Raymond Island Season 3 Premiere - I Like to Be in America

Raymond Island Season 3, Episode 1

I Like to Be in America

Gretchen is sitting in the greenroom of the Providence Action News with Susana and Carol.

Gretchen: I’m nervous. Why am I nervous?

Susana: Because it’s your first big interview since Samantha stabbed you in the back and announced her primary challenge. You know you need to make a good impression on voters.

Gretchen: I’m the governor, though.

Carol: So you’ve said.

Gretchen: I shouldn’t be so nervous for a TV news profile. I debated in front of all of America when I ran for Vice President.

Carol: Lilliana Martin has quite the reputation for being a cutthroat interviewer, she can make or break a politician’s career if you’re not on your feet.

Susana: Why exactly did we book an interview with her, then?

Carol: Because Gretchen is quick on her feet and does so well in interviews. This can end Samantha’s campaign today if she can make an effective case to the voters.

Gretchen: Remember when I insulted the third-largest city in Pennsylvania during one of my interviews?

Carol: A minor kerfuffle.

Gretchen: Slimmest win for a Democratic candidate in Lehigh County since Mike Dukakis lost it in 1988.

Carol: Let’s not focus on the bad! You’re gonna go out there and dazzle Rhode Island!

Gretchen: Dazzle them? I don’t think viewers of the five o’clock news are looking to be dazzled. They’re just looking for some background sound while they eat dinner.

Carol: Just try your best, it’ll be fine.

Intern: Governor Raymond, Ms. Martin is ready for you.

Gretchen: Well, it’s time, girls! See you on the other side!

On the stage…

Lilliana: It’s now my pleasure to welcome live in the studio the governor of our state, Gretchen Raymond. Good to have you here, madam governor.

Gretchen: It’s great to be here! I always love being able to reach the eyes of Rhode Islanders, I think it’s so important for lawmakers to get a vessel to communicate with their constituents.

Lilliana: Well, then I’ll read you some questions we got from Rhode Islanders.

Gretchen: Sounds great!

Lilliana: This comes from Nate from Providence. He asks “What is your response to Lieutenant Governor Pratt’s announcement that she will run for governor in 2022?”

Gretchen: Wow, starting with a big one! Well, I think that Lieutenant Governor Pratt is certainly entitled to seek the governorship if she wants. Her and I have certainly had our disagreements but I think I’ve been able to accomplish a lot for Rhode Island despite that. I’m disappointed that she’s gone this route instead of working out our differences privately, but I will not let this primary challenge distract me from my work to help Rhode Islanders.

Lilliana: So, will you continue to work alongside the lieutenant governor despite this very public dispute?

Gretchen: Of course, I’ll never put petty partisan political disputes over getting results. This primary is nearly a year away and I’m not going to put Providence in a stalemate because of this. If I think she can be of assistance in executing my plans for the state, I will of course ask for her help. I hope she’ll do the same. It’s what we’re in office to do.

Lilliana: Our next question comes from Angelina from Woonsocket. She asks “With all of this turmoil in our country, do you think that America is still great?”

Gretchen: I know what the go-to politician answer would be. They’d say “Of course America is great!” I don’t know if that’s really true. I think so much of it is great, but I don’t think America works for everybody. I think there’s so many people in this country who are struggling, who have not been given a fair shake at life, because of their economic background or their race or a whole slew of reasons. I don’t know if America can truly be great if it doesn’t work for everybody.

Lilliana: So you don’t think America is great?

Gretchen: I think we can do better. We are a work in progress. We always have been.

Lilliana: How do you think America can become great, then?

Gretchen: Racial equality, for starters. Get people good-paying jobs that allow them to live their lives comfortably. Give people healthcare. We’re behind other countries in so many places. I’ve done as much as I can to achieve this in Rhode Island. I’ve raised the minimum wage and we’ve seen the unemployment rate shrink. Republican arguments against a minimum wage hike are all based mistruths and straight-up lies.

Twenty minutes later…

Carol: Gretchen…

Gretchen: I think it went really well! You were right!

Carol: How hard is it to say that you think America is great?

Gretchen: I spoke the truth. I think people will appreciate that.

Susana: The internet is already labeling you “The Governor Who Hates America.”

Gretchen: As if any governor hates the American people more than Ross DeCanter.

Susana: I usually tend to think that mom is overreacting, but this is not good. People think you hate America. Imagine the ads Samantha will run.

