Nov. 1, 2008
Voice: Senator Obama, there’s a Mr. Street on the phone. A Mr. Walter Street.
BO: Sounds familiar. Must be one of my donors. Put him on.
WS: Congratulations on your victory, Mr. President.
BO: Well, I didn’t win yet.
WS: Sure you did. We made certain of it. Now, I’m calling with your instructions.
BO: Instructions? What are you talking about?
WS: Summers and Geithner. They’re the guys you want on your economic team.
BO: Larry Summers? One of the architects of the financial crisis? You’ve got to be kidding! And Geithner? Wall Street’s lapdog from the New York fed?
WS: Exactly, Mr. President. They’re the guys you want.
BO: You can’t tell me what to do. Can you?
WS: Do you know who this is?
BO: Walter Street? I was a law professor, you know. So what’s your real name?
WS: That doesn’t matter. I’m a lobbyist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. You should know by now that if you don’t do what we say, we’ll pull the plug on the economy.
BO: Can I at least have Rahm Emanuel?
WS: For now, but we have plans for Rahm. He’s gonna be mayor of Chicago. After him, Bill Daley’s gonna be your chief of staff.
BO: Another Wall Street shill!?
WS: (long pause). You still don’t know who this is?
BO: Of course I know you, Walter. And did I thank you for the generous donation?
WS: So we’re clear then: Do our bidding, or else. No jail time for any bankers. Bernie Madoff is our sacrificial lamb. He’s keeping the public’s attention off the real ponzi scheme — derivatives, credit default swaps, mortgage backed securities — the great shell game. It’s all that’s left of the U.S. economy, you know. Without us, it’s doomed.
BO: So what’s in it for me?
WS: We’ll use our media wing to convince the public that you’re a Manchurian Candidate, a pinko who was born in Kenya and created by Soros and Buffett. Kinda like we did for Clinton.
BO: Like I said, what’s in it for me?
WS: That’ll keep the lefties off your back, and you might get a second term. But remember, if you tell anyone about us, even one person, it’s over. Economy collapses. One-term president. Did you see “The Adjustment Bureau”?
WS: Oh, never mind. We haven’t released it yet.
BO: One thing I won’t do: Extend Bush’s tax cuts for the top 2 percent.
WS: You can say that all you want. In the end, you’ll make a deal.
BO: (long pause). So I can’t even tell Michelle?
WS: Your wife? She already knows. She’s on the other line.
MO: Hi, honey.
BO: Oh, hi, babe. What’s for lunch? I’m starving.
MO: It’s your turn to cook. I recommend spinach.
Brett Larson is the editor of the Messenger.