Memo to George #1
Your schedule, Mr. President: Tuesday, a road trip to Alaska!
(And ix-nay on the Exxon Valdez jokes.)
By Bruce Kluger and David Slavin
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
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."?
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
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
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
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.