THE SCENE: It’s 3:00 (in the afternoon) at the White House. Fresh from his second workout (and fourth cigarette) of the day, an energized PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA sits in his private quarters with his Chief of Staff and closest confidant, RAHM (RahmBo) EMANUEL. The room has been overdecorated, butofcourse, in Louis XIV WannaBe.
As the lights come up, OBAMA and RAHMBO are relaxing and chatting in overstuffed, purple velvet chairs with gold braid around the edges. It’s time for their daily chore of listening and responding to OBAMA’s messages on the Red Phone, which is so tricked out, it would look right at home on the bridge of The Enterprise.
OBAMA (with his trademark grin): Well, Rahmbo, are ya ready? Today’s messages should be great.
RAHMBO: Fuckin’ A! Can’t wait to see how your “Balls of Steel” national security speech went over.
(RAHMBO hits “Play”. The phone beeps and begins playing back the messages.)
RED PHONE (in mechanical male voice): Message One. From: Richard Cheney.
(CHENEY’S VOICE comes on. Unfortunately, it is nothing but snarling gibberish. The brief message ends, and the phone beeps.)
OBAMA: Whoooops! I should have known Cousin Dick would call. Lucky for me, George built a Cheney-To-English Translator right into this phone. Let me see – I think it’s this one. (Hits a button) Okay, Rahmbo, try again.
(RAHMBO hits “Play” again.)
CHENEY’S VOICE: Hey, Cuz, great job on that national security speech of yours. I was worried everyone was going to notice that it was the same as mine, but that speechwriter of yours is worth every penny! Oh, and thanks for the cover on torture. It would have been a real drag to go to jail for a “no-brainer” like waterboarding. See you in Paraguay on July 4th – George is bringing the barbeque! Peace out!
(The phone beeps.)
RAHMBO: Should we call him back?
OBAMA: Naaaaahhhh. I’ll talk to him over the weekend, like always. Any more?
RAHMBO: Yup – we’re pretty full up today. (presses “Play” again)
RED PHONE: Message Deleted. Next Message, From: Benjamin Netanyahu.
NETANYAHU’S VOICE: Mr. President, Shalom. I would like to know why you are being so intractable on the matter of the West Bank settlements, while putting no pressure at all on the Palestinian leadership to recognize Israel’s right to exist and defend itself. I don’t think we are ever going to have peace this way, Mr. President. Please call me back. (The machine beeps.)
OBAMA (snippily, responding to the message): Yeah, well, Benjamin, I’m doing the best I can with this mess I inherited from Bush. And everyone knows the Israelis don’t have any oil, so why the hell should I step up for them? I mean, what do they want me to do? (reluctantly) I guess I’ll have to send George Mitchell over there again.
RAHMBO (muttering under his breath): Yeah, THAT’s gonna do a lot of good.
OBAMA (sharply): What was that?
RAHMBO: Nothing, Mr. President. Next message!