You know who doesn't get President's Day off -- in addition to those of us with real jobs, I mean? Presidents. Even when Congress is off catching some slack, he's stuck with it.
I'm trying to picture it. Scene: The roof of the White House, where our Chief Executive has just bummed a Marlboro from a Secret Service agent, out of sight of the roof hatch so maybe Mrs. Chief Executive* won't find him, perhaps musing aloud about how bitter clingers like me are so darned bitter and clingy....
A cellphone rings, just a few bars of Hail To The Chief. "Aw, fertheluv'a-"
It rings again.
SSa: "Hadn't you better get that, sir?"
"Hmpf. It's President's Day, you know." Another ring. "Oh-- Hello? Yes, speaking, what? What? No, they burned--? Aw, crap. Look, call Biden. Yes, Joe. It's President's Day. I don't have to deal with this today."
Ah, but he can't do that. At the very least, he's got to be on-call wherever he goes. So, sure, I had to work today; but at least I'm not having to live over the shop and be available at all hours of the day and night.
There's a lot of things to take issue with this President about -- or with any sitting President, for that matter -- but it's still a pretty lousy job, even with fancy vacations to exotic and/or picturesque locations; there's always the guy with the launch-code "football" and the guy with the red phone and the guy with the other secure phones and there's no Executive-Ordering them away. It's something of a consolation to me to see that he's stuck with it, like a car-chasing dog that finally catches one.
* Also, what's with all the buzz over her hairdo? C'mon, people, isn't there more important news? First ladies have been kind of annoying at least ever since Eleanor Roosevelt crowned herself National Den Mother but the wonderful thing about First Ladies is we don't vote for 'em, they don't hold office and the only power they have is the power to persuade. If they're not nice (or can't fake it), even a sympathetic press tends to get restive. If she's busy hectoring kids about eating right and getting exercise, well, that might do 'em some good and there's a long, long list of worse stuff she could be doing.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
6 months ago