Each year the White House press corps hosts an end-of-year holiday gathering in the dark basement workspace for reporters, photographers and crew. For the past 16 years, Salem Radio Network News correspondent Greg Clugston has written a poem for the occasion, touching on the presidential highs and lows of the last 12 months. Here’s this year’s entry.
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
2014 White House Press Basement Version
by Greg Clugston
‘Twas the night before Christmas and in the White House,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung in the East Room with care,
Surely an intruder couldn’t make it all the way there!
Candy and sugar plums filled the girls’ dreams,
But for Mrs. Obama it was all leafy greens.
The president was sleeping – he was weary to the bone,
Exhausted from using his pen and his phone.
It had been a “year of action” acting alone,
With Congress stuck in a legislation-free zone.
An immigration crisis hit the southwest border,
Then came the president’s executive order.
Cold War tensions grew amid Putin disdain,
As Russia interfered with a sovereign Ukraine.
When the Islamic State group launched a deadly spree,
POTUS told the New Yorker they were only “JV.”
But brutality spread, causing citizens to flee,
Forcing him to admit “we have no strategy.”
Then Ebola erupted, threatening us from afar,
Prompting panic and the hiring of a high-level czar.
Earnest replaced Carney in a press turnabout,
Holder stepped aside, while Hagel was pushed out.
Polls showed the president falling from good graces,
And Dems kept their distance in November’s tight races.
The mid-terms exacted a Democratic toll,
Giving giddy Republicans Senate control.
Obama treaded carefully on talk of race relations,
As unrest spread from Ferguson all across the nation.
Debate over the budget sparked a year-end fuss,
POTUS and Pelosi were at odds on “cromnibus.”
All of a sudden, there arose such a clatter,
Obama jumped up to see what was the matter.
When, what should appear before his wondering eyes,
But the GOP winner of the Election Day prize.
It was Leader McConnell dropping by for a drink,
“We can work something out,” he said with a wink.
POTUS was dressed in a suit that was tan,
As Mitch wandered over with a bourbon in hand.
As they talked about policy, the discussion grew tense,
When out of the blue, someone jumped over the fence.
Across the North Lawn, he zigged and he zagged,
Eluding dogs and agents, he could not be snagged.
And to the Secret Service, I heard Obama implore:
“Merry Christmas to all! Please lock the front door!”