Dear Dairy:

I’m looking forward to my speech tonight to explain to the American people why everything they know about Iraq is wrong. This speech is probably the most eagerly awaited television event since the ‘According to Jim’ finale, which finally did come.

I’ve been trying out a couple jokes, which never hurts a speech. After I was forced to spend nearly three minutes with House and Senate lawmakers Tuesday afternoon, I said to the press the meeting was staged for that ‘It’s very important before I make up my mind that I consult with leaders of the House and the Senate.’ But no one laughed. That joke kills around the West Wing!

The speech still needs work. I was practicing it for Leonard, the guy who brings me my sandwiches, and he started cracking up when I got to the part about bringing troops home ‘when and if I feel like it.’ Leonard, I said, that part wasn’t a joke! I told him to stay focused, as this is the most anxiously anticipated speech of my Presidency. ‘This is your farewell speech?’ he says.

As good as he was at cutting off crusts, a job just opened up on the White House kitchen staff.

Bad news re: General Petraeus; I was pinning a few more medals on him for his brave service on all the news shows when his jacket tore away under the added weight and fell to the ground, breaking his foot. This is exactly the kind of event that could put the plans for reduced troop levels by next Summer into the crapper.