A Christmas Invite For Obama
Wednesday - December 17, 2008
Dear President-elect Obama,
First, allow me to be among the last to congratulate you on winning the presidency. Oh, I didn’t hesitate to write because of any lack of enthusiasm for your victory.
To borrow a Sarah Palinism, I’ve been all “Golly, gee!” about your win since election night - if not before.
No, my journalistic beat here at “Mostly Politics” is giving politicians advice. Been doing it for - “Golly, gee!” - a long time. To date, none has taken a bit of it. But you impress me as smarter and more discerning than most whom I advise in this space, so I’ll give it a try.
Now, before I begin, don’t get me wrong: I haven’t noted many mistakes since you became “The Honorable President-elect.”
But there’s been one, and I cannot let it pass.
In the Honolulu papers the other day, it was reported that you’re bringing the family to Hawaii for Christmas. We are all excited, delighted - just all atwitter at the news.
Then I read where you’ll be staying: in an $8,000-a-night compound in Kailua. Oh, Barack, Barack, Barack, tell me it isn’t true - tell me it isn’t true!
Here you’ve been talking for two years about the need for Washington to be concerned with Main Street rather than Wall Street. Then I read that you’re first -and only - Christmas as president-elect will be spent in an $8,000-a-night compound in Kailua. Oh disillusionment! Oh chagrin! Oh despair!
It’s soooooo Wall Street. Geeez, Mr. President-elect, that’s the kind of place those Wall Street investment bankers would rent, or those private-jet-flying Detroit-“please-give-mea-bail-out-despite-my-incompetence” auto executives would rent (with some of their bail-out money, do doubt).
Main Street Americans wouldn’t - couldn’t - stay in a place like that during their Christmas in Hawaii (assuming they had the airfare to get here).
Oh, Barack - I mean Mr. President-elect - your vacation rental sends a terrible, terrible message to Main Street.
You must act quickly, and I am going to help. Not just with free advice. No. Mr. President-elect, the Missus (my wife, Gloria, the high-strung Filipina) and I, herewith invite you, your lovely wife, Michelle, and your adorable daughters, Malia and Sasha, to be our houseguests during your Christmas holidays in Hawaii.
We live on Komo Mai Drive, the oh-so-Main Street of Pacific Palisades - an aging, somewhat tired but still proud suburban community in Pearl City.
Ours is a three-and-a-half bedroom house. Two full baths. You and Michelle can have the master bedroom. The high-strung Filipina and I will be very comfortable on a futon in the living room. The girls can have my daughter’s room.
And we want you to feel right at home. You can have the run of the refrigerator. It’s full of roasted chicken, left-over gisantes, beer in various colored bottles, ice cream (four different half-eaten cartons at last count).
If your shirts, slacks, board shorts, T-shirts - whatever - need ironing, my mother-in-law will take care of it. Truth be told, Grandma Phyllis is an ironing fool. Show her a wrinkle, and she’ll get right on it.
I imagine you’ll need transportation. We have three cars in our garage: a ‘98 Honda Civic (with sun roof), a battered 2000 Chevy Prizm (the daughter’s wheels), and - whew, ready for this - a 2007 Toyota Corolla. It’s got a scratch or two, but it’s very Main Street presidential. Just name the one you want to use, Mr. President-elect. The keys are yours.
Oh, and I can’t begin to tell you how lovely the house is decorated for Christmas.
My 11 regular readers (none of whom, at last check, went to Punahou) will attest to the care the high-strung Filipina takes in choosing a tree and the risks she takes in decorating it (one year she landed on her okole while putting the angel on the tree. The tree fell on her. No noticeable damage to Filipina, angel or tree.)
Of course, you, Michelle, and the girls will be invited to the Ramelb family Christmas Eve party. All the traditional foods will be served: turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce, lumpia, pancit, poke: You name it, we’ll have it.
There’ll be the off-key singing of Christmas carols along with games: bingo, poker and blackjack. (This is Pearl City, after all - a suburb of Vegas.)
The party can drag sometimes, and I know - Mr. President-elect - that you’re in a terrible struggle with smoking. I know how hard it is. I watched the high-strung Filipina battle her addiction for years, telling us she’d quit while secreting packs in the storage cupboard out by the washing machine. I’ll point out her hiding places early in your stay.
Oh, and Santa will come. I play Santa. I have gray hair, a gray beard, I’m fat, and I have a Kailua-class “Ho! Ho! Ho!” Your girls will be fooled and I promise there will be something for them in Santa’s sack.
We may even invite the Secret Service guys in from their cots under the mango tree in the back yard. Golly, we’re looking forward to your visit.
Aloha, Dan Boylan, Proprietor, “Mostly Politics.”
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