Does anyone remember the White House in 2000? Bill Clinton survived impeachment and decided to throw a last lavish party for the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the President’s House. He invited those famous “Friends of Bill” to the East Room for a ceremony. Some of them had been allowed to rent the Lincoln Bedroom for sleepovers. Let’s hope he didn’t rent it by the hour.
The late Mary McGrory described the scene under the glittering chandelier as hundreds of Bill Clinton’s strongest backers crowded into the sparkling hall. They were there to hear author David McCullough read from his best-selling biography of John Adams. America’s second President was the first to live in the White House.
McCullough’s deep, sonorous voice rang out with the words of Adams’ prayer for the White House. FDR even had it carved into the mantle of the fireplace in the State Dining Room.: “"I pray to heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that hereafter inhabit it...May none but the honest and wise men ever rule under this roof."
The Washington Post’s McGrory records that when McCullough got to the “wise and honest” part, all of Bill Clinton’s closest friends looked at their shoes.
Yet, apparently, this year’s crop of candidates would rather have the jolly, gregarious Bill Clinton stumping for them than the White House’s current occupant. One thing you have to say for Bill Clinton: He never came off as “holier than Thou.”
Maybe it’s the President’s unfortunate tendency to talk down to the American people. He tends to say they cling to their guns and their religion. He thinks they’re not thinking straight if they oppose his policies. They tend not to be rational when they’re afraid. Barack Obama talks about us as if he wishes he could elect a new people.
I’d like to see more respect for the Office of President. But I have one word of advice for the current occupant: RESPECT: It’s what you have to have in order to get.