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The Real Poop

Job opening: Ruler of the free world. Needed for full-time position. Good pay, long hours. Related experience a plus. Will provide reallllly expensive plane.

Yeah…you're probably not going to find this one posted on Craigslist. Who among you didn't want to be President of the United States when you were younger and…more clueless? As kids, we like that The Man is important, and that everyone looks up to him.. As kids, we like that the Prez is famous (we don't think about then putting our children and family at risk for kidnappers, idiots and morons to hassle, threaten…). And we note as kids that if POTUS is giving an important speech they can override a program that is already in progress, even Two and a Half Men. We like that they get to live in that big white house, and that they get to fly their private airplane all over the world, and that they can get out of speeding tickets just because they're such a big deal.

You'd think the President could get a nicer set of wheels.

But then we get a little older (and hopefully a little wiser), and we realize that being the President isn't everything it's cracked up to be. The job is thankless (does anyone ever really love the Prez?), and the work is never "done."  The stress factor must be out of this world, there’s danger of being shot at any moment of any day, and after no more than eight years, you're out on your butt. Although the public speaking fees that you can rake in after that ain't bad.

We're talking here about the toughest job in the world. There are plenty of gigs which are more physically demanding, and others that offer fewer perks, but the President has an entire nation of people depending on him. Every error is magnified, every success diminished. You'd better have a thick skin, a resilient heart, and a brilliant mind (for politics) if you have any notion of pursuing this one. A good jawline would be nice, too. After all, you're going to be on TV a lot. And luck. Lots and lots and lots of luck.

But what does the President do all day long in that big white house of his? Well, his duties are pretty extensive, but we’ll give you the short list. The President reads all bills that have been approved by Congress and determines whether they should pass, or whether he’s going to play his veto card. He’s the head honcho when it comes to our armed forces—if we go to war, he’s the one who has to fire the first shot (figuratively speaking). He’s in charge of maintaining international relations with other world leaders. That means understanding the histories, stances, objectives, and policies of other nations, so that he can maintain peace with our friends and deal with our enemies as needed. He is also the head of his party, and therefore responsible for raising funds to protect that party’s interests. Although you likely won't catch him setting up a lemonade stand on the White House lawn. He has to balance what large donors want with his own policies and the perception of influence, meaning that he doesn't just get to collect and then use the dollars raised merely to meet his own agenda. Ugh—so much office politics!

Other odds-and-end little chores include delivering the annual State of the Union address (including P.O. Box #), appointing a cabinet (in which he'll store his prescription medication), and making treaties. He also has the option of having a curling rink built in the White House, if that happens to be his sport of choice. (Although that's going to send his critics into a tizzy, demanding to see his birth certificate so we can be assured he isn’t really from Canada.)

The job definitely has its perks, but for just about everyone in the country, the negatives far outweigh them. So you have to ask yourself, "What kind of person would put themselves (and their families) through all of that misery so that they can have the most powerful job in the world? What kind of ungodly insecurities must they have, needing to be liked or feared at so many levels by so many people they hardly know? What weaknesses and insecurity ghosts do they fight to hunger for that job so as to be willing to sacrifice so much? Do you need all that applause to be…happy?"

Are you that one-in-a-billion individual who has what it takes to lead our country for 4-8 years? To be the top banana, the grand poobah, the big enchilada? Are you willing to devote years of your life just to the very possibility that you may be nominated or elected? Are you ready to live an absolutely unblemished lifestyle, so that no one can dig up any dirt on you later on down the road? (If there is dirt on you, better make sure you’ve packed it down pretty good over whatever it is you’re hiding.) Because goodness knows, you can't be taken seriously as a Presidential candidate if you've done anything shady in your past. Ahem. (Clears throat, adjusts tie, sweats profusely.)

What? He gets nervous when having his picture taken.