His party is increasingly worried about losing its majority in the House of Representatives. Incumbent Democrats in several states are essentially trying to redefine themselves as Republicans. (Pennsylvania Democrat Jason Altmire’s new ad boasts of his willingness to “stand up to the President..and Nancy Pelosi.”) There is open speculation that President Obama won’t even seek a second term of office. Is hope now too audacious? In a word, no.
While mounting evidence indicates that the American presidency and Barack Obama do not constitute a good match, there is a similar job for which Mr. Obama appears to be ideally suited: the Presidency of Ireland. Consider these essential features of the job, as described on Wikipedia:
- The Constitution of Ireland provides for a parliamentary system of government, under which the role of the head of state is largely a ceremonial one. Most of the functions of the President may only be carried out in accordance with the strict instructions of the Constitution, or the binding ‘advice’ of the Government.
In other words, he wouldn’t be responsible for proposing any specific new laws or for the administration of existing laws–an arrangement with which he has amply demonstrated his complete satisfaction.
- The President, on the advice of the Government, has “the right of pardon and the power to commute or remit punishment”.
This, plus periodic cash payments, should enable him to induce Rod Blagojevich to keep quiet.
- The presidency is open to all citizens of the state who are at least 35.
No more pesky demands for a birth certificate, because Irish citizenship can be applied for after five years of residence.
- The President of Ireland has no vice president.
The advantages of this feature are readily apparent.
- The president’s residence resembles the White House, so the whole family will feel at home immediately:
- The president has certain specific discretionary powers, and it is considered grossly inappropriate for the president to be contacted by the leaders of any political parties in an effort to influence a decision made using the discretionary powers.
No need for those annoying meetings with the members of the opposition party-or one’s own party, for that matter. Of course this means…more time for golf! Which leads us to the final, critical point.
- Ireland has some truly great golf courses. And it only takes an hour to fly from Dublin to Edinburgh, the gateway to St. Andrews.
This is clearly the right job for Mr. Obama, and he should be able to win election to this position with ease. For one thing, he’s already got what a former Irish President has long yearned for.