The President sat opposite his Vice President in the West Wing dining room. A young man in white pants and a white shirt placed a plate of freedom fries and a veggie burger in a whole wheat bun in front of the President, and a bowl of yoghurt and granola in front of the Vice President.
“Thank you, Bill,” says the President, as he reads the young man’s name off a brass name plate pinned to his white shirt.
“You’re welcome, Mr. President.” The young man backs up and stands near a side table waiting for any further requests.
Cheney reaches across the table and picks up three fries with his pudgy white thumb, index finger and middle finger. He slaps them all down on his tongue and draws them in, chewing with nervous pleasure.
With a mouthful, Cheney says “I knew it would work.”
Bush takes a sip from a straw of Sierra Mist on the rocks from a clear crystal tumbler emblazoned on the side in white with the Seal of the President. Bush nods.
“But we still have to get out before the end of 2007,” says Cheney.
“We’re going to lose Congress in 2006, Dick.”
“Stay on the offensive. Keep talking the talk. Beat them over the heads. The Democrats always find a way to lose.” Cheney reaches across again for more fries, but this time he hauls five into his mouth.
“Lieberman came out for us the other day.” The President has not touched his food.
“Lieberman is irrelevant. Politically, that is. It’s McCain that worries me. He’s fucking with us.”
“Stop, Dick. McCain is a good man. A hero. Hey Bill, can I have more of this?” The President holds up his empty tumbler, shaking it to indicate what he was referring to.
“Certainly, Mr. President.” Bill departs.
“The Iraqis gave us a gift. They are asking us to leave on a schedule. Let’s take it,” Cheney says.
“And if the whole place falls apart because they are too stupid to know what’s good for them, then what do I tell the fathers and mothers of the young men and women who died in Iraq?” The President’s attention is diverted to the arrival of Bill with a tumbler filled with Sierra Mist on the rocks.
“Jeez, Bill, thanks.”
“You’re welcome, Mr. President.” Bill returns to his spot near the side table.
“You tell them that America did all it can do, and that what we did was the right thing. We handed the Iraqis an opportunity for freedom, but if they fail to take advantage of it, it does not diminish America’s good works. That’s what you tell them.”
“America’s good works. I like the way that sounds.”
“Fuck how it sounds.” Cheney polishes off the last of Bush’s fries, without touching his yogurt and granola. Bush sips to a gurgle his Sierra Mist.