brucekluger.com

    Salon.com, December 20, 2001

    Memo to George #8
    Christmas presents for Rummy, Condi, Colin,
    et albut a big bag of coal for Ari!

    By Bruce Kluger and David Slavin


    INTEROFFICE MEMO

    Date: December 20, 2001
    To: The President
    From: Andrew H. Card, Jr., Chief of Staff
    Re: The Season of Giving
    cc: Karl, Karen

    Mr. President:

    Ho-ho-howdy, Santa-in-Chief. As you know, every
    year at this time it's a White House tradition to
    begin doling out Christmas goodies to friends of the
    Presidency. Unfortunately, the storage closet at the 1600 souvenir shop is woefully
    understocked: In fact, all that's left from your direct predecessor is a blanket from
    The Black Dog and a stack of Whitman's Leaves of Grass. But all for the better. I
    say we take a powder on the "official" stocking stuffers this year, and show off your
    rascally sense of fun by spiking the Administrative egg nog with a few gag gifts. I
    mean, it's not like we're going to put plastic poo on Ted Kennedy's mouse pad
    (Karen: Can we?), but maybe a few of these will tickle your Yuletide fancy:

    RUMMY: A snow globe with a Tora Bora cave inside. The catch? When you shake
    it, the cave blows up. Priceless.

    JOHN ASHCROFT: Something smalllike whatever's left of the First Amendment.

    GEN. COLIN POWELL: Christmas balls.

    GALE NORTON: A power drill (The ArcticBlaster model.)

    DICK: Specially recorded for the Vice President: A CD of Andy Williams singing "I'll
    Be [at a secure undisclosed location] For Christmas."

    CONDI: (Still up in the air. No one knows what the hell you get someone for
    Kwanzaa. Karen: make some calls. If J.C. Watts doesn't know, bite the bullet and
    ask Jesse.)

    ALAN GREENSPAN: A bag of those chocolate Hanukkah coins. It's a little late, but
    so were his rate cuts. (Any leftovers we give to Arihe's been pissy ever since the
    tree went up. Xmas envy, perhaps?)

    VLADIMIR PUTIN: An official Department of Defense umbrella with a logo that
    reads: "Lil' Shield-ski." (Wolfie's ideaisn't it a hoot?)

    ARIEL SHARON: A copy of How To Win Friends and Influence People (Arab-
    language edition).

    YASIR ARAFAT: Same thing.

    HAMID KARZAI: For the embattled interim president of Afghanistan, the one thing
    every leader needs to defend his election from hostile forces: Katherine Harris'
    phone number.

    SADDAM HUSSEIN: An autographed picture of you and your dad. Both smiling.
    Inscription: "We know if you've been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.
    Schmuck."

    DICK ARMEY: A gold watch in honor of his impending retirement, with the
    inscription: "You'll always be the biggest Dick around." (Don't worryVeep OK'd it.)

    TOM DASCHLE: A Christmas card from the fourth grade class at the Greendale
    School in Franklin Park, N.J. (We'll get Karen's kid to address it. Karen: Can we?)

    STROM THURMOND: The Clapper.

    BARNEY FRANK: Fruitcake.

    THE FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Just a thank-you note for its "unbiased coverage."
    We'll pin it to a slab of red meat. O'Reilly will howl.

    CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: A burka-parka from L.L. Bean.

    ASHLEIGH BANFIELD: A burka-bustier from Victoria's Secret.

    ANDREW SULLIVAN: A portrait of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. But we'll give
    him a brown nose.

    ELIZABETH & BOB DOLE: For Liddy: help with her upcoming election. For Bob:
    help with his ongoing erection. (Karen: Can you?)

    HILLARY CLINTON & CHUCK SCHUMER: The rest of their $20 billion bailout. In
    Enron stock.

    MAYOR GIULIANI: A hand-painted nativity scene, with "Baby Rudy" in the basket.
    (We'll make Pataki a donkey.)

    BILL CLINTON: Jumbo postcard of the White House, inscribed: "(Bet You) Wish
    You Were Here."

    AL GORE: Ditto. And we'll throw in a basket of Harry & David grapes. Extra sour.

    OSAMA: Mistletoe. As in "cruise missile-toe." To all a good night, loser.

    Call me.

    Andy