The Whinnygate Plot Thickens: The Forrest Fire

05/20/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Well, here we are on Day 4 with no retraction from J.D. Hayworth, the Republican Senate candidate from Arizona who asserted in a radio interview four days ago that the Massachusetts Supreme Court, in its ruling extending the civil contract of marriage to gay people, defined marriage as the "establishment of intimacy." He then went on to say that such an absurdly broad definition would allow for a man to marry his horse in Massachusetts.

Even after Rachel Maddow on Day 2 pointed out to Mr. Hayworth that nowhere could she find such a definition in any of the opinions written by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, Mr. Hayworth insisted, "well, we'll just have to disagree on that." Maddow insisted that it either exists or it doesn't: "It's empirical." To which Hayworth once again responded, "we'll just have to disagree about that."

For an account of whats transpired since then, you can see my two previous posts here and here.

When last I left you, after confronting the stranded, toilet-paperless Hayworth in the Martha's Vineyard airport restroom, I was about to exit when I felt a pinch in the back of my neck and immediately passed out.

When I came to, I was sitting in one of the men's room stalls, my drooling head plastered to the right partition, and when I slowly got my bearings, I realized my backpack was gone. I had a moment of panic when I started to do a mental inventory of its contents: my Blackberry, day planner, all my notes over the last two days in Martha's Vineyard; all gone. I checked my watch which said 1:00pm and realized that Hayworth's flight had left over an hour ago.

Thankfully, I still had my wallet and rental car keys. I felt the back of my neck where it was pinched before I passed out. There was a slight swelling, like a mosquito bite. I tried to imagine what had happened and it occurred to me that during my long-winded speech to Hayworth while he was trapped in a bathroom stall, he was undoubtedly texting one of his goons to sneak into the men's room vestibule and be ready to take me out. Most likely, I was then drugged and dragged into one of the vacant stalls where no one would notice anything out of the ordinary. Hayworth, undoubtedly, then exited himself and he and his team then calmly boarded their flight.

I debated whether or not to report the incident, but ultimately realized it would require an even stranger explanation than how a man could marry his horse. Instead, I simply went to the lost and found where, lo and behold, my backpack was waiting to be claimed. It was empty, of course, except for my Blackberry (minus its memory card).

I then remembered that last night I had downloaded my recording of the Aquinnah Town Hall incident from my Blackberry to my laptop which was back in my motel room. I ran to the parking lot, jumped in the rental car and sped back to the motel.

When I arrived, I realized my room key was one of the things missing from my backpack. When I tried the door to my room I discovered it was unlocked. Upon entering, my eyes went straight to the desk. Empty. No computer. I was just about to launch into an aria of expletives when the phone rang.

"What!" I answered, barely able to contain my anger.

"It's Harry." Harry was the name we decided to give my anonymous source from the Hayworth campaign; Harry Fetlocks.

"Harry, they stole my computer, my Blackberry chip, all my notes; everything," I said.

"Who did?"

"Hayworth and his little security squad."

"Yeah, they're in crisis mode right now. Was everything password protected?"

"Yes, but . . ."

"Look, when they get back to Arizona, if they haven't trashed your computer I can open and download your files. Just give me your password."

I took a long pause and finally responded, "Fuckinghell."

"Look, it's the only way to get your files back. You've got to trust me . . . "

"No, that's my password. Fuckinghell. All one word."

"Oh. So, listen, there's a big scrub fest going on here at the campaign headquarters. Is what we're hearing really true? Did he really assault the Town Registrar?"

"Just open the file and see for yourself. How many people know about this?"

"Only myself and Hayworth's publicist, Alissa Deal. Obviously his team in Martha's Vineyard, as well, so that's his two-man security team plus Deal's assistant Forrest Lorne. Or should I say former assistant."

"Really? Is he still here in Martha's Vineyard?"

"Don't know. I know they made arrangements to fly him back on another flight - Hayworth didn't want to be in the same room with him - but I don't know the details. Poor guy; it wasn't even his fault."

"What do you mean?"

"Deal knew that the idea of trying to obtain a marriage license with Whinny was a big stinker. Once Hayworth gets an idea, though, he's like a big dumb dog with a bone. All attempts to dissuade him failed, so Deal constructed a little plot to foil the whole thing.

"First, she asked her assistant Lorne to "arrange" the marriage license stunt in Gay Head on Martha's Vineyard. She told him not to worry about advising the press, she would take care of that, and that all he had to worry about was logistics (plane tickets, passage for Whinny, limo, hotel, etc.) and dealing with the press that she pre-arranged once they were there. She told Forrest not to mention Hayworth's name in connection with any of the arrangements and she'd explain why later.

"Meanwhile, on their way to Martha's Vineyard, she notified the press that Hayworth was planning a trip to Boston to meet with Mitt Romney to get his endorsement.

"Of course, when Hayworth arrived in Martha's Vineyard with no press waiting for him at the airport, he was steamed. Then, when he arrives at what he thinks is the Gay Head Town Hall (a big laugh for him) and finds out that it's now called Aquinnah, he gets even angrier. And finally, when there was no press at the Town Hall, he's literally fit to be tied. He calls Deal who blames Lorne, tells Hayworth to abandon the whole idea and she'll arrange a meeting with Romney in Boston. This is what she was banking on, that once Hayworth saw that the whole plan to obtain a marriage license for him and Whinny was worthless, she could coax him up to Boston to pitch for the Romney endorsement. She never in a million years anticipated that he'd hang up the phone and then decide to go through with the marriage license stunt anyway. The big dumb ox.

"Hayworth evidently thought that if he could at least get a marriage license out of it, it'd be worth it. He pictured himself waiving it around every future interview. His banner of justification for the idiot man/horse marriage assertion. He really thought he could do this. He was so tightly wound, though, that when the whole thing went wrong he literally flipped out.

"When Deal realized that Hayworth had gone through with the Martha's Vineyard stunt and got wind of the attendant fall-out, she threw poor Lorne under the bus. Hayworth was already ready to kill him anyway, so blaming the whole thing on him was a perfect out for her. 'How could you not notify the press?' she screamed. He was fired this morning," said Harry.

"So, that's why I was the only reporter there. There wasn't supposed to be anyone from the press," I said.


"What are the chances I could interview the recently fired Forrest?" I asked.

"Well, I think under the circumstances, pretty damn good," said Harry. "He was staying at the Admiral Benbow Inn in Oaks Bluff. Good luck; maybe he's staying on a bit longer before heading back to Arizona. I honestly have no idea."

"OK. I'm going to ring off immediately to try to catch him. Thanks for the info and listen, try to back-up everything you can off my computer, will you? Not just the Hayworth shit. I mean, if my computer still exists, that is" my voice cracking a bit.

"You got it. Listen, shake it off. I still have to tell you about the midnight negotiations between the State Police, Millicent Lovey and the Hayworth campaign. Right now, though, you should try to catch Forrest Lorne if he's still there. I'll try to call you tomorrow around 9:00am. Be in your room, OK?"

"OK, later Harry, and thanks" I said and I hung up. I immediately called information and asked for the number for the Admiral Benbow Inn in Oaks Bluff.

"Please hold for that number."