Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is a Republican Congresswoman from the 18th district of Florida. Yesterday she got a couple of phone calls from Barack Obama and hung up on him … twice. Read about it below and see photos and a video of her below.

People are making fun of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen for hanging up on Barack Obama twice yesterday. He has been calling Congressional leaders congratulating them on their wins and telling them that he’s looking forward to work with them … blah, blah, political kissy-face stuff, blah, blah.

She obviously thought his attempts to talk with her on the telephone were a joke. In fact, one publication goes so far as to use this incident as proof that she’s dumb. Of course, if she had taken the call and it HAD been a radio station making a prank call, they would have called her dumb too. As in the infamous Sarah Palin radio phone prank. You really can’t win with these things.

She was only finally convinced it was, indeed, Barack Obama, after Chairman Howard Berman of the Foreign Affairs Committee called her and asked her WHAT THE $(*#*&$ SHE’S DOING!!!! She still was suspicious, thinking these pranksters sure are persistent and sure do good impersonations. So she asked her friend, Berman, to share with her a private joke they had. He did and then she took the phone call. (Private joke?? Oh my!).

Anyway, all that’s well and good. She took the call. Obama congratulated her and said he was looking forward to working with her. They both had a good hearty laugh over the whole incident. The One seemed to forgive her for not appreciating his importance.

Then she puts out a press release to make sure everybody in the country knows what happened. When the press came running to her door to ask what happened, she happily explained it all saying that she was thinking “why would Obama want to call a little slug on the planet like me?�?

Of course, that left many people wondering why she’d think a radio station would prank her … but let’s move on.

Here is her press release. It might be of some concern to her constituents that her office put this press release out with both “Barack” and “Emanuel” misspelled.

“December 3, 2008

“Miami, Florida — Cong. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen thought it was a hoax when President-Elect Barak (sic) Obama called her twice today and she proceeded to hang up on him, twice.

“Ros-Lehtinen was working in her South Florida district when she received a call on her cell from a Chicago based phone number and an aide informed her that President-Elect Obama wished to speak to her. A gentleman sounding like Obama introduced himself when Ros-Lehtinen cut him off and said that ‘I’m sorry but I think this is a joke from one of the South Florida radio stations known for these pranks’ and hung up.

“A short time later, Cong. and Chief of Staff designate Rahm Emmanuel (sic) called Ileana and stated ‘Ileana, I cannot believe that you hung up on the President-Elect.’ Ros-Lehtinen told Rahm that she didn’t believe the call was legitimate and hung up on Emmanuel (sic). A staffer to the Congresswoman informed her that Chairman Howard Berman of the Foreign Affairs Committee needed to speak with her urgently. When Chairman Berman called, Ros-Lehtinen urged him to recount a story only both of them would know, which he did, and told her that she had indeed hung up on the President-Elect.

“The Congresswoman then received another call from Obama and he told her ‘It is very funny that you have twice hung up on me,’ to which she responded that South Florida radio stations are notorious for these jokes. Obama told her that in Chicago they also have prank calls. Ileana told Obama that ‘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.’ After she congratulated him for his victory and pledged to work together on behalf of all Americans, Ros-Lehtinen asked Obama to please consult with Senator Bob Menendez and Congressman Albio Sires on Cuba policy and to rely on Secretary of State designate Clinton on Israel, two issues about which Ros-Lehtinen feels passionately.

“Ros-Lehtinen talked to Hillary Clinton by phone yesterday and also discussed Cuba and Israel.”




Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – Video