Responding to persistent requests from NPR Vatican correspondent Sylvia Poggioli, Republican contenders for their party's presidential nomination, as well as President Obama, have disclosed the Christmas gifts they hope to receive from legal American citizens and leaders of the three nations that continue to buy products made in America:
Governor Rick Perry of Texas told Poggioli he wants an artist's rendering of "The Father, The Son, and The.................................oops," a huge lava lamp to replace the rock in front of his hunting lodge, and compromising information on members of the Boards of Election Commissioners in the states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich wants 53 one-syllable words he can use to describe what's wrong with the Obama administration and a blue recycling bin for the phrases "secular Socialist machine," "rigid, ideologically driven elitist," and "the underlying thematics are beginning to be universalizable in a way that has taken years of work." He also wants the "incompetent idiots" in the media "to ask questions that no one can answer but me."
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney looks forward to opening a box containing three legal pads, two bearing the heading "Current Positions" and a third labeled "Possible Positions." He also wants a manly charm necklace to which is attached a crucifix, a Cross of Nails, a Jesus fish, a Celtic cross, a miniature "Reborn John:16" poster, a mezuzah and a tiny comb. He says he will also consider, but not commit to, the addition of a Buddha. A trusted aide who was not authorized to speak on the record nor to say on background anything that the candidate could not clarify the next day reports that Romney might also like a very small soluble tattoo of Moroni on the inside of his left buttock.
Congressman Ron Paul says he wants those inclined to give him presents to make contributions to his campaign in the form of gold ingots or dental fillings. He adds that if there is a supporter who wants to give him a gold plate, he would like Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's head on it.
Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum hopes to find under his tree a carton containing a chastity belt used by his great-grandmother and a sonogram taken of his great-grandfather while in utero. Santorum says the sonogram has great sentimental value to him, as it dissuaded his great-great-great grandmother from aborting a pregnancy caused when Pope Pius IX -- the 19th century prelate who created the mafia, stole church funds, and created a ghetto for Roman Jews-- had his way with her. Santorum would also like a smile that does not suggest admiration for Pope Pius IX.
Congresswoman Michelle Bachman is praying for a digit, such as "1", to put to the left of the digit "3" that marks her current standing in the polls. Although she does not regard herself as vain, the Congresswoman is also hoping for a set of prosthetic eyelids that she can close. Finally, she has been writing daily letters to Santa Claus beseeching him for an affidavit from a woman who swears she enjoyed a night of uninhibited sex with her husband Marcus.
Hermann Cain has demanded that his staff locate and present him with the number 27, enabling him both to shorten references to his tax plan and to respond to the question of how many women he has interviewed for employment in the back seat of a Ford Fiesta. He also expects to receive a Fodor's Guide to Washington, D.C. and a draft Presidential Executive Order abolishing the Department of Muslims.
Former Ambassador to China, John Huntsman, has at the top of his list the wish that Santa tell his wife and kids that he's running for President. He also hopes for news that Governor Romney was fatally crushed when his dog fell off the roof of his car; that Governor Perry was charged with second-degree murder when his wife rolled over in bed and impaled herself on his spurs; that Hermann Cain hired 953 undocumented Italian chefs and dough throwers while CEO of Godfather's Pizza; that a picture of Senator Rick Santorum has surfaced, showing him throwing strings of anal beads from a Tennessee Williams Mardi Gras float; that Speaker Gingrich failed to have the Contract With America signed by America; that Congressman Paul's safety deposit box has been opened, revealing the head of Ben Bernanke; and that someone has confirmed that Congresswoman Bachmann has always been, and will very likely continue to remain, like she is now.
Turning to the presumptive Democratic nominee, President Obama says that he wants only two gifts under the White House Christmas tree.
"First," he said, "in the spirit of the season I hope that Ambassador Huntsman receives every present on his list."
"Second, and most importantly, I hope the nation will have the opportunity to see the wonderful note that Ambassador Huntsman sent to me when I nominated him as our top diplomat to China. He wrote, 'I pledge to you, Mr. President, that I will carry to the Chinese the message that our countries share many core values. I will tell them that we believe citizens should not be permitted to own unlimited numbers of guns; that mothers should not be forced to give birth to unwanted children; that there should be a fair and equitable distribution of private wealth; and that government spending is the principal, if not the only means by which a nation's economy can be made to grow and prosper.'"
Mr. Obama concluded, "Although Christmas is traditionally a time of giving, in these difficult times those of us who are native-born Christians need to trim our wish lists. Though I have chosen to give rather than to receive, for me that opportunity is the greatest gift of all."