According to the NY Post, President Obama was wandering around The White House last Friday, and just happened upon a meeting between Vice President Joe Biden and former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, “The president tends to roam around the larger [White] House and sometimes walks into meetings that weren’t previously on his schedule.”
Really? The president went for a stroll through the halls of the West Wing and stumbled upon this meeting? Sounds suspiciously like a West Wing plot to me!
In “The Lame Duck Congress” episode from season 2 of my favorite show ever, a Ukranian politician wants to meet with President Bartlet during a scheduled trip to The White House. President Bartlet can’t do this even though he knows that this guy, Konanov, will someday be the Ukranian president, because doing it now would be a slap in the face to the current Ukranian president. But Konanov shows up (drunk) demanding that he sees the president.
Chief of Staff Leo comes up with an idea: they could set up a meeting between Konanov and someone else. President Bartlet will just happen upon this meeting, thus giving Konanov what he wants without having to jump through 23 diplomatic hoops and risk alienating the current administration. Leo puts the plan to his deputy like this: “When I was Labor secretary we did it with the Dalai Lama. Obviously Beijing doesn’t want the President to have any diplomatic contact, so they arrange a low level meeting,
keep the door open, the President wanders by, ‘Hey, how ya doing, Dalai Lama.'”
So, perhaps it would have caused too much of a fuss if President Obama had tried to have an official meeting with Gorbachev? “Hey, how ya doing, Gorby?”
Originally posted on Selfish Mom