Book 3 Chapter 13
The water cooler whispers had turned into a roar Tuesday and Wednesday. The media was trying anything it could from everywhere to get at least an anonymous source for an inside scoop about the firing of Mr. Woods. It wasn’t happening – everyone had suddenly become unavailable.
Thursday became Friday; Melinda and Hanna’s news groups were on their way back. I asked them to critique this first group before they left Iran to see how we could streamline the process.
Harry had chosen six groups on Monday to leave Saturday morning on another freight flight from Dover. With six groups at a time, it would take ten weeks for all the news groups to get the chance to visit Iran.
All my mates along with all the kids came over Friday night. There were big things happening on Saturday, Sunday and Monday leading up to the inauguration on Tuesday. There were pre-inauguration parties and dances starting Saturday night. Gordon and his wife were staying in the guest house as well as dance partners for the rest of my mates.
This would probably be the last public event before we announced that Marcy and Vicky were expecting. They weren’t showing a lot yet at four months but with their slender figure at five months, it would be noticeable. I could tell there was a little bulge there.
I had been to the doctor with them the last two months and had escaped detection because of the holidays, Iran and the election had occupied so much of the medias’ time. I was hoping an arrangement could be reached with the doc for their appointments to be the last of the day so I could still get in unnoticed or unrecognized. At least for a while longer.
Jason, Lisa, Mom and Dad did not want to attend any of the pre-inauguration parties, but were coming to see me get sworn in and would attend a couple of the parties Tuesday night.
We had a blast Saturday and Sunday. We attended four parties and four dances. My little men – JJ and RJ – had new tuxes and looked sharp. I only danced one dance at each event with Gordon to allow him some time to spend with his wife.
I did get a surprise Saturday afternoon, Andy called to ask if it was too late for him to change his mind and come to my inauguration and the after dance festivities. He wanted to bring Shelia, Sandy and William. It would be a once in a lifetime event for them that they would never forget. He didn’t think it would be right to deny them that experience.
I told him I was glad he decided to come, and I would call the dress shop for the girls to get fitted as they were in a rush for dresses. They were on call for White House events and had done the dresses for my group. I asked about tuxes for him and William if they needed them as I could arrange that at the same time.
I made the call and set things up for them to come over early Monday morning in one of the helicopters. I had plenty of people that could
scoffer chauffeur them around and a place for them to stay.
There were five designer dresses delivered for me. One each for Saturday, Sunday and Monday and two for Tuesday, one to take the oath in and another for the evening’s parties. My mates each had five. The designers were going to be on hand to make last minute fitting adjustments.
I hated all the fuss, but my mates were on cloud nine. I would have just as soon taken the oath on Tuesday in camo, but I knew better than even whisper about that.
When in Rome do as the Romans do – only problem was I was the emperor. Everyone would be following my lead – the fashion experts had been speculating for days how I would be dressed. The betting parlors were taking odds – dress or pantsuit. I learned Troy had money on both so he couldn’t lose.
Life was easy for our male dance partners – one tux for all five events. All of them had their wives with them for all functions. Marcy knew the wives were facing the same challenge with dresses and theirs would not be paid for like ours were. She had given the ladies a ten thousand dollar clothing allowance for the festivities.
Marcy was going to pay for all of ours; we didn’t need the hassle from the media spouting off about a special interest paying for the dresses or the events. But the designers and famous makers insisted they were free and had done the same for all first ladies.
Marcy was paying the hotel, the meals and ball rooms for dancing for one of the events. The girls had a list of important clients that they thought such an invite may be productive.
By paying instead of seeking donations, it would give the appearance that corporations weren’t buying access to the President by huge donations to the inauguration committee.
Even so there were dozens of events sponsored by industry and special interest groups for party goers to attend. This was an attempt to backdoor influence any way they could.
Saturday night’s affair was put on by the State Department. Most foreign ambassadors returned to the states over the holidays and many stayed in the states on inaugural years. They were all looking to impress the incoming President, hoping to be reappointed as an ambassador to join the group known as lifetime diplomats.
I knew most of them personally, either through JBG security arrangement or as Vice President and President. Plus, my time as Ambassador and its circumstances gave the diplomatic world a feeling of kinship to me. All of the Ambassadors were extremely friendly towards me after Kampala. There would be no media at this event.
I had a good reunion with Ambassador Bernardi and his wife Kate from Kampala and Ambassador Furnell and his wife Missy from the Khartoum embassy. We had a good talk about Africa. It was still a very dangerous place, something that would never change. Ambassador Bernardi had just returned from the refugee camp. He had accompanied the JBG security team making another delivery of food, clothing and medicines.
”Doctor Palermo said to tell you Hi and hopes you are soon able to come back for a visit,” Ambassador Bernardi said.
”It will be tough, but I might be able to make it happen for a visit,” I said.
I felt like I posed for a thousand pictures, the only break was when the food was on the table and the during the dancing. Sunday and the Monday night’s parties were more of the same; fancy dresses, fancy foods and deserts and dancing. My hand was getting sore from all the handshakes.
Monday nights party was the one Marcy paid for. All the college Deans, Directors, chancellors and the JBG security directors from those sites that JBG supplied security to had been invited. Also invited were the important clients of JBG and suppliers. The National Guard General McVee and the governor came.
Marcy thought few of the invites would accept and show up. She was wrong; all of them came.
I knew most of them resulted in having a good time and renewing old friendships.
Tuesday was nervous tension – Washington was abuzz in energy. Every motel and hotel room was filled. The stage for the inauguration was built in place days ago. Security was heavy with thousands of extra security.
The liberal communists still had not come to terms with the election. They were promising protest and disruptions. The outcome of every election for the last twenty years had been met with protests. The weather was nice for January and that only increased the chance of protest.
The electoral voting had gone off without a hitch, this time with almost no debate. I was hoping that would
sooth soothe feelings but apparently not. There were was plenty of law enforcement. They were told that no property damage was to be tolerated, that the culprits were to be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The election had made changes in the DC government. The citizens of DC had enough of liberal law enforcement and catch and release programs. The new city council – after being sworn in – had passed a slew of laws in December.
Many of them were cracking down on the riots that had created havoc in the city and immense property damage that some groups thought they had a right to do. Other laws they passed were cracking down on carjacking and all kinds of robberies. Time would tell how well things would turn out.
At 1100 all my family and many friends along with the Vice President and his family and friends were standing on the platform. Chief Justice Burger administered the oath of office that I answered with a final line with ‘so help me God I do’ to cheers.
A few minutes later Vice President Harrison completed his Oath.
The band played ‘Hail to the Chief’ and at the last note the Army did the twenty one gun salute with the ceremonial cannon fire. It was official – I was President for the next four years, good or bad.
It was the last night of the parties, my family and I both were partied out. My mates had brought four Suburban loads of clothes and personal items making everything complete for visits any time they wanted.
There had been tough negations on setting up the schedule but two of them were going to be with me most of the time and at least two or more were going on all trips with me. The kids were going to spend more time with me as well.
The marches and protests never materialized. There were a few dozen protesters here and there, but DC had ten times the officers around them and in some cases, herded them away from other crowds.
Tomorrow started a whole new set of expanded problems and the first was the court suit against my administration’s stance on the extended boosting of unemployment benefits.
Edit by Alfmeister
Proof read by Bob W.