Everyone only thought the interregnum between presidents was “the natural transition,” an orderly march to the beat of neither knives, nor guns or even stones. It’s the way Americans have conducted themselves since George Washington turned the house key over to John Adams.
Until this time. A few embittered denizens of Bubba World pulled a few childish tricks as they left the White House, such as extracting the “W” key from typewriter keyboards. Hillary decamped with a few pieces of her favorite White House furniture. But she sent it back, probably on the advice of lawyers versed in the criminal code. She and Bubba might have been tempted to swipe the bed in the Lincoln Bedroom, but it was so broken down from harsh use by campaign donors that it probably wasn’t worth taking. But no knives have been unsheathed over the centuries, no guns drawn.
Barack Obama is obsessed with what he calls his “legacy,” but doesn’t seem to understand what a legacy is. It’s not something a president or anyone else can write or devise, to put it on a scroll for the National Archives, to be taken out to be read in a ceremony on the Fourth of July.
An authentic presidential legacy is the record of everything a president has done, all the good and bad that he will be remembered for, and President Obama will have a lot to be remembered by and for. A lot of it is what he didn’t deliver of what he promised eight years ago. Someone, perhaps Hillary, perhaps John Podesta, the Democratic campaign chairman, should tell him about the moving finger, the one that writes in bold and legible letters, so that not a single line of all the piety and wit his speechwriters can concoct can be recalled.