Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New President

I'm glad to have the 43rd person to add to my list of Presidents. Don't ever forget to count Grover Cleveland twice. At mid day today as the inauguration was rolling I hoisted my coffee cup and realized that it was now obsolete. My coffee cup has all the presidents on it, or it did until today. Now I'm missing one. I need a new cup.

So now it's midnight. After inauguration. The parties are probably still going strong in Washington, but I hope Mr Obama takes a few minutes away from the revelry to just wander the halls of the white house by himself. I hope our new president can find a moment to be just a man and to savor the awesome position he has achieved. Before he gets put through the harsh, aging process our presidents go through, I sincerely wish President Obama one night to just be giddy with the excitement and the novelty of it all, before the job itself puts it's crushing pressure upon his shoulders.

I hope he is allowed to wander the darkened halls of the White House tonight, alone, in his pajamas, to just explore his new domain. I love that image. Hopefully too he can be left alone in silence so he can hear in the distance the shadows of those who occupied that house before him. As he wanders and passes by the portraits of his predecessors I hope he quietly listens to their ghostly murmurs, and finds solace in his membership in this exclusive club. And I hope he passes the portrait of James K. Polk and pauses for a moment, and smiles and nods to the old curmudgeon. Across the hall ole Harry Truman gives the "new guy" a wink and wishes him the best.

Then as our newly elected leader walks into his new office I hope he sits down at his desk and rifles through all the drawers thinking to himself, "this is my desk now." Then I truly hope in one of the drawers is a gift that looks like it was wrapped by a seven year old and has a big bow on it and a tag that says, "To Barak, from George" Barack is spelled wrong. He opens it and within is a special totem passed down from one chief executive to another, and a note from Mr. Bush wishing him the best, because in spite of all our political fighting I like to think of all of us belonging to the fraternity of America. Under the gift I hope Barack sees carved into the bottom of the drawer, "Bill was here."

I wish this for him. Before he is expected to perform miracles, I hope he can just be the man who is in awe of his own accomplishment. To be able to enjoy his moment.

Good luck sir. I'll be sending you your card on Presidents Day. Someday no matter what you accomplish you will have a stamp, and a coin, and a few schools named for you. Do your best. Follow your conscience, and do what you think is best for us. Be true to your principles, for even if we don't agree that is all you can do. Make the hard decisions. Be willing to make the unpopular decisions, and lead. People love to have someone to look to. To be our king. So be our king for 4 to 8 years and then step aside graciously. This republic can succeed. It will succeed. And don't forget to have some fun.

And listen to the ghostly voices murmuring in the halls. They know how you feel.


Chris Hill said...

I'm leaving a comment on my own post. I wish President Barack Obama the best. He's the president now. I am a nerd for the United States presidents. He will do what he feels he needs to do. This is his time.

That being said I would also like to say goodbye to W. George Bush too was our president and love him or hate him I feel he did the best he could. So farewell Mr. Bush. Enjoy retirement. Enjoy Texas. I hope you get lots of grandbabies to play with soon. You too will be receiving your Presidents Day card from me, maybe now you'll have time to respond.

You all out there may think Bush was bad, but I'd like to see you achieve the presidency and do any better. It's like the people who hate the Star Wars prequels. If you don't like it create your own Star Wars, don't go bugging George Lucas.

George Bush was hated as an evil dictator by many, but now he has stepped graciously aside. The republic still works. America continues to be a beacon of hope for the world. I don't love America any more now that we have elected Obama. I have always loved her and knew she could learn and grow through mistakes, successes, hard times and good. Our greatness is our ability to adapt, and our future is secure in our increasing demand of accountability in those who lead.

LAP said...

Such nice sentiments, and written to create such a great visual that I had to post a link to this on my facebook profile. I also called you a "geek for presidents", but it was hard not to since one of your main metaphors was Star Wars related.

belsum said...

That was fantastic. Brought tears to my eyes.

Anne C. said...

You're right, bel, I did like this very much. Bravo, Chris. Well written. :)