I don’t know about you, but I still believe that Brian Williams was in a chopper hit by RPGs while covering the war in Iraq. He’s just being modest in recanting the story, trying to make sure our brave servicemen get the credit.
Because this is just the least of Williams’ heroics. What few people know, and what Williams has never discussed, is that he helped George Washington win the Battle of Trenton.
And I know. Because I was there too.
I remember the whole thing like it was 240 years ago. Which is to say, not very well. But certain moments from the events of that evening and the following morning stand out.
It was Christmas Day, 1776. We were in Pennsylvania, and Washington was planning his New Year’s eve attack on the Hessians, who were across the Delaware River in Trenton. It was then that Williams – yes, NBC Anchor Brian Williams – got the idea that we must move out that very night.
We had all just opened our presents. Williams had gotten some new Brooks Brothers socks and was trying them on when it occurred to him that he had plans for New Year’s Eve, and so it was essential the Continental Army decamp right away!
Williams went to Washington’s tent and told him it was time to launch the attack. But the general was uncertain. The weather was bad and the river was icy. This was not the night for a crossing.
But unlike Washington, who vacillated, Williams was resolute. He showed steadfastness that night that not even the Father of our Country could muster. Part of it was that he knew that in only a few days he’d have to catch the Red Eye out to L.A. for the party at Bono’s mansion in Beverly Hills. But what I saw that night was also real courage. The courage of an anchorman.
While Washington was fretting about the river, Williams seized upon a different strategy. The Pennsylvania Turnpike, Williams knew, crossed the Delaware just south of Trenton. The army could use its E-ZPass – or just take a limo – get on the turnpike, cross the river, and then drive straight up 295 North and into Trenton, where they’d surprise the Hessians.
Washington saw the wisdom of Williams’ plan. The army would march at a 7:00 pm that evening, right after Williams had finished his broadcast. And Williams, noble gentleman that he is, made up the story years later about the Delaware crossing, just to give Washington the credit.
Anyway, as we crossed the river and headed up 295 North, Washington started getting the willies again, wondering whether we had enough grizzled veterans around to help lead the charge. But Williams quickly reminded him that Hillary Clinton was in the ranks and would lead part of the assault. Hillary, Washington knew, had bravely weathered Serb sniper fire in Bosnia. She had the character to withstand whatever the Hessians threw at her.
Right beside her through the battle would be Bill Clinton, who, after dodging the draft during the French and Indian War, had decided to sign up for this one. Bill was strong, fresh, and ready, having not had sexual relations with a single woman the whole night.
Washington felt better, and we continued on past several rest stops, to the very outskirts of Trenton.
The Hessians were camped in the center of town. We could see the embers of their fires as they slept off a night of Christmas merriment and drink. But as we crept closer, morning began to dawn, and we noticed, to our horror, that the Hessians had awakened.
We needed a plan. And fast.
It was then that Williams reminded Washington that there was a man of boundless wisdom on hand. Someone who, Williams told Washington, must “probably have a much higher IQ than you do, I suspect,” who graduated in the “top half” of his law school, and who received three degrees in college.
Someone named Joe Biden.
Washington called Biden over to his side and begged him to figure out what to do. Improvising swiftly, Biden came up with a plan. We would distract the Hessians. And Biden knew exactly how to do it.
Biden told Washington that Gen. Barack Obama was among the troops, and he had brought with him one of his composite girlfriends. Sure, she had one brown eye and one blue, and her left leg was six inches shorter than her right. But she was real looker – Kate Upton, Scarlett Johansson, and Katy Perry all rolled into one.
Biden convinced Washington to have her enter the camp in a bikini and start cooking breakfast. It was cold, but she was a patriot. A composite patriot.
As she walked forward, Bill Clinton, not realizing the plan, tried to follow, but was lassoed in by a quick thinking Hillary, who’d seen this kind of thing happen before.
The Hessians were mesmerized as she descended into their ranks and began scrambling eggs. Meanwhile, Biden stealthily led a contingent of troops to the north side of the Hessians’ camp. Hillary led one to the east.
Williams would oversee the whole operation from in front of the main force to the south. Obama would lead from behind.
But the west side of the Hessian camp was completely open. The mercenaries could make an easy escape. I looked to the sky, beseeching the Lord for a sign. Something. Anything.
I turned my gaze back to the west. And there it was.
A tribe of friendly Native Americans led by Elizabeth Warren was scurrying into position. Tears streamed down my face. The day was saved.
At that moment Bill Clinton sounded his saxophone, signaling for each phalanx to begin moving in.
The Hessians rose to fight, but almost immediately they had a terrible realization: They were surrounded by pathological liars. There was no escape. Even if they proved victorious, no one would believe them, because the liars would all say they lost. The British would never pay them.
It was no use. Their only choice was to surrender.
And that was how we won the Battle of Trenton.
Brian Williams is a hero. Our current leaders are heroes. This is, as his Williams’ predecessor in the NBC anchor chair Tom Brokaw put it, the greatest generation.
Okay, that was a different generation. Whatever. I’m proud of Williams, Obama, Biden, Warren, and the Clintons. Unlike you and me, they were willing to lay down their lies for this country.