Bob Franken

“This is a White House Recording”

March 3, 2008
‘This is a White House Recording’ (Bob Franken)
@ 8:05 am

About Hillary’s TV ad: “It’s 3 a.m. and your children are safe and asleep. But there’s a phone in the White House and it’s ringing. Something’s happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call.”

Given how strapped the federal government is these days, wouldn’t it be a good idea to save some money by replacing the operators with a telephone Audix system at the White House? At least for use overnight?

“You have reached the White House automated phone system. For answers in English press one. En español, dos.” (Of course, if it’s a Republican president, only English would be spoken and those who pressed two would be harassed and have to show proof of citizenship.)

“If something is happening in the world, please press three.”

Then —

“This is the ‘What’s Happening’ Hotline. Please listen carefully to the following options: For sightings of Osama bin Laden, please press one. For questions about Iraq, press two. For sightings of Osama bin Laden in Iraq, touch three now. For all other questions, please call back during regular business hours, or leave a message. If you are in the media, don’t bother, your calls won’t be returned.”

I know that these ads are nothing new. In fact, this round was created by the same guy who concocted a similar one for Walter Mondale way back in 1984. It’s kind of quaint now. Back then most telephones relied on wire connections. BlackBerrys were something you ate. That was 23 years ago, before most of Barack Obama’s supporters had even been born.

So it’s entirely possible that the main reaction to this latest move from Hillary Clinton will be “What the hell is she talking about?” Again.

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