China’s President Hu Jintao (pronounced Hoo Jin-tou), was scheduled to spend three days at the White House for a state visit, and was the first important item on President Obama’s agenda since William Daley became the White House Chief of Staff. Everything was expected to be perfect and as such, President Obama relied on Daley to make sure everything ran smoothly. The following exchange was rumored to take place on the morning of President Hu’s arrival.
Obama: Morning Bill. What’s on the agenda today?
Daley: Not what, Hu.
Obama: I’m sorry. Hu?
Daley: Yes, Hu Jintao.
Obama: Who’s in town?
Daley: Yes, Hu.
Obama: I don’t know, Bill. That’s what I’m asking you.
Daley: And I’m telling you, sir. Hu Jintao.
Obama: Ok, let me get this straight. You don’t know who’s in town?
Daley: Yes, I do. Hu. That’s the man’s name.
Obama: What man’s name?
Obama: Ok, let’s start over. Who’s on the agenda today?
Daley: You’re absolutely right, sir.
Obama: Look Bill, all I want to know is what’s on the agenda today?
Daley: And I’m telling you sir, Hu.
Obama: Where the hell’s Rahm when I need him?
Daley: Who, sir?
Just then Michelle Obama walks into the room and, not being privy to the conversation but wanting to remind her husband about the big state dinner planned for the evening, says nonchalantly “Morning, dear. Guess Hu’s coming to dinner.”