Gretchen: “Gretchen Raymond thinks America needs to treat its citizens fairly to be truly great. What a monster!”

Carol: More like “Gretchen Raymond doesn’t think America is great.” Period. End of sentence. That’s what she’s running on now. You stuck your foot in your moth big-time. More than usual!

Gretchen: You said I’m good at interviews!

Carol: I had to hype you up somehow, you looked like freakin’ Eeyore.

Gretchen: I think you’re both overreacting. The primary’s in a year, if the people really remember this in a year and I lose because of it, then maybe I’m just destined to be a one-termer.

Carol: Maybe you’re right. Governors have said worse and survived. You’ve said worse! Remember the holiday tree?

Gretchen: Please don’t remind me.

That night, when Gretchen gets home…

Lucinda: What did you do?

Gretchen: Hi, mother. Great to see you as always!

Lucinda: America isn’t great?

Gretchen: I did not say that!

Lucinda: But you did.

Christina: You really stepped in it big-time, mom.

Gretchen: Not you, too.

Christina: It’s all they’re talking about on Twitter.

Gretchen: Surely that can't be -

Christina: The President called you a “sick and vile woman.”

Gretchen: Coming from him, that’s quite the compliment.

Lucinda: Just look at the television, Gretchen.

Gretchen: What’s on the television?

Lucinda: Just look!

Gretchen: Geez, no need to yell.

Gretchen looks at the television and sees Hank and Jeanne on the screen.

Hank: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for joining us here today. We asked you here so that we could discuss today’s comments by Governor Raymond.

Gretchen: No one cares, dude!

Jeanne: Like nearly all Rhode Islanders, and Americans, who watched the governor’s interview today on the Providence Action News, Speaker Matthews and I were horrified by the way she discussed America. In saying that this country wasn’t great, she didn’t only make it clear that she didn’t respect this country and its values. She made it clear that she doesn’t respect Rhode Island.

Gretchen: Oh give me a break!

Jeanne: How anyone can call themselves a leader while openly bashing this great country is beyond me. It’s one of the most disgraceful things you can say about this nation, that it isn’t great.

Hank: While it may have faults, America is and will always be the great country on earth. That’s why we believe that Rhode Island needs a governor who respects this country, and respects the state. Governor Raymond must resign for her anti-American sentiments.

Gretchen: Are you fu-

Jeanne: The Governor can not effectively lead a government while being openly hostile to our democratic ideals.

Gretchen: I said we have some work to do, I didn’t organize an insurrection!

Hank: Majority Leader Rivero and I have sent a letter to the governor’s office formally requesting her resignation and expressing our intent to move forward with impeachment if she does not comply.

Gretchen: Right in the shredder.

Gretchen changes the channel.

Lucinda: I was watching that!

Gretchen: I’ve seen enough of those two. Enough for a lifetime.

Christina: How are you going to respond to that?

Gretchen: I’m ignoring it. They can not impeach me because I said America needs to work to be greater. They call me a communist, that is communist right there.

Lucinda: You shouldn’t have said that. You talk out of your ass sometimes.

Gretchen: You think I don’t know that?

Lucinda: As long as we’re on the same page here…

Christina: What if they do impeach you? They hate you so much.

Gretchen: They’ll never do it. They both want to be governor, impeaching me would mean Samantha becomes governor and then the primary’s over.

Christina: So your entire political future depends on whether Hank and Jeanne can put aside their own ambitions to act on their hatred for you?

Gretchen: Yeah, really.

Christina: You might be okay, then. They’re very selfish.

Gretchen: Exactly. Everything will be okay.

Lucinda: You might not get impeached, but think of the ads Sam Pratt is gonna run against you. You said America isn’t great! I’m thinking of voting for someone else!

The front door opens.

Anthony: Are you picking on your daughter again, Lucinda?

Christina: Grandma would never!

Lucinda: Yes I would…

Christina: I was covering for you.

Lucinda: I don’t like lying.

Anthony: Honey, your interview was great! I was able to watch it at work without anyone noticing! Probably because I locked the door of my office and no one even came to the door.

Lucinda: You thought that went well?

Gretchen: Yeah, you did? That’s delightful!

Anthony: You gave great answers, you explained yourself well, I’m so proud of you. Samantha has no idea what she’s getting herself into.

Gretchen: Maybe everything will be okay after all!

The next day, when Gretchen arrives at her office…

Susana: Governor Raymond…

Gretchen: It’s always bad when you call me by my official title.

