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WASHINGTON (CAP) - As the Mideast peace process hits its obligatory snags, the Obama administration is hoping a bold new plan will not only help advance talks between diplomats from the sparring nations, but also get people on the street excited about the prospect of peace. President Obama made the announcement during this morning's press conference.
"What the peace process needs, uhh, is a mascot," said Obama as staffers handed out flyers with a picture of the new advocate. "Someone who can show the people of the Middle East that peace will not only save lives but, uhh, is also fun.
"Guarantee world leaders around the, uhh, world, are wishing they thought of this first," Obama added.
The mascot's name is Hymie Akbar the Palestinian Heeb, and he will make his debut early next week with a meet-and-greet at a marketplace in the Palestinian city of Toubas. After signing autographs and hanging "Hymie For Peace" posters around the city, the mascot and his entourage will begin a two-month 32-city sweep of the Mideast in what the Obama administration is calling the West Bank Peace Rally Tour.
"Not everybody loves peace, but everybody loves a mascot," said Obama's Chief-of-Staff Rahm Emanuel. "Much like everyone loves the Jonas Brothers - who, by the way, will be appearing with Hymie when he stops in Hebron."
Emanuel said they originally planned to have a selection of American cheerleaders travel with the mascot and promote the group as "Hymie & The JAP's" but had to nix the idea when Congress wouldn't provide the additional funding. Instead, lawmakers earmarked funds to have hundreds of t-shirts printed with "A Jew is Just A Brother From Another Mother" emblazoned across the front.
Hymie will spend a day walking along the Gaza Strip shooting the prizes out of a t-shirt cannon for the gathered crowds.
"We're looking to get some facetime in Israel later in the spring," said the Director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag, who is overseeing the entire mascot project. "They're a little resistant to the whole Hymie concept, but we're hoping a few loaves of Michelle Obama's famous Six Braided Challah will soften them up a bit.
"How great would it be to have Hymie fashion different colored balloons into characters from the Qur'an for all the little Jew boys and girls on the streets of Israel," Orszag added. "Talk about promoting compassion."
As for who will be the lucky person to actually don the mascot costume, CAP News sources inside the White House say Vice President Joe Biden has been tapped with that responsibility. Biden will take a break from trying to set up the surround sound theatre system in his office that he got for Christmas in order to fulfill the duty.
"Word from the Obama camp is that the president feels this is a great role for Joe to fill because mascots don't talk," noted the source.
Rumors that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is miffed at being passed over for the job are as yet unconfirmed, but she reportedly did ask the president if she could pop out of the giant "Let's Hear It For Peace!" cake being planned for the Jonas Brothers after-party.
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