The Democratic Convention has been thrilling and inspiring. Michelle, Caroline, Hillary, Teddy, Bill, Kerry, Joe... all sublime. And yet, it's been so galling to be constantly reminded that Nancy Pelosi is higher in the line of succession for the presidency than I am.
No, no, no, I'm not kidding around here. I read the Constitution like twenty-five times, I spoke to a fairly competent entertainment lawyer and it's true: If the unthinkable happened, the unthinkable would happen. Nancy. Pelosi. Would. Be. President. Before. Me.
It's bad enough that Ms. Pelosi would assume the presidency ahead of say, Gloria Allred or Lyle Menendez, but me? What did I do in a previous life to be treated so shabbily? The answer is nothing, because there's no such thing as a previous life. So what did I do in this life to be knocked so far down the line of succession? No idea. Last week, I tucked an exposed label back inside the collar of a friend's shirt... that alone should be put me a minimum of three thousand slots higher on the ladder for the presidency than Ms. Pelosi.
Granted, it's reassuring to think that when we were told as children that anyone can become president of the United States, it wasn't just lip service. But you'd think for such a big job, there would be some basic job skill requirements. Speaking ability, a flair for not annoying people, a knack for following through on subpoena power. Hey, I like having a lot of options I'll never exercise as much as the next person, but a subpoena for Karl Rove? I'm hand delivering that one myself and that's a promise, my fellow Americans.
On the opening night of the convention, we all saw Ms. Pelosi deliver the feel-neuralgia-speech-of-the-year in a voice best suited for the public reading of divorce papers. The content of her apres-garde speech was so conventional it bordered on subversive. In all her self-absorption, she came up just shy of her realizing how self-absorbed she is. (To be fair, I'm full of myself too but, you know, justifiably so.) And yet, again: she's well ahead of me in the line of succession for the presidency. The fact is, I'm willing to admit she may be superior to me as a comedy writer, maybe she could even dust me off on a basketball court, but no one in their right mind wouldn't rate me the better politician.
If any Huffpo-ers in Denver get a moment to bring this up with Barack or Michelle today, I'd really appreciate it.