Here's my 2 cents in White House advice
I'm only guessing, but a major problem with being president has to be people around you being more likely to stick their face in a cast-iron oscillating fan than tell you the truth. Let's say you slip and fall and rip a hole in your pants down to your ankle while spilling hot coffee on a little blind girl in a wheelchair in front of a nationally televised audience. The worst you could expect to hear from a staffer is "Well, that could have gone better."
Therefore, I consider it my patriotic duty to offer up a little unsolicited advice intended for the President's Eyes Only. Yo. Barack. Dude. You should totally chill. And listen up. Why? Cuz I can tell you the stuff that Mister Chaff of Staff Rahm Emanuel can't. And I won't go all ballistic on your butt or singe your receptionist's eardrums either.
First thing. Don't worry so much about the Republicans. They're going to do what they're going to do. You don't even enter into the equation. Expect to be accused of everything. All the way from "done nothing at all" to "moved too quickly" and all permutations in between. At least you always know where these guys are coming from. From behind and in front and 16 different sides-throwing knives of negativity.
It's your so-called friends you need to watch out for. The ones who smile and nod and laugh at your jokes to cover the slip of a shiv between your third and fourth ribs on the left side. Trust me, with friends like these, you don't need Richard Shelby. Unfortunately, most of your buddies are Democrats. Which is a lot like saying most of a general's fighting force is terra cotta. The difference being terra cotta soldiers don't cut and run so fast they leave little puffs of cartoon smoke.
The second thing is, you need to develop an "or else." Work with you, or what? Or Joe Biden sits next to you in the congressional dining room and cuts your meat every day for a week? Lyndon Johnson plucked at the horsehair holding up the sword of Damocles for his "or else." Walk the line or find yourself whisked back to your home district as a clerk in Park and Rec's lost and found. His idea of compromise was letting you use his pen to sign your vow of allegiance.
Finally, your people have lost all sense of urgency. You got to fire somebody. You know -- ax. Can. Dump. Sack. Pink slip. Terminate with extreme prejudice. Discharge. Unassign. 86. Downsize. Furlough. Ease out. Make redundant. Perform a bum's rush. Give the boot. Hand someone their marching orders. Assist in an accelerated career-development shift. Impose a synergy-related headcount restructuring. Heave a ho.
It doesn't matter who. Are you telling me in more than a year, nobody in the administration has made a mistake bad enough to be let go? Because if they haven't, you have. If you can't come up with an obvious target, pick someone out at random. You really want to put the fear of God into Team Obama, get rid of Michelle. Or one of the kids. That's the best way of saying, "Don't anybody want to get too complacent." Anyhow, that's my advice. No thanks necessary, I'm here to help. First one's free.
Will Durst is a San Francisco-based political comic who has performed around the world. He is a familiar pundit on television and radio.