Column Date 2008-11-09
What will W do?
Like many of us, struggling in this disastrous economy, W has a problem.
He's out of work on January 20th and, with corporate profits screaming downward and unemployment pushing 7%, the job market is tight.
So what's a family breadwinner to do?
Well, W might just go back to Crawford, Texas and live on his generous government pension for a while (it's about $191,000 a year, which should go far in a little town with a low cost-of-living).
If he does, I hope you folks in Crawford treat him kindly. After all he was our President.
Invite him to your BBQs, shoot the breeze with him, help him clear some brush. He was always America's favorite guy to have a (non-alcoholic) beer with.
On the other hand, he might follow in the footsteps of previous Presidents.
Other ex-Presidents chose to do a wide variety of things, from Herbert Hoover writing prolifically, to Jimmy Carter building houses for the poor, to Bill Clinton traveling the world for humanitarian causes.
Realistically though, the odds are pretty good that W will go back into the oil business, where he's made lots of new friends over the past eight years. And then there's the up and coming "nuke-yule-ar" sector to explore.
There's always a chance he'll start his own small business, like the legendary American entrepreneurs he has always spoken fondly of. As he once said: “I understand small business growth. I was one.”
Of course, he might finally decide to move back East and embrace his true family roots (Greenwich, CT, Phillips Andover Academy, Yale, Skull and Bones Society, Harvard Business School, etc).
With all his "elite Eastern" connections, perhaps he can get a job on the new, downsized Wall Street. But nobody really expects that.
We also doubt that W will be sitting down to write a book anytime soon, since this is clearly not the best time for him to publish his memoirs.
Whatever path W chooses, we sincerely wish him the best.
We must add one last thought, since it's doubtful that he will appear in this column again:
Was he the worst President in American history, as some people claim?
It's much too soon to make harsh judgments like that.
We're sure he loved our country and did his best, but he was never more than a 'C' student at a time in our history where America needed an 'A'.
©2008 Peter Tannen