It’s said there’s a plan for each of our lives. What a relief my plan is not to run for president!
Friends and family agree my campaign would be a disaster. For starters, I’m not always perky and polished. Clean, yes, but I sweat when I’m hot, daydream when I’m distracted, yawn when I’m tired, scratch when I itch. I’ve been known to dribble mustard down my blouse and walk around oblivious to the trail of toilet paper stuck to my shoe. I’m not perennially engaged and optimistic and refuse to smile 24/7.
My conservative campaign platform might rival Reagan’s, but the first time I refuse to kiss a slobbering baby, my numbers would plummet, and after 14 hours on my feet, when my little piggies just want to go home, pity the pushy reporter who dares question me about the debt.
Also, I’ve lived long enough to have a history. Never mind my birth certificate, but what if an old flame was bribed into blabbing about my wild romantic adventures of yesteryear? No, the presidency is not for me. I like to sleep late in my own bed, select my own bananas, open my own doors and close them.
And yet, election night would be thrilling if I won. I recall Barack’s gleeful celebration in Grant Park after his victory. Still, if he were honest, he’d have to admit the exuberance soon faded into the reality of having to dance at 13 inaugural penguin balls.
“Connie,” he’d say, “let me give you a word of advice. For a few short weeks the presidency is bliss. Everyone at 1600 Pennsylvania is chummy and helpful as you settle into your new role as leader of the free world. Then one day it dawns on you — you’re just a goldfish in a fancy bowl, swimming in circles, stuck for the next four years.
“No more puffin’ with the chum gang, no more shootin’ hoops at midnight. Now it’s nothing but disappointing job reports, ethics investigations, Euro crises and haute cuisine at endless state dinners when all my heart desires is a Chick-fil-A, uh, make that a Big Mac and large fries. Heck, with trying to fix Social Security and keep peace in the Mideast, there’s hardly any time for golf. Blagojevich doesn’t have it so bad, you know. Every time I step aboard Air Force One guess what I really long for?”
“A martini?” I venture.
“No! Earbuds, a cheap seat in coach, a bag of honey-roasted peanuts and ANONYMITY!” he shouts.
“Settle down; get a grip, Barack …”
“I’ve just about reached my limit …” (Which of course makes me smile.) “I’m exhausted memorizing names of two-bit dictators from Timbuktu, and when I finally fall into bed at night I can’t relax ’cause that North Korean kid’s threatening to launch a missile and lately Michelle’s pouting, ‘You don’t love me anymore’ — Help me daddy!”
“Geesh, Barack, if I were you I’d tell them ‘take this job and shove it’ (wink, wink). I’d be counting down the days, not signing up for another term!”
“Power is seductive,” he’d explain.
But freedom is better. Thank heavens I decided not to run.