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I dial the special number direct to a White House communications officer who promptly rings the Oval Office phone of the president.

“President Trump, this is Tom Clark. How are you doing?”

“Tom who?” asks Trump.


“I’ve barely heard of you and don’t like what you write about me. I’d rather hear from Tom Jones. He’s a star.”

“That he is. More importantly, I can tell by your feistiness that you’re feeling okay. And I assume Melania’s also doing well.”

“We’re doing great. If it weren’t for political considerations, I’d go out and play eighteen holes today. The First Lady’s probably in our private gym now.”

I say, “That’s good news. Even though you’re seventy-four and a tad overweight, I’ve from the start been optimistic about both of you making a quick and complete recovery.”

“Piece of cake so far. I know it could get a little worse, about like a bad cold, maybe bronchitis, but my doctors tell me I’d have a ninety-percent chance of recovering even without medical treatment. And believe me, I’ve got the finest medical team in the world.”

“It’s important to follow their orders. Remember, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who’s almost twenty years younger than you, spent several days in the hospital, two in the intensive care unit, so the coronavirus can be dangerous.”

“Boris called me just a little while ago, thanking me for my support when he was ill and wishing me the best.”

“I guess you’ll be back on the campaign trail in a couple of weeks.”

Exhaling in exasperation, the president says, “You’re kidding, right. I’ll be on the virtual campaign trail in a day or two, packing ’em in on TV and Zoom. This just makes the nation hungrier to see me.”

“People are eager, no doubt.”

“I’m still not going to let the Democrats steal this election.”

“They have no desire to steal anything. But I didn’t call to talk about politics. In addition to saying get well, I wanted to tell you I’ve always felt the greatest day in the life of any president is the day he leaves office. I hope you view it that way, too.”

“I’ll let you know how I feel in January 2025 or maybe January 2029.”

“I know, at least I hope, you’re joking about the latter. A better bet for departure would be January 2021. But regardless of when your day comes, it will signal a return to the great life you had before you walked into the morass of politics. You’ve got a large family that’s dedicated to you. You’ve got an entertainment career not only on TV but public speaking, once the pandemic’s over. You’ll make millions while getting the cheers you love. Politics in a lot of ways has been a demotion for you. As a private citizen you can play as much golf as you want. You can also build or buy and remodel more golf courses. Most people would rather have all that than power.”

President Trump pauses a few seconds before saying, “I sacrificed because I’m a patriot who wanted to help his people.”

“History will have to judge how you did.”

“After studying my extraordinary record, history will be kind.”

“Give my best to Melania and Hope Hicks, too.”

“Will do.”

This entry was posted in Coronavirus, Donald Trump, George Thomas Clark, Hope Hicks, Joe Biden, Melania Trump.