With a few weeks to the election, and debate season in full swing, it is far too easy to follow the crowd and try to predict what the candidates are likely to say or do in the remaining two debates.
Instead, my mind has been wandering to what it must be like to lose the election…to know that despite all of the efforts made, you are not the one the people want. As I pondered this, it occurred to me that the handover of a Presidency is not only extremely important but could in fact be very helpful to the incoming President.
After all, the outgoing President has a lot of recent experience and learned knowledge that he could impart to the incoming one….
I wonder what it was like in the Obama household when Bush had that final chat…..
(Cue spooky music and wavy picture as we travel back in time to become a fly on the wall of the Oval office as Bush provides some advice to Obama….)
Bush: “Well, Barry, you did it. Somehow you managed to convince enough people that your brand of hope and change designed to fundamentally change America will actually make their lives better. While we differ philosophically, I still feel I have something to offer that I have learned in my 8 years at the helm of America.
As is conventional in American politics, the outgoing President customarily gives a letter of advice to the incoming President. I am breaking that convention by providing you with 4 letters numbered 1 to 4. In these letters you will find the accumulated wisdom that I have gathered over the last 8 years…wisdom which if used correctly, could help your own Presidency. I know you have no reason to trust me….but when the time comes, reading these letters may help you gain perspective and provide direction. After all, I am a citizen of this country and your decisions affect me too…so it is in my best interests to provide the best advice I can.”
With that said, George W. Bush took his leave, leaving Barack Obama, newly ensconced in the White House with nothing more than the much vaunted hope and change of his campaign promises bouncing around the empty space where his brain should have been.
Not knowing what to do next, he opened the first letter from Bush….
“The fact that you are reading this indicates that you do not where to really begin transforming America. My advice to you is to just start. Do what you do best…make speeches, play basketball, and don’t forget the Wednesday night parties in the White House…all manner of artists are clamoring to perform there….you will have no trouble filling your time with these activities.
When the people catch on and see that nothing of significance has changed, and that the economy seems to be declining…open and read letter number two…the advice you find there will be invaluable.
Signed: George Bush”
Obama scratches his head a little and thinks about this advice. After an extraordinary long period of time, Obama straightens up and decides that this is really not bad advice at all. Things are bound to get worse before they get better, he thinks, so why not enjoy the honeymoon while it lasts? After all, my team of advisors are well suited and prepared to deal with the day to day issues of running the country….they don’t need me to do that…yes, why not enjoy myself…why not treat my family to vacations in exotic locales…and I may even be able to improve my golf score. You know…that George Bush may not have been as stupid as I always thought he was…his first letter makes a lot of sense!
So Mr. and Mrs President partied and vacationed and golfed and spa’d and did everything that Bush had suggested. And just as Bush had predicted, the economy became steadily worse. The unemployment numbers were bad news…jobs and job creation were non-existent, small businesses were falling like flies and the banking system was on the verge of collapse.
The transformation Obama had promised was coming to a screeching stop, and the natives were restless…they were starting to demand answers…starting to question whether the Obama choice was the right one.
In a fit of depression and doubt of what should be done next, Obama turns to letter No.2…..
“Dear Barry…running a country is surprisingly difficult, isn’t it? Especially for someone with such non-existent experience as you have. But do not fear…help is at hand. What you need is to convince the American people of a good reason for things to not be as rosy as you had promised. Give them a good reason and they will give you more time to solve the issues.
How about this? I have broad shoulders …after all I am a Texan! So why don’t you blame me? You could say that the economy is tanking because of Bush…the Bush wars, the Bush tax cuts…maybe even my fault that tsunamis happen…get the idea? If you do that, you could maybe buy a year or so before people start to call you on it. And in that time, you can improve your golf game, push through unwanted legislation, and have even more vacations.
Sounds like a plan to me….you don’t actually have to do or achieve anything if you blame me!
Signed” George Bush”
Barry couldn’t believe his luck. Just when he had run out of ideas, salvation was coming from the most unlikely source, being advice from his predecessor. What valuable advice. And amazing that Bush was willing to sacrifice his own place in history by being the whipping boy for Obama’s mistakes…awesome!!
So Obama and his clown posse got together and planned. Harry and Nancy sent out the war cry of blame Bush…a cry that was echoed throughout Liberal Wonderland. Voices were raised in unison across the land…”It was Bush’s fault!”
And Barry and Michelle grinned at how clever they were….they partied harder, inviting rappers to perform at discrete functions for their daughters…and select friends. They travelled more frequently, relying on their surrogates to carry the message far and wide. Their own incompetence, they believed, was now buried deep under the incompetence of the previous administration, almost guaranteed to never see the light of day before the next election. If it came out after that, it wouldn’t matter…they would have the White House for another 4 years. What a perfect plan.