Carol: It’s really bad, Gretchen!

Susana: You’re the new right-wing outrage. I thought it was just going to be a Twitter thing but Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham devoted whole segments to you last night! Fox & Friends called you anti-American.

Carol: It’s spreading. Samantha was on Sean Hannity last night and told people to visit her campaign site for a surprise. There’s a countdown on her site that ends at noon. I think she’s releasing her first attack ad! This is not good!

Gretchen: I said nothing wrong.

Carol: As if they care. Any chance they get to attack you, they take it. This was an unforced error, I don’t know what to do but we have to brainstorm.

There is a knock at the door.

Susana: Should I…?

Gretchen: I don’t see any way that that’s good news.

Samantha: Let me in, Gretchen! I want to measure my office!

Gretchen cracks the door open.

Gretchen: Then you better head upstairs because last I checked, that’s where your tiny little corner office is.

Samantha pushes the door fully open.

Samantha: The people are mad, Gretchen. I don’t know if you're going via impeachment or recall, but you’re definitely going.

Gretchen: Ah, yes. Try to recall me again. Maybe the third time’s the charm!

Samantha: Jeanne and Hank actually have reason to impeach you this time!

Gretchen: For what? Using my constitutional right to free speech? You sound very anti-American, Pratt.

Samantha: Keep burying your head in the sand and waiting for it to blow over. It’s not going to.

Gretchen: You’re just so desperate to find an actual scandal related to me that you’ve now resorted to making one up! Congrats on becoming the next right-wing media darling, though. That’ll help you win a Democratic primary for governor.

Samantha: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Gretchen: So cliché.

Samantha: I’m just so excited for the first primary poll. Maybe then you’ll finally realize that it’s time to pack things up because you’re getting ousted. One way or another, I’m gonna get ya.

Gretchen: Can you just go? I have work to get done.

Samantha: Yeah, how else will they groundskeeper know how to fly the flag if you don’t give him a call and tell him?

Gretchen: Thanks for stopping by! Been a pain in the ass, as always.

Gretchen closes the door and locks it.

Susana: She’s getting meaner.

Gretchen: She’s getting more desperate for power.

Carol: So do you really want to just ignore this? What if it doesn’t blow over?

Gretchen: Attention spans are short. The right-wingers will have a new thing to pretend to be enraged about by eight o’clock.

Susana: I think that’s the best option. Retracting your statement would only feel phony.

Carol: She’s a politician. People are gonna think she's a phony no matter what.

Susana: That is true. Let’s just let them think she’s slightly more genuine than the other ghouls in this state.

Gretchen: Other ghouls? You think I’m a ghoul?

Susana: But the least ghoulish of them! Celebrate that!

Gretchen: You better be joking.

Three hours later…

Carol: It’s time, Gretchen.

Gretchen: Ah, finally. Lunchtime! I’ve been craving french onion soup all day.

Carol: Not time for that! Time for Samantha’s been announcement!

Gretchen: Oh god…

Carol: You wanna know what it is, admit it.

Gretchen: Not really.

Carol: I’m checking her site, anyway.

Gretchen: If you must…

Carol: Oh, it is an ad!

Gretchen: Please don’t pl-

Carol begins to play the ad.

Gretchen: Why are you doing this to me? How much do you hate me?

Carol: Just watch! We need to know what we’re up against.

Samantha: America isn't great? That sure is what Governor Raymond wants you to think.

Gretchen: Grr…

Samantha: I’m Lieutenant Governor Samantha Pratt, and I love America.

Susana: That’s up for debate.

Samantha: I’m tired of politicians telling us this country isn’t great, and I know you are, too. I’ve lived the American dream. I’m the daughter of two working-class parents who instilled hard-work ethics in me from a young age. I’ve worked my way from the bottom to the top using American ingenuity. It’s a dream that can only be achieved in America. That’s why it hurts to see someone who is supposed to lead us instead trashing our country and its values.

Gretchen: Give me a damn break!

Samantha: I’ll never disrespect America, and I’ll never disrespect Rhode Island. Samantha Pratt, for governor.

Carol: Well…

Gretchen: She sounds like a Republican.

Carol: She does. That’s normal for her, though.

Gretchen: Can’t we just ignore this, too? It’s September of 2021, the election is in a year.

Carol: We can’t just let the popular notion out there be that you dislike America?

Gretchen: So what’s the plan? Because three hours ago the plan was to ignore it.

