A change is coming to America soon. Tuesday, actually. Whether you’re a Democrat, Republican or just a curious Joe wondering how a beehive-haired woman could run the entire state of Alaska (but remember, I’m a bipartisan columnist here), there’s no denying we’re waking up to the dawning of a new age.
Come Tuesday night, President-Elect Barack Obama will raise his right hand to formalize his commitment to serve, protect and defend the Stars and Stripes in front of, I’m sure, a record number of gatherers in Washington D.C; I’m pretty sure he’ll even be wearing one of his trademark classy suits we’ve all come to love over the last 20-some odd months.
And like the 43 presidents before him, I’m sure he’ll be a bit scared, though I’m quite certain he won’t let it show. He’ll be cool, calm and collected.
But what happens after he takes his vows and marries America? Sure, he’ll have his aides and cabinet to help soothe him, but do they really know what it’s like to walk in our shoes; yes, I said our shoes because, frankly, I’ve always felt a sort of kinship to Obama seeing as we’re so much alike. We both hail from the great state of Illinois, we’re extraordinarily charismatic and we’ve both broken social boundaries even when people said it was impossible. And let’s face it: We both know what it’s like to live front and center in the public eye.
So it’s quite surprising that, until now, I never realized how fully Obama needs me. He needs me to help bridge the transition. I’m sorry, Obama, that I’ve been so unfaithful to you and my country. But I’m about to make it up to you with these red-hot tips for a White House transition that will be as smooth as the clear, blue sky. This one is for you, Mr. Soon-To-Be-President.
MORE JUICE AFTER THE JUMP…
Don’t Listen to the Haters
As nice as you are, as polite and respectful as you are, it’s essential to learn early on that not everyone is going to like you. It’s not your fault; that’s just how it is for people like us who live under the microscope of public scrutiny. Just last week, I received some rather unkind words on my blog; it cut me to the quick at first, but then I thought, “Who cares. I’m doing what I believe in my heart is right.” And that’s really all that matters.
Learn From Your Predecessors
If you ever find yourself in a, well, rather sticky situation, live by this rule of thumb: Burn the tapes and all traces of evidence. The prosecution can’t get you on hearsay and circumstantial evidence; at least that’s what I’ve learned from my days of watching courtroom dramas. And, should you have a wandering eye, which I’m sure you won’t because you’re a gentleman, at least have the smarts to NOT have, how shall I say this, parties in the Oval Office. Isn’t there a portrait of George Washington in there? Don’t let him down.
Make Time for Family
Contrary to popular belief, the life of a columnist and blogger is not all sunshine and roses. It’s hard, demanding work, and sometimes, the work must come at the expense of family time. I’ve tried to curb this bad habit, but I’ve come to a place where I’m able to juggle both quite well. Mr. Obama, your little girls are going to grow up so fast. Take the time to be with them, even if it’s just letting them sit under the Oval Office desk like little John Kennedy Jr. Or better yet, why not let them re-decorate the Oval Office. I hear pink is very fashionable, and I’m sure they’d have a Jonas Brothers poster or two they’d be willing to donate.
Remember, An Inflated Ego Is OK
In fact, judging by your immediate predecessor, Mr. George W. Bush (by the way, did you watch him pack up his belongings? That would be a sight to see. On second thought, you’re a pretty helpful guy – maybe you even pitched in and helped), I’d say a grandiose sense of self is a prerequisite for the job of President of the United States. You’re entitled to it, just as our founding fathers demanded that we all have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So don’t feel bad if you use your status to, say, score a better table at a restaurant, score box seats at a play (well, maybe you shouldn’t do that one) or solve the on-going crises in the Middle East. You’ll have more authority and sway that way, trust me. All I have to do these days is tell people I’m an adjunct professor and their knees begin to shake. So, Mr. President, I do hope you take my words to heart. Together, we can live the dream. Welcome to our America.
P.S.: Speaking of dreams, perhaps if I had shared this privy information with a certain Gov. Rod Blagojevich a few years back, we in Illinois would be living the dream instead of staving off a nightmare. I’m just saying …