Memo to George #8
Christmas presents for Rummy, Condi, Colin,
et al—but a big bag of coal for Ari!
By Bruce Kluger and David Slavin
Date: December 20, 2001
To: The President
From: Andrew H. Card, Jr., Chief of Staff
Re: The Season of Giving
cc: Karl, Karen
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
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:
it, the cave blows up. Priceless.
JOHN ASHCROFT: Something small—like 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
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 Ari—he'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 idea—isn't it a hoot?)
ARIEL SHARON: A copy of How To Win Friends and Influence People (Arab-
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'
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.
DICK ARMEY: A gold watch in honor of his impending retirement, with the
inscription: "You'll always be the biggest Dick around." (Don't worry—Veep 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
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.