He was tired. It was 10:15 p.m., way past his bedtime, yet Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice were still up, not discussing Iraq.
The president decided it was time to have the Secret Service tuck him in.
He felt that good kind of tired, the kind he believed could only be experienced in the heartland of America, far, far away from the white wine spritzer. Pulling up the covers, he figured he would dream the same dream he dreamt every night -- about his workout the next morning.
But tonight, as the president slept, he hosted a most engaging summit in meeting with his conscious and subconscious in a new dream.
He suddenly found himself standing on the bow of an aircraft carrier -- the USS Foreign Policy -- in the middle of the Persian Gulf, with a golf club in his hand.
Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Gen. Tommy Franks were all standing next to him, with Franks holding the biggest golf bag the president had ever seen. So many clubs, it was literally an arsenal.
Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice were all wearing spots caps that read, "Just Do It."
Watching his every move from the gallery were current and former members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the president's mom and dad, Ronald Reagan, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Vice President Al Gore, and, for some reason, Bob Hope.
Bush chuckles in his sleep. Cheney was wearing blacks socks with Bermuda shorts.
Suppressing the laugh Bush, realized that he had a tough tee-shot here. If he "hooked," he might lose the support of the Arab world. If he "sliced," Saddam might unleash chemical weapons on Israel. If he gave the United States a "bad lie" and put the nation in a "sand trap" he might lose the coming congressional elections, split his party, and go down in history as "Tiger Whoops."
Pulling a nine-iron out of the bag, Colin Powell suggested the president "lay-up." Rumsfeld unveiled the latest titanium "Big Bertha," a "forgiving" club that would get the job done.
Tommy Franks and Rice squabbled over the condition of the green while Powell asked Cheney if he was sure that Saudi Arabia and Egypt would let America play through.
Cheney emitted a low growl and gave the president that "hit the damn ball" look. As Bush sized up the shot the voices in gallery began to echo in his head -- from Reagan: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that..." From his father: "Read my lips, no new..." From Bob Hope: "That Joey Heatherton is wild...wild...wild..."
The president suddenly bolted up, stirring the first lady from her sleep. Mrs. Bush asked groggily, "The recount nightmare again?"
Catching his breath and wiping the sweat from his brow the president described his dream about being the "leader" with too many "caddies" and asks her what she thought it meant.
Laura Bush reassured her husband. "Go back to sleep, George," she said. "Even Freud would say that sometimes a putter is just a putter."
-- Danny Vermont is a stand-up comedian and formerly a staff writer at ABC's "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher."
-- "Outside View" commentaries are written for UPI by outside writers who specialize in a variety of important global issues.
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