Rafael Palmeiro Is the New White House Mouthpiece?
Rafael Palmeiro, the first baseman for the Baltimore Orioles who was suspended by Major League Baseball after testing positive for steroids, stunned the worlds of baseball and politics alike today by retiring from his sport to become the new White House press spokesman.
Most baseball insiders had expected Mr. Palmeiro to return to his position at first base upon finishing his suspension, making his decision to replace Scott McClellan as White House spokesman all the more surprising.
But the plain-spoken Palmeiro impressed White House staffers in his first press briefing today, jutting his index finger in the faces of reporters and offering no fewer than 27 spirited denials in answer to their questions.
In response to a question about the rising tide of violence in Iraq, Mr. Palmeiro said, ‘“The insurgency in Iraq is not gaining in strength. Not at all. Period.’”
After a reporter quizzed the former Orioles slugger about the controversy swirling around deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, Mr. Palmeiro replied, ‘“Karl Rove had nothing to do with the leaking of a CIA agent’s identity. Nothing. Nada. Period.’”
After 35 minutes of similarly brusque responses, Mr. Palmeiro drew mixed reviews from the White House press corps, who at times appeared to bristle at his combative style.
‘“It was kind of annoying the way he kept pointing his finger at us,’” said wire service reporter Davis Logdon. ‘“On the positive side, he was helpful with punctuation.’”
Elsewhere, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan called Iran’s decision to produce nuclear materials ‘“scary, but not as scary as that Bolton guy’s moustache.’”
Award-winning humorist, television personality and film actor Andy Borowitz is author of the new book ‘“The Borowitz Report: The Big Book of Shockers.’”
To find out more about Andy Borowitz and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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