Overheard at Barack Obama Strategy Session

12/27/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A recording of a key meeting between Barack Obama, David Axelrod, Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs was recently revealed. Most of the conversation revolves around the selection of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

Barack Obama: Kerry? I couldn't stand having Kerry.

David Axelrod: Don't worry, it's not Kerry.

Barack Obama: Richardson? Holbrooke? Colin Powell?

Rahm Emanuel: You're not even f----n' close.

Barack Obama: OK, I give up. Who?

Robert Gibbs: You're not going to believe this.

Barack Obama: So tell me.

David Axelrod: Your sure won't..

Barack Obama: Tell me!

All : Hillary!

Barack Obama: Hillary?

David Axelrod: Think about it. It's the ultimate Big Gesture and the world will love it. Takes ten years off of your foreign policy gap, at least.

Robert Gibbs: Not that all that "experience" stuff really sticks, anyway. Look at John McCain.

Barack Obama: Don't you think she's going to, well, you know, have her own agenda?

Rahm Emanuel: Believe it or not, no. I've talked to her, and believe me, she thinks it's the greatest f----n' idea in the f----n' world. And f----n" Clinton, he's over the f----n' moon. It's the ultimate do-over. She'll play ball.

David Axelrod: Besides, that's the beauty part. Everyone is going to assume she's Lady Macbeth.

Robert Gibbs: You're going to love this.

David Axelrod: Say the press does become obsessed with that simple, easy to understand story for the next four or eight years. Opens up a lot of space for other narratives.

Robert Gibbs: It will be the the story of the day, every day.

Barack Obama: I get it, I get it. So if, say, I wanted to go fishing with Hugo Chavez, the press will be too busy reading tea leaves to notice?

David Axelrod: Well, maybe not that.

Rahm Emanuel: And no naming buildings after Saul Alinsky, either.

David Axelrod: But think about it. You can't lose. We get a pick that surprises people and gives people something else to like about you, we keep her in line, and every once in awhile, we catch a break while the press is distracted.

Robert Gibbs: They won't be able to resist. It will be like having Princess Diana stories all the time.

Barack Obama: What is Biden going to say? He thought he would be my behind the scenes foreign policy guy.

David Axelrod: We've got a plan for Biden, don't worry.

Robert Gibbs: You're going to love this.

Rahm Emanuel: You really f----n' are.

Barack Obama: ?

David Axelrod: OK. Step one. We get the Governor of Delaware to pick someone who'll keep the Senate seat warm for Beau.

Robert Gibbs: Step two. Joe announces he'll take the oath of office as a Senator when the new Congress comes in.

Rahm Emanuel: Step three. We f--- 'em. F--- 'em good.

David Axelrod: Step three. We start talking about a recovery plan. We say we want one ready to go the minute you take office. There's really only one way to do that.

Robert Gibbs: Step four...

David Axelrod. I'll tell him, it was my idea. Step four. Joe devotes himself to passing it in three weeks, gets all the glory, the press helps us build momentum, and we we get 80 votes.

Rahm Emaunuel: Maybe seventy.

David Axelrod: Whatever. Point is, this is the way to start your presidency almost as early as Tom Friedman wants, and gets us everything we want: fixing the economy, ending the wars, negotiating peace in the Middle East and manipulating the hell out of the press.

Barack Obama: I like it, I like it. Subtle, cool, efficient... Hey Ax..what's that in your Ceasar salad? Is that an anchovy? It looks like a microphone. Hey, it is...

All: Oh, f---.

(The tape breaks up at this point, with a voice in the background apparently saying, "But it would be wrong!")