President-elect Barack Obama made his first visit to the White House at the invitation of George Bush. Although reporters were kept away from the meeting, and the two offered no remarks after the visit, your intrepid reporter has sources deep inside the presidential mansion and has learned much of what transpired between the two former adversaries.
In addition, one can learn much from the media stories flooding the already saturated public brain sewers.
One news report noted that “Bush and Obama strolled down the White House colonnade side by side, chatting amiably.”
The walk was not as innocent as it might have seemed, a fact not lost to the nation’s media. “A few minutes after the couples entered the White House together, Mr. Bush and Mr. Obama reemerged and strolled along the colonnade past the Rose Garden to the outer entrance to the Oval Office. Mr. Obama walked just at Mr. Bush’s shoulder and appeared to be speaking animatedly, gesturing with both hands. Each of the men waved several times to reporters and others off camera.”
As followers of the series, “West Wing,” will already know, that outside area is where presidents sneak out for a smoke or a quick hit off a flask.
“So, Barack, can I call you Barack?” asked the president. Barack nodded and smiled, and George continued. “This here area is the most important part of the part of the White House you’re going to have, you know? Like, when you want to cadge a butt from one of your aides, this is the place to go.”
Bush looked around to make sure his wife, Laura, wasn’t within ear shot. “She’s got ears like a fox,” he said.
“All wives do,” agreed the newcomer to world dominance. “If I even think about a smoke, Michelle starts hollering.”
“Well, this is the place,” Bush said before they went into the oval office. “By presidential decree, women aren’t allowed here.”
“What about blacks?” Obama asked.
“Old Harry Truman integrated the colonnade walk,” he said, “back in ’46, I believe.”
“Good man,” Obama said.
“For a Democrat, you betcha.”
After carefully examining this sanctuary, Obama said he was ready for the big moment: The Oval Office. Perhaps most significant, “Bush allowed Obama to enter the historic office first.”
“Someday, Barack, all this will be yours,” Bush said, “so you might as well get a good look without me being there, you know, doing a standing in your way thing or a quick Texas two-step.”
Josh Bolten, Bush’s chief of staff, let slip that, "I know the president will want to convey to President-elect Obama his sense of how to deal with some of the most important issues of the day."
For example, it is well known that first time visitors to the Oval Office often stand dumbstruck in awe of the history that pervades that hallowed space. “Unlike the incoming president, Bush knew his way around the Oval Office by the time he was elected in 2000 — his father had been president.”
Sources tell this reporter that President Bush carefully pointed out the areas of the office that had no angles. “When you’re bouncing off the walls,” the president told the president elect, “be careful where you’re aiming. If you hit this curvy-type wall at the wrong angle, you can wind up bouncing off at the wrong angle, kind of like a billiard ball thing.”
Obama carefully examined the walls, nodding. He thanked the president and took a couple of trial runs at the walls to get a sense of where he’d wind up.
The president then showed his replacement the executive wash room, the chief of staff’s office, and his secretaries’ room.
“These secretaries are pretty liberationated, you know,” said the president. “I got into a mess of trouble in the beginning—I mean, trying to learn the names of all these people. Heck, it was hard enough learning the names of all those foreign-type people. What’s with the lack of vowels in some of those names? And so long! Bush, Obama, Brown—those are easy names.
“Anyway, so I just started giving the girls nicknames—you know, blondie, boobs, big hair, stuff like that. Jeeze, you’d think I’d declared war on…well, never mind about that.’
Obama asked if the secretaries would wear name tags. He was disappointed when told that would be a bad thing.
And so the first meeting between these two titans ended happily, both feeling that it was a good start. As your intrepid reporter learns, you will be the first to know.
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