Your schedule, Mr. President

Tuesday: ROAD TRIP!!! to Alaska -- and ix-nay on the Exxon Valdez jokes.

Published June 8, 2001 8:00AM (EDT)


Date: Sunday, June 10, 2001
To: The President
From: Andrew H. Card Jr., Chief of Staff
Re: Schedule Changes
cc: Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, Ari Fleischer

Mr. President:

Due to recent developments in the Senate (that thing I told you about with the guy from Vermont), the vice president has asked us to make some revisions in your schedule for this week. Dick feels that with the 50-49-1 mess in the Senate (we'll go over the math again later), we need some serious face time with the other side. I've taken the liberty of setting up some must-sees for you. Here's the rundown:

Monday 11 a.m.: 10-minute photo op with Sarah Brady and her Handgun Control posse. (You can hug her if she seems receptive, but do not under any circumstances give the "fake gun" greeting to anyone.) The meeting shouldn't conflict with your workout/lunch with the NRA, so not to worry. Still waiting on Chuck Heston's availability, though.

3 p.m.: I know we're loading you up, but Joe Biden (Senator, Del., new Foreign Relations chair) is anxious to speak with you about the state of the world. (We'll give him 20 mins.) The skinny: Can't talk about: China, Russia, the Middle East, Nepal, Africa (anything west of the Seychelles), the Balkans, Cuba. Can talk about: Mexico. If he presses, toss in Australia. (Did you see "Crocodile Dundee in L.A."? Hilarious!)

Tuesday 3:15 p.m.: After your nap, a 15-minute meet-and-greet in the East Room with Pat Leahy, senator from Vermont. (Not the one we're mad at -- different guy.) He's important for our judicial nominations, so be extra nice. (Not really a hugger, but you can try the fake-punches-to-the-belly thing.) We'll be having ice cream. Ben and Jerry's. If you need an icebreaker, point out that they're from Vermont, too. FYI: Jesse Jackson may drop by at 4-ish for a howdy. If so, do not say "How's the family?"

Wednesday ROAD TRIP! We're going to Alaska. (Relax -- it's just for the day, no sleepover.) Still trying to get a photo op at the pipeline with some Sierra Clubbers. Could be tough. Remember: They don't like our idea of drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, so ix-nay on the Exxon Valdez jokes. Karen's working on rounding up some Eskimo kids to dress up in bear costumes and dance around the pipeline. Throw the reporters a bone -- nothing serious, just a clever line or two (e.g.: "I can't bear to see all this oil go to waste," "How 'bout them Cubs?" etc.) Work your magic.

Thursday 9:30 a.m.: I know it's early, but the veep says this is important: Joe Lieberman (senator, Conn.) is coming for breakfast. Bagels and "shmears" (starts like "schmooze," sounds like "beers"). You remember Joe from the campaign. Wife's name is Hadassah (hah-DAH-sah). Joe'll be overseeing the committee that smokes out WH corruption, scandals, etc. Be super nice. Ari says Jews are definitely huggers, so hug, hug, hug. Possible jumping-off points: "Seinfeld," "Chicken Soup for the Soul," Jewish people you knew from Kennebunkport and Texas. On second thought, stick to "Seinfeld."

P.S. This breakfast thing will run over into your meeting with Senator Chafee of Rhode Island. Forget all that "he's next to go" stuff -- Karl says we can put him off.

Friday The good news: Camp David, as usual. The bad: We don't leave until 1 p.m. Turns out we had to squeeze in a nooner with Barney Frank. (Yes, he'll hug -- don't freak out.) Barney's still boo-hooing about our snub of Gay Pride Month, but the Log Cabin boys tell me you can unknot his knickers in a New York minute. Just tell him we can score him a pair of "The Full Monty" tix (Karen: Can we?) and that, in your opinion, "Judy Garland's '67 concert at the Palace remains a classic." Use those words.

Saturday/Sunday Your payoff for a hard week. Tentative Camp D. lineup: Potluck pigout (no quiche again, I promise); horseshoes with Hatch, dove-hunting with Dad (take that, PETA!) and, of course, Saturday night's biggie: the Battleship Championship with McCain. Just to remind you, the score stands at 3-3. But please, Mr. President -- and I cannot stress this strongly enough -- you've got to let him win. Your country's depending on you.

Call me.

By Bruce Kluger

Bruce Kluger is a columnist for Us Weekly magazine.

MORE FROM Bruce Kluger

By David Slavin

David Slavin is an actor and voice-over artist.

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