In picking his Vice President Joe Biden, his Secretary of State John Kerry and his Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, President Obama has shown that despite being “no drama Obama” himself, he doesn’t mind having people around him who are known as outspoken and even gaffe-prone. In fact, maybe, just maybe, President Obama finds it useful to have these guys around.
May 5th, 2012, the Oval Office
JOE BIDEN: You wanted to see me, boss?
BARACK OBAMA: Joe, I’ve been thinking it’s time for me to come out and support gay marriage.
BIDEN: Great! Do you want me to be at the announcement?
OBAMA: In time, Joe, but first I need you to force my hand. I’m not ready to shed my reluctant centrist thing yet. Your going on Meet the Press tomorrow, right? I want you to do your 110% certain thing on marriage equality.
Joe Biden, the next day on Meet the Press:
September 8th, 2013, Obama phones John Kerry, who is in London
JOHN KERRY: Yes boss?
OBAMA: John, it looks like we’re screwed on this Syria thing. Since when does the GOP vote against bombing of any kind? Especially in the Middle East? I thought the Syria Resolution would be a slam dunk.
KERRY: Ah, a basketball metaphor. Yes, on Syria, it looks like we will need to project the ball into the basket from further away than the arc describing the distance beyond which three points are awarded. I suspected Syria would come to this.
OBAMA: We need a third way. Losing the Syria vote is a loss. Bombing Syria is a loss. I need you to outline the terms on which we won’t bomb Syria, but make it sound like it’s not a real offer. Like we’re going to bomb them for sure, but in a hypothetical world, Assad could just voluntarily give up his weapons.
John Kerry, the next day, at a London news conference:
“Sure, [Assad] could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week — turn it over, all of it, without delay and allow the full and total accounting….But he isn’t about to do it, and it can’t be done.”
Sometime in the near future:
CHUCK HAGEL: You wanted to see me, boss?
OBAMA: Chuck, do you know why I picked you for Secretary of Defense?
HAGEL: Because I’m a Republican who spoke out against the Iraq War?
OBAMA: Close, it’s because you’ll sound convincing when you say that the War on Terror causes more problems than it solves, we don’t need half the military bases we have, and we wouldn’t have to worry about the world hating us if we worked on big good-guy initiatives, like ensuring fresh drinking water for everyone on the planet.
HAGEL: Is this my Biden moment?
OBAMA: Denis booked you for 60 Minutes tomorrow.