An interview with Joe Biden, or: Inquiring on the President’s health

I appreciate your candor. Okay, I get that you’re a little uncomfortable with the subject, but how are race relations in Delaware now?

“The largest growth of population is Indian Americans, moving from India. You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

What? That’s not very funny.

“I’m not joking.”

Well, how do you feel a Republican administration would deal with racial issues?

“They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”

So you still support –

“Barack America!”

Okay, how does he rank compared to other Presidents?

“I can tell you I’ve known eight Presidents, three of them intimately.”

And he – ah – compares favorably?

“I promise you, the president has a big stick. I promise you.”

Well, I’d be the last to ask for more details. Still, it seems like during the last election it was difficult to get to know Obama to the extent that we knew his main competitor, Hillary Clinton.

“The more people learn about them and how they handle the pressure, the more their support will evaporate.”

Could anyone on the Republican side have done a good job?

“The only guy on the other side who’s qualified is John McCain.”

So what do you think Obama’s biggest challenge has been?

“A three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs.”

Did you two discuss the economy much during the campaign?

“I don’t recall hearing a word from Barack about a plan or a tactic.”

Do you think the government should encourage more private enterprise, or take more of a hands-on approach?

“When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened’.”

But – FDR wasn’t President in 1929, when the stock market crashed … and the only TV sets in existence at the time were expensive experimental units.

“You need to work on your pecs.”

I beg your –

“You all look dull as hell, I might add.”

Well, I don’t think –

“Just sitting there, staring at me. Pretend you like me!”

I’d love to, but don’t you think the administration is going just a little overboard with spending right now? Do you really think that will help the economy in the long run?

“People when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’ The answer is yes, that’s what I’m telling you.”

But what if you’re wrong?

“If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, there’s still a 30 percent chance we’re going to get it wrong.”

I see. Well, what about foreign policy? Did the President do the right thing, leaving Iraq so quickly?

“My impression is he thinks that if we leave, somehow the Iraqis are going to have an epiphany of peaceful coexistence among warring sects. I’ve seen zero evidence of that.”

What should we do, then?

“Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran.”

What? You think we should give money to countries that hate us?

“Oh give me a f***ing break.”

Well, that – you seem almost threatening.

“I wouldn’t go anywhere in confined places now.”

Oh, dear. When you go home and look at yourself in the mirror after interviews like this, what do you think?

“What am I talking about?”

(Mark Hunter’s first novel, Storm Chaser, was published in June, 2011 by Whiskey Creek Press, which will also publish his anthology of short stories in May of 2012.  In addition to his full time job as a Noble County Sheriff’s Department dispatcher, Mark is a newspaper writer whose humor column is carried in three local newspapers; a 30 year veteran volunteer firefighter; and is in his last of years as Albion Town Council member. He has a wife, two children, and two grandchildren, and has been in a state of constant exhaustion since the late 80’s. When asked if there’s any stress in his life he laughs hysterically. He can be reached – eventually – at ozma914@hotmail.com, or through his website at www.markrhunter.com.)

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