Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Obama: The First 100 Minutes
Much has been made about Obama’s first 100 days in office and how it relates to past presidents’ first 100 days. However, in the world of 24 hour news channels and a public’s endless fascination for the most intimate details of famous and powerful people, I believe it is historically more important to reflect on Obama’s first 100 minutes in office, which covers a little over an hour and a half.
Here are the highlights and reflections of that crucial first 100 minutes:
Obama enters the oval office for the first time and sits at his specially chosen desk. After adjusting the chair to a comfortable height, he checks all the desk drawers for a treasure map like the one in “National Treasure.” Obama doesn’t find a map, but he does discover that one of the drawers is stuck close. Instead of calling maintenance to fix the drawer, he gets it open himself by banging it with his shoe. This shows that Obama is not content to do things the same way they’ve been done for the last eight years, well forever actually, and he’s ready to find new ways to solve old problems instead of kicking it down the road to the next administration.
Obama makes his the first rookie mistake when he enters a closet thinking it was the bathroom. How he recovers from this early miscalculation could determine the course of his presidency. He takes two postit notes. On one he writes “bathroom” and on the other he writes “closet.” He puts the notes on the appropriate doors showing that he’s ready to meet the unknown challenges awaiting him.
Obama finds the sealed letter Bush left for him, tears open the envelope, and reads the contents. Obama laughs at the dirty jokes, and then he takes out a red pen and corrects the misspellings and punctuation. On the top of the letter he writes, “C+” and “Good Effort.”
Rahm Emanuel enters without knocking and complains about how much he hates the drapes. Obama replies that he likes the drapes. The two men have a spirited argument before agreeing that the drapes match the carpet, which leads to a ten minute giggling fit. This illustrates the working relationship between the president and his chief of staff.
Shortly after Emanuel leaves, Michelle calls to ask Obama what he wants for lunch and informs him that the girls wanted pizza, but she told them they were going to have something nutritious instead and if they didn’t stop complaining, the leader of the free world was going to come upstairs and do something about their attitude. Obama tells Michelle that if letting the girls have pizza today will get them to stop asking when the new puppy was going to arrive, then let them have pizza. Michelle replies that they will be having cheese pizza for lunch.
After hanging up with Michelle, Obama puts in a call to Senator McCain. “Guess where I’m sitting right now?” he asks the senator. “That’s right. I’m in the oval office. I’m running the country. What? No, I don’t think this phone call constitutes torture.” Obama hangs up without saying goodbye, which shows that Obama doesn’t believe in torture.
Obama meets with Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. They ask Obama why he hasn’t solved the mortgage crisis, saved the auto industry, stopped global warming, and fixed health care yet. Obama tells them that he’ll get back to them next week with an answer. This shows why Obama’s ratings are so high. He gives the impression that he is the man with the plan whether he has a plan or not.
Obama spends the 100th minute of his first day in office outside smoking a cigarette and thinking to himself, “it’s going to be a long eight years.”