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open letter to the new president, take two
because the last one worked so well
by adam kraemer (@DryWryBred)

A few years ago (well, four to be exact), I penned in these pages an open letter to the men who were running for President, not knowing at the time who would win.

I can tell you now, without reservation, that George W. Bush did not read a bit of it. I know this for two reasons:
1) He did not follow a single one of my recommendations.
2) It contained words.

I, however, have much higher hopes for both of this year's candidates. Say what you will about John McCain or Barack Obama, but you can't deny that there's a pretty good likelihood that they're neither illiterate nor ignorant.

So with that in mind, I have decided to try again. I write this letter a month before the elections and I send it out to the men who would be king. I've tried to be mostly nonpartisan and speak solely from my own personal viewpoints, and I think I make some pretty decent points. If this doesn't work, by the way, maybe I'll just run for President myself next time around. Lord knows I'm at least as qualified as Sarah Palin, and I would never name my kids anything that could double as the name of a pub. (Seriously. "Hey, Tim, let's run down to the old Trig & Willow." Or "I met the man in black that fateful night in the alley behind the Piper of Bristol." Or "My daddy was at the Track the day I was born.")

(For the record, I'm writing this the day after the vice presidential debate, and I have to admit that Gov. Palin managed to hold her own. She did so, in large part, by answering questions that weren't actually asked of her, but at least she gave fair warning that she was going to do exactly that.)

Anyway, here goes:

Dear [Sen. McCain/Sen. Obama],

First of all, let me say congratulations.

It was a [hard fought/unfair/historic/magical] fight, and it's obvious you [rode the wave/rigged the polls/cast a spell/got the Supreme Court to intercede in your favor]. I found it refreshing that in the end, your message to the American people really came down to [distancing yourself from George W. Bush/distancing yourself from George W. Bush].

Regardless, the excitement of the election is [all behind you/still a question of recounts in five states], and it's time to get down to the business of [governing/waiting/hiding underneath your cloak of invisibility].

Given the differences in focus between you and your opponent in the run-up to the election, I have to sincerely say that [I hope you manage to keep your promises/I hope you manage to once again become the senator I admired before you sold out to the Republican party in order to get the nomination/I hope you remembered to bring your broadsword]. I do have a few concerns, however.

First of all, this whole war in Iraq. I have to admit that I was for the war, and I still think ousting Saddam Hussein was a pretty good idea. It's obvious, however, that unlike the administration you're replacing, you [have an exit strategy/still underestimate the enmity between the Shiias and Sunis/rely mostly on your +14 charisma rating]. Regardless of the things you said during the debates, [I'm not sure that "winning" is a thing we can do in a country we're not a war with/it's refreshing to have a president who can find Afghanistan on a map]. So [that's why I'm glad you/that's why I think you should] have some sort of a schedule.

Second, this economy thing [has to go/has to be fixed/is it, stupid]. Look, I'm no economist, and I am 100% in favor of some form of oversight regarding the banking industry. However, it amuses me to hear [free-market republicans/hockey moms from Alaska/bards] referring to the "corruption" of Wall Street, when, as far as I know, no one actually did anything corrupt or even illegal. Stupid, yes. And short-sighted. And probably immoral. Washington may be corrupt in their failure of oversight, but the banks were technically playing by the rules. I'm pretty sure, in fact, that the goal of banks, investment houses, etc. is to [make money/employ dwarves to mine for diamonds]. For example, naked short selling is, um, pretty stupid and [should have been banned before September/should require a 2d10 roll of 18 or higher], but it wasn't technically a question of corruption. Greed, sure, but banks aren't in business to lose money. So remember, you're [here to change all that/our new beacon of hope/not sure how many houses you own].

Third, and I made this entreaty to our last president, for all the good it did me: remember that you're president of all the people of the United States of America. That means that [you don't get to push a liberal agenda at the expense of state's rights/you don't get to push a conservative agenda at the expense of our souls/you need to protect us from orcs and goblins]. This last president has made us [a laughingstock among the nations of the world/realize that maybe Richard Nixon wasn't so bad]. The Bush administration was cocky, secretive, criminal, pugilistic, ignorant, and dangerous. If you're serious about bringing change to Washington, you could take a lesson from their misdeeds. You need to, really. The American people can't afford [a continuation of their policies/five gallons of gas/to lose any more hit points].

I guess that's really all I have, since I'm writing this a month before the election and [these are the things on my mind/I can't get the word "maverick" out of my head/I just got attacked by a level 3 succubus].

And, in conclusion, let me just say [congratulations, Mr. President/this incantation I've been working on that will turn lead into Jell-O]. In four years, I would like to be [better off than I am today/alive/proven right].


Adam Kraemer

P.S. My birthday's Friday the 10th, so if you get this in time, could you mention me in the final debate? Thanks.


A native of Elkins Park, PA, Adam Kraemer spends way too much of his time repeating "K-R-A-E..." He moved to New York City in 1998 and earned Master's in Journalism at NYU; don't let his writing fool you. He feels he is best known for saying the things no one is thinking, but afterwards wish they had been. He spends his free time wondering where all his free time goes and why he can never come up with a decent kicker for the ends of his articles.

more about adam kraemer


an open letter to the president
please circle the best answer and send it to you-know-who
by adam kraemer
topic: news
published: 11.5.04

neo-con...dem nation!
caught between barack and a hard place
by adam kraemer
topic: news
published: 11.10.08


adam kraemer
10.8.08 @ 3:02p

Just wanted to add this - I came across this link when I was looking at the last one of these I wrote. It's sadly prescient.

adam kraemer
10.9.08 @ 12:07p

Wow. This discussion is almost less interesting than Tuesday's debate.

tracey kelley
10.13.08 @ 10:50p

No, your Mad Libs take on it all says, well, it all.

lisa r
10.18.08 @ 10:40p

Government, Mad Lib style. Now there's a scary, and perhaps prescient, thought.

adam kraemer
10.22.08 @ 10:16a

When in the course of (adjective) events, it becomes necessary for one (noun) to (verb) the (adjective) bands which have connected them with another and to (verb) among the powers of the (noun)...

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