Facebook Twitter

Clinton, get ready for ‘fast’ life

SHARE Clinton, get ready for ‘fast’ life

My fear that President Clinton's return to "private" life will not be a pretty thing was confirmed by a recent photo of the chief executive gorging at a Michigan McDonald's.

"You know, it was a regular thing of mine when I was a private citizen, so maybe I'll do it some more now," said Clinton between bites of crispy chicken sandwich and French fries.

If Clinton has as much trouble becoming a "normal" private citizen as he had being a "normal" president, we are in for a rough ride.

The first thing Clinton has to realize is that he does not have to make up for eight years of fast-food avoidance during his first two weeks out of office. A bloated, 300-pound ex-president waddling back and forth from McDonald's to Burger King will do little to rehabilitate his image as a man of huge, uncontrollable appetites.

Clinton also needs to have some sympathy for the majority of Americans who go to McDonald's not because they like the food but because it is fast. Regular visits by Clinton, a phalanx of Secret Service agents, handlers and media in tow, can only lead to slower service and hard feelings. The average American can forgive Clinton for his affair, but they have little patience with someone who stands between them and their Big Mac.

The soon-to-be-ex-president may also have trouble wrapping his mind around the fact that he will be expected to pay for his food. Presidents are not accustomed to paying for things themselves and seldom carry any money. Clinton may want to refamiliarize himself with the concept of "cash."

If and when Clinton gets too fat to fit through the door of a fast-food restaurant, he will be forced to order at the drive-through, something that presents its own set of problems. The cashier will come on the intercom and ask, totally unbidden, if the ex-president would like to order a "value meal." It is also possible that the cashier is asking the ex-president if he would like to order a "fat blue seal," the fidelity of drive-through intercoms being somewhat less than perfect.

Here, the president's experience with foreign leaders and their multitude of languages will be put to the test. If Clinton, upon arriving home, opens his bag and finds a quivering blob of seal blubber instead of a Quarter-Pounder with cheese, he'll better understand why his Camp David peace talks never panned out.

"If I'm going to be a (private) citizen again, I'm going to have to start getting used to it," Clinton said while posing for pictures behind the Michigan McDonald's counter with wife, Hillary, and daughter Chelsea.

So will we, Mr. President. So will we.

David Grimes is a columnist for the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, Fla.