Category Archives: Barack Obama

Obama’s Conversation with Men’s Room Attendant Spurs Talk of Joint Ticket

by Jake Maccoby

As speculation as to who presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama will choose as his Vice Presidential running mate continues to ramp up, with time edging nearer to the traditional summer selection period, some insiders and pundits believe the Illinois Senator may have already made his choice.

During dinner at the Olive Garden, Senator Obama had a cordial conversation with men’s room attendant Arthur Finklestein, who reportedly told the Senator that he was “planning on supporting” him, perhaps “even doing some handing out flyers if the hip cooperates.” The declaration, believed to be tantamount to an endorsement, had the political classes buzzing as the towel jockey’s pros and cons are weighed in comparison to other entrants in the Veepstakes.

Some believe that Finklestein’s humble background would attract those hard-working Americans, white Americans, that Senator Hillary Clinton largely dominated in the Democratic primaries.

“For someone who talks about changing Washington, this would be a very exciting pick,” said James Carville, who had previously characterized an Obama-Clinton ticket as “a very exciting pick” that would “in no way destroy the Democratic Party and leave the nation a desolate post-apocalyptic wasteland.”

Another factor working in Finklestein’s favor was his breadth of experience. At 73-years old, a year older than presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, the bathroom attendant boasts an impressive resume, having lived through a World War, a Cold War, the Vietnam War and the Olive Garden-Red Lobster conflict of 1992, when the seafood chain moved in across the highway, touching off a fierce battle before the Olive Garden drove it to relocation in May, 1993.

Margaret Carlson, a journalist at Bloomberg News, agreed that Obama’s conversation with Finklestein showed that the hygiene professional was regarded by the Obama Campaign as a “top-teir contender.”

Earlier speculation for the vice-presidency had swirled around New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson after his endorsement in April, former Senator John Edwards after his endorsement in June, Senator Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, and, following a successful box-office release, The Incredible Hulk. It is also speculated that if the search drags on, a successful July 18th weekend would see Batman thrown into the mix, as well.

Wolf Blitzer, a CNN reporter and host of “The Situation Room,” was similarly effusive.

“Yeah, we were pretty sure about Richardson, Edwards, Clinton, Gore, [Nebraska Republican Senator Chuck] Hagel, [Ohio Governor Ted] Strickland, and [Virginia Senator Jim] Webb—but Finklestein? This is the guy, for sure.”

When asked whether Finklestein was under consideration for the position, the Obama campaign would neither confirm nor deny the reports.

“Arthur is a dedicated, tireless public servant,” said Obama campaign spokesman David Plouffe. “Naturally, he would be on anybody’s shortlist.”

Finklestein played down the likelihood of his selection, but refused to rule out the possibility.

“Right now I’m happy to serve the good people of Olive Garden,” he said. “I’m not seeking the vice presidency, I’m not expecting to be offered the vice presidency, but if Senator Obama thinks I’m the best candidate, then we’ll have that conversation. Until then, I’ll just go on and on about the pesto pasta and my nominally athletic grandson who scored a lucky goal last weekend in the in-town soccer league.”

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In Startling Turn, GOP Criticizes Black Man For Rejecting Federal Dollars

by Jordan Zakarin

Eschewing the tradition established by spiritual leader Ronald Reagan of fabricating demeaning stories and perpetuating racial stereotypes, the Republican Party on Thursday lashed out after a middle aged black man declined a substantial government handout.

“It’s an insult to the droves and droves of people who do accept that money, who take advantage of what the system is offering,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Mike Duncan. “What is he, too good for that money? Here we are, trying to make sure the playing field is even, no one has an advantage over anyone else, and he says ‘thanks but no thanks.’ This isn’t the America I know and love.”

Duncan was just one of many GOP leaders to hit out at the grossly unappreciative African American. One top House staffer remarked that the man could have bought “so many darn Cadillacs” with the money, but “apparently that just wasn’t enough.”

“Here we have absurdly rich white men, playing within the rules, Medicare working so well for them. And this guy goes and declines our giveaways,” the staffer continued. “We designed the system to work, and it worked so well for so long. Now, this black [sic] guy wants to actually try to get ahead, have more than what the government is offering?

“Looks like, when we get control of Congress again, we’ll have to really increase the amount that the federal government gives out, to bring them back into the system, make sure no matter how much more potential you have, you stay on the same level as everyone else.”

Perhaps most outraged by the African American’s refusal to take advantage of the government’s money was syndicated radio show host Rush Limbaugh, who had been vocal for years about his disdain for those who participated in the welfare state. Now, he concentrated his ire on the man’s willingness to actually work for every dime he earned.

