Just what kind of job can Clinton offer Perot?


November 06, 1992|By MIKE ROYKO

I'm always appreciative when a reader calls with a usable idea for a column. It makes my job easier.

This one came from a supporter of Ross Perot, who said: "I worked in his campaign. I think he is a great man and a great patriot and wish he had won.

"But just because he lost doesn't mean that this country should be deprived of his services. He has so much to offer.

"So what I think you ought to do is write a column saying that if Bill Clinton is smart, he'll ask Perot to join his administration.

"That would show that Clinton is serious about getting this country moving again, which is what Perot's candidacy was all about. And it would show that Clinton has respect for all the people who voted for Perot."

I told the Perot supporter that if he felt strongly about his idea he could put it on paper and send it to the department that prints the views of readers.

But he said: "I thought of that, but I'd rather see you write it because more people see your column than would see my letter. And it would be a chance to do yourself some good because a lot of Perot's supporters didn't care much for the way you poked fun at him. You could get them back on your side if you show him some respect."

Well, I have to admit that the thought that some Perot supporters were unhappy with me has caused me to toss and turn through sleepless nights.

That is almost as troubling to me as the disapproval of Dan Quayle's admirers or Pat Buchanan's worshipful crowd.

Like anyone else, I want to be loved, although the nature of my work sometimes makes that difficult.

So I thanked the Perot supporter for his suggestion and promised him that I would do exactly as he proposed.

So here goes: my first bit of positive advice to Clinton.

Dear President-elect Clinton (or Dollar Bill, as we'll probably start calling you when you and a Democrat Congress begin figuring out ways to glom onto our money and toss it hither and yon):

As you probably noticed, about 20 percent of the voters went for Ross Perot. That's an impressive number, considering that Perot didn't have much going for him except a few billion dollars to spend on the biggest political advertising campaign in the history of the world.

nTC It has been suggested to me by one of Perot's supporters -- and thousands more would surely second the idea -- that you ask Perot to take a position in your administration.

That strikes me as being an excellent idea. First, it would bring you the gratitude and affection of the millions of Perot volunteers, who have become a formidable political army.

But more importantly, it would give you access to the wisdom and creative thinking of this unique man.

The question is, what post would be most suitable for him?

As we know, Perot is not much of an organization guy. He doesn't like long-winded meetings, dealing with bureaucrats and mulling over lengthy studies and ponderous documents.

He's an action kind of guy, kind of a freewheeling spirit. See a problem, grab it, give it a few shakes and solve it.

He even said that as president, he wouldn't sit around the Oval Office. He would be out there, doing something.

That would rule out most or all of your Cabinet positions, which require dealing with bureaucrats, conceptualizing, implementing, facilitating and other distasteful behavior.

I'm sure you can find all sorts of regular Democrats to handle those jobs, since Democrats really love to conceptualize, implement and facilitate. It turns them on.

So what about a job for Perot? I think I have it.

You should offer him the position of chief night watchman at the White House.

Listen, we live in a dangerous society. You never know who is going to sneak through the gate, jump the fence or drop down from the sky onto the White House lawn. It could be swarthy terrorists, deranged Buchananites or weird little paratroopers from UFOs.

But give Perot half a dozen sharp-toothed guard dogs and an industrial-sized flashlight, and you and your family will be safe in your beds.

Any trespassers would quickly flee after they received a few nips on their bottoms. From the dogs, of course, not Perot, although you never know what he might do if he got mad, feisty fellow that he is.

And with him on duty, you wouldn't have to worry about any mischief-makers crashing your inauguration ball and holding up a phony photo of you wearing a full-length lace gown.

So that's something you might think about. But if the idea doesn't appeal to you, or Perot turns it down, one other proposal: Make him head of the FBI. He'd have so many files on so many people, the leap in the manila-folder industry would be enough to jump-start the economy.

I'll get back to you later about a job for Dan Quayle. You have a lot of lawn there. Could make a neat little pitch-and-putt golf course. So you'd need a head pro.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.