Sunday 4 November 2012 12:05pm White House, DC
"Mr President, I have Steve Kroft calling from CBS in New York, can you take that right now or not?"
"Sure, Lily, put him on. . . Steve, everything OK from Friday night?. . . .I see, OK. . . .What? . . .Wait a minute, let me get this straight, are you telling me this is another secret recording like Romney in Florida at the fundraiser?. . . . Steve, wait please. Michele is here with me, I am putting us on speakerphone."
"Steve, this is Michele; can you catch me up here?"
"Ma'am, sorry to be bothering you on Sunday afternoon like this but as I told the President, we have a potentially explosive situation here with someone I will call a former staff member. Remember when we were setting up the lighting and sound before the interview? Well, of course all that was off the record as we stipulated but somebody doing the rigging got it on tape as it were."
"How much of it did he get? Some of it was pretty benign as I recall. . .or at least I thought it was. Honey did you think I was over the line on anything?"
"Well Barack, I think we should let Steve answer that one. . .go ahead Steve."
"Sir, and Ma'am, I would say that the worst of it is going to land very hard and blow up in everybody's face. The edited story we are set to air tonight on the network is pretty much as we all agreed: a folksy non-political visit about the girls' adjustments to Washington and public life, your special bond with Hawaii, your family's future after the Presidency. But if this other stuff gets out, and the guy is threatening to put it out right away, we are all going to look like a bunch of hypocrites. Or worse."
"Can the lid be kept on this till tomorrow? What do you think the chances are this person will get on Fox News later today or tomorrow morning?"
"Sir, I can't say. HR has thrown him out of the building and we don't know where he is right now. But the election starts in thirty six hours and the potential impact of this cannot be overstated."
"Steve, Michele has left to go get Tina her chief of staff to handle this and you are off speakerphone now. I need you to give me the guy's name and contact info. . .Yes I realize I am putting you in an awkward position but . . .Look, we will handle this with due discretion, I promise you. . .No you are not being 'Dan Rathered' you have my word. . .Yes I do promise to keep you informed on an exclusive basis of course. . .Well, I am sure you understand we need to go. Hang on while Tina comes on the line to get the info on this guy. . .I am going to go watch the Steelers-Giants game and try to come up with a plan. Thank you a million Steve."
Sunday 4 November 2012 3:50pm MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