the Inaugural Address
by Art Bushwald
It was a week before his inauguration, and the President-to-be
was busy thinking of what he would say in his inaugural address.
With him were several of his closest and most trusted aides,
congressmen, potential Cabinet appointees, and media and entertainment
"OK, fellas," said the soon-to-be President, "I want this
inaugural speech ta be a real humdinger, a real hoop-de-lah,
as we say in West Texas, which is close to Californy. I think
it should start like this: 'My fellow Republicans...'"
"Excellent beginning, Mr. President!" chirped Karen Hughes.
"I can tell already that this is going to be one heckuva great
inaugural speech. Please go on."
"My fellow Republicans," continued the man known as Dubya,
"as I look out upon this magnificent sea of fur coats and
cowboy hats, I am reminded of a famous quote by one of our
greatest and most respected presidents, Calvin Coolidge, who
said: 'The business of America is business...' especially,
I might add, the oil, gas, and coal business. And money. The
business of America is money. Money! Money! Money! Oil, gas,
coal, and money! Oh, I love them all! Especially money! Lots
of it! Ohhhh, how I've always wanted money! To fondle! To
"Enough already!" blurted Karl Rove. "We all dearly love
money, but if you keep on like that, we'll never get this
freakin' speech finished."
"If you ask me," offered Colin Powell, who was sitting by
himself, "given the bitter feelings that still linger from
this past election, I think you should say something reminiscent
of Lincoln's second inaugural address, you know, that part
about 'With malice toward none, with charity for all'."
"So who the freak asked you?" snorted Rummy Rumsfeld.
"Lincoln had a second inaugural address?" asked the befuddled
Dubya. "I know the first one was 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,
but where was the second one?"
"Knucklehead!" shouted Dick Cheney. "Powell over there was
talking about the speech that Lincoln gave during his second
"Lincoln..." said the still confused President-appoint, "Hey,
wasn't he the guy that said something about 'Four scores of
7, years ago...'? Ya know, I've always wondered what he meant
by that. Was he talking about baseball scores? Did they have
baseball back then?"
"They've had baseball since 1839," noted Ari Fleischer.
"Good gosh, what did people do before that?!" exclaimed the
nascent leader of the free world.
"Will ya shut the freak up about baseball and finish this
stupid speech?!" yelled the impatient Rove.
"I think you should mention something about your very magnaminous
tax cut plan," offered Trent Lott, "and how it will help to
feed starving millionaires from coast to coast."
"Good idea," said Dubya, as he penned 'feed... starving...
millionaires' in his notebook.
"Perhaps you ought to say something about supporting the
citizens' right to vote, you know, to help in the healing
process" suggested Katherine Harris, winking.
"Great idea!" exclaimed Dubya. "How about this: 'Now, I've
heard some folks on the left wing fringe whining about how
some people's right ta vote was unhinged in this last election.
But let me say this: There is something more precious than
the right ta vote. Look at the good people of Warshinton,
D.C. They haven't had no Senators, nor votin' Congressman,
fer 200 years, but are they complainin' about that? Heck,
no! But as I ride along the streets of our nation's capital,
people from all walks of life come up ta me and says, 'Dubya,
when is we gettin' our own major league baseball team? How
come we have ta go 40 miles over ta Baltimore ta watch a game?
Oh, Dubya, life would be so much better if we only had baseball
here in D.C.!' And so, as we stand on the verge of a new spring
training season, I know that baseball is heavy on the minds
of folks throughout this great country of ours. So as your
president, I will promise to do everything in my power to
bring professional baseball to Americans everywhere, from
the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge to Teapot Dome."
"Speaking of Teapot Dome," suggested Cheney, "you should
mention something about energy."
"OK," said the failed oil company executive-turned-president,
"How about this: 'America is facing an energy crisis, the
likes of which we haven't seen since poppy's friends made
a killing off of rising oil prices in the 1970s. So I will
promise you now, that we will have a sensible energy policy,
of drill, dig, and guzzle. Drill, and dig, and dig and drill.
Everywhere on this continent. Because gas is hemispheric.
That means it's in our neighborhoods. And it should all be
"Absolutely wonderful" beamed Chevron board member Condi
Rice. "Now why don't you insert a few words about national
"OK," said Dubya, how's this: 'In the area of national defense,
we will be humble, but we will always be looking to pick a
fight. We will keep changing our defense policy from day to
day. We will whimsically dump long-standing treaties, and
build an umbrella in the sky that will make the fine folks
at Lockheed-Martin and their investors rich beyond their wildest
dreams. And if the rest of the world don't like it, tough
"You're on a roll, Mr. President!" exclaimed Ben Stein. "So
like a good comedian, ya better wrap it up here and leave
your audience wanting more."
"OK," said Dubya, "whaddya think of this comclusion: 'And
so, my fellow Americans, I wanna be a uniter, and I'm gonna
unite you whether you like it or not. Like I said after the
campaign, it would be great if this country was a dictatorship,
but only if I was the dictator. Well, now I'm gonna git my
chance. Thank you, and may the Lord bless all of ya who voted
"Refreshingly different!" applauded George Will. "Stoic
and reticent! Poignant and stately! Mr. President, I believe
you truly will bring honor and dignity back to the White House!"
"I agree, Mr. President, that was absolutely the greatest
inauguration speech draft I've ever heard!" twittered Larry
King as he rushed over to bear-hug the in-coming Commander-in-Chief.
Just then, Mama Dubya entered the room.
"Enough of this foolishness, Dubya," she squawked. "We're
hiring a professional speechwriter. After all, we wouldn't
want America to get the right impression of you."