Mark Twain Concedes Defeat - Lesbian Daughter May Have Cost Him
NEW YORK - Mark Twain conceded defeat in a phone call to
President Bush shortly after 1:00 this afternoon. Exit polls showed an
early lead for the independent candidate but the tide turned as a
record number of voters showed that social issues were foremost on
their mind. "On the whole it is better to deserve honors and not have
them than to have them and not deserve them," he told the President
in his call this afternoon.
Political analysts seemed confidant of a Twain victory until late
Tuesday afternoon. As the poll numbers mounted in President Bush's
favor, they pointed to revelations about Twain's lesbian daughter
Susy, leaked to the Internet by a "Harold K. Bush" just a day before
the election, as swaying many voters. By early evening, exit polls in
many states indicated that social issues, not the economy, terrorism
or the war in Iraq, were a deciding factor in voters' choice for
In a widely circulated email dated November 1, "Harold K. Bush"
directed voters' attention to Mark Twain's daughter's sexual
orientation: "Is anyone in the mood to comment on the supposed ties
between Susy Clemens and Louise Brownell? Is there any consensus
one way or the other regarding the claims of some that they may have
been lovers?" One Twain supported admitted that Susy's now-public
letters to Louise Brownell "must raise an eyebrow." Speculation and
denials continued until the first polls opened in New Hampshire where
Twain once commanded a strong lead, especially near his summer
residence in Dublin, New Hampshire.
Harold Bush's connection to President Bush's family and campaign
were not immediately known, but Twain supporters described his
email as a political dirty trick. "I don't think it was appropriate to bring
the private life of the candidate and his daughter into this debate at
all," a spokesperson for the campaign complained. "I thought it was
inappropriate and I don't think people like that type of personal
politics being brought into the campaign this late in the game."
Mary Beth Cahill, John Kerry's campaign manager, said that her
sexuality was "fair game." "There are a lot of questions here about
gay marriage and she is someone who's a major figure in the
campaign," Cahill told Fox News.
Mark Twain declined to comment on his daughter's sexual orientation,
but said that he was amazed that sexuality had become the
determining issue of the election. "There is a Moral Sense, and there
is an Immoral Sense," he said. "History shows us that the Moral
Sense enables us to perceive morality and how to avoid it, and that
the Immoral Sense enables us to perceive immorality and how to
enjoy it. It has always been a peculiarity of the human race that it
keeps two sets of morals in stock -- the private and the real, and the
public and the artificial. Of all the delights of this world man cares
most for sexual intercourse. He will go any length for it -- risk fortune,
character, reputation, life itself. And what do you think he has done?
He has left it out of his heaven! Prayer takes its place."