What with the Bush White House leaking like a sieve these days, it wasn’t difficult to obtain a copy of George W.’s secret birthday message to the venerable historian and former Kennedy aide Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

Sources say that it was delivered by former Kennedy speech-writer and master toastmaker Ted Sorensen at Schlesinger’s 85th birthday party at New York’s Century Club on October 15th. The small group of revelers included actress Lauren Bacall, Jean Kennedy Smith, former NY Cultural Commissioner Schuyler Chapin and author Philip Howard.

October 15, 2003

From: The Oval Office, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC

For: Mr. Arthur Schlesinger, c/o The Century Club

Dear Dr. Schlesinger,

Warmest felicitatitudes from the all-White House.

Sorry this is late, but I could not find your address. It must be out there somewhere with Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, his weapons of mass destruction and the White House leaker–I’m certain they’re all out there somewhere.

Karl Rove tells me that you and I have a lot in common.

–That each of us is named for a famous father; although, to tell you the truth (that’s a phrase I picked up here in the White House) I don’t know your father’s name.

–Next, he says each of us served in the White House without ever being elected President.

–I hear you served every president’s administration for the last half century, but, unlike Clinton, you were unable to perform between the Bushs’.

–Also, you have written six books, exactly the same number that I have…read.

–When I was a kid, I loved your book on the half-man/half-horse, “The Vital Centaur.”

–I also tried to read your book on Kennedy. I got halfway through, about 500 days–and my lips got tired.

But I am most interested in your periodic poll of historians on our greatest presidents. I have no doubts that my administration will go down in history…

Sincerely,George W. Bush


*Sources also tell us that Sorensen is not only a brilliant speechwriter but a masterful writer of birthday toasts.