I WAS kinda hoping that things would be calming down ahead of the summer vacation – a nice wind-down followed by photos of me with Michelle on the White House lawn ahead of a week or two chillin’ down at Camp David. Boy, was I wrong. There I am in the Oval Office, feeling relieved that I don’t need to feign interest in soccer any more, when the whole Gaza thing pretty much blows the roof off, followed by MH17. Just as I’m wondering what crisis we’re going to lurch into next, there’s a knock on the door.
“Yeah, what is it?” “Ed’s here, sir?” “Ed who?” “Ed Miliband, the leader of the British Opposition. We have an hour scheduled”.
Clearly I didn’t have an hour but I told them we’d do a 25 minute brush-by. He wanted to talk about Ukraine, Gaza, the world economy, even Scotland. “C’mon David,” I said. “We don’t have time for everything today. If you win the election, we can chew the fat – maybe have a big corned beef sandwich at Katz’s Deli. I think it’s kosher there.”
“Er, actually it’s Ed. David’s my brother and I’m not really kosher. Bacon sandwiches are more my thing, although I’ve been told not to eat them in public any more.”
“Oh yeah, sorry, of course it’s Ed. How is David, you guys hooking up later?” “No.” Awkward silence followed by another one when Ed mentioned the Special Relationship. I had no idea what he was talking about. I checked with my aides after the meeting and they said the US and and England used to have one of those way back when, but we don’t now.
That diversion over I was able to get back to work. Secretary of State Kerry reported back on what those Hamas clowns were saying. According to them, the rockets fired into Israel are actually being launched by the Israelis against themselves “to give Hamas a bad name”. He asked them about the tunnels. Apparently these are “naturally occurring”. He also said that Bibi wants to talk. My heart sank a little. Bibi always seems like the kind of guy that I could get on with. But then about half an hour after every conversation I realise he’s done a number on me again.
Then of course there is Putin to deal with. I give him a quick call to see if we can’t resolve a few matters arising from the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner. “Those crazy rebels have nothing to do with Moscow – they are mad. Please, please, no more sanctions, Russian economy is in a mess, I do anything you want, boss…. everything except acknowledge right to self determination of pirate Ukraine state. You get me? Anyway when all this mess is over you must come round to dacha, drink more vodka yes?”
On reflection, I think I’d prefer a bacon sandwich with Ed. *As imagined by Simon Round
We could chew the fat in Katz’s Deli, I told him