Florida Congresswoman hangs up on Obama - twice

Jake Turcotte

Nothing is more annoying than getting prank phone calls, calls from telemarketers, and calls from President-elect Barack Obama.

Barack Obama?

No time for you

Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen received a phone call from Obama yesterday to wish her congratulations on her re-election and to convey other political-type niceties -- like the importance of working together.

Problem was, she didn't believe it was him. She thought it was one of those wacky radio station stunts wherein a DJ gets you to believe he is someone famous. You know, like when Sarah Palin was spoofed into thinking she was talking to French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Determined not to be "Palin-ized," Ros-Lehtinen hung up on him.

Strike two

So Obama's head honcho Rahm Emanuel got involved and called her back. She promptly hung up on him too.

''I thought it was one of the radio stations in South Florida playing an incredible, elaborate, terrific prank on me,'' Ros-Lehtinen told the Miami Herald. ``They got Fidel Castro to go along. They've gotten Hugo Chavez and others to fall for their tricks. I said, 'Oh, no, I won't be punked'.''

Third time's the charm

It finally took Representative Howard Berman to get involved before she would believe Obama wanted to talk to her. Berman called his colleague, but she was wary of him too.

In fact, she demanded that Berman share a private joke they share to convince her that Berman was actually Berman.

No details of the private joke has emerged but that top-secret intelligence was enough for Ros-Lehtinen to believe that this was all for real.

She then told Berman to tell Obama to try again.

``I know this sounds very presumptuous, but please tell President-elect Obama he can call me now and I will take his call," she said.

A big laugh

How'd the call go?

She said the two of them had fun when they finally connected.

"He was having a good laugh," she told CNN. "He said Michelle will get a kick out of this. Because she likes to pinch my ego -- bring it down a notch."

She said he later told her lightheartedly that he would always remember her for the incident.

"Trust me, Ileana," she recounted him saying. "You will always be remembered by me, because I have made many of these calls and never once has anyone ever hung up on me. And never once has anyone hung up on me twice."

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