I had a dream last night. In it, I was vouchsafed what would have happened if hurricane Katrina had hit while Bill Clinton were still president. Here now, in a WORLDWIDE EXCLUSIVE, are the headlines and news excerpts:
Tuesday, Aug. 30, Washington Post: Anguished Clinton and cabinet hold hands. Clinton hugs entire cabinet. Madeleine Albright reports that she was "moved".
Tuesday, Aug. 30, The Larry King Show:
King: "Any truth to the rumor, Mr. President, that you are going to walk down the Mississippi River--walk on the water like the world's best politician, Jesus Christ, world's best prior to you, of course--to speak to survivors?"
Clinton: [Chuckles, bites lip.] "No, Larry, I've eaten a few too many French fries for that. I'm just going to bus on down to Lake Pontchartrain, and then maybe I'll walk across that little ol' lake." [Chuckles, grins winsomely.]
Tuesday, August 30, Nightline with Ted Koppel:
Domino's Pizza delivery boy: "I can tell you that they're working very, very hard on this. They're pulling another all-nighter for sure."
Koppel: "How do you know?"
Delivery boy: "Well we usually deliver just three or four pizzas a week to the WH. But tonight we delivered twenty. And Ted?"
Delivery boy: "They were all double pepperoni!"
Wednesday, August 31, Washington Post: Clinton announces "We Feel New Orleans's Pain Week". Schoolchildren will wear little fruity-drink umbrellas and will receive federally-financed grieving and counseling sessions. Labor Secretary Robert Reich announces that he is "deeply moved".
Wednesday, August 31, The New York Times: A highly placed Administration source reveals that Hillary, Chelsea, and Socks are "very involved in the rescue effort".
Wednesday, August 31, The NBC Evening News with Brian Williams:
Bill Richardson: "Brian, I want to assure the American people that this administration is working very, very hard to help the people of New Orleans. At our last cabinet meeting--the fourteenth we've held in the last 48 hours, a world record--the president said we needed to be working around the clock, so he ordered not one, but two scoops of ice cream for everybody."
Brian Williams: "Wow."
Thursday, September 1, Washington Post: Clinton in New Orleans, Hugs Individually 72,134 People.
Thursday, September 1, The New York Times: An editorial argues that the reason things are not going well in New Orleans is that the city has had 25 consecutive years of Republican mayors.
Friday, September 2, Washington Post: "Clinton in New Orleans, Hugs 6,143 Dead People." Sidebar: Jesse Jackson says he urged the president, "If you can't find bread, you should hug the dead."
Friday, September 2, Los Angeles Times: Barbara Boxer, Howard Dean, Sean Penn, and Rob "Meathead" Reiner announce the formation of Democrats for Dryness. They say they are "deeply, deeply moved" by President Clinton's full support.
Friday, September 2, The New York Times, p. C-35: "An editorial yesterday in the Times stated that New Orleans has had 25 consecutive years of Republican mayors. For the last 25 years New Orleans has actually had Democrat mayors. The Times regrets the error. But we think we're still more reliable than all those dopey bloggers."
Friday, September 2, Boston Globe: A highly placed Administration source reveals that the ongoing problems in New Orleans are the fault of former president Ronald Reagan and his Secretary of the Interior, James Watt. "Floods are mentioned in the Bible and everybody knows that Watt was crazy about the Bible," said the source.
Saturday, September 3, Washington Post: Al Gore visits survivors in Louisiana and tells them about the time he endured a category five hurricane as a boy in Tennessee. "It destroyed all our family's carefully tended tobacco plants," he says. "That's why I invented the Internet--so that people would have more warning about bad weather."
Saturday, September 3, The New York Times: Madeleine Albright says she is "cautiously optimistic" about New Orleans. "Any few remaining problems are the fault of all the white males there--probably Republicans," she snapped.
Saturday, September 3, Newsweek: A new poll shows that French and Dutch citizens overwhelmingly approve of President Clinton's actions.
Sunday, September 4, Washington Post: Maya Angelou reads her special commemorative poem, "The Flood, The Blood, and The Mud." The survivors are moved and report feeling much better.
Sunday, September 4, Los Angeles Times: Bruce Springsteen, the Dixie Chicks, and Chrissie Hynde unite to sing an updated version of "My City Was Gone". Attendees at the Hollywood Bowl feel much better. Natalie Maines grins at the end of the song and shouts, "Go, President Clinton. We love you, Bill!" The crowd chants, "We want Bill! Let's Be Great in '08!"
Sunday, September 4, The New York Times: A senior Administration official reveals that President Clinton last year started a comprehensive disaster recovery plan, and that it would have worked really, really well, except that he didn't get to finish it because he had to respond to destructive personal attacks from Republicans.
Monday, September 5, Washington Post: New Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for President Clinton. "Asked whether they would rather support President Clinton or have all their teeth removed without anesthesia, a whopping 92% of Americans said they fully supported the president. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points."
Tuesday, September 6, The New York Times: Kofi Annan nominates President Bill Clinton for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Wednesday, September 7, Page Six, New York Post: After a grueling week, President Clinton was spotted at Tavern on the Green partying with Barbra Streisand, Rosie O'Donnell, Susan Sarandon, Kanye West, Tara Reid, and other celebs. To lighten the still somber mood, the president told a joke. He claimed that he asked the National Weather Service to change the upcoming M-named hurricane "Maria" to the name "Monica". "I reckon she won't do much damage, but she'll probably blow pretty hard," he quipped, to uproarious laughter from the glam crowd.