Want change? Elect Mom as presidentPublished 12:55pm Saturday, May 7, 2011
Column: Pass the Hot Dish, by Alexandra Kloster
I was on the phone listening to my mother, Carol. CNN blared in the background. In one ear was the wandering circumlocution of politics, lots of talk and little substance. In the other ear was my mom, the antithesis of spin, pithy and direct, only occasionally evasive, always pleasant, genuine and often humorous.
For a moment the worlds in my ears collided and I saw the future for what it could be with Carol Kloster as Madame President.
First, if my mother were president there would be no White House. There would be a Beige House because everyone knows beige doesn’t show dirt like white does.
President Carol Kloster would start a new tradition of ending every speech and state of the union address with, “God bless the United States of America. Be careful driving and call when you get home.”
Her compassion for her people would be obvious. She would not rest until everyone had access to health care with the proviso that it is not abused with frivolous trips to the doctor when ginger ale, a warm bath, a big steak or Vicks VapoRub will cure 90 percent of what ails you.
Every morning briefing would start with, “Don’t walk on that carpet. I just vacuumed it,” forcing Bill Daley to climb over furniture to get to his seat.
President Kloster could balance the budget using a checkbook and a pencil. Her creative thriftiness would pay down the national debt. Though she might ask China to wait until Friday to cash that check because she hasn’t had a chance to get to the bank yet.
She would be tough yet sensitive. Just look at the way she wipes away John Boehner’s tears with her sleeve.
Never would she allow special interests or religion to influence her social policies except on Sundays, holidays, Fridays during Lent, and all other holy days of obligation.
My mother, the president, would defend the right to bear arms going so far as to insist that all citizens carry her weapon of choice, a purse weighed down by 10 pounds of loose change.
Her peers would marvel at her foreign policy strategy. Particularly the stealthy way she assumes the seat of power when meeting with Kim Jong Il, beginning the historic summit with, “Are you sure about that outfit?” and “Is that a new haircut? What were you thinking?”
She would consider equally the opinions of all her constituents regardless of party or ideology. Though years later her private papers would show that she questioned the authenticity the Tea Party, writing that if they were really a tea party they would dress much better than they do.
Like any world leader she would occasionally find herself conflicted. For instance she would appreciate Joe Biden’s feisty enthusiasm while simultaneously wanting to punch him in the face.
Though my mother would be a wildly popular president, her administration would not be without detractors. Her entire term would be plagued with questions of legitimacy as her place of birth, Sault Ste Marie, Mich., is suspiciously close to Canada.
Her impatience with centuries old feuds would erupt while brokering peace in the Middle East as she exclaimed, “Don’t be so stubborn! If you continue to behave that way you’ll end up all alone with only your own pout for company.”
Scandal would never rock her presidency even though that photo snapped while she was ordering Leon Panetta to spit out his gum in her hand would haunt her long after she left office.
Critics would accuse my mother of throwing the U.S. back to pre-World War II isolationist policies because she wouldn’t stop saying, “When you make a mess, you have to clean it up yourself.”
Both sides of the aisle would wonder at her environmental views. She’d say she believes in global warming yet she’d constantly tell everyone to put on a jacket or at least carry a sweater.
What a world it would be if we could always have the benefit of a mother’s common sense, love, honesty and loyalty. Today I wish Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, but in a parallel universe I’m saying to my own mother, “Hail to the chief!”
Woodbury resident Alexandra Kloster appears each Sunday. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and her blog is Radishes at Dawn at alexandrakloster.com.