From Obama’s Diary: ‘What If I Lose?’

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Pete Souza / White House

Dear Diary,

Still stressed. I know I shouldn’t watch Fox, but Hannity seems more smug than usual lately. Doesn’t he ever get sick of Jeremiah Wright? I’d feel better if the gay marriage thing had gone better. (Thanks for nothing, Joe.) Well at least Ellen DeGeneres will have my back. Still, I keep thinking about “It.” I promised Michelle I would think positive. But she doesn’t hear how Axelrod gets evasive with me when I ask if he’s confident. We need a disaster plan. So I spent an hour shooting free throws—sunk twelve in a row!—and came up with some ideas. I want to get them down in writing. Here goes:

1. Roving do-gooder Rehab “loser” image through philanthropy, peacemaking. The Arc of History Foundation has a nice ring to it.

Pros: Helping folks. Travel. Chance to earn that Nobel Peace Prize.

Cons: It’s worked for Bill, but they still make fun of Jimmy. Could get roped into emergency North Korea mission at any time.

2. Operation SCOTUS Will take time, but I’m young. Fist step is a law school gig— Harvard will still love me even if I lose—then I wait for Joe or Hillary to beat Mitt. Those two owe me.

Pros: Weekends in Chicago. Intellectual stimulation. Basketball court!

Cons: Rough confirmation fight. Too late to save health care. Clarence Thomas.

3. NBA Commissioner First choice! I don’t think it’s Michelle’s. Wait til she hears what it pays; Stern gets like $20 mil. Will be nice to issue 90-day suspensions instead of lethal drone strikes.

Pros: Won’t have to bug Spike or Nicholson for courtside tickets. Watching games = “working.” Chance to bring the Jazz name back to New Orleans.

Cons: Mark Cuban, ugh.

4. Writing books OK, this I’ll do no matter what. First the memoir, obviously (ka-ching!). Then maybe a book about Jodi Kantor’s marriage, LOL. Ax says it’s okay to write a “dark” novel–so long as I don’t do sex scenes.

Pros: My true love. Lots of brainstorming-slash-smoking breaks.

Cons: Can’t shake image of Carter’s poetry book in the remainders bin.

5. Go Hollywood Clooney says that’s where I belong; he’s like the L.A. friend in Annie Hall. I’ve got that idea for an HBO series–the one about the President who really does turn out to be a foreigner; it’s “Manchurian Candidate” meets “Veep.” Rahm says Ari can make it happen.

Pros: Weekends in Hawaii. Great golfing.

Cons: After four years in motorcades, don’t know if I can handle that traffic.

6. Campus life U of Chicago president sounds nice. Maybe I could even teach a class. (“Why Congress is Totally F—ed Up 101.”)

Pros: Home again. Smart folks. Bulls games. Poker nights with Rahm.

Cons: More fundraising, aggh. Awkward run-ins with Wright, Ayers, Daley.

7. Sell out! Might be fun to occupy Wall Street, if you know what I mean. Notice how nice I’ve been to Dimon? He’ll remember.

Pros: Owning a golf course. Low taxes under President Romney.

Cons: Shame. Bad with numbers.

8. Silicon Valley Reggie had that idea for a March Madness betting app, although Holder says it’s technically illegal. Hmm… Am I still cool enough for Apple? (Is Apple still cool?)

Pros: Casual dress. Anti-SOPA position made me popular.

Cons: Still stuck with a BlackBerry, clueless about iPhones.

9. Unleash Michelle She hated sidelining her career for mine, so let’s fix that. Durbin thinks she should pull a Hillary and run for Senate in Illinois. But Oprah thinks she’s made for TV. Gore, too—he’d give her a show on Current. (Obviously not.) Anyway, she’d want to start slow, maybe a couple weeks on “The View.”

Pros: Healthier balance in marriage.

Cons: She’d rather run J Crew.

10. 2016 Depends on how badly I lose. If I win the popular and lose the electoral, I’m taking it back. Pros: Motorcades, Camp David, redemption, arc of history.

Cons: Could mean another primary against Hillary. Terrifying thought!

Okay, that’s it for today. More soon.

-Barack

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