Eggnog and Rummy

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

Inside the Belt­way is pleased once again this hol­i­day sea­son to present the an­nual White House “base­ment” Christ­mas poem. It was penned this year by Salem Ra­dio’s es­teemed White House correspondent, Greg Clugston, who re­cited it at the in­vi­ta­tiononly base­ment Christ­mas party.

(As a young man cov­er­ing Pres­i­dent Rea­gan in 1984 and 1985, this colum­nist was priv­i­leged to have worked along­side a dis­tin­guished group of re­porters in the White House base­ment, as ap­pren­tice to the now-de­ceased great White House correspondent Jeremiah A. O’Leary.)

White House spokesman Tony Snow was among those on hand for Mr. Clugston’s read­ing of “ ‘Twas the Night Be­fore Christ­mas: 2006 White House Press Base­ment Ver­sion.” With­out fur­ther ado:

“ ‘Twas the night be­fore Christ­mas and at Jack­son Place,

Not a crea­ture was stir­ring in the press brief­ing space.

Stock­ings were hung in the White House with care,

In hopes Iraq ‘magic bul­lets’ soon would be there.

The pres­i­dent was asleep, all snug in his bed,

While vi­sions of midterm elec­tions danced in his head.

Rove pre­dicted num­bers that were good and dandy,

As he treated re­porters to trays of fine candy.

Bush raised lots of money out on the road stumpin’,

But Iraq paved the way for a Demo­cratic thumpin.’

The House and the Se­nate — both cham­bers were lost,

‘Stay­ing the course’ came at a cost.

How could this be? GOP hopes were dashed,

Even with Tony Snow out rais­ing cash.

Los­ing the elec­tions sure did feel crummy,

But that was re­solved by fir­ing Rummy.

All of a sud­den there arose such a clat­ter,

Dubya jumped up to see what was the mat­ter.

Out on the lawn stood some­one he could not ne­glect;

It was Nancy Pelosi — the new speaker-elect.

With a shift in power, Congress won’t be the same —

And she turned to her col­leagues, call­ing them by name:

‘Now Hoyer! Now Reid! Now Bi­den and Kennedy!

‘On Schumer! On Durbin! On Murtha and Leahy!

‘To the top of the com­mit­tees, to the top of them all,

‘Let’s stop the eaves­drop­ping on ev­ery phone call,

‘Rais­ing min­i­mum wage is a bill we will pass,

‘We’ll tar­get tax cuts at the mid- dle class.

‘Im­peach­ment, how­ever, strictly “off the ta­ble.”

‘But we’ll probe the White House when­ever we’re able.’

Dubya was ready for the bruises and scrapes,

Even help­ing Pelosi pick out new drapes.

Op­po­si­tion pos­tur­ing didn’t phase Bush one bit,

He’ll just send Democrats on a Cheney hunt­ing trip.

The new ma­jor­ity will sure cause him grief,

But he will re­mind them who’s com­man­der in chief.

A ‘new way for­ward’ in Iraq he will steer,

But don’t ex­pect de­tails un­til early next year.

And I heard him ex­claim as his smile grew wider:

‘Merry Christ­mas to all! I’m the de­cider.’ ”

In a par­ody of “ ‘Twas the Night Be­fore Christ­mas,” Pres­i­dent Bush helps House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi “pick out new drapes.”

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