Friday, September 30, 2005

If I Was The President

Sometimes, when I’ve nothing better to do, I daydream about what I would do in various unlikely situations. For example, how would I spend $150 million if I won the lottery? That would be a little more likely if I bought a ticket. Or how would I remodel my house on one of those remodeling shows? I suspect my landlord would not be happy with my plans, though, so maybe I should wait until I own my own house.

After re-reading Tom Clancy’s Executive Orders recently, then watching “Commander in Chief” this week, I started thinking about what I’d do as the President. I can’t really imagine a set of circumstances that would get me there, but sometimes realism isn’t that important in fantasy. Naturally, there’d be a lot I’d like to do politically, but I’ll save that for other blogs. I was thinking more about what I would do for fun in between crises.

For starters, I think I could make the media happy by skipping vacations altogether. After all, I haven’t had a real vacation apart from family visits and day-trips since I got married. When I was in Italy for three years, I didn’t even have family visits! I did spend a week in England, but that was as a Boy Scout Leader for summer camp – not all that relaxing. Of course, I also spent time in at least seven other countries on business trips, but it looks to me like the President gets to do that sort of thing, too. Most of our Presidents have spent a few weeks going “back home,” wherever that might be, such as Crawford, Texas for President Bush. After 18 years in the Army, though, I don’t really have a home I’m desperate to go back to. I figure a weekend at Camp David now and again would be plenty, and during my term of office, my family can come visit me! Maybe the Secret Service can show them around downtown…

There are some other recreation possibilities, though. Kennedy Center is basically the government’s private theatre. I think if the President mentioned he’d like to see a certain group, arrangements could be made. Maybe a Renaissance Faire Music Festival, featuring the Minstrels of Mayhem and the O’Danny Girls? I bet getting tickets isn’t a problem the President would have.

For that matter, it would be the perfect opportunity to meet people. How many of your favorite movie stars, TV stars, musicians, and authors do you think would turn down an invitation to dinner at the White House? I’d like to invite Geena Davis and Martin Sheen to discuss dramatic portrayals of the Presidency, after I’ve done the real thing for a few months. That might be a good excuse to invite Harrison Ford, too, even though Air Force One is not the real reason I’d want to meet him – I’d much rather meet Han Solo and Indiana Jones. The President can’t exactly go down to the pub on a whim, but I could invite Spider Robinson and bring Callahan’s Bar to the White House, metaphorically at least. In fact, I suspect that every living author on my Yahoo 360 Favorites list would get an invitation sooner or later. If only it had happened in time for me to meet Robert Heinlein…

The one meeting I’d most like to set up, though, is a working lunch with Larry Niven, Jerry Pournelle, and the Administrator of NASA. I’m just certain that those two authors have a number of workable suggestions on improving the Space Program, and I’d very much like to hear the Administrator’s response to their ideas. In fact, his response might determine how long he’d stay Administrator…because I just bet Paul Allen would be interested in the job, even if he had to give up his stake in SpaceShipOne.

Yes, I can definitely see some opportunities for fun as the President. All in all, though, I can’t help thinking that it would be more fun to win the lottery.

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