Saturday, September 09, 2006


Today I’m at the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum. In the background Marvin Gaye sings “What’s Goin’ On.” I’m groovin’ through the exhibits until I reach the questions the senate confirmation committee asked Ford when Nixon nominated him to be vice president.

Do you know Gordon Liddy?
Do you know John Dean?
Have your children ever been arrested for using drugs?

At the bottom of each page these words are typed: Administratively Confidential.

I had to stop and laugh out loud. Aw, c’mon folks, what did that mean? What kind of bureaucratic morass were we in anyway? "Confidential – senate -vice presidential nominee privilege"? What was Goin’ On? Uh-oh. Has anything changed?

Remember those days? Here are the President’s talking points for a cabinet meeting:

§ you may wish to reaffirm Al Haig’s role as chief of staff.
§ Tell the cabinet you’ll have an open door policy.

This is the first federal presidential museum I’ve visited. On the one hand, it’s a bit awe-inspiring, with replicas of the oval office and the cabinet’s meeting room and the sense of history; but it’s also a little like Betty Ford’s inaugural dress, a big designer-ish, powder blue, with a tight-fitting cinched waist and showing just the correct amount of leg.

Catching up department: gone is the orange carpet, in with the Gleaming Chocolate. For the writing studio, that is. While the high gloss paint I've rolled on the floor, my feet, and the woodwork is named “Turkish Coffee,” much smarter I’m sure than my choice, when I look at the floor I see Godiva.

1 comment:

Erin said...

The cabinet talking points are great--I like museums where you get to see little snippets of the everyday life of famous or important people. I remember visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland some years ago (OK, so a bit different from a presidential museum ...) and seeing lyric scribblings from great musicians (although I can't remember specific names). Seeing small artifacts can really make me feel closer to that history!