From my lips to your ear

Tony Fratto
Assistant Deputy White House Press Secretary
 

"The president learned about it this morning. Of course he's happy for Vice President Gore and happy for the international panel on climate change scientists who also shared the peace prize.  Obviously, it's an important recognition and we're sure the vice president is thrilled."
 - Me, Tony Fratto

Yeah, I said that, I said it this morning. It came right out of my mouth with no prompting, no looking out of the corner of the eye to see if someone's gonna overrule me or fight for the last word. Those were my words, me, Tony Fratto, the President's Deputy White House Press Secretary, or as I like to call myself, The Tough Guy's Tough Guy.

'Hey Tony, something seems different about you, but I just can't put my finger on it, whassup?' I'll tell you what's up. See that title, Deputy White House Press Secretary? As you will please carefully note, it no longer has the word 'Assistant' in it. Yeah, I'm the man, uh huh uh huh, I am the man. It's a different world up here. Forget all the extra moolah, the real prize is (what's that smell?) power. Because the real power behind the scenes, the real mouthpiece for the administration, is the Deputy Press Secretary.

I've gained a whole new respect for Dana now that I'm having to fill her shoes. (For one thing, how did she manage to walk in these heels? Hey, just a joke, but now that Tony's in charge, you might as well get used to it.) For a short period, Dana was the second most powerful woman in Washington, but the president, realizing what a babe she is, kicked her upstairs to the ceremonial position of Press Secretary, and put a real man in charge here where it counts.

I'm a decision maker now. Maybe I should have you call me 'The mini-Decider'. Heh, well, just kidding, don't mean to be sacrilegious. Anyway, like this morning, I brief the chief on the headlines, and I tell him about Gore, and he says he wants another cup of coffee, and I think, 'this sounds like a job for the Assistant Deputy Press Secretary', so I go out to the switchboard and tell them to page Scott Stanzel. And I'm waiting and waiting, it's been five minutes, and it's not like I can just tell one of the secretaries to go get the president's coffee cause they don't have the key to the president's personal coffee mess and it's not like I'm gonna serve the commander in chief a cup of Maxwell House, so Jeez, I go unlock the presidential coffee maker, grind up some Kona, it takes fifteen minutes for the bitch to perk but finally I've got it and I rush back to the presidential coffee drinking room to find the door locked. And the AP is on the line, looking for a Gore quote.

A lot of things go through your mind if you're Tony Fratto, Deputy White House Press Secretary for the President of the United States. The first is jealousy. I mean, I have to read a lot of news in my position, and everywhere I look the headline is 'Al Gore Wins Peace Prize'. Hey, I won the Deputy Press Secretary prize, and the only thing my clipping service could come up with was a page sixteen blurb from the Washington Times and a piece of snark from some lefty blog called The Aristocrats. So my gut reaction is to snub Gore.

But this game is bigger than just the world of Tony Fratto, and I've got to put myself in the President's place, say what the President might say if he wasn't locked up in his exercise room. But I know that's not going to work either, so I try something diplomatic, I say the President is 'happy for Gore' and that he's sure the former Veep is just tickled pink. You know, just something a little gracious, but not pouring it on like Gore had just won a Superbowl or something.

Anyway, that's just a little picture of my busy day, and a demonstration of my new found powers, which I pledge to use for good and not for evil. (Joke).

That's it for now, people, Turkey is threatening to give us a noogie, and I'm sure that I'll be speaking about it soon. Until next time, this is Tony Fratto, Deputy White House Press Secretary, not a man to be trifled with.

 

2007, Mark Hoback