Somewhere deep inside Obama’s addled brain a small voice was asking…”Why would Bush do this?”…but that small voice could not grow under the weight of the talk show appearances, concert nights and vacations that had now become the staple of life for the Obama’s.
Life was perfect. The country was in shambles, but that was Bush’s fault…the economy was failing…Bush’s fault…the foreign wars were failing…Bush’s fault…the dollar is weak…Bush’s fault!
Sometime later the whispers started. It was three years into Obama’s presidency and the whispers were getting louder…questions were being asked…and the liberal base, while still loyal supporters, were asking why it could STILL be Bush’s fault.
Obama could hear the whispers and knew he he had to come up with something before the whispers became a roar that drowned out his re-election prospects. But he was out of ideas…what could he possibly do?
One night while watching replays of the NBA finals, a light went off in the dark recesses of his brain. There were still 2 Bush letters left unopened…perhaps there was some advice in them?
With trembling fingers he opened Bush letter number 3, hoping that the words written therein could help him in his re-election campaign, regardless of the sluggish recovery….
“Hey, Obama….I guess blaming me didn’t get you through your first term…I tell you, the American people are much smarter than you ever gave them credit for. But not to worry….I didn’t think the “blame me” ruse would last forever which is why I wrote this letter for you.
If my calculations are right, you should be about ready to start your re-election campaign…and we all know how difficult it is to fit in a round or two of golf while on the campaign trail. Particularly when your record is so bad that you can’t rely on it to win this election. So far we have been able to work together to get you three years into your first term without your having to achieve anything at all. The task ahead is to get you through the next 9-10 months…and you have no record of success to rely on. This is a bit tricky.
But by now you should know that we Texan’s don’t give up. There is something that you can do…you can explain to the people that while your policies have been working, they have not been working fast enough…so you are re-organizing. You are re-visiting all the problems…refining your policies, coming up with ideas that will speed up the recovery. You can ask the people to give you a little more time to regroup and that in the next term, after this election, your revised policies will bear fruit…not the sour fruit of the Bush years, but fresh, succulent and sweet fruit that will see the economy strong for the next hundred years….
Obama, old pal, this is not hard. A man of your insecurity and lack of motivation can easily hide behind the r0ock that is re-organization.
Signed: George Bush”
Obama slapped his forehead in glee. Of course! What a simple solution…and what better time than now when he needed to give the electorate a reason to elect him once more. So the clown assembled once more. Biden was grinning like the fool he is as he listened to Obama explain the plan. Debbie Wasserman Schultz decided that a spread in Vogue would help polish her message of re-organization. Harry Reid nodded so vigorously that his glasses dropped from his nose, landing at the feet of Nancy Pelosi who looked for all the world like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming orgasm.
The re-election plan took shape. A cunning Obama campaign manager suddenly realized that the combination of a blame Bush punch with a re-organization plan, could produce the knock-out they desperately needed to get the Obama elected again.
And so it came to pass. Obama, convinced that his re-election was in the bag, went back to comedy central to learn the lines he would use in his many campaign appearances. His stand up routine was refined many times…his one liners practiced for hours in front of a mirror…his timing impeccable, he was prepared for every stump speech planned.
Unfortunately, his golf game suffered…so, in attempt to improve the only thing he had achieved since becoming President (his golf score) he started spending more time on the course…he avoided National Security Briefings and debate practice with the same sense of urgency. Every spare minute was spent driving, putting and counting his swings….and then disaster struck.
The first debate was a disaster for the Obama…he showed the world just how full of nothing he really was. Even his hot air fell to the floor with barely a whimper…and his election chances deflated with him.
He knew trouble was around the corner. He sent his VP into the fray with orders to liven the base…but all that happened was that Biden grinned like a fool and left everyone asking the question “How does he get his teeth so white?”.
Seeking inspiration, Obama turned to Bush’s letter number 4.
Nicotine stained fingers slowly opened the letter…and Obama noticed immediately that this letter was much shorter than the previous three. One page, folded in two…clearly not a lot written on it.
Shaking with fear, and excitement, hoping the solution was contained in those few words, Obama tried to read it…but could not bring himself to….
He hands the single sheet of paper to Michelle, asking her to read it to him….
She squints at the small print….and reads…..
“Barry, my boy…it’s time to start preparing 4 letters for the next President! George”
(Cue spooky music and wavy picture.)
Back again. Sorry for the diversion into imagination…I don’t for a minute believe that has happened…but wouldn’t it be a fine thing?
Obama must NOT win this election…and that is firmly in your hands.
Make him write those letters!