In a stunning development, the White House announced today the capture of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. The apprehension of the world’s most wanted terrorist marks an extraordinary reversal for the Bush administration, which has drawn considerable flack over its handling of the war on terror, the economy, and the conflict in Iraq. Supporters of President Bush are hailing the capture as a “masterstroke.” And new details are emerging that are sure to change the perception Americans have of their president, who has endured historically low approval ratings while being maligned by critics as an “incompetent bungler.”
Bush’s image is certain to change as White House officials are confirming that the President personally commanded the Special Forces team that tracked bin Laden to his mountain lair, and then executed the daring daylight raid that captured the notorious evil doer. Indeed, in perhaps the most extraordinary twist of this amazing turn of events, it has been established that the “President Bush” who has governed in Washington since September 29th, 2001 – the president Americans have come to loath, despise, and revile – is actually a double. In fact, while Bush’s stand-in was donning a flight suit, bungling Katrina, and mishandling Iraq the real President Bush has been doggedly leading a crack team of Green Berets as they tracked the most notorious terrorist through some of the challenging and treacherous mountain biking terrain in the world.
Harry Smitten Jr., the versatile character actor who impersonated a seemingly hapless President Bush – “the role of a lifetime,” as he described it – bore such a close physical resemblance to the actual President Bush that not even the First Lady noticed the difference. Indeed, the ruse was so top-secret the president’s father, George H.W. Bush, wasn’t privy to the deception either. “He seemed a little clueless when it came to fly-fishing, golf, and horseshoes,” the elder Bush confessed. “Heck, I can’t tell you how many times he poked me in the eye with his fishing pole, shanked a drive, or drove into a ditch with the golf cart. “But I chalked it up to the immense pressures of being Commander-in-Chief. Gosh dang if this whole thing doesn’t put a lump in a dad’s throat. God bless my boy. And God bless America, now that we don’t have to worry about Obama anymore”
The dramatic circumstances surroundings bin Laden’s capture is certain to alter the political landscape. Already, Hillary is ducking for cover and Obama is taking legal steps to have his name changed to Michael Jackson. Not surprisingly, Bush’s approval ratings have soared and the Dow Jones greeted the news by rising 1,200 points minutes after Martha Stewart rang the opening bell on Wall Street. “This is the end of the Bush Recession,” quipped one market analyst, who predicted that paper gains in the stock market would soon wipe out losses in the housing market. Likewise, military experts now foresee a quick resolution to the situation Iraq as Al Sadr, the Sunni insurgents, the Shiite militias, and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad recognize that they are no longer up against the most incompetent military commander since George Armstrong Custer.
Presidential scholars, too, are marveling at the stunning turnaround in Bush’s reputation. As historian Doris Kearns Goodwin put it, “Here’s a guy who looked for all the world like the biggest loser in American presidential history, but then suddenly the country realizes we’ve witnessed one of the most audacious cover-ups and successful character reversals that ever played out on the world stage. George W. Bush is certain to go down in history as one of the boldest, most creative, and beloved presidents in American history.” And what does Harry Smitten Jr., the actor who played his part to perfection as a bumbling boob of a president have to say about his role in all of this? Mr. Smitten didn’t have any immediate comment, except to wish everyone a happy April Fool’s Day