Some stories are so rich they tell themselves. So picture chapter two of the Rose Mofford, Terry and Sam Goddard show.
"Goddamn it, Rose," Sam Goddard shouts into the telephone. "Who in the hell you been talking to?" "Wait a min . . . ," the governor sputters.
"How did that goddamned columnist get that story about our meetings? Which one of your people is talking? And don't think for a minute that he guessed it all. Some son of a bitch close to you is talking for sure.
"We all look like hell. This is terribly damaging to Terry's campaign for governor." "Sam, just a min . . . ," the governor starts to say. But Sam Goddard is beside himself.
"Some people who work on the ninth floor have to be the source," Sam shouts. "He has the whole thing right down to the commas. I got a pretty good idea already who they were. If I find out, they'll never have another job in state government, you can bet your sweet ass on that. We'll deal with them, Terry and me." "Sam, just a min . . . " "Do you realize how this makes Terry look to the average voter? They now have a picture in their minds of the Goddards' running roughshod over the widow governor just after she came out of the hospital.
"It makes us look like two ambitious pigs who'd force a poor widow woman out of the governor's office just so Terry can become governor of Arizona just like I was.
"You remember when I was governor, Rose? Wasn't I always nice to you? Wasn't I always a gentleman who stopped and passed the time of day with you?
"Sam, we could . . . " "My God, Rose, this story is terribly damaging to my Terry. We've all got to stick together on this and tell everybody the guy is simply making up the story.
"All three of us will issue denials at once. We can get away with it. He'll never reveal his sources. And the people who did talk to him will get so damned scared they'll keep their mouths shut." "Good idea, Sam, and . . . ," the governor begins.
"Rose, please stop breaking my train of thought. We've got to act quickly, I tell you. You call the editor of that damned paper and tell those people we want a retraction. We won't get it but just the fact that we ask for one might scare them all off.
"Terry and I will tell everyone who asks that the story is a damned lie and that the writer is a damned liar, too. We'll create such a ruckus that we'll make him back off, too.
"We'll say we never even saw you, so how could we have demanded you get out of the race for Terry to run? You got me? You catch my drift?" "Why don't I . . . ," the governor tries to begin once more.
"Please, Rose. Not now . . . I just thought of something else. Rose, I want you to write a letter to that goddamned paper and deny that we leaned on you to get out of the race so Terry could become governor?
"But, Sam . . . ," sputters Mofford.
"A lot of people read those letters to the editor. And when they see it in print, they'll believe it. The important part is for us to be as forceful about this thing as we possibly can be.
"It wouldn't do if the Republican candidates began harping on the fact that Terry broke his promise to the voters of Phoenix about being mayor and then forced you out. It's a stain on his character.
"It would be almost as bad as the thing that happened when Terry was running for mayor the first time and got caught trying to get donations from Charlie Keating. "Rose, I can't impress upon you how high the stakes are. We've got to discredit this story that we bullied you into quitting the governor's job.
"We can't let it linger in the minds of the voters. It will simply kill us." "There's just one thing I wanted to say," Mofford says.
"Wait a minute, Rose, Terry just came in. I know he wants to talk to you." Sam hands the phone to his son, Terry. The younger Goddard is frowning.
"Listen, Rose, we've got to move quickly on this thing. I've spent all those years as mayor building an image.
"I'm looked upon as a candidate with vision. I can bring Rio Salado. I can bring ValTrans. I can bring the Iceberg Grand Prix to the streets of downtown. I can take a few million dollars and transform Patriots Square.
"So what if I didn't get the laser beam? That can always come later. But we've got to deny this story. We've got to make it go away forever.
"This above all you must remember. Terry and Sam Goddard did not force you into dropping out of the race. They did not come to you and tell you that the polls showed you couldn't win the race for governor.
"We all have to hang together, Rose, or `most assuredly, we shall hang separately.'"
"What a nice way to say it, Terry," Mofford says.
"Why shouldn't I be able to turn a phrase," Terry says. "I learned it while I was going to law school at ASU." "Terry, can I speak to your father before we hang up?" Terry hands the phone to Sam.
"Yes, Rose," Sam says, "do you have it all straight now? Do you know what you're going to say? Maybe you ought to write it down so you get it straight. Sometimes, you start stuttering and getting everything all mixed up when people ask you questions." "I have just one question, Sam."
"Sure, Rose." "Why didn't you and Terry think I could win?" "It makes us look like two ambitious pigs who'd force a poor widow woman out of office just so Terry can become governor of Arizona."
"It would be almost as bad as when Terry was running for mayor and got caught trying to get donations from Charlie Keating."