Panda Diplomacy Roils Trump Presidency

“The National Zoo in Washington has said its final goodbye to its panda cub Bao Bao.” — Washington Post, February 21, 2017

Photo: Lawrence Fung, Flickr

According to White Houses sources, who whispered and spoke pig Latin due to not being authorized to utter cogent thoughts, President’s Trumps recent congenial phone call with Chinese President Xi Jinping reflects the administration’s concern about the Chinese playing the panda card. Budding sinophile Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was apparently uncharacteristically choked up and teary when he informed the president of the return to China from Washington of Bao Bao the giant panda.

Though born at the National Zoo, Bao Bao is the property of China, as are all giant pandas in American zoos. The recall of Bao Bao from Washington Tillerson declared, was a warning by the Chinese to Trump to knock off the tough talk or they would pull all their pandas from American zoos; thus depriving the zoo industry of a key resource to induce cuteness overload in visitors.

Asked at the daily White House press briefing about Bao Bao’s return to China, Press Secretary Sean Spicer vehemently denied the account and said that, “The truth, the whole truth and whatever…” is that “Bao Bao is being deported. Show me Bao Bao’s finger prints on any form for legal residency! Show me a video of Bao Bao singing the National Anthem! She may be cuter than me, but she’s here illegally and she’s going back.”

Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway, standing next to a folding table set up in front of the White House fence and covered with marked down Ivanka Trump fashion items, said to anyone who would listen, “We know Isis has been literally feeding Bao Bao copious amounts of information inside of the 25 pounds of bamboo she eats a day. Every giant panda exhibit is a potential terrorist sleeper cell. Do we want another Toys “R” Us massacre with exploding stuffed animals? I don’t think so. What America wants is some of this lovely Ivanka Trump jewelry I have here…”

On the newly rechristened NBC talking heads show, “Befuddle the Press” Vice President Mike Pence played to the Republican Party’s evangelical base. “The godless Chinese want Bao Bao — who is only three and a half years old — back in China to breed. Not even four years old and they want her to have carnal relations with a male panda. That is just outrageous and against God, nature, and for good measure, against the American flag.”

Asked if this meant the administration was changing its stance on seeking to deport Bao Bao, Pence pivoted, apparently not wanting to contradict the president’s position; though Pence’s aides admitted they never have a clue what the president’s position is on anything and in fact they have betting pool as to whether the president knows how to use a compass.

“For all we know, Bao Bao is a lesbian and wants nothing to do with male pandas,” Pence said. “To those protesting that Bao Bao must be saved, I remind them that I have always believed that wayward mammals must find Savior through Christ — for he was born in a manger.”

Prior to Bao Bao’s 16 nonstop flight to the Chinese city of Chengdu, the giant panda seemed unconcerned about leaving the country. She munched bamboo, yawned, defecated, and scratched herself. Zoo officials however would not confirm or deny a report that Kellyanne Conway had been led away from the panda enclosure after trying to entice Bao Bao to put on a necklace from the Ivanka Trump collection.