What the GOP Really Wants

Imagining President Obama’s lunch with the Republicans.
Stephanie Davidson/Bloomberg

“In the afternoon, the President and the Vice President will host the bipartisan, bicameral leadership of Congress for a lunch meeting at the White House.”

—White House Daily Guidance for Nov. 7, 2014

 12:30 p.m. The Oval Office. 

Chief of staff Denis McDonough: Sir, the Republicans are here.

President Barack Obama: How wonderful! What’s the occasion?

McDonough: You invited them over, just before the midterm election.

Obama: Oh right, the midterms. How’d we do?

McDonough: In the midterms? Three days ago? It’s been all over the news.

Obama: Jeez, sorry, Mom. I’ve been a little busy being president. It’s not all fun and games and campaigns and watching cable news, you know. There are real things going on.

McDonough: Of course. I meant no disrespect. But it didn’t go well. The Republicans picked up seven seats in the Senate—

Obama: Hey, do we have a number for Michael Jordan? I’ve been trying to get in touch with him for days but he won’t respond to my Facebook messages.

McDonough: Should I let the Republicans in now?

Obama: Yeah—but tell M.J. I want to hit the links soon. 

12:40 p.m. The Old Family Dining Room. The Republicans enter.

Obama: Guys! First of all, congratulations. I remember what it’s like to be a senator in the majority. You guys are gonna have a blast.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: Cut the crap, Obama.

House Speaker John Boehner: Yeah, we’re sick of it. It’s our time now. Time to get serious.

Obama: Whoa, whoa. Guys, I’m just being nice. I even stayed out of the midterms as much as I could. We’re friends!

McConnell: Friends? Listen up pal, things are about to change in this town. The people want change. We have demands. And they’re non-negotiable.

Obama: All right, that’s fair. Well, let’s talk about it. What do you want?

McConnell: First, let’s talk parking spaces.

Obama: Excuse me?

McConnell: Since 2008 you’ve held the best parking spot in town. I want it.

Obama: You don’t mean…

McConnell: I do. The executive spot at PMI, 1100 Connecticut Ave.

Obama: I can’t give that up! It took me months to get that spot. Direct elevator access!

McConnell: Non. Negotiable.

Obama: Fine. Take the damn parking spot. I’ll park on the street.

McConnell: Good. Second: No more tuna salad sandwiches in the congressional cafeteria.

Obama: Come on. I go to the Hill a lot for meetings and that’s the only thing I can look forward to afterward!

McConnell: Get rid of them.

Obama: What am I gonna eat after my meetings?

McConnell: Maybe you should have thought of that before you lost the Senate majority. Besides, Joni Ernst will be here in a few months. We’ll have plenty of pork sandwiches.

Obama: Ugh. Boehner, are you seriously letting him do this? That’s my special sandwich! They make it just for me!

Boehner: No tuna.

McConnell: And while we’re talking about food, there are two words we never want to hear again.

Boehner: Let’s. Move.

McConnell: Third: Casual Friday is over.

Obama: What? That’s not even for me. That’s for Joe. Let him keep that one.

Vice President Joe Biden: You mean this is the last time I can wear this Green Day Pop Disaster Tour 2002 shirt?

McConnell: Throw it out.

Boehner: We told you we were serious.

Obama: This is all Kay Hagan’s fault.

Biden: Well, and Mark Pryor.

Obama: And Michelle Nunn.

Biden: Ohhh, I forgot about her.

Boehner: And Mark Udall.

McConnell: John, stay focused. Fourth: We’re repealing Obamacare.

Obama: Fine.

Biden: Fine.

McConnell: Finally, one more thing. Next time we go golfing together, we choose the teams.

Obama: This is shaping up to be the worst part of my presidency.

Boehner: Speaking of which, how’s 18 holes sound for tomorrow afternoon? I’ll ask M.J. if he wants to come.

Obama: Wait, you have Jordan’s number?

Boehner: Yeah, of course. I call him for my team though.

Obama: You know what? I’m OK with that.

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