As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Press Corps Christmas Poem Sends Up the President

A portion of the White House press corps – the portion White House Dossier is a part of – works proudly in the basement of the press area. Yes, it’s something of a pecking order thing. Fox and CNN are downstairs, while NBC, ABC and CBS are upstairs.

Greg Clugston - White House basement
The press area basement earlier this year, drying out after the annual spring flooding. There's Clugston, making a getaway. Photo by Keith Koffler

The New York Times is emphatically upstairs.

You get the idea.

And the basement, being the rabble, likes to party.

Every year at the annual White House Press Corps Basement Christmas Party, Salem Radio Network News White House correspondent Greg Clugston composes and reads a a clever and often brutally honest Christmas poem about the president. It’s the highlight of the party, along with the ham Wendell Goler of Fox News usually brings in.

This year’s stanzas, the reading of which was witnessed at today’s party by at least two members of Obama’s press staff, appear below. You can see why they might have felt a little uncomfortable.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

2010 White House Press Basement Version

by Greg Clugston

‘Twas the night before Christmas and in the White House,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The girls dreamed of sugar, so sweet and so grand,

And other nice treats that the First Lady banned.

The president was asleep – all snug in his bed,

Even though mid-terms still filled him with dread.

Biden called health care a “big [freakin’] deal,”

But voters revolted and let out a squeal.

They rejected the Dems and the president’s pitch:

“Sipping Slurpees” and “driving into the ditch.”

And then there was Gibbs, with his media heft,

Ticking off members of the “professional left.”

All of a sudden there arose such a clatter,

Obama sprang up to see what was the matter.

Out on the lawn stood someone he could not neglect;

It was Ohio’s John Boehner – the new Speaker-elect.

With a change in the House, things won’t be the same –

And he turned to his colleagues and called them by name:

“Now Cantor! Now Pence! Now McCarthy and Bachmann!

On, Issa! On, King! On, Ryan and Barton!

“To the top of committees, we’ll govern with flair!

We must lower taxes and repeal health care!”

Then, in a flash, a jolly man did appear;

His arrival had the glamour of a movie premiere.

His eyes – how they twinkled!  His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

He was chubby and plump, and seemed rarin’ to go.
The hair on his head was as white as the snow.

This man was invited – Bill Clinton was he!

His help to Obama made “must-see” TV.

With tax cuts on the line, POTUS was put to the test,

So he reached out to Bill, who’s simply the best.

Biting his lip and stroking his chin,

Clinton explained how Obama could win.

With Bubba in charge – the press under his spell –

POTUS was free to party with Michelle.

And I heard Bill exclaim, as he sent Obama packing:

“Merry Christmas to all!  Let’s stop the shellacking!”

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6 Responses to Press Corps Christmas Poem Sends Up the President

  1. Keith, when you publish your thumbnail sketches of people in the Obama White House, these poems must be a companion volume.

    Thank you for posting this.