Obama Mistaken for a Prank Caller

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Filed under: Phone Pranks, Political Pranks

From The Lowe-Down, posted by Chan Lowe, the Sun-Sentinel’s editorial cartoonist, SunSentinel.com, December 5, 2008:

The Obama prank that wasn’t

You can hardly blame Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, one of Miami’s three anti-Castro amigos (along with the rabid Diaz-Balart brothers), for imagining herself to be yet another victim of a telephone prank.

After all, local Miami stations are past masters of the art form, having famously fooled Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez into thinking his pal Fidel Castro was on the horn, and then reversing the prank on Fidel, himself.

We all know about the French Canadian “President Sarkozy” who called Sarah Palin a couple of months ago.

It is no wonder, therefore, that Ileana hung up on President-elect Barack Obama when he called to congratulate her on her election victory and tell her how much he was looking forward to working together on common goals. Just to make sure she had dug her hole deep enough, she then slammed the receiver down on his future chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who had called to tell her that the Barack outreach was una llamada verdadera.

When the whole mess was finally ironed out, everybody had a good laugh, sort of. But Ileana is no fool, and in her embarrassment, she knows full well that Obama managed to carry Florida without the help of what is left of the anti-Castro Miami Cuban exile community. Which means that he’s free to pursue any policy on Cuba that he chooses to, without fear of backlash from her or her constituents.

Not exactly the best way to play your hand with the new administration, particularly when you come to the table without so much as a pair of deuces.

As for the Miami radio pranksters, this must be the sweetest victory of all. They didn’t even have to pick up the phone.