President Bush made a secret trip to Iraq to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to assure him that the U. S. will continue to support efforts to stabilize and rebuild Iraq. Mr. Maliki thanked him and assured him that he would do everything to increase President Bush’s approval ratings. After further discussions, the two leaders agreed that the best way to accomplish both goals may be to exchange jobs.
President Bush stated, “I’m very involved in the U. S. involvement in Iraq, but I understand not all Americans believe we can win here. Since I know we can win, I may decide that the best way to achieve the goal is to take Prime Minister al-Maliki’s job. If I go ahead with the switch, I expect to be addressed as Iraqi Prime Minster George Bush.”
The Iraqi Prime Minister added, “And then you can address me as American President Nouri al-Maliki. I know this proposed job exchange will come as a big surprise to many Americans, but President Bush and I have discussed how this might be a way to give America a President with higher approval ratings. I know the language will be a bit of a handicap for both of us, but I’ve been listening to Mr. Bush, and I think my mistakes in English are not that much more bad than the ones he makes.”
They went on to chide each other, with Mr. Bush saying, “If we do make the switch, I guess I’ll be addressing the Iraqi Parliament, and I suspect they’ll be a lot friendlier than Democrats.”
Mr. Maliki responded, “Then I would board your helicopter to take me Baghdad International Airport, so I can fly to Washington and get started in my new job as President of the United States.
“Do I have to become a Muslim?” Bush asked Miliki. “I’m not sure my constituency back in the US would approve.”
“Maybe it will go better for me as the President if I become a Protestant,” Maliki replied. “But I’m not sure how that would go over with my constituency, either.”
While many Americans were uncertain about the proposed switch, they were willing to adopt a wait and see attitude.
As one American commented, “Look, if the former Iraqi Prime Minister does a good job as the President of the United States, I’m OK with that. In fact, I’ll vote to reelect him in 2008. I just need certain assurances, like seeing him say The Pledge of Allegiance.”