Every Dad in America knows the embarrassment of doing or saying something that turns out to be foolish and suffering an explosion of laughter from Mom and the kids. That’s because being the center of authority has its hazards and one hazard is that your inevitable pratfalls are somehow funnier than everyone else’s. Face it. Falling, and flailing all the way, from a great height into mud can be the funniest thing in the world.
But you roll with it, right? After that moment of chagrin, you laugh along with the family. It may seem paradoxical but the best way to lose respect (and look even more preposterous) is to fail to recognize just how ridiculous you can be sometimes.
Now if you want really first class comedy, meaning buffoonery raised to the masterful level, I recommend that you find yourself a zealot. There is nothing like stone-faced seriousness to bring out the really ridiculous in a situation. I speak of course of moments in our political history that have been brought to us by our opposing Party, the Democrats – moments like Michael Dukakis riding around in his tank, an iconic image if ever there was one. Like some child’s toy…gone seriously wrong.
I might also mention the photo of John Kerry crawling out of a tunnel in his bunny suit.
But this past week we heard of a real gem. In an upcoming book on Washington Insiders entitled “This Town,” (previewed on the site BuzzFeed) author Mark Lebovich reveals a memo from inside the White House that was written just prior to a New York Times profile on Valerie Jarrett that ran in September of 2012. The Memo, written by deputy press secretary Jamie Smith, entitled “The Magic of Valerie” features “an unrelenting 33 talking points” that praised her intelligence, empathy, life experience, and work ethic. According to Lebovich:
My personal favorite ‘Magic of Valerie’ bullet point is the one where we learn that ‘Valerie is someone who other people inside the building know they can trust (need examples.)’
Another typical bullet point is:
The magic of Valerie is her intellect and her heart. She is an incredibly kind, caring and thoughtful person with a unique ability to pinpoint the voiceless and shine a light on them and the issues they and the President care about with the ultimate goal of making a difference in people’s lives.
To know what both drives Valerie Jarrett and why the President values her opinion so much, you benefit greatly from really getting to know the woman.
The list goes on, as Leibovich says, relentlessly.
What is remarkable is that this memo was written, without apparent irony, by someone who is beyond the ninth grade.
I mean, how many people are there working in the White House? Didn’t anyone read this and just burst out laughing? Or was it like the “Biggus Dickus” scene from Life of Brian? (can I say that on RMG?). Anyone who broke down and laughed at “The Magic of Valerie” was taken away and fed to the lions.
The Magic of Valerie.
Sounds like a television show – some kind of drama/heartwarming comedy. Like a cross between “The West Wing” and “Hazel” (I know…dating myself there…).
8:00 pm The Magic of Valerie (60 min). Tea Party hooligans protest in front of the White House threatening affordable healthcare for all and the First Family’s long-planned vacation to Disney World. To compound the problem, unemployment numbers are soaring and Barak’s teleprompter is out for repairs. The Oval Office gang are at wit’s end until Valerie devises a plan to have the IRS undermine Tea Party finances, forcing them to board their buses for home. Valerie: Valerie Jarrett. Uncle Joe: Joe Biden.
8:00 pm The Magic of Valerie (60 min). The White House is in chaos when Bibi Netanyahu comes to town. A rift between the Democrat Party and the Jewish community appears inevitable when Netanyahu proposes to announce to the press Israel’s reluctance to support the Obama Administration’s embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood. Valerie saves the day when she deftly manages to shuffle Bibi out the servant’s entrance before the big Press Conference. Valerie: Valerie Jarrett. Netanyahu: himself.
8:00 pm The Magic of Valerie (60 min). In this zany episode, Malia has a school project on the right of “La Raza” to claim ownership of 1/3 of the continental United States for Mexico. Somehow the press get hold of Malia’s powerpoint slides and conclude that the project is real and coming from the Oval Office. Valerie turns the tables on everyone by having La Raza officials invited to the White House to celebrate the repatriation of Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and half of California to Mexico; with earnest, hard working illegal aliens forming the backdrop for the photo op. Valerie: Valerie Jarrett. Lindsey Gramnesty: Lindsey Graham.
The problem with the “Magic of Valerie” memo, of course, is that there is no need to be a shameless sycophant for someone who has actually earned their right to be there. The problem with the “Magic of Valerie” memo is that it shows the White House having Kool-Aid parties to indoctrinate each other into loving Obama’s favorite political hack.
The problem with the “Magic of Valerie” memo is, of course, that the joke is on us.