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Scooter, Act Two

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As partisan pundits continue to micro-analyze President's Bush's commutation of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's prison sentence -- trading punches on such weighty subjects as presidential power, judicial restraint and cronyism -- one question remains: What will become of Libby himself? Nothing inspires America like a good rise-and-fall-and-rise story. Will Scooter get his inevitable second act?

October 28, 2005: I. Lewis Libby is indicted on federal charges relating to CIA leak case.

June 5, 2007: Libby is sentenced to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000.

July 2, 2007: President Bush commutes prison portion of Libby's sentence, calling it "excessive."

July 3-4, 2007: Democratic Party leaders denounce Bush's decision and attempt to rally public support -- but it's a holiday, and most of nation is at next-door-neighbor's barbecue.

July 5-7, 2007: Democratic Party leaders are skewered for not rallying public support. Meanwhile, Libby pays $250,000 fine with personal cashier's check, but writes it for $300,000 so he can get cash back.

July 24, 2007: Libby finds Jesus, goes on pilgrimage to Mecca, schedules summit meeting with Paris Hilton.

July 30, 2007: American Enterprise Institute and Club for Growth hold fundraiser at Watergate Hotel to help pay Libby's outstanding legal fees. Small red scooters are given as party favors, while outside, rapper Kanye West holds protest, singing his new single, "Lib in the Crib with a Big Phat Fib."

August 1, 2007: "ScootersFree.com" website is launched. Site sells thousands of red rubber wristbands in first day, but draws ire from consumers who thought they were receiving child's vehicle at no cost.

August 17, 2007: Embattled publisher Judith Regan announces newly signed book deal with Libby. The memoir will be entitled I, Scooter.

November 21, 2007: I, Scooter is published. Critics complain that the book offers no new insights, and is only 87 pages long. Libby defends memoir's surprising brevity, explaining, "I wanted to write more, but you know me and my memory -- I forgot a lot of stuff."

November 22, 2007: The Wall Street Journal hails I, Scooter as "the most inspiring work of history since Profiles in Courage."

November 29, 2007: I, Scooter reaches Number One on the New York Times Bestsellers List. Regan sells film rights to Walden Media in multimillion-dollar deal. Mel Gibson is signed to direct, and Bruce Willis agrees to star as Libby. The film will be titled, I, Scooter: With a Vengeance.

December 1, 2007: Now a must-get by networks, Libby appears on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, performing the Lambada with former White House counsel Harriet Miers. Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales observes, "The routine was complicated and symbolic, yet peculiarly romantic. It kind of made me nauseous."

December 15, 2007: Ten days before Christmas, Libby joins Clinton pardonee Marc Rich in new start-up venture called "Forgivenet.com"--a chat site dedicated to helping people "forgive and forget on the net."

December 18, 2007: Rupert Murdoch buys Forgivenet for $530 million.

March 1, 2008: Murdoch expands Libby franchise, launching Call Me Scooter, an interactive talk show on Fox News and Fox Radio. Viewers are urged to call in and share their feelings with "The Dr. Phil of Personal Redemption."

May 30, 2008: Bob Jones University breaks ground on I. Lewis Libby Center for Governmental Responsibility. Halliburton wins no-bid contract for building's $20 million vending machine room.

July 4, 2008: Republican grassroots organizations begin contemplating a "Draft Scooter" movement. Efforts quickly disband when Libby instead accepts recurring role on Law & Order, replacing character created by former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson--who has still not announced his presidential candidacy.

August 11, 2008: Libby's second book, Scooter's Way: Remembering What's Important and Forgetting What's Not, is released to widespread acclaim. Sales dwarf J.K. Rowling's ill-fated literary comeback, Larry Trotter and the Order of the iPhone.

September 4, 2008: Over Labor Day weekend, President Bush attempts to bolster single-digit approval ratings by announcing recess appointment of I. Lewis Libby as new Director of CIA. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tries to rally public outrage -- but it's a holiday, and most of nation is at next-door-neighbor's barbecue.

January 29, 2009: CIA Director Libby is indicted on six counts of lying to a grand jury regarding leak of damaging classified information about President Hillary Clinton during 2008 campaign. When asked by satellite radio talk show host G. Gordon Liddy about parallels between Hillarygate and Plamegate, Libby tells Liddy, "I'm so bad with names. Who is Valerie Plame?"