President Obama, despondent over his low poll numbers and the lack of trust many Americans have for him and his policies, did something drastic. He met with the psychic medium who once helped Hillary Clinton contact the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt. With the medium’s help, Obama summoned the only presence in America who could help him: Richard Milhous Nixon.
Obama: Hello? Mr. President, can you hear me?
Nixon (sitting on a cloud playing a harp): What do you want, you ninny!
Obama: I’m in big trouble, Dick. My approval rating has fallen steadily since I began my second term. I’m polling in the low 40s - only you polled worse than I am. That’s why some are beginning to compare my presidency to yours.
Nixon: Good God. My legacy is worse than I thought!
Obama: Like your presidency, mine has been mired in scandal. There is the Benghazi flap, Fast and Furious, using the IRS to inhibit political enemies, my refusal to enforce laws I don’t like and so much more.
Nixon: You’re getting off easy, Obama. All I did was cover up a little burglary operation and look what they did to me.
Obama: But it gets worse for me, Dick. I told the American people they could keep their health insurance policies and their doctors. The fools actually believed me and are now punishing me for it. The botched rollout of ObamaCare, my signature achievement, is also hurting me. Nixon: With all due respect, Obama, I couldn’t care less about your problems.
Obama: But, Dick, in November a majority of Americans said they no longer find me honest or trustworthy. It’s a trust issue, Dick. I am losing the people’s trust. You have been through worse. Surely you have some advice.
Nixon: They don’t like us to discuss politics up here, Obama.
Obama: But, Dick, if I don’t turn things around, everyone will be comparing my presidency to yours. Everyone will be talking about Watergate and dismal presidential poll numbers. Do you really want people dredging all of that up again?
Nixon: All right, then, Obama. I’ll help you just this once. If you weren’t such a rookie, you would have been able to figure this out for yourself.
Obama: Go on, Dick!
Nixon: You must continue delaying or adjusting ObamaCare to lessen the pain it is causing the American people - even if your actions are unconstitutional. And for goodness’ sake, fire somebody. Haven’t you ever heard of scapegoating?
Obama: But I have had such luck just blaming President Bush.
Nixon: Despite the fact that you are the most partisan president in modern history - despite the fact that America is more divided now than it has been in half a century - you need to portray yourself as the most bipartisan president in modern history. You need to reach out to Republicans and pass a few bills together. Tax reform would be a good place to start. Maybe you can make adjustments to your disastrous health care bill. Compromise for once.
Obama: I’ll try, Dick, but what is the point of compromising?
Nixon: Because as more Americans see their premiums spike and their policies canceled, you can pin the blame on Republicans!
Obama: You are brilliant, Dick. What else?
Nixon: I’d hold off on the vacations and golf outings. Roll up your sleeves. Invite Republicans over to the White House to work through disagreements. Be more transparent. Do what the people who voted for you expected you to do. Do it right, Obama, or you will pay a great price.
Obama: What price, Dick?
Nixon: To atone for my presidential sins, they made me listen to LBJ speeches for months. I sat in on Carter Cabinet meetings for years. For goodness’ sake, Obama, you’ve been given a precious gift to lead the greatest nation on Earth. So lead already.
Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood” and “Comical Sense: A Lone Humorist Takes on a World Gone Nutty!” is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist. Send comments to Tom at Purcell@caglecartoons.com.