Around the world, we have been bombarded with presidential news for two years. Even with the end of the election, the stories persist, as the media seem to have collectively forgotten how to report on anything else.
But through it all, something important has been neglected. We’ve been barraged with issue ads, attack ads, polling data, policy outlines, and personal narratives, but nobody has asked the really tough question. Which candidate would be the best to hang out with? Who would I rather have a beer or five with, have a meal with, or go to a game with?
I like Barack Obama (and if I didn’t I would lie, such is level of passion he inspires), but I don’t think he’d be that fun to hang out with. He seems so tortured, new-age, and academic. The meal would be at a vegetarian place that specializes in arugula and wheatgrass smoothies, after that hours would be spent going to bar after bar, looking for one that serves low-carb beer to maintain his distinctive slim, trim figure. After a few of those he would become very introspective, pausing for absurd amounts of time between sentences to gather his thoughts.
As he drank more and more low-carbs, he would begin relating every conversation to his mixed-race heritage and the identity problems it presents before becoming incoherent by eleven or so (as arugula and physical fitness create less-than-optimal alcohol tolerance). After seeing him speak, it would be hard not to be disappointed by this performance.
Maybe his VP would be better, but Joe Biden’s had not one but two brain aneurysms. A big night out could trigger another one, and that would be a major buzzkill.
John McCain is somewhere around a thousand years old, which puts him in the same situation as Biden. What’s more, he’s notorious for having a volatile temper. The last thing I want to do is back him up as he fearlessly squares off against some punter who stepped on his shoe or spilt some drink on him. I’m even less inclined to give him CPR when he learns the hard way that he can’t take a hit like he could in the late 60s.
Sarah Palin? Please. I have no idea what kind of common ground I could find with an SUV-driving soccer mum who ended up in government. The only reason I would possibly spend an evening with her is on the off-chance that its conclusion would see me twisting between the sheets with this veritable VPILF.
But even if that unlikely scenario were to occur, it would very quickly be destroyed by the entrance of flannel-wearing, oil-drilling, dog-racing, salmon-fishing testosterone-pumping Northern Man that is Todd Palin. He’d throw his burly frame right through the door without even bothering to check if it’s locked and proceed to kick seven kinds of shit out of me, Alaska-style. So there’s really no good that can come from a night with Palin
It’s the sad truth: 2008 produced no leaders worth hanging out with. Bummer.
So we’re going to have to look backward. The obvious candidate for a fun time is Bill Clinton, that affable, cheery, charismatic man. I’m sure he’d give you the perfect mix of good times and interesting conversation – for maybe two hours. After that, he’d catch the eye of a waitress, barmaid, or other nearby attractive woman, and from that moment on you’d find yourself alone while he sauntered over and chatted her up. Somehow, I don’t think he’s the type to introduce you to her friend, either.
The answer to the question I posed was fairly obvious from the get-go, but perhaps not everyone puts quite as much thought into this as I do. So I’ll spell it out: George Herbert Walker Bush. Commander in Chief for eight years, partier for fifty. Even if he’s a slow learner – which his eight years strongly suggest he is – fifty years is long enough to learn how to do something right. This is a man whose entire life of eating, drinking, and allegedly snorting coke has been completely overshadowed by his successful foray into politics, and I for one think this is a crying shame.
Imagine it! The night would start during a hot summer’s day, where you and your new friend would take in a Rangers game. Even though he doesn’t own the team anymore, I imagine the fact that he was once both owner of the team and President of the country would entitle you to all kinds of excellent perks. I would expect nothing less than a private box, with all the beers and snacks you can handle.
After that, with a slight buzz on, you’d pile into a private car, which would take you to Downtown Dallas (GWB learned his lesson about drink-driving in the late 70s, and besides he has the Secret Service at his beck and call from now on. May as well take advantage of it). Once you arrive in town, you’d be dropped in front of the best, most exclusive steakhouse in Texas, where the ex-President (naturally) is best friends with all of the staff and half of the clientele. As you wash down your perfectly cooked, deliciously marinated, Texas-sized steak, George would make you roar with laughter as he relates stories from his hell-raising, high-flying time in the Texas Air National Guard.
Dinner over, off you’d go, to some of Dallas’s most high-flying bars, with light piano music and leather seats, where everyone knows GWB from his time as an oilman. He’d introduce you to the whole gang with some well-placed clever anecdote, and before long, as the whiskey and conversation flow into one another, you’d feel like you’re amongst old friends.
The night’s not over. Fun as it’s been, you’ve been around other guys all night – isn’t that a little gay? Never fear; as always, Dubya has your back. By 3am it’s last call, but that’s okay because you’ve had enough of this sausage sizzle. It’s time to pile everyone into the limo and head off to the best strip club in town. George is faithful to his wife, as all good Christian men are, but he’s still a man; he loves a good titty bar.
At 6am, you’ll finally emerge, blinking in the sun. You won’t feel great, but George, somehow bright-eyed even at this absurd hour, slaps you on the back and tells you some coffee and grease will fix you right up. Unable to speak anymore, you nod your head in assent, and he takes you to a cheap yet delicious diner that has strong coffee with unlimited refills and the biggest breakfast known to man. As you start to feel better, you and George discuss the previous night, laughing in much more subdued tones as you relate stories the other missed.
Sated and tired, he escorts you to the car. With a warm, double-handed handshake, he tells you to call him the next time you’re in town. And as you board the family-owned private jet, you know that he meant it.