"Hello, Harry?

“Senator Reid’s office”

“This is President Obama, is Harry in?”

“This is WHO?”

“Barack Obama… President of the United States”

“And you want to speak to WHO?”


“You mean SENATOR Reid?”

“Yes. Sorry”

“Just a moment”


“This is Barack”


“Barack Obama”

“Oh… OH… yeah. How ya’ doing, Bart”


“Of course. Bark. What can I do for you?”

“Harry, do I need to do anything about all this debt ceiling stuff?”

“That’s SENATOR Reid!”

“Sorry. Senator Reid, do I need to get involved with the debt stuff?”

“Why? For what?”

“Well, I AM the President of the United States and you’re talking to John Boehner about … that…. stuff”

“That’s SPEAKER Boehner. WHAT stuff?”

“That debt ceiling stuff”

“No…. I can’t think of anything you can do here”

“Are you sure? ‘Cause, if you need me there to negotiate or offer some ideas for changing the Washington culture, or…..”

[Snickering] “No…… we’re good. The adults can handle it”

“The what?”

“Huh? OH… nothing”

“Well, this is the worst crisis since the Great Depression, so I just thought….”

[Interrupting]”Who told you THAT?”

“Well, you and Nancy did”

“That’s SPEAKER Pelosi. We can handle the crisis. Don’t worry.”

“Well, I’m thinking I should show some leadership during this crisis.  Wait.  ‘SPEAKER Pelosi?  I thought it was SPEAKER Boehner.”

[LAUGHING] “No… you stay in …. wherever you are … and practice your chip shots” [Giggling]

“Boehner says there won’t be an agreement”

“That’s SPEAKER Boehner. Well… just keep rehearsing how to speak without a teleprompter. We’ll let you know if we need anything”

“Well… about that. I’m a little worried about the what I’ll say to the press. John… SPEAKER Boehner is really, really good on it. “

“Now Brook, don’t worry. We gave your people the questions we told the Times to ask, so, if you study, you should be OK.”

“Are you sure I can’t use a teleprompter. Michelle says I do so much better when I use a teleprompter.”

“No. Just repeat the answers we gave you and keep saying “corporate jet owners” and “tax breaks for the wealthy.”  Listen, Burke, I gotta go. We’ve got some grown up stuff we’ve got to do. You take care, now.”

“Hello? HELLO? Harry?   …. SENATOR?”

[This is an updated version of a post published in September, 2008]


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