Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your President

I am touched by Michelle Obama's humility, though I think I sense some confusion of thought in her latest appeal to me. She begins by noting her admiration for her husband in his ability to balance the duties of father, husband, and President, but then adds that there are times when he needs help.

Well we should all want to give what assistance we can to the Leader of our nation, though I'm not sure just what I can do in these particular cases.

Perhaps helping the President as a dad might be the easiest. If he cares to put Malia and Sasha on Air Force One and fly them to Memphis, I'll be happy to do with them what I did with my own kids when they were that age: take them to the Dixon Gallery, one of my favorite places, make remarks about history and culture appropriate to a child's understanding, take them out into the gardens to run and play, and then perhaps to the food court at Oak Court Mall for a nice snack. That part should be easy.

As to helping him as President, well, I think Michelle needs to understand that only one person can be President at a time—a fact, come to think of it, that Dick Cheney seems never to have quite grasped, though perhaps he thought he was merely filling a vacuum left by the incumbent. In any case, there are Constitutional restrictions on what I can do as a private citizen. But wait—I've got it! If I come to Washington, I'll simply take him to meet my cousin Kelly Kirk at the PowerHouse Gym in Woodbridge, VA, who will, to put it mildly, give Barack a reality check and protect him from the temptation to be self-complacent. If neither Kelly nor I can sign a bill into law or nominate someone to a vacancy on the Supreme Court, perhaps that's the next best thing.

In the third category, helping Barack as a husband, well, delicacy forbids me to explain to a lady in detail why that must be the one area where I can't really do anything at all. (Not to mention the issue of whether her husband would find it altogether flattering to think that his wife was writing to men she hardly knew to confide such a need to them!)

Again, perhaps I can do the next best thing and offer advice. He should, above all, refrain from saying things to her like "If you've got a nice bod, well, you didn't build that." A wife likes to be appreciated, after all. We'll start the discussion at that point and see where it leads us.

But perhaps I stopped reading too soon and Michelle really meant he needed help in other areas. She used to write to me a great deal about having dinner with her and Barack, though nothing ever came of it, but if she is really intent on that, they can certainly come to Memphis, and I'll take them to Corky's Barbecue on Poplar. Come to think of it, if they use Marine 1, the Presidential helicopter, that might be a real advantage, since there is never any parking at Corky's anyway, which is one reason I only eat there once a year, even though it's only 5 minutes from where I live.

So in whatever area this lovely lady thinks I can aid her and her family, I will be happy to give whatever assistance I reasonably can. Unless her husband's poll numbers improve, the time when any help from me could really make any difference may be short!

© Michael Huggins, 2012. All rights reserved.

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