Anxiety. Self-doubt. Imposter syndrome. Generalized unease. These sure can be hard things to deal with on a daily basis. Crippling even. But today I want you to look at your anxiety square in its shivering, pathetic face and thank it. Because without a little angst, you could be like Melissa Carone, a Michigan woman who claims she was a contract IT worker with Dominion Voting Systems. With a shocking amount of unearned confidence, Carone claimed…a lot of things. I don’t know. It’s all so hard to parse.
In a Wednesday hearing with the Michigan House Oversight Committee that went viral later that day, Carone asserted several different versions of voter fraud that she allegedly witnessed, all as part of an attempt to overturn presidential election results in Wayne County. One involved a van? Another in which people ran votes through the machine multiple times. Another where all the votes hanging in the balance were from unregistered voters, dead people, and “illegals,” and also turnout was “120%.” With the terrifyingly clear sense of purpose and maybe slightly blurry vision, Carone claimed to have witnessed a complete bacchanal of voter fraud.
Holy smokes the sequel is even better!
Rudy Giuliani tries to shush her to calm her down and the Republican even tries to reel her in!
She treats this Republican* like he’s a Chick-fil-A employee and the milkshake machine went down.
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) December 3, 2020
Even if you can’t always follow Carone’s thread, you have to marvel at the complete confidence in her insistence. In one exchange with Republican Steve Johnson, he says, “We’re not seeing the poll book off by 30,000 votes.”
“What’d you guys do? Take it and…do something crazy to it?” Carone said, in a gorgeous display of can-I-see-your-manager energy.
“I’m just saying the numbers are not off by 30,000 votes,” Johnson said.
At one point with a little grin, like she was about to shatter this guy’s whole world, Carone said, “I’d say that poll book is off by over 100,000.” She claimed there were “zero registered voters” in the county’s poll book. People on the internet called her drunk, which is actually unfair. We don’t know that for sure. She could just be like that all the time, deriving her liquid courage from an altogether different source somewhere deep within her.
She was there at the hearing courtesy of Rudy Giuliani, another person for whom it is so, so hard to locate the spring from which his convictions burst, though many have tried. Giuliani, who invited her to the hearing a month after a judge deemed her allegations not credible, at one point reached over and shushed her. She did not pay attention to him, and even he at one point said he didn’t know her. Rudolph W. Giuliani of Four Seasons Total Landscaping made sure to insist in the hearing that he only met this person on Tuesday.
At least this is what’s leaving office in January. The encouragement to walk into any room and, with total confidence, barely string together complete sentences, ones with almost no apparent connection with reality, and know that people have to listen.
— Why Princess Diana’s Controversial 1995 Interview Still Stings— Inside Britney Spears’s Fight for Legal Control Over Her Life— Prince Charles Will Wear the Same Royal Wedding Suit As Long As It Fits— Internet It Girl Poppy Is Burning Down 2020 and Starting Again— Curious Duchess Camilla Will Watch Herself on The Crown— Can Princess Märtha Louise of Norway and Shaman Durek Live Happily Ever After?— Prince William’s COVID Diagnosis Was “No Secret” Among the Royals— From the Archive: Tina Brown on Princess Diana, the Mouse That Roared— Not a subscriber? Join Vanity Fair to receive full access to VF.com and the complete online archive now.