Here’s the Leaked Transcript of That Obama-Hillary ‘Friendship’ Lunch
At the White House briefing immediately following the private lunch between President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday, Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked by reporters what the lunch conversation entailed. Earnest suggested the president and the presumptive front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination were just catching up, and said, “It’s largely friendship that’s on the agenda for the lunch today.”
HyperVocal’s deeply-embedded contact at the NSA was able to disclose this classified transcript. It may or may not be accurate. You decide.
POTUS: Hillary, so great to see you, my friend. Please, have a seat. Would you like a refreshing lemonade spritzer? My friends and I used to drink these when I was in school in Hawai’i. That reminds me of something Muhammad Ali once said, “Friendship… is not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
HILLARY: Ah, yes, Muhammad and I met years ago. What a true champion! So, listen, I’m close to making a decision about 2016. I need to know what you are going to do. As Oscar Wilde said, “True friends stab you in the front.” Are you my true friend, Barack?
POTUS: So you are thinking of running again. Wow. Obviously, it’s a tough job, as you’ve seen. The key is to surround yourself with people you can trust. Can you trust me? As my girl, Oprah, said, “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” That’s the truth. And The Beast does tend to break down here and there.
HILLARY: That’s funny. Can you pass the salt?
POTUS: Why? We each have or our own for some reason.
HILLARY: You know, I’m not so sure I need many more friends. Bill and I have more “friends” than we know what to do with. That said, it is nice to have a friend when times are tough. As C.S. Lewis wrote, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” And I’ve done my fair share of surviving, you know?!
POTUS: I’ve heard. So you think this Anthony Weiner case is going to hurt you? I’m not quite sure what this guy is thinking, but I know Huma is pretty close to you. There is a great volume in the Oval Office of original writings from George Washington. It is good advice that Mr. Weiner clearly didn’t follow. George (once you are President, you can call him ‘George,’ you’ll see) wrote, “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.”
HILLARY: Well, on the other hand, that’s just who Anthony is. As one of the great poets of my generation wrote, “ A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” You know who said that?
POTUS: Shel Silverstein?
HILLARY: Ha. No, it was Jim Morrison. Actually, no matter what he’s done, Bill is my friend. After all the ups and downs during his presidency, a colleague of Bill’s from Philly sent me an email with a William Penn quote, which read, “A true friend freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably.” So I decided to stick with him, and clearly it worked.
POTUS: True. It has. Although as my favorite president, Abraham Lincoln, said, “Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?” Kind of what we did when we became friends after I became the 2008 nominee.
HILLARY: Really? Had to bring that up again, eh? It’s cool. I’m mostly over it! (wink) And I’m glad we’ve become friends. This chicken is delicious. To paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, “Friendship is precious, not just in the shade, but in the sunshine…and luckily, most of life is sunshine.” What a gorgeous day, by the way?
POTUS: Yes, weather in DC can be a bit swampy. I control quite a bit, but the weather is a tough one. I’ve asked my science advisers to work on it , though. Ha. So, have you spoken to Joe?
HILLARY: I’m having breakfast tomorrow with Joe. Doing it at his house, since I thought it would be easier for him. So even if Joe does run against me, I’d like your support. As President Grant said, “The friend in my adversity I shall always cherish most. I can better trust those who helped to relieve the gloom of my dark hours than those who are so ready to enjoy with me the sunshine of my prosperity.”
POTUS: Well, Hubert Humphrey, another great Vice President, said, “The greatest gift of life is friendship, and I have received it.” Joe has been a great friend to me, so not sure I can do that to him. Although the support you and Bill have given me has been quite helpful.
HILLARY: Well, take your time. Ben Franklin had a great line. “Be slow in choosing a friend, slower in changing.” You have until just after the mid-terms next year because then it’s “go time.” Thanks for lunch. Say “hi” to the girls for me.
Or maybe it went something more like this: