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                     By Ron Singer

-- New York White House, Jan. 7, 2019

Highly Confidential Memo:
from: RS, Long-Term Planning Advisor
to: Pres. DT
subject: What’s Next for “The Most Powerful Man in the World?”

Mr. P.,
(You notice that I say “Man.” “Person”? Get real!)

Assuming vino veritas, this is what I think you ordered me to do at the “Hello, ’19” bash the other week. If I get some of the details wrong, blame it on the bubbly!

1. You said I should remind you about what you called “my really big dream.” You’ve had this dream as long as you can remember. When you mentioned it once on the playground at elementary school, some of the kids looked at you like you said you planned to grow up to fly or become an elephant. Sad!

2. You also shared a touching anecdote from those days. One day in kindergarten, you saw a kid crying in front of his locker. Without even asking what the matter was, you handed him a dollar bill. Presto, no more tears! When the teacher asked why you had done that, your reply could have been your motto for life: “Money makes people happy.”
Amen! Or, as your hapless defeated opponent’s spouse (now there’s a player!) once put it, “It’s the economy, stupid!” (Actually, Mr. T., it was Custard Carvell, his speechwriter, who came up with that one.)

3. You confessed that, by maybe the first day of first grade, you knew you were no Einstein, so you didn’t bother to read that much. When the time came, were you rejected by all the colleges? Wrong! Your dad’s $$ got you into the college of your choice, and after that, it was on to biz school. There, aside from paying “bottom dollar for some top-of-the-line term papers,” you had your second revelation (after “Money makes people happy”): what you would need most in life was a brand!

4. In the years that have ensued (and both of us have been –sued), this revelation has seen you through thick and thin. Not to belabor the point, but why did you run for President? As you put it the other night, “Can you think of a better way to pump up a brand? Coca Cola? GM? President of the Fucking U.S. of A.!”
Before our conversation moved on to the future, you made one last point: because of the brand, over the last three years, you’ve been too big to fail. Once again, “those asshole creditors” (your words) “must go hungry! Suck it up, Wall Street!” I like that.

5. All this having been said, you must already have realized your dream, “the most powerful man in the world.” Right? Wrong! As you complained during the wee hours of Jan.2, you’re only one of the world’s three most powerful men. First, there’s that damned Chinaman, President Xi Jinping! And, then, there’s you-know-who, the little tree-hugging Latino Pope! That’s “Francis,” with an “I” (though he isn’t a real I-Tie!).

6. Even worse –and please don’t shoot the messenger, sir, you said this, yourself-- by now most of the world hates you. That damned wall started it, and then the stupid economic downturn –not your fault! But facts are facts. By now, three years in, your chances of re-election are nada.

7. So. Do you hang your head and cry? Not your style! This is where the dream comes back in. Before it’s too late, you vowed, you plan to hang a major U-ie. As you put it: “Why can’t I be Pope!”

8. Indeed, why not? I’ve gone ahead and eyeballed the potential obstacles, and scoped out what we can do about each and every one of them. (Isn’t this why you pay me the medium bucks? Just kidding, boss!) Here’s the skinny:

--Not even a Catholic. But we both know where you went to college --Fordham, run not just by the Catholic Church, but by the Jesuits! Besides, as a lifelong Presbyterian, we could say you’re already “high church.” Besides, a non-Catholic male can be elected Pope. Sure, he would first have to be converted, then ordained as a priest, and consecrated as a bishop. No big whoops!

--What are the odds? That process, you may think, makes your elevation to Pontiff-hood extremely unlikely. O-kay, but so was the Presidency! Remember when everyone said we lost? And this time, you won’t need 270, just 120 (Cardinals).

--Are you qualified? Come on, before 2016, had you ever held elective office? And, as a matter of fact, you are qualified. I mean, haven’t you already been the... what’s that term?... Defensor Fidei. I mean, over the last three years, who has held the line more firmly than you, boss, against the global tsunami of bomb-throwing rag heads?

-- Is there still time? Consulting the actuarial tables, you’re currently a 73 year-old non-smoker, no history of substance abuse --okay, a little overweight, addicted just a tiny bit to fried foods and sugar. But the current Pope is practically a relic, ten years older than you. (What do the tables say about him?)
Let’s run some more numbers. By 2023, I think we can set things up so that you’re Bishop of ---, in the heart of what some asshole pollster called “Appalachafornia”? (Whatever that means!) In order to tie the previous age record, you would still have 3 or 4 years to make the jump to V. City.

So just give me the word, Mr. P(ope), and I’ll set things in motion. Oh, and if this memo is TMI, I can give you a 50-word oral summary. (950 words)