From my lips to your ear

Tony Fratto
Assistant Deputy White House Press Secretary

"Democrats are very concerned, supposedly, about people being worried about how they're going to pay for their mortgage, that raising taxes on them doesn't seem like the wisest fiscal policy. In a time when they think that they want to increase funding for children's health care, they're actually wanting to pay for it with a cigarette tax, which includes -- people who smoke are usually -- the majority are in the low-income bracket. And so they're raising taxes on something to pay for a middle-class entitlement. It's just completely irresponsible. Stop the madness on Capitol Hill."

No, I didn't say that, it wasn't me, Tony Fratto, the President's Assistant Deputy White House Press Secretary, or as I am quite frequently called, The Tough Guy's Tough Guy. No, I didn't say it yesterday, it was my hot smokin' babe of a boss, Dana Perino, or as I like to call her, 'Bitch'.

I can't blame you for thinking that those words came from my mouth. Maybe that's because I freaking did say them, right here, in my column, 'From My Lips to Your Ear', three months ago. I've been plagiarized by my boss, and as Ed Anger used to say, "I'm pig bitin' mad".

"Hi, Dana, have you been reading my column?", I ask her, and she's like "Oh, no, little Tony, I don't have time to read every little thing that comes across my desk". So I say to her "Maybe you used to read it back when you were just Deputy Press Secretary, back before your big break", and she says "I'm sorry. little Tony, but when I was Deputy Press Secretary, big Tony was very sick, so it was just like being Press Secretary". And I said, "You're a babe, Dana, but you're also a blonde, and I don't believe a damn word that's coming out of your mouth", and she said "Call me Ms. Perino from now on".

So I bust into Josh Bolten's office and I say "Josh, look here, I'm the President's Assistant Deputy White House Press Secretary and I deserve a little respect. That woman is stealing the words right out of my mouth. That cigarette tax shtick is pure gold and it belongs to me. And furthermore, she's still calling me 'little Tony' six weeks after Snow left office."

There are a lot of tough realities that you have to face up to when you're playing in the rough and tumble world of hardball politics, and Bolten didn't shy away from hitting me with the harshest.

"Tony," he says, "working as the President's Assistant Deputy White House Press Secretary is an awful lot like working in the higher echelons of IBM. Products that are developed in the office belong to the office. So it makes no goddamn difference whether those were your words or Dana's words, they're the president's words now. You're one lucky son of a gun to be working with a babe like Dana, but I will promise to say something to her about the 'little Tony' thing."

Yes, victory was mine. And even though I'm not happy that the Bitch is now calling me Monsieur Fratto, I am happy to emerge with my reputation as The Tough Guy's Tough Guy unscathed.

All right, people, I've got to comment on some blowback about torture, so until next time, this is Tony Fratto, Assistant Deputy White House Press Secretary, not a man to be trifled with.



2007, Mark Hoback