Dear Mr. President-elect,
As you know, we, the members of your transition team have almost completed vetting the candidates for the many important positions in your administration. In response to complaints (unfair, we think) that few people could meet the qualifications outlined by your questionnaire, we decided to interview one candidate who, we all felt, might live up to your expectations.
Recently, we met with an impressive candidate who, though not an American citizen, came highly recommended from the conservative wing of the DNC, and would be seen as a bold "non-partisan" choice by GOP. We were able to interview him ourselves.
Here are my rough notes (sorry for the scribbling) of the relevant answers from the questionnaire for Jesus of Nazareth.
6.) If you or your spouse have performed any work for any foreign government, please describe the circumstances.
Cured servant of Roman centurion, but received no payment. Technically, Rome not "foreign" government in Palestine, so should present no legal problem (Might appeal to Italian-Americans, too). Spouse? Early 30s, not married - might raise some eyebrows.
8.) Briefly describe the most controversial matters you have been involved in during the course of your career.
Lots here, unfortunately. Healed sick on Sabbath. (Big plus when we tackle healthcare reform.) Plucked ears of grain on Sabbath. (Will farming lobby be offended?) Spoke to Samaritan woman. (Samaritan-American vote is close to nil, except in blue states we own.) Chased businessmen from the Temple in Jerusalem. (Might be huge help in current anti-business climate.) Also, they were selling turtledoves. (Hello, PETA votes!) Unfortunately, charged with (I think) sedition by Roman government. Ask Berlusconi for details?
10.) Please list, and if readily available, provide copy of each book, article, column or publication you have authored.
Unpublished. No paper trail. We all approved of this. Want more applicants like this guy.
11.) Please identify each instance in which you have testified before... legislative, administrative, investigative or regulatory body, and specify the subject matter...
Appeared before governor ("procurator") of Judea, as well as the (local) king. Bad news here. Annoyed almost every authority he met. When asked, "Are you the Son of God?" he said, "It is you who say so." What will Senate confirmation hearings be like for him? On other hand, vague is good.
17.) Have you belonged to any membership organization that restricted membership or affiliation based on race, sex, disability...?
Rabbis could only be men, at least when he was one. Now it's different. Still, will woman be offended? On other hand, knows Hebrew, speaks it. Jewish voters might like that. (Possible post: Ambassador to Israel?)20.) [P]lease provide the names and details of any individuals or organizations with which you have been affiliated... which might have the potential for embarrassment.
Red flags! Prostitutes. (Another Spitzer?) Tax collectors. (Who likes them?) Sinners: "dines" with, he says. (Problem for religious right.) This sounds harsh, but he keeps bad company. Friends are rough around edges. Peter--closest advisor--is hothead and shoots his mouth off. (Biden?) Also Peter denied knowing him. (Youtube video on that? Hope not.) Can we trust P. not to do/say anything stupid for 4 (8) years? Overall, bad track record for picking friends. 2 betrayed him—one accepted bribe. (Fox News is sure to pick that up.)
22.) Please furnish a copy of each net worth statement...
Should be easy for I.R.S. Says he has no money! "The Son of Man has no place to lay his head," said. That's a quote. Gave him emails for real-estate brokers in D.C. Lots of work with poor, too. Says they're "blessed." The left will eat this up.
33.) Have you filed all required federal, state, local and foreign income tax returns?
Hard to read notes--sorry. "Caesar?"
43.) Please list any administrative agency procedures in which you have been involved as a material witness...
Bad news here. Confusing testimony from trial. Sanhedrin transcript lost. Roman authorities might balk at giving access to files. Maybe returning more statues to Italy might help with this? (Do we know anyone at Getty Museum?)
45.) Have any members of your family or close social business associates been arrested for, charged with or convicted of a crime...
His "friend" Peter--get this--sliced someone's ear off before trial. No charges, since guy got better, somehow. Still, embarrassing.
57.) If applicable, please list the names, addresses and phone numbers of cohabitants within the last ten years.
Palled around with "followers" (few 100) and "disciples" (70 or so). And "apostles." 12. Only men?? Will that (a) offend women? Or (b) raise eyebrows among religious right? But has lots of friends, men and women. Likeable guy. Doesn't discriminate. Young voters will like that.
61.) Do you have any association with any person, group or business venture that could be used...to impugn your character.
Prostitutes, sinners, tax collectors. Also: formerly "possessed" people. Freaky actually, though to hear him describe it, they were pretty nice people, post-exorcism.
Executive Summary: Frankly, Mr. President-elect, I cannot in good conscience recommend this guy for cabinet post or any other high-level position. (I know we were talking HHS.) On the plus side, he's friendly, a natural storyteller (think Reagan) and the anti-business episode in the Temple would be a big hit these days. On the minus side, he has a history of stirring up trouble with both religious and governmental authorities (and we haven't even interviewed the Romans yet). Lousy taste in friends. No experience in financial matters. And, I hate to say this, but he's not the sharpest dresser (beard, too) so would feel out of place in DC, not to mention the White House.
My recommendation: No for Cabinet. No for any government agency. No for ambassador. But likeable. Smart. Funny. Great storyteller. (Remind me to tell you the Samaritan story) Find him another job somewhere. We still doing faith-based initiatives?