This afternoon, President Obama invited his defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney to a friendly, private discussion over lunch at the White House. It’s a gracious move by Obama. (There’s no rule that presidents have to do this after a re-election. Mondale: Dissed. Kerry: Dissed. General George McClellan: So dissed!) And yet, still, why? Everyone knows that if the white-hot hatred that flows between these two cats could be converted into pure energy, we’d be off foreign oil forever.
This could get real awkward. How awkward? This is how we’re imagining the conversation going:
ROMNEY: So, this is it, huh? The Oval Office? Seems kind of . . . small.
OBAMA: We make the best of it. [Pause] So, you really ordered up fireworks on election night, huh?
ROMNEY: Yeah. Something like that. [Pause] Where did you even find all those people? It’s like you had NASA labs cloning Obama voters for the last four years.
OBAMA: Something like that.
ROMNEY: Mmmh. [Eyes drift to bust of Martin Luther King Jr. on table] So, um, any sporting competitions on the television we can talk about? That’s what you do for fun, right?
OBAMA: It’s noon on a Thursday, Mitt.
ROMNEY: Quite so! [Three seconds pass] Oh, you’re saying . . . never mind. I get it.
OBAMA: Anyway, fiscal cliff . . . thoughts?
OBAMA: [Sighs] So, for real . . . Boehner’s a bit of a douche, isn’t he?
ROMNEY: That’s slang, right? Paul Ryan tried to teach me how to high-five. I hit his wife with my forearm.
OBAMA: Um, cool. So, hey, Joe Biden’s going to be here in a minute and a half to say some crazy stuff and take off the pressure a bit. Maybe we can just relax till then, what do you say?
ROMNEY: You mean, like, chill? I know that one. Tagg used that once when one of the help was slow in bringing foam armor suits for the Romney family’s yearly Father-Son Test of Wills.
OBAMA: The help?
ROMNEY: Yeah, you know. [Talking fast] The people who bring you the things you can’t reach. They’re really helpful! That’s why they’re the help. [Hearty chuckle]
OBAMA: Uh . . . Ah, there he is! Joe! [Visibly relieved] What a surprise! Come on in, buddy!
BIDEN: [Carrying a large platter and shouting] I brought snacks! Who wants nachos?
ROMNEY: You . . . prepared this in the kitchen and carried it here yourself?
BIDEN: Aw yeah, buddy!
ROMNEY: I just . . . This is all so new to me.
OBAMA: [Shakes his head slowly]