Saturday, December 26, 2009

Either Something or Someone Is Just Not That Big a Deal

So a terrorist tries to take down a plane -- but nobody tells Obama until 3 hours after the incident is over.

Yikes. Either a terrorist attempting to blow up a plane is just not that big a deal -- or in a terrorist attack Obama is just not that big a deal.

Interestingly, I recently found the post below in draft mode, tucked away in some obscure corner of the blog editor, originally written a few days before the 2008 election. For whatever reason, I never posted it.

Might as well now. So here goes:

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One of the most effective ads of the primary season was Hillary Clinton’s 3am ad, making the case that you want someone with experience in the White House to handle a crisis.

Because Obama is nearly devoid of any relevant experience.

One rebuttal of the 3am theme has been that Obama can surround himself with knowledgeable advisers, can lean on others to help fill in the gaps during a crisis.

And Obama himself made the case that judgment is more important than experience.

Well. The combination of the two should put those concerns to rest, no?

Uh, unless the combination of the two shows a poor choice of gap fillers as evidence of very poor judgment.

Obama’s selection of Joe Biden was obviously an answer to how Obama would fill in such a gap in a foreign crisis (because he certainly wasn’t an answer to bringing change to Washington).

And now, we have Bill Clinton informing us that Obama needs a gap filler on economic matters too.

You see, the 3:00 am call is not the critical one. It’s the call Obama makes at 3:07 am to the person he will turn to in the crisis.

Roll tape…

The Financial Crisis

It's 3 am and your children are asleep. But there's a phone ringing in the White House...

Obama: Hello? You do know what time it is. […] What? A financial crisis? We must act immediately? I don’t know what to do, what do you think we should do? […] OK, well, I’ll get right back to you. I want to bounce this off some other people.

[3:07 am: Obama hangs up receiver, picks it up again, begins to dial]

Obama: Come on, come on, pick up dammit.

Bill Clinton: Hello, Mr. President. What can I do for you?

Obama: There’s a financial crisis, I need your advice.

Bill Clinton: You could bomb an aspirin factory.

Obama: …

Bill Clinton: Oh and then go on camera and bite your lip. Tell people you understand their…no, that you can feel their pain.

Obama:

Bill Clinton: And listen, you must be earnest. Look straight into the camera. Wag your finger a lot, too.

Female voice in background: Come back to bed, Billy.

Obama: Yeah, yeah, ok, let me talk to Hillary.

Bill Clinton: She’s not here.

Obama: But I just heard her in the background.

Bill Clinton: You thought that was Hillary? Hah! Hey, don’t say a word about this, mmmkay?

[3:11 am: click]


The Foreign Crisis

It's 3 am and your children are asleep. But there's a phone ringing in the White House...

Obama: Hello? You do know what time it is. […] What? A foreign crisis? We must act immediately? I don’t know what to do, what do you think we should do? […] OK, well, I’ll get right back to you. Joe knew this would happen, I’m gonna give him a call.

[3:07 am: Obama hangs up receiver, picks it up again, begins to dial]

Obama: Come on, come on, pick up dammit.

Biden: God love ya, Barack, what’s going on?

Obama: We have a crisis on our hands.

Biden: See? I told you so. Did you mark my words? Huh? Did you? They’re testing you, Barack. They’re testing your mettle. Wanna see what you’re made of.

Obama: Right, so…

Biden: Gird your loins, Barack.

Obama: Sure, got it but…

Biden: Like cleaning out the Augean stables, man.

Obama: Let me finish…

Biden: Now listen, I’m glad you called. I’m not being falsely humble with you here, you need me Barack. You need me.

Obama: That’s why I called. Now let’s…

Biden: OK, here’s what we do. We…wait, what’s the crisis?

Obama: Foreign minister Gluvsarov has ordered missles be deployed to Popinovistan

Biden: Right. OK, did you know, I’ve forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know.

Obama: Enough. Listen, we need to come up with something. What are your thoughts?

Biden: That’s what I’m trying to tell you, I’ve forgotten who Gluvsarov is or where Popinovistan is.

[3:15 am: click]

Biden: Hello? Barack? …

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[2009 Me Again]: Well. How's that first year worked out for us with Obama? Does anyone still want Obama to be answering the 3am phone call? Or are you glad they waited an additional 3 hours to let the adults handle the situation yesterday before telling President Obama?

Well I know how I answer that last question.

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