’Hara, she steps into the simple back yard of her parents
’ Baltimore row house in Little Italy and shouts to the heavens: “I
’ll never be poor again. I
’ll never be indicted. I
’ll be the best advertisement for Botox who ever lived. And I
’ll rip the lungs out of anybody what says different — that means you, Steny Hoyer!”
A resentful, ambitious, and unfortunately not very bright clone of Connie Corleone, Nancy grows up, marries a guy named Pelosi from Frisco, becomes a multi-millionaireness and, miraculously, the Speaker of the House, before falling afoul of the CIA when she blows the whistle on their lies and disinformation and accuses them of lying to Congress.
Naturally, the CIA fights back and while I’m not using the tired old device of a horse’s head in her Pacific Heights bed, let’s just say that following her press conference, certain documents appear in her mailbox having to do with — I don’t know, I’m just making it up here — her family, her business dealings, and her entire way of life.
The evil CIA agent who’s on her case will remain unidentified until the very end of our movie, although throughout the picture, I’m dropping hints and red herrings. Who is the sinister figure behind the screen with the voice modulator, peddling torture disinformation to our Nancy? Who is the evil genius who commandeers Air Force One for a joyride over lower Manhattan and then retains all but one of the photos, just in case a photo of the president’s plane triumphantly flying over the ruins of the World Trade Center “accidentally” needs to get leaked before he makes his address to all 57 states of the Muslim world from Mohammed Atta’s home town of Cairo? Who is the Vulcan mind-melder who forces brave Nancy to go public with her explosive allegations, thus leading to her tragic press-conference self-immolation and cries for her resignation?
That’s right: It’s Liz Cheney. Or maybe Carrie Prejean. Or maybe even Darth Cheney himself; I haven’t decided yet. You’ll find out in a year or two.
Of course, if I really want a surprise ending, the villain will turn out to be . . . the president of the United States! Not even David Baldacci can make this stuff up.
– David Kahane’s favorite movies are The Manchurian Candidate, Seven Days in May, The Parallax View, The Conversation and Mary Poppins. You can add to his Netflix list at [email protected], or become his friend on Facebook.