President Bush, troubled by the decline in his approval ratings, has decided to make a frontal assault on Hollywood, a bastion of his disapproval ratings, by scheduling lunch with one of its most persistently adversarial spokespeople, Jane Fonda.
Mr. Bush said, “I look forward to meeting with Ms. Fonda. She’s said so many outrageous things about me over the years, it will be a real pleasure to break bread, as it were. If I get through the lunch intact, I plan to move on to the next person on my guest list, Barbra Streisand.”
The invitees were cautious, at least, in their public response to his overture.
Ms. Streisand quipped, in her usually understated way, “I don’t mind singing for my supper, but do I have to sing for lunch, too?”
Robert Redford, another of those invited, stated, “Well, if you ask me, the whole thing is a pretty slippery Sundance. He’s a former oilman, and I just came out against oil.”
Ms. Fonda was, unsurprisingly, quite vocal. “I have a lot of things I’d like to say to the President, but not over lunch. I’d be too upset to swallow without choking. Then he’d have the opportunity to perform a Himelick maneuver, and, besides the fact that I’d have to endure his touch, he’d get to brag that, while he was undecided for a moment, he went ahead and saved my life. I’m not sure I’m ready for that.”
Despite the early warning signs, the President remained upbeat.
“You know those Hollywood folks,” he said. “They’re not all Republicans.”