Because of the sequester, I had to buy the beer. We sat on a wide veranda in the California evening, the President with a couple aides and me backed up by my chihuahua, Cujo.
It takes a couple brews for Obama to really unwind and become the loose, funny leader of the free world that you figured he was going to be when you voted for him. We had cracked the seals on our second six-pack and Obama had ordered his Secret Service detail to catch any insects they could find and toss them into the bug zapper for our entertainment before we got down to world business.
ME: So this whole Syria thing, where you were going to bomb them because they had crossed some red line, then you were going to ask Congress for permission to bomb them, then Congress wasn't going to let you bomb them, then Putin talked you out of bombing them, how did that happen?
B.O: First off, how many times has the average American, especially the average beer-drinking American, said "I'm gonna mess up, you know, you, my wife, my kid, my neighbor, my Congressman et cetera et cetera with zero follow through? Plenty of times. Empty threats are part of the American way of life. But I admit the President needs to be held to a higher standard. The whole thing started because I was thinking about red lines because Joe Biden was wearing a tie with a lot of them on it. I said "Joe, all those red lines make that one ugly tie. But I wouldn't let anyone use chemical weapons on it." Then the whole thing got blown out of proportion.
ME: Wow, so it was really Biden's fault?
B.O: Most things that go wrong around here are. Plus Congress is always on my case about being a weak President because I don't unload a couple billion dollars worth of cruise missiles on any pipsqueak nation that boards the diss-train against the US. Especially John McCain. That dude wants to start a war with everybody. He was urging an invasion of the Virgin Islands the other day. I had to send him a memo reminding him that we already owned them. So I've had the Republicans in Congress screaming how I've screwed up Syria from the get by being weak and vacillating by not invading it. First off, saying you're the one person who screwed up Syria is like saying that one gerbil farting started the shitstorm. Secondly, when you've finally decided to spank some Arab war criminal hiney, all of the sudden all the people who were calling you gutless become raging cowards themselves. It's enough to turn anybody into America's first socialist dictator.
ME: (soothingly) Have another coldie. So how come Putin pulled your chestnuts out of the fire? I thought you guys hated each other.
B.O: Hate is a strong word. I mean he resents me for being six inches taller than him and having a wife that I can let leave the house without people comparing her to Honey Boo-boo's mom, and not favorably, either. And he gets my goat when he reminds me that if John Boehner lived in Russia, he'd be in prison. But if we need to get along, we get along. All I have to do is say, "Hey, nobody wants to see Angela Merkel without her shirt on," and we start busting up.
ME: That's all it takes? A sexist joke about the German Chancellor?
B.O: Putin's that kind of guy. Not that we didn't have to have some tough negotiations. I told him "How about this? You get that bastard Assad to pour his chemical weapons down his palace outhouse and I won't give every gay couple in America a free ticket to the Sochi Olympics," and he caved right in.
ME: Man, that sounds like beer summit talking.
B.O: With Putin, it's more of a vodka summit, but it works the same way. (An aide approached, and whispered something in the President's ear) Whoops! Looks like I GTG. The House voted to defund Obamacare again, and all my people are advising me to say something more complicated that "Neiner, neiner, boo-boo," in response. It's been fun. (Reached into his jacket pocket) You need any food stamps?