House Speaker Boehner stepped to the podium in front of an early morning, hastily called press conference. With bright stage lights glistening against his newly bronzed, tanning bed taxed, skin he wipes a slight tear from his left eye. Flanking the Speaker, standing in stark contrast to his blushed appearance, are Eric Cantor – appearing slightly obsequious – and the obligatory “press-conference-third” nondescript, expendable congressman.
“Thank you to the Washington press corps for your attention at this, what I know was a last minute press conference. You may notice a slimmer crowd today but only non-biased outlets were invited to attend. Those identified as members of the ‘liberal media’ were not admitted.”
The Fox News reporter smirked to himself, not at Speaker Boehner’s comment, nor at the field of empty chairs, but that he had finally made it to the front row.
Yeong Gi of the North Korea News Agency stood shifting his weight foot to foot, knowing with his broken English he would only comprehend portions of this speech. He bowed slightly at the Speaker pleased, simply, that his name was included on the list of “Acceptables.”
“We have some truly disturbing news for the American public this morning, I’m afraid. As you all are well aware, this administration has displayed a fervent opposition to businesses in this country. It has hamstrung them in with a historic number of new regulations aimed at strangling entrepreneurship only to justify its agenda of massive government intrusion into your everyday lives. The administration has brought the full force of the Executive Branch along with the unbridled overreach of the President’s EPA, down upon the proposed Keystone pipeline in a selfish effort to halt its construction, to kill American jobs and maintain its suppression of businesses across the country. But of late we have borne witness to the heinous extremes to which the President will go to further his anti-business agenda.
As I speak to you now this administration is wielding its international influence to perpetuate a painfully slow recovery in Europe and propagate uncertainty within the European Union to such a degree that global markets are forced to lower their expectations for the demand of oil around the world. As a result, oil and gas prices are falling across the country from their heights just a month ago. This effort by the President to manipulate the global demand for oil is in effect killing the Keystone project which would bring about an end to the US dependence on foreign oil and lower gas prices for all suffering voters… uh… American voters…. all Americans.
These efforts only serve this president’s interests to place his failed, green energy policies over and above those proven, job creating businesses such as our friends in the oil and gas industry whose sole motivation has always been to provide hard working people the sources of energy vital to maintaining the quality of life all Americans deserve.
Rest assured we will do everything within our power to put a halt to the president’s ruinous march of radicalism across the globe and ensure the American way of life.”
He pauses allowing these revelations to take effect before asking, “Now if there are any questions…”
The Fox reporter gestures eagerly hoping to be called on first. The Speaker nods recognizing him, “Thank you. What will the Republicans’ strategy be to counter the President’s efforts?”
“Thank you for that completely unexpected question.” He clears his throat, drops his head and peers into the two person audience over non-existent spectacles. “The House and Senate Republican leadership will work throughout the weekend on this issue. We will devise the most appropriate strategy against this election year, political ploy perpetrated by the president, his administration and his campaign.” Pausing for a moment he then adds with a slight grin, “Of course there will martinis served all around.” Reminiscent, knowing chuckles meander among the three politicians.
While the Fox News reporter absorbed the Speaker’s response, nodding dutifully Yeong raises a queried hand. The press-conference-third places a hand on the Speaker’s shoulder indicating Yeong’s request for attention. “Uh, yes, Mr. Ki, is it?”
With a slight bow of his head, “Gi, if you will Mr. Congressional Speaker.” Boehner gives an indifferent nod and begs Yeong to go on. “Mr. Congressional Speaker, should I make two point. Unless I am mistakened Canada is foreign supply of oil for US, yes?”
The Speaker interjects before Yeong can continue with his second point. “Yes, yes they are a foreign country but they are a foreign country at our doorstep that we are close friends with. Isn’t it better to have a friend as a supplier of such a precious resource…..”, he drops his head whispering to himself yet still into the microphone, “…precious.” His counterparts behind him allow sidelong glances to pass between one another.
Realizing that was indeed said out loud he gathers his faculties, the distant gaze his eyes had fallen into slips away and his attention focuses once more upon the foreign newsman. He clears his throat, “And should we not pursue a solidification of our friendship with Canada to allow their preci… ’em ’em… crude oil to flow into the US to benefit American consumers?”
“Yes, of course but if you please…” as slight quiver in his voice, “Is the US not as now Canada’s largest exporter of their oil? With many pipelines entering America already?
Boehner turns to Cantor covering the microphone, “I thought you said North Koreans don’t question anything their government says.”
He shrugs, “Maybe that’s just with their government.”
The Fox News reporter tilts his head towards Yeong and whispers through a pasted grin, “What are you doing?”
The Speaker rolls his eyes and returns his attention to the front row, “Mr. Ki, as a visitor to our country, you may not be aware the role oil plays in the US economy. It’s the fuel for the engine of progress. You don’t realize the wealth it brings to our donors…uh voters, the wealth and progress development of such resources brings to hard working Americans. You see, as Americans we need all this energy to properly maintain our quality of life that we have grown to expect. Our supporters demand such luxuries and…”
Cantor steps forward and whispers in his ear, “Off script, sir. Off script.”
“Yes, yes…you have truth, Mr. Congressional Speaker but am I correct if I say United States exporting more oil than it uses? If more comes in where would it go?”
Speaker Boehner sighs,“Mr. Ki, thank you for your questions but I am afraid we scheduled only a short amount of time for this press conference and we will not be able to fully address you points. Please feel free to contact my office for a detailed, pre-approved, previously prepared statement.”
Boehner steps down from the podium as he hands his speech notes to the obligatory third who, following too close to his superior’s rear flank, abruptly trips over the Speaker’s fleeing heels. The notes, sent loose in an effort to contain his own balance, slide to a rest at the feet of Yeong Gi. He graciously bows to retrieve them for the embarrassed third. Catching a quick, unintended glance at the bottom of one page before they are snatched away by the junior congressman trying to regain some dignity, Yoeng notes one line of text in particular.
He scribbles in his notepad, once the congressional officials left the room and after the Fox News reporter trained upon him a parting look of hurtful betrayal,
“Thoughtfully prepared by Exxon-Mobile speech-writing service”
He taps his pen on his pad, drops them both in his shirt pocket and ambles past the empty chairs, noting the unattended, tripod-mounted news camera along the back wall, Fox News emblazoned on its side. As he steps out of the room and the door’s heavy metal thunk echoes through the sterile, white corridor he realizes he will never be included on the list of “Acceptables” again.