“The audacity of this man, to get on the road and work every day to pay his bills and reach his dreams, it enrages me,” Limbaugh commented during his show on Thursday. “Folks, America is under siege, and those of you in a certain twenty two states that are currently polling two candidates within five points of each other in the Presidential race and have either large African American populations or voters dissatisfied with the economy, you’ll soon feel the impact of this affront to the tried and true American welfare system.”

Limbaugh became impassioned as the rant went on, continuing until he was nearly in tears. “It’s just not fair. Now guys like me are going to have to work extra hard, more than ever, to make sure those the playing field is even, thanks to those ingrates.”

McCain Accuses Obama of Having July 3rd Mindset

by Jordan Zakarin

Presumptive Republican Presidential nominee John McCain accused Democratic Rival Barack Obama of having a “July 3rd mindset” during a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, touching off a war of words between the two candidates that played out through the media.

“With all due respect, I frankly believe that Senator Obama is living in a pre-July 4th world,” McCain said. “Perhaps he does not quite grasp the gravity of what occurred on that otherwise quiet summer day in the summer of 1776, but I do, because I was there.”

Continuing his attack, the Arizona Senator said that he believed that Obama was guilty of naïvely underestimating the threat that is facing the United States. “What my opponent does not understand, is that we must remain on the offensive, ever vigilant against the unrelenting desire to destroy our democracy that drives King George’s fanatical Red Coats.”

Obama fired back at the GOP standard bearer, saying the accusations were both false and a sign of the McCain campaign’s weakness. “Let me say that, I respect John McCain’s service to his country. He displayed bravery all those years ago. But for him to accuse me of being naïve, that just smacks of desperation. He wouldn’t be attacking me if he didn’t think his record could stand on its own. We all know he’d just be a continuation of King George.”

Later in the day, McCain responded with a defense of his foreign policy and military credentials, a resume that he hopes to turn into a cornerstone of his campaign. He hammered Obama for not meeting with the top generals in charge of the Continental Army, saying he was in close contact with a number of Colonial military leaders.

“Perhaps Senator Obama does not truly understand the situation we are in because he has not taken the time to meet the heroes that are waging this war against the King’s forces,” McCain charged. “I have known Generals Washington and Morgan for years, having served with them in the French-Indian War. Horatio Gates and Lafayette are also close personal friends of mine. And I’ve visited with all of those great men on the battlefields of this war, amidst the fog of the muskets and cannons, and the bayonets breathing down our throats. So don’t tell me I don’t understand this modern day enemy.”

A short time later, McCain made his most piercing remarks, echoing President Bush’s speech in Israel last month that suggested that Obama was appeaser in the vein of Neville Chamberlain.

“My opponent likes to talk about hope, but my friends, my most sincere hope for this country is that it is not taken down from the inside by Tory loyalists and tea-tax sympathizers,” a now impassioned McCain said. He continued to hammer away at Obama, whom he called “someone who apparently believes Bunker Hill could have been avoided if we had all sat down together and ‘talked’ like nice colonists.”

“Now, for all the talking the Senator from Illinois likes to do about judgment, let me remind my fellow Americans that are unsure of the distinction between the two of us, that I was the first to go out on a limb, bucking both Federalists and Jeffersonian Democrat-Republicans, in calling for a change in strategy in the war. Now that the strategy I advocated, General George Washington’s strategic retreats through New York, is being utilized, I believe we have taken a significant turn in this war.”

Obama had the final word, at a late-night rally in Michigan, where he insisted that McCain was too entrenched in an outdated politics to make an effective commander-in-chief. “Today, we are in need of a new kind of politics, a hopeful foreign policy, and I’m afraid John McCain is stuck in the past, fighting the same old battles that Americans and British alike are ready to move on from.”

Supreme Court Reverses Gore Endorsement, Awarding it to McCain

by Jake Maccoby and Jordan Zakarin

Mere moments after formally announcing his backing for Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama in an email to supporters, former Vice President Al Gore’s endorsement was blocked and reversed by a 5-4 Supreme Court decision, handing the Nobel Prize winner’s full throated support to Republican nominee John McCain.

Writing for the majority, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that regardless of who Gore intended to support, a strict constructionist reading of his statement made it clear that, from a legal standpoint, his endorsement must be awarded to the GOP candidate.

“It is plainly obvious, by reading Section One, Clause Four of Article Two, that the framers, Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton, were firm in their resolve, that in the 2008 Presidential election, 219 years after ratification, former Vice President Gore, who the constitution also stipulated must lose the 2000 Presidential election regardless of the voters’ wishes, would be required to hand his endorsement and considerable public influence to John McCain, who was himself one of the original framers of Constitution,” Scalia wrote.

Seconds after the ruling, Charlie Black, a spokesman for the McCain campaign, said that “Senator McCain is gratified and humbled by the support of Vice President Gore, and he urges the American people to unite behind him for the good of the nation.”

