He didn't even know the attorney general's baby-sitter needed a green card

Art Buchwald

February 03, 1993|By Art Buchwald

A TV reporter shoved a microphone into my face last week and asked, "How do you think President Clinton is doing in his first two weeks?"

I was reluctant to reply because I always write an in-depth piece on a president's first eight days. So I just said that his administration was an utter failure and President Clinton should resign and turn over the running of our country to the able Al Gore.

Instead of the reporter leaving it at that, he kept pressing me as to why the president had failed to live up to the promise 43 percent of the country had for him.

I responded, "His inexperience showed up as soon as he took of fice. He didn't even know that the attorney general's baby-sitter needed a green card. Do you know why? They don't have any illegal Peruvian aliens in Arkansas."

The man kept shoving the microphone down my throat. He said, "But most attorneys general's baby-sitters don't have green cards. That isn't enough to impeach a president."

"His foreign policies have been a failure. Look at Serbia, Bosnia, Somalia and Israel. Nothing has changed in the last eight days. And shall I tell you the reason? It's because Hillary Clinton is not interested. If the first lady isn't curious about foreign affairs, why should the president be?"

The reporter accidentally wrapped the mike wire around my neck. "People say what bugs them the most is that in just over a week the president has been unable to balance the budget.

"Do they have a right to be upset?"

"Yes, they do. Many mornings at dawn when the voters assumed that Clinton was in his office working on the deficit, TV showed him out jogging with his Secret Service men. We didn't elect a part-time president."

I thought we were finished, but the reporter persisted.

"What would you give Socks the cat in the first two weeks?"

"The cat is the only bright spot so far. Many people predicted that he could never take the place of the Bush dog Millie. But he has surprised everyone. He is quiet and willing to listen. The president's office is open to him at all times. He's not one of those White House cats who bothers him unless it is abso lutely necessary. Socks' main virtue is that he refuses to talk to the press."

"As soon as Clinton's seven-day honeymoon was over, the public turned on him. Is that par for American voters?"

"He's lucky he had seven days. Until Mr. Clinton gets a Desert Storm under his belt, he is going to be criticized for all his domestic and foreign programs.

"Even the Democratic Congress, one of the most agreeable legislative bodies in the land, is concerned about the eight days that Clinton has squandered so far."

I sensed that the interview was almost up because the reporter moved his knee out of my stomach. "How do you think President Clinton can save himself during the rest of his 1,417 days in office?"

"Get rid of the saxophone."

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