Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dumb Thoughts

A few dumb thoughts that occurred to me on or around the election...

If, when Obama visited Bush at the White House, he suddenly lunged at Bush with a knife and tried to kill him, who would the Secret Service shoot? Conversely, if Bush lunged at Obama with a knife, who would they shoot? No points for answers like, "They'd try to separate them." Assume they have to shoot one to save the other.

Does the President get to pick his own e-mail address? That would rule. I'd pick something like Vader27@whitehouse.gov.

Can the President pick his own Secret Service codename? I know they always say that "The Secret Service has picked the President's codename," but they never say how they pick it. That is to say, do they really pick it, or do they ask the President what he wants? Because if I were the President, I would totally pick "The Pump." That be awesome. For four years (because, clearly, if the things on this list are what I am thinking about, I'm not getting reelected), the Secret Service guys will have to whisper into their little radio thingies, "The Pump is moving." Tee hee!

If I were President, every so often, I would go out into the West Wing and go into some functionary's cubicle and stand behind him (or her) while he tries to work. I would stand there for like half an hour. I wouldn't say anything. If he asks me if I need anything, I'd be like, "No." Then I'd just leave and never mention it again.

If I were President, I would start an edit war in Wikipedia under a pseudonym over my own article by constantly putting false and vicious rumors into it. I would never let my defenders know that it was me they were trying to protect my article from.

Does the President have to follow the White House computer use policy? That is to say, will the President get in trouble for surfing for porn or playing online poker on White House computers? I don't mean political trouble, like it getting out into the papers. I mean, will he get cited somehow by the IT guy or someone for violating the policy? Will he have his password taken away?

Does the President have administrator privileges on his computer in the White House? (I'm given to understand that Obama will be the first President to have a computer on his desk, so this question may not be answerable yet). Or does he have to ask the sys admin any time he wants to load software on his computer?

Joe Biden famously rides the train back and forth to Wilmington, DE, every day when he's working in Washington because he's the only Senator with no residence in DC. If I were him, I would keep riding the train every day to Wilmington (yes, I know the VP's residence is in Annapolis, but that's not as far so it's not as funny), just so that every damned day the Secret Service has to clear the train, check it out, ride the train with me, etc., etc.,

You know what would be, for me, the most amazing thing about being President, the thing that would almost make it worth it? It's that when you tell someone to do something, they have to do that shit. I'm not talking about abusing your power or doing stupid things. I mean, like seriously, there's not many other jobs where people really have to do what you tell them. People can quit, sure, except military people, but they aren't going to. Even if you are the CEO of some big company, if you tell your people they have to work over the weekend or make them stay all night to prepare something too many times they'll quit. But when you are the President and you say, "I need to have an analysis of all these options on my desk in the morning," and it's 6 pm, those people aren't going home. They have to do that shit. They're going to be there all night and there's going to be an analysis on your desk in the morning. It would be nice to be able to think big picture and know that stuff like that is just going to get done. It doesn't seem like power, but in a sense, that is real power, the most real power the President has. Within the White House, his word is law, and when he wants something, that shit gets done. Period.


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