At the risk of being snarky (when have I ever!): I have figured out how to be President of these United States of America and it is a lot easier than you would suspect. Now I’m not talking about the process of getting elected, that is a sewer into which I choose not to descend, but the qualifications seem to be irrevocably diminished. Gone is the advantage of having served in the military, or to have some background in the private sector, be it business experience or actually having held a real job. So too has the experience of actually running something, be it a business or state government, supplanted by spending a minimal amount of time in Congress, and even that can be extraordinarily minimal. So you can actually be something as ridiculous as, say a “community organizer”, followed by a few weeks in Congress, never having actually done anything, to get elected. But I digress. Let’s just assume that you’re in….now what do you do? Is there a Presidential handbook or perhaps a hastily scribbled list of dos and don’ts left by your predecessor? Based on history there must not be, because the President continues to do the same stupid things that Presidents have always done. But this one has made it simple. We live in the age of celebrity. It’s all about how you look, how you appear on television. How you manage the teleprompter. Actual gravitas has been replaced by the perception of cool. You rub elbows with Jay-Z and similar characters from the cultural abyss. George, Angelina, Beyonce. You have swagger.You’re a media darling.
First rule is to do whatever the hell you want. Remember, the public voted you in, and you’re riding high on approval ratings, so it is, more or less, an affirmation that you are free to do whatever you want. After all they gave you the job. And why wouldn’t a democrat President be a reflection of his constituency? They all voted for you because you promised them free stuff on the government’s dime. So have at it. Show ‘em how it’s done. Fly to Indiana to golf with Tiger Woods. Throw a barbecue for all your hoop star idols and serve them some of that specially brewed White House beer. Send the kids to the Caribbean. Take Air Force One out to Hawaii for a family vacation and, why not, fly back to Washington to check up on things in the middle of your vacation and fly back. It’s not like you’re paying for gas. Shoot, let’s just take a jaunt with Michelle and a dozen or so of your favorite secret service agents up to New York to take in dinner and a show…..you know, just the two of us. And Martha’s Vineyard, like Hawaii, is a great place to showcase your scrawny pencil neck and man-boobs in a pair of fashionable swim trunks for the adoring People Magazine paparazzi while frolicking in the surf with the wife and kids. What could renting a second villa for your entourage be in Martha’s Vineyard at the height of tourist season….another 10, 20 grand? Pocket change. You deserve it.
Attack all your rivals and those that don’t ascribe to your world view relentlessly and personally, using all the complicit media and government agencies at your disposal. And when they attack you, declare your personal life and your family out of bounds. Be indignant. Declare yourself above the fray, too noble to resort to that sort of thing. But continue to leak information to the press. You say it…they repeat it, like a parrot. Worst case scenario: just throw the reporter or the government underling under the bus. Cannon fodder. And when the inevitable scandal pops up, repeat after me: “ I knew nothing of this [fill in the blank]. I just found out about it like you, read it in the paper. [Fill in the blank] is a completely independent organization and my administration has nothing to do with this. I am appalled at the actions of [fill in the blank]. I vow to form a bipartisan committee to investigate [fill in the blank]. I will work tirelessly to see to it that [fill in the blank] is held accountable for their actions. This has no place in America. I am shocked and outraged.”
And when your policies are found wanting, your diplomats attacked overseas, the economy continues to tank, and that Red Line that you alluded to is crossed, just use a variation on the theme of denial. Remember: It’s not your fault, you didn’t know, it was someone else, you were misunderstood. Once again, repeat after me: This is totally unacceptable. I was not informed. It was due to [fill in the blank]. My administration will continue to work on restoring faith in [fill in the blank]. We just need more time. I am forming a bipartisan committee to thoroughly evaluate the problem and make recommendations. I will be meeting with [fill in the blank] personally. I am shocked and outraged.” Remember, keep moving the goalposts. Always keep moving.
Claim all the good as your own, whether you had anything to do with it or not, and blame all the bad on the Republicans. And what to do when your term is over? Write another book, you know, like the one you wrote about eating tasty dog. Yeah, what a hoot: the media lambasted Romney for travelling with his dog on the roof, but at least he didn’t eat it. Build a library. Go on the speaker circuit, teleprompter in hand, and get paid handsomely to talk some more about your accomplishments. If you repeat it enough, they will start to believe it. Preside over a few graduations. Maybe teach some Constitutional Law, you know that document you tread on for two terms, and teach us how to interpret it. Retire in splendor on the wealth you accumulated from insider trading with your congressional cohorts and enjoy good health on the life-long healthcare plan you and Congress voted for yourselves. You know, the one that isn’t Obamacare. It’s that easy!