Black also called any possible attempts by Gore to challenge the ruling “extremely divisive,” stating that “any type of debate or divergence would be extremely dangerous in the face of the impending election this November.”

Constitutional scholars have been abuzz since the decision was handed down, heatedly debating whether the court had the authority to overturn a personal opinion. Mercer Archwell, a fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said that he thought that the court was well within its jurisdiction to do so.

“Of course they have every right to do it,” Archwell wrote in an op-ed column that ran in Tuesday’s edition of The Wall Street Journal. “This country was founded on people telling other people what to think and say. I think that the court was simply basing its decision on the best available precedents, from the Salem Witch Trials of 1693 to the Joseph McCarthy hearings of 1954. This is just pure American tradition.”

Not so fast, said constitutional scholar Jason Derek. “This is an absolute outrage, a preposterous abuse of power that is not even endowed upon them by any document, constitution or legal doctrine otherwise. That this country now has a court that disregards the laws it is sworn to protect, it just sucks. I wish there was something we could do about it, but I guess we’ll just take it on the chin again.”

In response to Derek’s allegations, a spokesperson for the court noted that the judges had seen precedent in a 2000 case that established judicial review over all actions taken by Al Gore. The former Vice President was unavailable to comment, as aides say he was in Greenland, eating ice cream sandwiches before they all melted.

In addition to Gore, thousands of elderly Jewish residents of Florida were dismayed at the news that they had each inadvertently issued endorsements of Pat Buchanan.

Jesus Demures on Obama VP Talk

by Jordan Zakarin

The Lord Jesus Christ, during a brief appearance on Meet the Press on Sunday, was characteristically vague and coy when the topic of conversation turned to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama and his ongoing vice presidential vetting process.

When asked to address speculation that he may be on the Illinois’ Senator’s shortlist of running mates, the Christian Messiah said that he was unaware of the rapidly spreading chatter around the capital.

“Of this, I know not,” Jesus remarked, a slight smile cracking across his face as he finished his answer. “I have faith that the Senator will find what he’s looking for on this journey, if my father wills it, and Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg can run a successful search team despite her inexperience doing so.”

While Christ himself was demure about the possibility that he would end up on the ticket with Obama, some Democratic insiders insist that, regardless of what he said during the interview, the Savior was well aware of the chatter. One Democratic operative, with knowledge of the VP search, said that Jesus was hesitant to jump into the fray of this November’s election.

“He’s concerned with a number of things,” said the operative. Amongst his most prominent fears, he said, the Son of God was afraid he would be overshadowed by Obama throughout the campaign. “The guy [Obama] is hot right now, with a real massive following, and I don’t think Jesus wants to get lost in the shuffle.”

Another veteran Democratic strategist, on condition of anonymity, speculated that the perfect manifestation of the Holy Spirit was wary of the vaunted Republican attack machine. “After the whole Roman trials ordeal, which took a while for him to overcome, you can understand why he might be unsure of going toe to toe with Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge,” the strategist said.

Party officials and campaign advisers are torn on what His Holiness would bring to the ticket, with some believing he would more helpful than harmful, and others thinking Jesus Christ would be a liability for Obama.

Those advocating for Christ on the ticket note that he is a strong speaker on the stump, and reinforces Obama’s campaign theme of hope and change. In addition, he can boast a resume of experience, which can help shore up one of the main criticisms of the largely untested Illinois Senator.

Democrats wary of Obama choosing the man who died for our sins as his Vice Presidential nominee are fearful that, as an outspoken advocate of peace and understanding, Jesus Christ would be painted as way too liberal and too much of a dove by the Republicans, who will try to build an advantage in the debate on national security.

“If you listen to his speeches, the amount of welfare this guy advocates for, the kind of medical care he thinks everyone is entitled to, then with the strict anti-war stance, I don’t know who we’re kidding if we don’t think he’ll get creamed by the right wing smear machine,” said Democratic Strategist Bob Shrum.

Then there are others who are more pragmatic about what an Obama-Christ campaign would look like. “Listen, we understand that there are just certain people out there that won’t vote for us, regardless of who is on the ticket or what kind of platform we take up,” said one DNC official.

“The so-called ‘values voters’ from the South and Midwest stick out among them. What we need to do is appeal to the center, where the bulk of America is. Perhaps we’ll see soon whether or not Jesus can do that.”

Bush Vows To Liberate Europe From Monarchies

by Jordan Zakarin

At a small press conference held just before he boarded Air Force One, set to embark on his last Presidential tour of Europe, President George W. Bush on Monday vowed to “liberate the downtrodden, oppressed European people” from the oppressive reign of their powerless, ceremonial monarchs. “Power should not be hereditary, something handed down from generation to generation, just because you’re somebody’s kid,” Bush insisted.

