The Oval Office. President Obama, attired in Bermuda shorts, Hawaiian shirt and Maxfli sun visor, and armed with a Ping putter, is tapping golf balls in the direction of one of U.S. Grant’s overturned whiskey tumblers. A tall man enters. His pale complexion, liquid eyes and long nose suggest a bowl of oatmeal garnished with a couple of imported gooseberries, a plastic spoon protruding above the rim. It is Jim Messina, the president’s campaign manager.
Obama: Hi, Jim. Just a mo; I’m trying to sink this long put…*Tap*……*Clink*. Sweet! Now, what can I do for you?
Messina: Mr. President, I just got your note.
Obama: The one about my idea for targeting old people in hospices and asking them to name my campaign as a beneficiary in their wills?
Messina [rolls eyes]: No, I hadn’t even heard about that. I’m talking about this other idea; the golf tournament thing.
Obama [beaming]: Pretty inspired, eh? The Presidential Open!
Messina: But, sir…
Obama: I know, I know. You’re thinking that we should call it the Obama Open; and, frankly, that does appeal to me. But I’ve been accused of being narcissistic, so, it might be better from a p.r. perspective to honor the office, not the man.
Messina: That’s not the point, Mr. President. I mean, associating yourself with a golf tournament is bad enough, but the charitable aspect…
Obama: The charity angle is key, Jim! I can’t simply pocket the proceeds…er, can I?
Messina: No, sir, you can’t. But establishing a golf tournament for the purpose of raising money to rebuild burned embassies and consulates! You’d be reminding voters of two big negatives: a lack of seriousness – conservatives are actually tracking the time you spend on the golf course – and the chaotic responses by the White House to the violence in the Middle East.
Obama: Lack of seriousness!?! Dude, have you looked at this shirt? A big splash of red hibiscus flowers against a background of dark green ferns. These are some seriously hip togs.
Messina: But surely you can see the danger of highlighting a foreign policy and security failure.
Obama: Hold it right there! There was no foreign policy and security failure.
Messina: Can you justify that statement?
Obama: I certainly can [pauses to look out of window]. Look! A squirrel!
Messina: Mr. President, you can’t just keep recycling the squirrel gambit.
Obama: Why not? It’s worked for the last four years. And all the major media outlets have conveniently developed an undying interest in the doings of our furry little friends. Besides, this tournament isn’t a one-off. Muslims are a frisky bunch; they’ll be burning our stuff down for years to come. Hey, look at it this way: it’s a privately funded stimulus plan. Why, it’s practically Romneyesque! Say, where are you going?
Messina: I suddenly have an urge to wash my hands.