Is Ileana Ros-Lehtinen a little paranoid?
On Wednesday, the Republican congresswoman got a call from President-elect Barack Obama, didn't believe it was him, and hung up on him. Twice.
According to Ros-Lehtinen's flack Alex Cruz, the congresswoman received the call on her cell phone from a Chicago-based number and an aide informed her that Obama wanted to speak to her. When Obama introduced himself, Ros-Lehtinen cut him off and said, "I'm sorry but I think this is a joke from one of the South Florida radio stations known for these pranks." Then she hung up.
Moments later, Obama tried again, this time through his soon-to-be chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.
"Ileana, I cannot believe you hung up on the President-Elect," Emanuel said. And then--yes, you know what's coming--she hung up on Emanuel saying she "didn't believe the call was legitimate."
A short time later, Ros-Lehtinen received an urgent call from Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.), the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, who informed her that she indeed hung up on Obama.
So, Obama tried again and this time he was successful. (Phew!)
"It is very funny that you have twice hung up on me," Obama said. Ros Lehtinen responded by telling Obama that radio stations in South Florida always make these sorts of jokes. Obama said similar pranksters reside in Chi-town.
"You are either very gracious to reach out in such a bipartisan manner or had run out of folks to call if you are truly calling me and Saturday Night Live could use a good Obama impersonator like you," Ros-Lehtinen joked with the president-elect.
Ros-Lehtinen then congratulated Obama on his victory and pledged to work together on behalf of all Americans. She also asked Obama to call Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Rep. Albio Sire to discuss Cuba policy.
Here's hoping they don't hang up on him.