Imagine if Barack Obama had received a true-to-life, realistic job preview of the job he was about to take on. Imagine if, in February 2007, when he decided to throw his hat into the ring in the run for president, he had read the following HELP WANTED ad, one that accurately reflects the road ahead of him.
February 2007 – HELP WANTED – Seeking: President of the United States
PLEASE POST UNTIL NOVEMBER 2008
Seeking a qualified individual to act as the President of the United States from January 2009 until at least January 2013. Employment contract may be extended for an additional four years upon successful completion of first term.
Duties of this position are listed below. This position has the following constraints:
- Prior to taking this position, you will be required conduct a nearly round-the-clock political campaign for over 20 months before a final decision will be made. During this time you can expect to be accused of being ineligible to run for office, unqualified for the position, of being a foreigner, of being a Muslim, and of associating with criminals/terrorists. Many lies will be told in public about you and these will be repeated by both prominent politicians as well as most mainstream media and fringe media outlets.
- You will be required to assume office in the middle of the largest national economic crisis since the Great Depression
- You will be required to assume office with the country in the middle of two wars, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
- Freeze pay of highest-paid White House staff on first day of office while maintaining good workplace morale.
- Make federal government more transparent by opening up records of previous administrations and instructing staff to be more amenable to Freedom of Information Act requests. This should be accomplished no later than the day after assuming office.
- Sign Executive Order to close the detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This should be done by no later than the third day in office and should be done despite the fact that Congress will not allow you to actually accomplish this by denying any funding for it.
- Sign Executive Order to prohibit torture. This should be done by no later than the third day in office.
- Rescind funding ban for organizations performing abortions or counseling outside of the United States. This shall be done by the fourth day in office.
- All Weekly Addresses shall be posted on YouTube.com and the White House website.
- Direct Transportation Department to issue increase fleet mileage standards to take effect by 2011. This shall be accomplished in the first week in office. Also begin allowing states to require higher mileage standards than the federal requirement.
- By no later than the tenth day in office, sign legislation into law that requires fair pay regardless of gender, race or age.
- During the third week in office, direct the Secretary of Interior to cancel 77 oil and gas company leases on federal lands that were authorized by the previous office holder’s administration.
- By the end of the third week in office, sign an Executive Order backing the use of union labor for large federal construction projects.
- During the early part of the second month of your term, you shall begin the process of repealing or modifying a federal law protecting health workers who refuse to treat patients for reason of “conscience”. This process shall culminate no later than two years into your term, plus or minus two months.
- Overturn rules restricting the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research.
- Cancel oil shale development leases for nearly 2 million acres of federal land.
- Create a White House Office on Women and Girls to coordinate policies and programs that affect women and families.
- Hold the first-ever online “town hall” meeting at the White House.
- Host the first White House Seder during Passover.
- Rescue two large domestic vehicle manufacturers, staving off the complete collapse of one of the largest US manufacturing industries.
- Order Navy Seals to help deal with an ongoing problem with pirates from Somalia. Include authorizing an heroic act saving the life of a sea captain involving precision sniper fire in high seas.
- Establish four new domestic volunteer corps modeled on the Peace Corps.
- Change policy enacted under predecessor by requiring banks receiving federal funds under the TARP program to cap executive bonuses. This shall be done no later than three weeks after taking office.
- During the third week in office, sign into law a bill that expands the Children’s Health Insurance Program, extending health coverage to millions of poor children.
- Negotiate an $80 billion agreement with drug companies to close the gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage and for them to not fight comprehensive health insurance reform.
- Double the budgets of the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Standards and Technology and announce a national goal to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050.
- Expand Medicaid to all people under 65 years old with incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level.
- Announce ambitious new automobile fuel efficiency standards.
- Pass legislation helping to alleviate the devastating impact of home foreclosures in the midst of an historic economic downturn.
- Sign legislation into law that reforms the credit card industry and helps to protect credit card consumers from abuse and fraud.
- Appoint and have confirmed the first Hispanic woman to the Supreme Court of the United states of America.
- Sign a major nuclear arms reduction treaty with Russia that will reduce the stockpiles of both countries to historically low levels.
- Begin a national conversation regarding the reform of the health insurance industry in the United States.
- Restore a provision of the Endangered Species Act requiring federal agencies to consult with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and/or the National Marine Fisheries Service before taking any actions that may harm one or more endangered species.
- Sign legislation into law that gives the US Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products.
- Sign into law legislation that gives cash rebates to Americans who retire aging, fuel-guzzling vehicles for more fuel-efficient models.
- end combat operations in Iraq.
- Hold a reception in the White House celebrating LGBT Pride Month.
- Prepare for a potential major influenza epidemic and avert it.
- Shepherd a major and historic piece of health insurance reform legislation through Congress until it becomes law. This will need to be done against a strong headwind of vitriolic and vehement political opposition, well-funded/corporately-funded disinformation campaigns, and friendly fire from dissatisfied liberal groups. Expect the process to take nearly a year and involve multiple speeches, town hall meetings and considerable deal making.
