Note: Not to be opened until 21 January 2013.

Dear Madam President:

First, congratulations on winning the White House. Of course I'm looking forward to your inaugural address, and not just for the obvious reason that there's never been one given by a woman before, either. The state of the Union has been a little shakier than most of us were prepared to expect after 2008, and I think we're due for some reassurance and while I can't speak for the rest of my half of the species, there are few things I cherish more in women than their capacity for reassurance when things aren't going all that well.

There had been widespread speculation, even before his election, that your predecessor would serve only a single term, and to be honest, I never quite believed it: it's always seemed to me that the time to get sick of the whole thing and wish it was over was right at the beginning of Year Seven, when you know that you're not coming back, thanks to the 22nd Amendment, and you're acutely aware of the things you wanted to accomplish but didn't. (The second President Bush might have been an exception, but then I never could read George W. correctly. I really think he enjoyed giving out contradictory signals.) Still, these last four years might have frustrated anyone, and in the end, preserving one's sanity takes precedence over preserving one's "legacy."

The news media in recent weeks have been full of nonstories about how the White House is going to be redecorated and jokes about the First Spouse. I am, you may be sure, grateful that you didn't waste a whole lot of time playing along with this sort of thing; it speaks well of your sense of obligation to the nation that elected you.

But enough out of me. You've got an Executive Branch to run. Thanks for reading.



The Vent

  1 September 2008

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 Copyright © 2008 by Charles G. Hill