On Sunday, the White House sent new Chief of Staff Bill Daley out to do Meet the Press for the first time since Mayor Rahm bounced from the post to run Chicago. Daley’s performance was so fun that we thought we would translate a few of his answers out of politics and into English.
* * *
On Speaker Boehner: “The last thing I’d ever do is speculate about the Speaker’s ability to control his caucus (I am about to speculate about the Speaker’s ability to control his own caucus). My sense is — and I have great admiration for him (I really love him, specifically because I don’t think he has control over his caucus) — I think there’s no question that (it is highly unlikely that) he understands that, as Speaker, he not only speaks for his party, he leads the House of Representatives. They and the Senate have to get together and agree on a budget, or this government doesn’t fund itself, and we look ridiculous (we will blame this all on Boehner. So what I’m saying is that Boehner will look ridiculous)… If anyone thinks that out of this last election, the American people were voting for more partisanship, more saying ‘no’, they’re going to have a rude awakening in the next election (we are big fans of the current House Republicans. We think they are going to score us four more years!)“
On Ambassador Huntsman: ‘His support of the Obama administration, his support of the president, the things he did on behalf of this administration, and the closeness in which he worked with the President is much appreciated (Michelle Bachmann and the Tea Party People! You should read about this guy on Wikipedia! He is SUCH a RINO! He is President Obama’s boy! The President just loves and respects him so much!)…and I’m sure we’ll talk about that in the primaries. (Because we know that the quickest way to eradicate any chance this Huntsman fellow has of winning the nomination is to make sure everyone knows that he is the President’s friend….also, did I mention that he is a Mormon?)
On a “No Fly Zone” for Libya: Well, you know, lots of people throw around phrases of “no-fly zone,” and they talk about it as though it’s just a game on a video game or something and some people who throw, throw that line out have no idea what they’re talking about. (I hate Fox News. These fools that keep carping about “no fly zones” are windbags who don’t have the slightest idea what the hell they are talking about. Don’t you think if this problem could easily be solved by some magic “no fly zone,” we’d be doing it? This isn’t Star Fox for Nintendo 64. This is real. Why the hell did I take this job? What was I thinking? )
On “Leading the Way” with Libya: It is in our interest…. there should be no violence in these changes that are going on in the Middle East. You have to protect the basic human rights (and stabilize oil prices). And at the end, there has to be a process, both political and economic, for the people in these countries to have some opportunity of real change in their government. (Look, Gregory: what do you want from me? If I say that we are committed to securing human rights, the neocons will start banging the drums of war and the anti-war left will start supporting another candidate. The budget busters will start yelling about how we can’t afford a war. The neo-liberals will start lobbying us to talk to the UN more. Meanwhile, the price of oil will just keep going up and up and no one will vote for us in the middle. So just shut up….next question.)
On President Karzai’s Complaints about Civilian Casualties: Well, well, President Obama spoke with President Karzai recently (He told him to shut his mouth or else we were going to defund his security detail). No question we’ve–we feel terrible about–and, and not only the general, the president has stated his sorrow over this tragedy that occurred. Obviously, these are difficult actions when you’re in the middle of a war. (“President” Karzai knows we are busting our asses to try to avoid civilian casualties because it undermines our efforts. So, it would be great if Hamid could stop calling press conferences every time it happens.)
Follow Jeb on twitter @JGolinkin