Thursday, January 22, 2009

My wife for President

Our 8-year-old daughter wants me to become POTUS because she thinks it would be fun to live in the White House. I agree.

News stories about the Obamas new digs show what a wonderful place it must be to call home, especially if you have children like Malia, 10 , and Sasha, 7, who travel under the endearing Secret Service code names Radiance and Rosebud.

One report this morning told about how the girls will have access to the White House movie theater, the bowling alley, the pool and how the Bush twins urged them to spend play time sliding down the solarium banister.

What most struck our oldest daughter was how acts like the Jonas Brothers would come to visit and perform for things like birthdays or sleep overs. I’m thrilled to have Obama as my president, but if he allows his daughters to even so much as listen to the Jonas Brothers I’m throwing in for Palin and The Plumber in 2012.

So I, too, would love to live in the White House. It’s bound to be a blast.

I just don’t want to be president.

Still, I hate to disappoint my little darling so I’m nominating my wife, Valerie, for president. She’d be great.

On domestic matters, I’m confident she could balance the national budget with just one week’s worth of coupons from any Sunday newspaper. Her feeding our family with so little income and so many coupons always reminds me of what Jesus did with the loaves and the fishes.

Her foreign relations track record on keeping warring parties from spilling blood is worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize. I’ve been mired in cold war with her family for more than 15 years while she’s patiently played Kissinger. She’s brokered an uneasy peace that persists despite their belief that I’m a good-for-nothing layabout and my despising them for their honesty.

And, like Obama, she’s a take charge sort. Rather than waiting around interminably for me to get around to painting the bathroom, she said to hell with me. She’ll do it herself. It’s a brilliant strategy because she knows I’ll be shamed into helping out on a job I’d rather do in 10-minute increments over the course of two years rather than in one hectic weekend.

See, she knows how to find work for even the laziest members of our society.

Me, I’d be perfect for the First Gentleman role. I know how to entertain (juggle and recite from memory dozens of filthy limericks) and I know what it takes to throw a really great party. That would be a giant slingshot.

A few years ago I strung up nearly 50-feet of surgical tubing between a high split in a towering backyard apple tree and -- voila! -- giant slingshot! We spent an unforgettable night blasting spray-painted potatoes, pudding balloons and one unfortunate stray cat more than 500 feet across the field at our hillbilly neighbor’s trailer.

I’d be there to greet the Pittsburgh Steelers whenever they won the Super Bowl (Pittsburgh 33, Arizona 10). And I’d tell my pals in the NSC to fog all the lenses on all Bill Belichick’s cheater spy cameras to ensure the only “patriots” who ever win the Super Bowl work for the great Dan Rooney.

One of my ambitions has always been to get high on the White House roof with Willie Nelson. He famously did it when Jimmy Carter invited him for a presidential barbeque. As First Gentleman, I’d do it daily. With Willie. And John Cusack. And Bob Dylan. And, yeah, what the hell, Larry King can come, too.

As an old news reporter, I’d be chummy with the press. I’d meet them in a friendly little tavern nearly every day for Happy Hour. We’d talk about events of the day and I’d give them not-for-attribution bits of gossip about what’s going on in my life and the things I’ve heard (I ritually do this nearly everyday now, but instead of my old buddies from the paper, the reporters would now be guys like Wolf Blitzer and Bob Schieffer).

The point of all this would be to finally be in a position to do something useful for my darling wife. My antics would keep her approval ratings sky high as she’d be popular with regular guys for being so tolerant of me, a regular guy who prefers joking and laughing to things like painting bathrooms.

She’d get points from female voters who’ll sympathize with a sister who had the misfortune of marrying badly.

Of course, it wouldn’t be all fun and games for me. I’d be responsible for hiring nannies and the guys whose job it would be to keep all 31 White House bathrooms in fresh coats of paint.

Val’s going to have her hands full.

Just slightly less so than she does now.

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