Monday, April 15, 2013
Mitch and John shoot the breeze
Scene: Sunday, April 14th, 2013. A private bar in Ronald Reagan National Airport. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sits alone in a booth that looks out on the tarmac, gazing out at the planes making their approaches. Speaker of the House John Boehner enters the bar and sees McConnell sitting by himself. Boehner approaches.
Boehner: Back to work on a Sunday night, eh, Mitch? No rest for the wicked.
McConnell [still gazing out the window]: Have a seat, John.
Boehner [looking around the empty bar, then sitting]: Why not? There's nobody here to hold it against me.
[McConnell cranes his neck around to shoot Boehner a mournful look.]
Boehner: No offense, Mitch, but you're about as popular as a can of spam at a health food convention.
McConnell: Last week was a long week.
Boehner: Poor, old Mitch. The good people of Kentucky can't see how hard you work, eh? Digging up dirt on popular television actresses takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. I wouldn't want to call your constituents a bunch of ingrates, but...
McConnell: Go ahead and have your fun, John. You won't be laughing long. There's a freight train bearing down on you.
Boehner: Don't I know it? It's bearing down on all of us. I'm working under the assumption that we'll be giving campaign speeches in Spanish come 2016.
McConnell: That's not what I'm talking about, Mr. Speaker. Open your eyes. Didn't you see what happened with the gun control debate?
Boehner: I wasn't gonna bring it up, Mitch. Believe it or not, I'm not that cruel. I know you got embarrassed. Break all the rules by joining Rand Paul's filibuster only to have it blow up in your face? Fourteen fine Republican senators voted with Harry. Broke my heart to see you lose control of your caucus like that.
McConnell: Mr. Speaker, would you honor me with a favor?
Boehner: You know I worship the ground you walk on.
McConnell: When the background-check railroad hits the House floor, remember this moment. You can laugh now, but before you know it, it's going to be you up there holding hands with Wayne LaPierre. Nobody is under any illusions about the grip you have on your caucus. And, John, if things like this even matter any more, the voting public wants this to happen.You think I'm unpopular? Let's talk again in two months.
Boehner: That's the difference between me and you, Mitch. I know I'm sitting at the wheel of a clown car. You keep forgetting.
[Senator Rand Paul enters, espies the two men and approaches.]
Paul: Hey, Mitch. Some fun last week, eh? So how are we gonna top it this week? I've been toying with the idea of filibustering the immigration thing that Rubio's working on. That ought to get McCain's blood pressure up!
Boehner [chuckling]: Anyway, I've gotta go. See ya in the funny papers, Mitch.
[As Boehner walks away, Paul takes a seat across from McConnell.]
Paul: Now that I've got your ear, Mr. Leader, let me bounce a couple more ideas off of you...
[McConnell dabs at his eyes with a white linen napkin.]