“May I have the Envelope, Please?”

Only 110 Days Remaining!

“Envelope Please”

Obama’s reign as the would-be king of America has been much like that of a  famous mythical baseball manager.  For the sake of this story, we’ll just call him “Bill.”

When “Bill” was hired to replace “Jack” as manager of the Titans, he was understandably excited.  Walking into his office, he studied each framed award and trophy very carefully, thinking of the glory days in which they had been earned and the players whose skills had won them.

As “Bill” approached his desk, he noticed a white sheet of paper laying atop three small beige numbered envelopes.  A paperweight held all in place.  For a moment he thought “Jack” had forgotten something.  He started to reach for the phone, but then noticed his name on the paper:  “Bill,”  The note stated very concisely;

“Good luck on the new job.  If you have any problems, open envelope #1.”

As I think about this story, I imagine President Bush may have left similar instructions for Obama.

Several months passed and “Bill” had almost forgotten about the envelopes.  Then, suddenly, the team’s luck changed.  They began losing all their “away” games.  He couldn’t figure it out.  Turning to the envelopes, he opened the first, finding this simple suggestion:

“Blame it on your predecessor.”

And so he did!  He called a press conference and started bashing the previous manager as if he were speaking of the Devil himself.  He was passionate in his blame.  It seems “Bill” had inherited a real problem.  This was not his fault.  His predecessor had been completely inept!!!  He took this speech to the owners and to the public and repeated it whenever he was given the opportunity.  The word  “inherited” became part of the team’s vocabulary.  When I heard about this, I couldn’t help making the connection with Obama!  Can you remember all the times he and his administration have used that word?

Well, when things settled down, Bill went back to concentrating on the game.  Oddly enough, that’s when things really started to go bad.  If it wasn’t for bad luck, the Titans wouldn’t have had any luck at all.  They were not only losing, but they were losing big.  After eight straight embarrassing losses, “Bill” was back in his office nervously eyeing envelope #2.  Again, it was a simple message.

“Tell them you’re Reorganizing”

And once again, “Bill” followed the advice to the letter.  He fired the coach, traded three players and even brought in some sports’ analysts to share their thoughts.  Wow.  This was starting to get spooky.  Have you noticed that, as everything has gone bad with the Obama presidency, he’s gotten rid of nearly every economic advisor that came to Washington with him.  His original Chief of Staff is gone and he’s also dropped a couple of czars and other staff people.  What a coincidence.  But, this story is about “Bill” and the Titans.

As “Bill” finished his second round of press conferences, the team rallied for several weeks, but then started sliding again.  “Bill” was desperate this time.  What else could he tell the bosses to explain the lost games and lost revenue?  He had run the Titans into the ground, fired good players and a beloved  coach.  He had sacrificed everyone except himself and here he was again – losing.  He knew it was because he had inherited a problem team.  The fault belonged to his predecessor, to the players and owners – nothing at all to do with his own work.  But, how could he make them understand it?  Surely, it was just a matter of messaging.  He certainly hoped the third envelope would have his answer.  Once again, as he unfolded the note, the message was simple and clear.

“Prepare Three Envelopes.”

In 110 days, it will be time for Barack Obama to do the same.  I hope he’s reading this.