Humor Essay By Matt Negrin:
This is not the way Mitt Romney wanted to walk into the White House, but at least he gets a free lunch out of it. President Obama is treating the former presidential candidate to a midday meal in his private dining room today, and absolutely no press will be allowed, because that would just be too much fun.
So we're left to imagine what the onetime nemeses will discuss while munching on whatever they're munching on. While we're at it, here's the screenplay.
12:30 p.m. The Oval Office.
Jack Lew: Sir, Governor Romney is here.
Barack Obama: Who?
Lew: Mitt Romney. You're having lunch with him today.
Obama: What? Why? Who scheduled that?
Lew: You did, Mr. President. In your victory speech. Reaching out, etcetera. Jay Carney told the press you are really looking forward to it.
Obama: But I'm so busy. The Middle East, Susan Rice, the fiscal cliff -
Lew: The fiscal cliff, sir?
Obama: OK, that one wasn't a real excuse, but the other two count.
Lew: Should I tell Governor Romney to try again tomorrow?
Obama: Yeah. Wait - that would look bad. No, tell him to wait in the private dining room until I get there. I need to finish this Words With Friends game with Hillary. What the hell am I supposed to do with five vowels?
1:15 p.m. The Private Dining Room.
Obama: Mitt! Sorry to keep you for so long. You know, this fiscal cliff thing.
Mitt Romney: Mr. President, of course, I understand. Nice to see you. (Offers hand to shake.)
Obama: Uhh, hah, sure. (Shakes hand.)
Romney: Something wrong?
Obama: It's just that you were kind of a jerk during the whole campaign, and now you're being all nice.
Romney: Well, you know, politics is politics. So what's for lunch?
Obama: Hm? Oh, right. What do you want? What do they eat up in Massachusetts? Or Michigan, is that your home state? I always forget. Doesn't matter - I won them both.
Obama: Mitt! I'm kidding. But I did.
Romney: I've heard a lot about the cheeseburgers here. What do you say?
Obama: Grade A beef - 47 percent fat!
Romney: I - OK, I deserved that one.
Obama: I'll order it now. Consider it my gift to you.
Romney: OK, that's enough.
Obama: In all seriousness though, Mitt - can I call you Mitt? - I'm going to need some help in my second term winning over Republicans. And I could use a smart guy like you in my Cabinet.
Romney: Are you serious?
Obama: No! My god, it's like playing peek-a-boo with an infant.
Romney: I - well, I'm busy anyway.
Obama: Oh yeah? Building more car elevators? No wait I have a better one - training more dancing horses to lose in the Olympics?
Romney: Hey, about those burgers, do you need to order them, or, how does that work?
Obama: They're on the way. This room is wiretapped. They heard us.
Romney: That's kind of alarming.
Obama: Yeah, well, you can't really trust anyone these days. Look at David Petraeus. I can't believe I didn't see that coming. Did you know that not a month ago he was in this very room with Paula Broadwell? In the very chair you're sitting in now!
Romney: What?! (Shifts uncomfortably in seat.)
Obama: Anyway. Enough about that. Let's talk business - do you and Paul Ryan have any good ideas for this fiscal cliff thing?
Romney: Actually, yes. Did you know that all the income tax -
Obama: Booooring. Hey did you know that I won the Powerball jackpot last night?
Obama: Yeah. But I'm not gonna tell anyone. Probably won't even cash the ticket.
Romney: Why not?
Obama: Because I'm the president! I don't need money! I have everything!
(A staff member walks in carrying two silver plates with cheeseburgers and fries.)
Obama: Thank you Arne Duncan!
Duncan: Yes, sir.
Obama: Off with you now!
Duncan: Yes, sir.
Obama: How's your burger, governor?
Romney: It's actually very good - hey, why is it in the shape of Big Bird?
Obama: Ha! I thought you would like that.
(Obama's phone buzzes.)
Obama: Excuse me, one second.
Romney: Of course. I understand the responsibilities of the president.
(Looks at phone for a minute, then looks up.)
Obama: Say, do you know a seven-letter word with four A's in it?