- Direct the US response to a devastating earthquake in Haiti.
- Be awarded a Nobel Peace Prize.
- Expand a federal hate-crime law to include gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.
- Award LGBT activist Harvey Milk the Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously.
- Eliminate limits on Cuban-Americans who wish to visit Cuban relatives and to send them money.
- Rescind a 22-year old travel ban on US citizens with HIV.
- Oversee the largest investment in clean/green/renewable energy in the country’s history.
- Sign an Executive Order heavily promoting energy conservation, fleet fuel efficiency standards, carbon emission reduction goals and a host of other clean energy initiatives.
- Nominate and/or hire numerous openly-gay Americans for a variety of federal positions.
- Sign into law a new GI Bill as well as a bill to enhance funding for the Veterans Administration (VA) which provides health care for American veterans. This should add nearly $5 billion to the VA’s budget.
- Deal with an attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Eve.
- Hold an historic bipartisan summit to discuss health insurance reform in a room full of your political enemies. Televise this event on national television.
- Deal with the national response to a humongous manmade oil volcano in the Gulf of Mexico. This volcano will be over a mile below the surface of the ocean and will pump billions of gallons of crude oil into the Gulf, despoiling one of the country’s major fisheries and source of oysters, mussels, lobster, crab and shrimp as well as some of the most valuable beachfront real estate in the country.
- Change federal rules to prevent the denying of visitation privileges on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
- Repeal the military policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” which has resulted in thousands of gay service men and women from being thrown out of the military based only on their sexual orientation.
- Delay the purchase of aerial refueling tankers and kill a project to develop a new long-range bomber.
- Sign a bill into law that reforms the banking system to help prevent the type of collapse that occurred in late 2008.
- Extend certain benefits to federal employees in same-sex partnerships.
- Oversee the American response/involvement in revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.
- Oversee the American response/involvement in revolutionary upheavals in a wide variety of Middle East countries such as Libya, Bahrain and Iran.
- Sign into law a major revamping of the Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Program.
- Sign into law a bill that offers long-awaited compensation for first-responders from the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center against unanticipated resistance by Republicans.
- Dramatically increase funding for the Violence Against Women Act.
- Remove banker middlemen in the student loan system that funnel off money for profit. Utilize the money saved to offer more student loans.
- Sign into law a package of tax cuts, investments and other economic stimulus to bring the country back from the brink of a depression.
- Create more jobs in one year than your predecessor did in eight.
- Sign into law an historic reform of the health insurance industry that ends insurance company abuses, expands coverage to millions more Americans and allows children to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they are 26 years old. Prohibit insurance companies from establishing lifetime caps and for cutting off sick people from coverage or denying them coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
- Oversee a 50% increase in the stock market.
- Attend to the normal duties of presidents such as meeting with countless foreign officials & leaders both here and abroad, attend international summits, attend funerals of foreign dignitaries, and improve the overall world opinion of the United States of America and its chief representative.
All of these tasks will need to be accomplished in the first two years after you take the position, plus or minus two months. A to-do list for the second four years will be delivered at a later time but will reflect the tenor and intent of this list.
You will be required to accomplish all of these things while facing unprecedented opposition from your political foes, particularly those in Congress, and while taking harsh and stinging criticism from those in your own political party. Due to the economic situation in the USA during your first two years, you may expect to lose much of your support in Congress after the first midterm election.
Salary: $400,000 per year.
Benefits: Full medical insurance coverage for you and your family, as well as rent-free use of a sumptuous mansion, full and unlimited use of a jet airliner, helicopter and other official vehicles (limousines, water craft, etc.) You will also hhave unlimited free access to a vacation spot known as “Camp David”. You will receive a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 non-taxable travel account and $19,000 for entertainment
Body guards will be assigned to you and your family at all times to protect you from the hundreds of people each month who will threaten or attempt to kill you.
Please provide full resume and references with your application.
The United States Government is an equal opportunity employer (though, admittedly, if you are a racial minority, your chances of getting this job are pretty slim and the chances that you will be targeted for assassination will be exponentially higher.)
Do you think he would have applied for the job???
UPDATE: Just for the record, I believe (deeply) that Barack Obama absolutely would have taken the job even if he had known he would be tasked to accomplish all of these amazing achievements in only two short years. In fact, I believe he would have been even MORE encouraged to “apply for the job”. As anyone knows who has read The Audacity of Hope or who has listened to the President speak on leadership and power, he appreciates that the times when men and women have the most to contribute to society are the difficult times. It is in these times that we most need good leaders and it is in these times that the opportunity to accomplish great and amazing things is presented most fully. That doesn’t mean that it’s easy to accomplish great things during these times. It’s not. But it means that it is mainly during these times that it is POSSIBLE.
I’m just sayin’…