Scaring the Vote out of America
March 17, 2008 5:01 PM   Subscribe

3 A.M. calls to the President aren't so dire afterall. A brief history of recent middle-of-the-night phone calls to the President.
posted by Lutoslawski (17 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Now just hold on a minute.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me that you, and/or this WashPost reporter, are suggesting that political advertising may not be entirely aimed at dispassionately informing the public - may, in fact, even be deliberately misleading. Surely there must be another explanation?
posted by pompomtom at 5:12 PM on March 17, 2008


Actually, I've heard that the President has been making 3AM phone calls to Moe's Tavern, asking Moe to page Amanda Hissenhug. Which is especially stupid since Moe's closes at 2AM. But it still won't beat out that linguistic blogger for WORST.... PERSON... IN THE WORRLLD!!
posted by wendell at 5:22 PM on March 17, 2008


“President Bush has rarely been disturbed while asleep”

While awake tho, he’s more obviously disturbed.

Meh. It’s just an ad, man. Beans, plate, all that. The specific answering a 3 a.m. call - and correct me if I’m way off here - would appear to be a metaphor for the broader concept that (valid or not) Clinton has more experience in executive decision making.
As opposed to her, say, having an amphetamine abuse problem or the fact Bill’s autodial screwed up his booty call or the actual realities of the chief executive having to make a critical decision at that time in the morning without being able to summon the staff.

Although I do wonder at what someone might be requiring from the president in that situation. Launch the nukes now? What’s she going to say, no? Yes? I’m thinking the chief exec is more of a policy person than y’know, a field person who’s got to go hands on and fix something at 3 am.

Although - this is not commonly known - the First Lady recieves special forces training, all the usual - underwater demolition, Benning, then tac parachuting at Chula Vista, recon and direct action, SERE school, CQB, tactical ambushes, sniper assaults, woodland, mountain and desert training, muddin’ at Eglin, fun on Kodiak island, oh yeah, the First Ladies? They’re bad asses.
Hence the name “First” ladies. They go in first, duh. So maybe that’s what the ad was referencing.

I remember when Hillary Clinton was on a plane bound for England. She just foiled an attempted hijacking by Basque separatists and had to leave the landing site in secrecy so she could go and train. Meanwhile terrorist Erst Model took over a bank in Bern, Switzerland and took hostages and Hillary Clinton was deployed to the scene where she was able to breach the bank and kill the terrorists with no further loss of life.
Then she went to Austria, where the husband and wife terrorist team Hans Fürchtner and Petra Dortmund kidnapped wealthy businessman Erwin Ostermann and ambushed them before they could get away in their helicopter.

When terrorists took over World Park in Spain, took thirty children hostage and demanded the release of Carlos the Jackal, it was Hillary Clinton who cut power to the installation and went in and eliminated all the terrorists (again, saving all the hostages).
I could go into Col. Popov and the modified Ebola virus nicknamed “Shiva” that Hillary Clinton stopped, but then I’d have to kill you.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:25 PM on March 17, 2008 [12 favorites]


“President Bush has rarely been disturbed while asleep”

He didn't even appear all that disturbed, while (ostensibly) awake, on the morning of 9/11/2001 when informed that the US was under attack.
posted by DU at 5:32 PM on March 17, 2008


Are you serious? I think he looks disturbed all the time. It's the eyes.
posted by pompomtom at 5:35 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't think he looks disturbed so much as having that "what... why did I come into this room?" look on his face at all times.
posted by ORthey at 5:43 PM on March 17, 2008


I don't think he looks disturbed so much as having that "what... why did I come into this room?" look on his face at all times.

Especially in the Oval Office.
posted by demagnetized at 5:46 PM on March 17, 2008


(Spoken with an ironic tone) "Turns out that 3 A.M. phone calls aren't all that dire afterall"
- Sorry, difficult to portray hints of knowing sarcasm in type.
posted by Lutoslawski at 5:47 PM on March 17, 2008


I always figured the phone in the White House most likely to ring at 3 AM would be the kitchen staff's.

But holy shit, you sure don't want the wrong person answering that call either.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:35 PM on March 17, 2008


Smedleyman, you must be thinking of this.
posted by PM at 7:52 PM on March 17, 2008


I always figured the phone in the White House most likely to ring at 3 AM would be the kitchen staff's
More likely 4:30am
posted by mannequito at 10:59 PM on March 17, 2008


I thought the cover of the New Yorker last week was actually a pretty hilarious take on this whole 3am red phone kerfuffle.
posted by whir at 11:00 PM on March 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't think he looks disturbed so much as having that "what... why did I come into this room?" look on his face at all times.

Especially in the Oval Office.


No, that's the look we all get when W goes into the Oval Office.
posted by davejay at 11:03 PM on March 17, 2008


Which is to say, Hillary says she'd be the best one to make those snap decisions Presidents make.

But the comment itself suggests she doesn't know that much about how Presidents do, or should, make decisions. Which is, according to folks who know, that they shouldn't be "snap" decisions, at all.

So, I guess, her own ad argues for her unfitness for the Presidency?

(Plate, beans, etc.)
posted by darkstar at 11:13 PM on March 17, 2008


"I would get calls at 2 o'clock in the morning," Podesta said. "The phone would ring, the White House operator would say the president is calling, and I would be stone asleep. . . . He would be watching C-SPAN in the middle of the night, and he would say, 'I think we ought to make this argument.' "

"(sniff) So yeah, uh, what if we told 'em Saddam (sniff) was hiding secret... uh... secret... you know, those (sniff) things you kill a bunch of people with?"

"Weapons of mass destruction, sir?"

"Yeah, them. Hold on... (snooooooort) And then we could tell 'em (sniff) he was getting nookyulur stuff from (sniff)... hm... I got it! Nigg-"

"Nigeria, sir?"

"(sniff) Yeah, there. Y'think it'll work? (sniff)"
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:46 AM on March 18, 2008


Q: The switchboard just got a call from 10 Downing Street to inquire whether the President would be available for a call within 30 minutes from the Prime Minister. The subject would be the Middle East.

A: Can we tell them no? When I talked to the President she was loaded.
posted by anthill at 5:13 AM on March 18, 2008


The specific answering a 3 a.m. call - and correct me if I’m way off here - would appear to be a metaphor for the broader concept that (valid or not) Clinton has more experience in executive decision making.

The problem is that the ad more closely resembles people's movie fantasies (Dr. Strangelove, Fail-Safe, Deep Impact etc.) of how a president conducts himself or herself during a crisis than with an accurate account of how the presidency really works. In addition, the ringing telephone looks a little Cold War "retro." I grant that Hillary's voter base skews older, but really, wouldn't the President have an answering service these days? I mean, seriously, the little girl sleeping in her bed is Getty Images stock footage of a former child actress who is now old enough that she plans to vote for Obama. I know the Washington Post article may seem like overinterpretation to some people, but I would rather have the voting public know what the presidency is really like, not seem cheesy 1970s movie cliche version of it.
posted by jonp72 at 6:48 AM on March 18, 2008


« Older "A case of unusual autobiographical remembering."   |   Danny Boy by the Muppets Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments