Weekly Comments Archive
Archived Issue
Tuesday, June 6, 2023
ISSUE #1162
A Letter to the President

(Will Rogers wrote “letters” to President Coolidge during a 4-month family trip to Europe in 1926. The short ones were published in the New York Times and syndicated as Will’s “Daily Telegrams.”)

My Dear Mr. President,

I saw that you spoke at the graduation ceremony at the Air Force Academy last week. Did you realize, after speaking for an hour, you would then be expected to shake hands with 900 graduates? Without a break? After standing all that time, naturally you were a bit confused, winding up in front of your lectern, where you tripped and fell.

Always stay behind the lectern, not in front of it where the stage is teeming with mic wires, teleprompters, and, yes, sandbags. Frankly, at my age, after all that time on my feet, I might fall flat also, with or without a sandbag to blame.

And about those stairs… Mr. President, you should always use a hand rail. It may not look “manly” or “presidential” but it beats banging up your knees, or worse. Please inform your “advance men” (or more likely, advance women in your Administration) to check out any future stairs you may be compelled to climb or descend. If no hand rail is present, tell ‘em to install one. Or, take the elevator.

Have you noticed that all other Americans get to walk comfortably on and off airplanes? Yet, you, the most powerful leader in the world, are forced to climb the stairs, 5-stories high, to get into your personal 747. And you’re OUTSIDE. Rain, snow, freezing or a hundred degrees on the tarmac. With all the elements to deal with, they make you salute, wave, and pause for photos.

And skipping. Do you really have to skip? Or is a trot? Is that because your heels are shaped like horseshoes? Just walk. We can see you are slim and trim. Congratulations on keeping your weight controlled and your muscles toned. You don’t need to show up other 80-year-olds.

If you stop skipping, and walk carefully, perhaps you can conserve enough energy to answer questions from reporters. I’ve noticed in the White House press room, the journalists all sit. No reason you can’t walk in there, grab a chair, and sit beside the lectern, and answer questions for a couple of hours. That should be less tiring than shaking hands with 900 cadets. And you won’t have to keep up with a script on a teleprompter written by speed-readers.

Yours devotedly,

Randall Reeder

Historic quote by Will Rogers:

“(Newspapers) claim that the farmers are kinder losing confidence in you helping them out. Well, you are pretty wise; you know there ain’t many farmers… If it’s only the farmers that are against you, why, you haven’t lost much strength. You got to do more than just live in the country to be a farmer. Then again you got to figure that it’s a long time till the (election). A couple of good crops and any fair luck working along the line of supply and demand, and you will capture the farmers back again.” May 17, 1926.


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