Well, now I have a little bit of a breather. Sure, putting together a transition team is hard work too, but not as hard, because, see, you can delegate. Rahm, baby, go bust some balls and get things moving on our transition. Rahm, my man, go find some genius economists to put together a solid plan to stabilize and stimulate the economy. Rahm, no you can't stab your underlings when they disappoint you. Rahmbo, don't be an ass. Rahmbo, get off my lawn.
I'm loving it.
I think I'm going to enjoy being president. Even if, as a wise fool once said, it's hard work, and hard work, and hard work. I like hard work. It keeps me honest.
Now I just have to learn how to mispronounce nuclear. Noo-kew-lar. Noo-kew-lar. Nuuuu-kuuuu-laar.
I think I've got it.
She looked at me levelly. "Can we put the supposed and non-existant call for your assassination behind us?"
"I would like that. I would like that a lot."
"All right then."
"All right. So tell me what you want for your endorsement, Hillary."
"My debt retired. The vice presidency. A spot at the DNC. Your first-born child..."
I just look at her. She doesn't wilt; she is too strong to wilt. She changes tack.
"The debt will be acceptable, but without an offer for the vice presidency..."
"It's not going to happen, Senator. You have too much baggage. Your husband has too much baggage. And I don't like back-seat drivers."
"...I will have to contest the nomination at the convention."
"And of course I would wish you the best of luck with that."
"I could support you, Barack. I could really support you."
"Then please do."
"I can't contribute to that directly, of course, but I would be willing to urge my supporters to help you with it provided that you withdraw, endorse me, give up the idea of the vice presidency, and pledge not to interfere with my campaign further."
"You're asking a lot."
"Not really. You're not going to win, so withdrawing or suspending are only reasonable; I'm not going to offer you the vice presidency, so giving up the idea that I will is only reasonable; and further interference with my campaign or suggestions that your loss was illegitimate will only reduce your standing in the party. These are common-sense proposals for the end of a primary campaign. All I'm asking is that you be reasonable."
"And in return, you, what, provide a tiny little link on the bottom of your website directing your supporters to help me out?"
"We could make it a full-sized banner on the home page."
"You would, of course, have to retract the statements claiming that your wins in Michigan and Florida, contests for which your name shouldn't even have been on the ballot, were in any way legitimate, or that the DNC solution is in any way illegitimate."
"Oh, shove it, Barack."
"All right." I stood up. "It has, as always, been a pleasure talking to you."
"God damn it. Sit down. All right. All right. I could, maybe issue a retraction as long as I don't explicitly call it a retraction or explicitly take back anything I've said."
"What's left, then?"
"I could contradict myself. I can do that."
I tried not to laugh. I believe I succeeded. "Yes. You could do that. That would be acceptable."
"Do we have a deal, then?"
"I think we do. Your support during the general, and your contradiction of your earlier statements regarding Florida and Michigan, both in return for my supporters' help retiring your debt. Do you agree?"
"Yes, I do."
"You'll support me, then?"
"Of course, Barack. I've always supported you. You know that. Our policies are so close as to be indistinguishable. There's never been any reason we couldn't get along."
"Of course not. Well then, shall we let the dream team back into the room?"
"And thank Diane for the use of her lovely home."
"As you say."
-With apologies to Elizabeth Tallent and Get It Back for Me; and Raymond Carver and What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.