As I was about to drive that first new automobile from the dealer’s lot, my father shared an insight.
“That car will never look this good again,” he said. How right he turned out to be. It wasn’t long before assorted nicks, scratches, dings and Chicago winters began brutalizing my shiny new toy.
I thought about my dad’s observation in a different context Wednesday, as Joe Biden took his Inauguration Day victory lap. There was the oath of office, followed by a well-received speech, gifts from Congress, a trip to Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath ceremony, and a seemingly endless supply of pomp and circumstance. The A-list entertainment also added a nice touch.
In all, it was quite a day. And there’s a good chance Biden will look back on Jan. 20 as the most stress-free day he had as president.
He hasn’t yet been blamed for any horrible developments. He hasn’t had policy or other decisions second-guessed. He’s not yet responsible for the fate of Wall Street or the larger economy. Or for undoing the damage caused by COVID-19. Or for what happens to tax rates. Or for a rapidly mounting national debt. Or for making sure we don’t get blown to smithereens.
But those kinds of headaches and more are waiting. And in short order, they all will take their toll. For as Bill Shakespeare pointed out in the play “King Henry IV,” heavy is the head that wears the crown. Constant worry soon will be a constant companion.
So here’s hoping you enjoyed your first day on the job, Mr. President. The gig may never look this good again.