Washington, DC (GlossyNews) — In a bold bid to rally voter support for healthcare reform and boost Democrats’ election prospects, President Obama announced today the resignation of Vice President Joe Biden and appointment of television actor Patrick Dempsey to replace him.
Dempsey, best known for his portrayal of Dr. Derek Shepherd on the popular television series Grey’s Anatomy, has no previous political experience but is seen as a canny choice by Washington insiders.
“Joe Biden has been a friend and a Vice President,” said President Obama. “I know Joe joins me in welcoming Patrick Dempsey to my administration. Patrick has played a leading role in healthcare for many years and the American people admire him for that.”
“What the hell, I’m out of here,” Biden said. “I’m from a scrappy little town called Scranton, so I know how these political deals work.”
For his part, the new Vice President promised the same teamwork and consensus-building the President is known for talking about.
“On the screen we have individual roles,” said Vice President Dempsey. “But on the set we’re a team.”
Congressional Democrats expressed delight with the President’s move, predicting quick confirmation by the House and Senate.
“I am thrilled with the President’s announcement,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Many of our healthcare reform ideas came from watching this tv show.”
A senior aide later clarified Pelosi’s statement.
“The Speaker did not mean to imply she watches the show at its original airtime,” the aide explained. “She records it on TiVo and replays it later.”
Capitol Hill Republicans were split, with the leadership guarded and some rank and file supportive.
“I don’t have much time for television, so I only watch wrestling,” said House GOP leader John Boehner. “It’s a moral position I feel very strongly about.”
But centrist Republican Senator Olympia Snowe will vote with Democrats to approve Dempsey, all but assuring his appointment clears a key Senate hurdle.
“This is really neat,” giggled Senator Snowe.
Meanwhile, top administration aides sought to dispel rumors that Biden’s working-class persona chafed the celebrity aura of the Obama White House.
“We don’t roll that way,” said Senior White House advisor David Axelrod, reached at a beachside restaurant in Malibu.
Political consultants praised Obama’s move and buzzed about implications for presumed GOP presidential candidates.
“This is a game changer for the President,” said a top Democrat. “Healthcare aside, the switch from Biden to Dempsey is worth a million votes just on the difference in hairstyles.”
“I’d like to see Sarah Palin run with Bullwinkle the Moose,” said one prominent Republican strategist. “You lock up the nostalgia vote, the outdoor-lover vote and there’s such great personal chemistry between them.”
Other top campaign consultants were less enthusiastic about putting Palin and the classic cartoon moose on the same ticket.
“Their images as candidates are very similar,” said a leading GOP pollster. “I’d rather see her with Batman or the Aflac duck.”