Tell President Obama Where He Can Go
Despite the fact that he decided to live here for eight years, I don't think George W. Bush has ever really liked Washington. When you spend a lot of time saying how awful a place is--even metaphorically--you look kind of silly if you're seen to be enjoying it. I think that explains why Bush hasn't been an around-town sort of president, taking advantage of what our city has to offer: the museums, the restaurants, the parks, the local teams, the nightlife.
Maybe that will be different with Barack Obama. Or maybe it won't. He, too, ran "against" Washington. So did his opponent, though as far as I can tell, John McCain is even more of a Washingtonian--teen years here, college in Annapolis, working at the Pentagon, then decades on Capitol Hill--than half the people I rub up against on the Metro. But I suppose no politician can run the risk of having fun here. Better to go halfway across the country to clear brush than go to Rock Creek Park to rip out porcelain berry.
But it doesn't have to be that way. I hope Obama will do more to interact with Washington--the city and the entire region--than make the occasional Sunday walk to St. John's church. He and his family can hike the Billy Goat Trail. Drive out to Sugarloaf. See the foliage along Skyline Drive. He can go to Wizards games, or even Caps ones. (Start courting the hockey mom vote for 2012!) President Obama could even throw his weight around a little. Want an after-hours tour of the National Zoo? No problem, Mr. President. Wanna ring the bells in the Old Post Office tower? Go right ahead. Your kids want to sleep over in the Natural History Museum? Bring some sleeping bags.
What other things could our new president and the First Family do to settle themselves into our fair city, to become honorary Washingtonians?
[Thanks to David Stinson for the postcard.]
November 5, 2008; 10:15 AM ET
| Tags: Barack Obama, Washington
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