Obama's Second Term: A Cabinet of Curiosities

January 23, 2013

White House, Cabinet Room

First meeting of President Obama’s new team

OBAMA: Listen up, people. I got myself across the finish line but couldn’t bring Congress along. That’s why you’re here. Except for Defense, you represent the first entirely recessed Cabinet in American history. Do me proud. Michelle?

MICHELLE: I’m the new Chief of Staff. You want to see him, you gotta get past me. Waste my time, I’ll cut your budget 10%.

OBAMA: So, let’s hear some fresh ideas. HHS?

MICHAEL MOORE: Now that the World Court has overturned the Supremes and ruled the PPACA [ObamaCare] constitutional, sir, amend the program to cover all humanity. Eventually, include lesser beings, as well. Innumerable uninsured creatures are suffering out there.

OBAMA: Easy, big guy; we’ll do it in stages. After people, we insure the remaining mammalians; then, things with legs; finally, air breathers. Treasury?

PAUL KRUGMAN: I’ve run the numbers, sir: Stimulus IV should tip the worldwide economy into depression within a year.

OBAMA: Good. That gets us closer to the one-world government mankind will demand I lead to left the–I mean, to right the ship. I’m getting bored with the Presidency, anyway. OMB?

BERNIE MADOFF: [videoconferencing from Butner Federal Correctional Complex] Paul’s overly optimistic about how long before we foment a global crash, Mr. President. Economies can be annoyingly resilient. We need a backup plan.

OBAMA: Agreed. Eric, task DOJ lawyers to discover extra-constitutional justification for footing a European bailout. We’ll call our proposal the, uh, “Bosom Allies Relief Fund.” BARF will overwhelm their systems with worthless dollars, bollixing up the euro and paralyzing trade.

RAMSEY CLARK: On it, sir, but, um . . . I’m your new AG; Holder’s been in jail since last month, after he was convicted of directing a Gunwalker conspiracy that was adjudged vast and injurious.

OBAMA: Oh, right. I’d pardon him, or at least pull him out of solitary, except . . . word is he’s writing a book. Hmmm. Ramsey, notify Holder’s warden to allow him weekly unsupervised walks in Fort Marcy Park.

KRUGMAN: Sir, Republicans will yell bloody murder when they learn you’ve BARFed.

OBAMA: Too bad. Alert Senators Snowe and Collins I’ll grant them private audiences if they agree to be bipartisan about my usurpation of Congressional power. Moving on, CIA, what’s your take on the ruble these days?

MATT DAMON: Fine choice, sir; go for quality, color, and cut. . . .

OBAMA: Never mind. How are negotiations going with al-Qaeda?

DAMON: NSA and I are close to a Gentleman’s Agreement with al-Zawaheri, Mr. President. He’ll give us nonspecific advance notice of an atrocity if we grant him U. S. citizenship and the right to appeal to the SCOTUS any decision to take him out. Proceed?

OBAMA: Yes. Which reminds me. Suppose I’m in the middle of a personal-best round and he manages to hit us? I can’t leave the course just to rally the public with insipid assurances. NSA?

SEAN PENN: Tape a general statement in the Oval Office to have on hand in case you’re busy, sir. You know, “Let me be clear; Make no mistake; They’ll be held accountable,” so forth. We’ll label it “live.”

OBAMA: Sounds good. By the way, Chico, congratulations on being adopted by Hugo Chavez. A real honor for a “gringo.”

PENN: Gracias, Excelente.

OBAMA: Now, Matt, I assume the Zawahiri deal wouldn’t preclude apprehending him should the opportunity arise. If you tried to lure him to Washington to sign off on our arrangement, would he bite?

DAMON: Very likely, sir. I recommend we equip the arresting Delta Force team with the Ripp Restraint Protective Mask system guaranteed to frustrate spitters and biters.

OBAMA: [sigh] Ramsey?

CLARK: I advise against such a provocative action, sir. We should open a dialogue with the man. He attacks us, we talk with him. He continues to kill Americans, we talk some more. He dirty bombs New York, say, we threaten to stop talking after another major event. That’s how to get his attention.

OBAMA: I’ll consider it. Transportation?

AL GORE: We need an alternative to automobiles, Mr. President. The Constitution says nothing about a “right to drive.” Phase out private ownership of vehicles by the end of your third term, when traveling by high-speed rail–whether or not it exists–becomes compulsory. We’ll get off foreign oil and save big on infrastructure.

OBAMA: Tap the Amish for additional public transport ideas. Let’s see–Defense, how do we go about standing down to demonstrate America’s not a threat to anyone?

ADAM BALDWIN: I’d sooner arm ourselves to the teeth to make everyone fear us, Mr. President.

OBAMA: Alec, this doesn’t sound like you. We can’t . . . wha? Oh Good Lord, I picked the wrong Baldwin!

MICHELLE: He’s been confirmed, Dumbo. Too late to do anything now.

OBAMA: All right. But I’ve got my eye on you, Jayne. State?

YOKO ONO: Divvy up 95% of our nukes to every terrorist country and jihadist group–throw them off balance. When everyone starts from a position of strength, we can talk about our differences openly, without fear.

OBAMA: Make it so, Sudoko. After they’ve taken receipt of the nukes, confirm they’re targeting only us, not each other. God knows, we don’t want some third world conflagration breaking out because of a misunderstanding. Homeland Security?

SHEILA JACKSON LEE: [interrupting cell phone conversation] What?

OBAMA: Um, any policy revamps, suggestions?

JACKSON LEE: In fact, yes. Given the TSA’s current emphasis on body scanning, I’m changing the agency’s name to the T&A Administration.

MICHELLE: Meeting’s over. I’m heading over to Whole Foods for some arugula. You folks better leave now to beat my motorcade, or you won’t get home before dark.

OBAMA: But honey, we’re not done with. . . .

MICHELLE: Cosmo’s coming in tomorrow to do a spread on you. No nudity. You hear me, Barack?


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