Barak Obama – Rahm, when am I supposed to meet Putin in Moscow?
Chief of Staff – on the 23rd.
BO – then, why should I leave on the 20th?
CoS – because we stop in Europe.
BO – why? Cannot AirForce1 fly all the way to Moscow?
CoS – of course it can, but American Presidents always meet their European allies before going to Moscow.
BO – all of them? In Pittsburgh they all spoke for twenty minutes to say the same things. If they gave me one soldier for every word, it would keep McCrystal happy for one year.
CoS – the list would include Berlusconi, Sarkozy, Brown, Merkel and Barroso. You can make it in two days.
BO – no way. Berlusconi wants to kiss Michelle and he upsets her. Barroso only wants a picture, we can send him one from here….
CoS – ok. We can skip them, but you should do the other three.
BO – Brown is so depressed that he makes me feel that I will lose in 2012. Sarkozy jumps all the time and Michelle thinks I go to Paris to see his wife. Let’s do Merkel; she is the only one who makes sense. Hillary can do the others when she has finished with the Middle East.
CoS – impossible. The other two are in the Security Council and were our allies in the war against Germany.
BO – which war?
CoS – World War II.
BO – but that that was several wars ago. You and I weren’t even born.
CoS – Mr. President, I tell you it can’t be done.
BO – then let the others come to Berlin.
CoS – that would be even worse.
BO – Rahm, in that case we fly direct to Moscow: and the hell with them. But send Carla some flowers and invite Markel to Camp David.