“For thousands of years, the Euros have suffered under the terrible tyranny of these throne sitting monsters,” Bush said from the tarmac. “For too long, the United States has stood idly by as the crowns have systematically tightened their grip on the people of their respective kingdoms. Now, I hear them appeal to me for help, I will assure them that America will remain steadfast in her support to create a flourishing society on the Old Continent.”

“I mean, the Peace of Westphalia provided for a Spanish Netherlands, Bavaria and Ottoman Empire,” Bush said, as he gave examples of oppressed people. “I see Spain, and I see the Netherlands, but no Spanish Netherlands. The only thing I know about Bavaria is the chocolate, and, as for the Ottoman Empire, who knows what happened to them? They could be totally extinct right now, which would be a real tragedy.”

The President outlined his overall goals for Europe, stating that he hoped to help Europeans achieve the quality of life that people in the United States did. “To succeed,” Bush stated, “they will need to allow the free market system to take hold and create capital, with the ultimate vision of a stable currency worth at least a significant fraction of our mighty dollar. It may even be easier to set them up on some sort of continent-wide currency, given their shared borders, but that would be up to them.”

Bush also said he envisioned that one day, in the more distant horizon, at least some European countries would have public education systems that provided schooling through at least grade school free of charge, and some sort of rudimentary health care system, though he refused to comment on how much Europeans might have to pay in co-pays and deductibles. “That’s the least of their worries right now, I’m sure,” Bush said.

“It just hasn’t been part of the fabric of their society, like it has here, in America. The very minds behind democracy itself, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, were Americans. That such a radical, dramatic idea could have been hatched without the seedlings of contributions and inspiration from a previous generation of thinkers and philosophers is just darn impressive,” Bush said.

Turning his attention to individual countries, he presented his plans for each. In Britain, he said, “I know the people and the media are absolutely sick and bored with the constant attention that the Royal Family demands by decree by their so-called Queen. We will bring to them a new kind of media, one free of rumor and innuendo and smut, like we have in the United States.”

Noticing the high number of people with the surnames of Sanchez and Castillo in Spain, Bush promised that, once he forced King Juan Carlos I to abdicate, he would help push through comprehensive immigration reform to try and handle the influx of undocumented workers.

As for the Dutch, the President reserved his highest disgust for their monarchy. “What are they, Dutch? English? German? Orange? No wonder why those people are so effed up. I hope to God we don’t get a street insurgency there, that’s for sure.”

Clinton Signals Willingness to Undermine Obama’s Campaign

by Jordan Zakarin

As she prepares to concede the race for the Democratic Nomination for President, New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton has begun transmitting signals through surrogates and supporters that she would be receptive to undermining newly clinched nominee Barack Obama’s chances of winning the Presidency.

Clinton has publicly disavowed a number of letters and petitions by former supporters who want to see her in a formal position to destroy the campaign, saying that they are acting independently and that the choice belonged to Obama. However, Clinton has not been shy in saying that, if given the opportunity, she would be very interested in sabotaging Obama’s historic bid for the White House.

Despite informal, hypothetical conversations regarding Clinton’s role in a general election and beyond between aides from both camps, the two finalists for the nomination have yet to communicate beyond a congratulations phone call since Obama sealed up the six month contest on Tuesday, so it is unclear where the relationship between the two stands after a long, divisive campaign.

In a e-mail to her national mailing list on Thursday, Clinton thanked the millions who had volunteered, donated money and voted for her in the primaries and caucuses, saying that she looked forward to the next stage of the election and promising that she would continue fighting for what the issues she based her campaign around.

“From dog whistle and then latent race baiting, to accusing Obama of naivety and weakness on foreign policy; from questioning his ability to govern, to calling him an elitist who is out of touch with the majority of American citizens —  she’s still got so much to offer to this election,” said a close friend and Democratic activist who requested to remain anonymous. “She may have lost the primary, but Hillary, always so single minded and determined to fight, she can still leave a big impact on this thing.”

In an election that will feature prominent debate on both a sagging economy and a continuously more unpopular war in Iraq, Clinton’s barbs could create significant difficulty for the young Illinois Senator in his efforts to establish his credentials in both areas. As Obama hammers home his message of change on these issues, among others, Clinton could hamper those efforts significantly if given the opportunity.

“We all know that Democrats lost in 2004 because voters were apprehensive about changing strategies in the middle of a war, especially when faced with a candidate who was called an elitist and whose gravitas on national security had been challenged from the right,” said Terrence M. Oliff, a Political Science professor at SUNY Chappaqua. “Combine that with the whole alienating blacks and women thing, and she could really deliver this election. To McCain.”