“It’s too long.”

“There’s a lot to say.”

“Jamie, no president ever delivered an inaugural this long. A damned oration.” Even after Dan Webster’s editing, it had taken him two hours to read it aloud last night.

“You owe your election to a lot of people.” Jamie fancied himself a political guru as well as speechwriter. “They all expect to be mentioned.”

“Listen, I’m 68 years old.” He wasn’t sure he could stand up that long, let alone on an outdoor platform.  “Do we need all this detail?”

“You’ve got to assure voters that you’ll keep your campaign promises.”

Defer to Congress on legislative matters. Use the veto sparingly. Re-establish the federal bank. Issue paper currency. There had been a lot of promises, not all of them his own ideas.

“And you need to remind the nation,” Jamie persisted, “that you’re still the man.”

Ah, yes. The heroic general who ended Tecumseh’s rebellion in an epic battle on the banks of an obscure Indiana river whose name became his.

Read the whole story in Calliope (the Mensa Society Magazine)


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