Carol: How about I get you another interview on the Action News to clarify your statement?

Susana: That went really well last time.

Carol: We’re gonna prepare her for it this time!

Gretchen: Fine, I’ll do it. Damage control is the thing I do most frequently, after all.

When Gretchen returns home…

Lucinda: Gr-

Gretchen: Not today, mother.

Lucinda: I didn’t even say anything!

Gretchen: I can tell from your tone alone, you’re about to say something that’ll piss me off.

Christina: She was. It was about Sam Pratt’s ad.

Gretchen: That woman, she is ruining my life.

Lucinda: You need to be careful, Gretchen. She’s going to beat you if you don’t take her seriously and if you don’t stop sticking your foot in your mouth.

Gretchen: Has anyone seen Toby?

Lucinda: He’s at his friend’s house. Now, respond to me. You need to take this challenge seriously, be more focused when you’re in public. Act like you’re in police custody - everything you say can and will be used against you.

Gretchen: Wouldn’t you like that?

Lucinda: Contrary to what you believe, no. I’m on your team!

Christina: By that she just means she’s a Democrat. Unlike Samantha…

Gretchen: Well, maybe you can help me practice for my interview tomorrow.

Christina: Interview? Mom, do you really think that’s a good idea?

Gretchen: It’ll be fine! Especially with some practice! That’s my real problem, I’m never ready. I’m too busy to practice for these things.

Lucinda: Busy? With what?

Gretchen: There you go again…

Lucinda: I was only asking a question!

Gretchen: Sure you were.

The next day, in the Providence Action News greenroom…

Susana: Gretchen, are you ready for this?

Gretchen: Yes…

Susana: Really ready?

Gretchen: Yes! I practiced all night last night with my mom.

Carol: Aww, you sound like a middle schooler about to take a geometry exam.

Gretchen: I was always terrible at geometry, hopefully I’m better at interviews.

Carol: Eh…

Gretchen: What happened to trying to pump me up before big interviews?

Carol: We see where that got us last time.

Gretchen: Wow, uncalled for.

Susana: Gretchen, I think they're ready for you.

Gretchen: Okay, time for me to fly!

On the stage…

Lilliana: For the second time this week, we’ve got a very special guest with us. Thanks to Governor Gretchen Raymond for joining me here in the studio!

Gretchen: It’s so great to be back! Certainly much nicer here than at the State House!

Lilliana: Let’s just jump right into this. You’re here to discuss the controversy surrounding your last interview here.

Gretchen: I sure am!

Lilliana: Were you surprised by the reaction to the interview - chiefly, the reaction to your response about whether America is great or not?

Gretchen: Am I surprised that the right-wing and my longtime political opponents here in Rhode Island have manufactured outrage about me once again? No, not really. I think anyone who actually watched the full interview would know that I did not say that I hate America, just that it isn’t great for everyone. Look, I think America is a wonderful country. I’m so proud to be an American. It’s just that we have work to do. What in the world is wrong with saying that?

Lilliana: I think people are bad that you did flat-out say “ I don’t know if America can truly be great if it doesn’t work for everybody.” That is you saying America isn’t great, no?

Gretchen: Look, I stand by that. I think this country is incredible, but we have to make it so that everyone here is able to feel that way. People are struggling and the government is not doing enough to help. My comment was not against America or its people, it’s against politicians who are putting themselves and corporate interests over the people. The American people are great, the greedy elites in office, not so much.

Lilliana: So you don’t hate America?

Gretchen: No, I certainly do not.

Lilliana: Good to know, governor!

Gretchen: I’m just happy to help get the message out!

In the greenroom…

Gretchen: So…

Carol: You know, it could’ve gone a little smoother but I think it went well! Just to be cautious, though, maybe we should add some patriotic music to your next ad.

Gretchen: Already on it. I’m gonna dress up like Betsy Ross and sew up an American flag. No one will ever again say I don’t love America!

Carol: Oh, plenty will. That’s just politics. “You hate America” is the oldest political tool out there. Let’s just be careful to not make it sound like it fits you ever again.

Gretchen: Today was a good day. I think I’m gonna go home and listen to some ABBA while I eat some meatballs from IKEA.

Carol: See, that’s something I’d avoid saying in public before they accuse you of being a Swedish spy.

Gretchen: It was a joke!

Carol: You never can tell with you.

What did you think of the season three premiere of Raymond Island? Let us know in the comments, vote in the poll below and make sure to return next week for a new episode!

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