If Hillary, Why Not Me?

With all the talk in recent weeks about the surprising choices that President-elect Obama has made in terms of people who will probably work for him, one question has come to my mind: if Hillary, why not me? Or you? Why shouldn't we be part of the Obama Administration if we want to be? And then I learned the good news that anybody can apply for a job with Obama simply by going online at Change.gov.

Obviously, more people are going to be applying for positions than there are jobs. But I think I've got a really good chance. I don't even have some of the strikes against me that some people have that he's already hired. Here's what I'm talking about:

I've never said that Barack Obama's entire experience comes down to "just one speech back in 2004." I've never said that he "isn't ready" to be President. He won't have to ask me more than once, if he decides to offer me a job. My family's finances are an open book – a pretty thin one, at that. I don't even have to move to Washington. I'll be happy to do something part-time from my house. How can they say "no" to all that?

Obviously, I'm not expecting a Cabinet position. I'll be happy with a lower level job. I'm not looking for fame and fortune. I just want to help the country. Okay, I admit it. I'd like a little perk, too. I'd love to have "franking privileges" in which I get to mail things for free. By four years from now, an ordinary stamp might cost about as much as an ordinary car.

I'm not going to get too cocky about this. I know I have to apply like everybody else. So, I went to Change.gov and started to toss my electronic hat into the ring. Once there, I found a link at the bottom of the page that says, "Jobs, Apply Now." I clicked it, and got to the page that I guess Bill Richardson and Hillary Clinton had to fill out.

Under "Application Process," they explained that soon after filling out the application, I'd receive a link to a more complete application, then I'd get an acknowledgement, and then "if and when" I'm considered for a specific position, I'd have to fill out more stuff and possibly be checked out by the F.B.I.

I confess that the idea of being investigated –- or "vetted" -- by the F.B.I. made me nervous – even though I have nothing to hide. If they want to stop me from serving the country just because of what happened in history class in high school, or in Reno when I was in college, or that flashback episode of "Family Ties," then that's their loss.

I submitted the form. Almost immediately, I started wondering if this was really a scam. Was this something just to make people feel good, make us feel like the administration was open to hiring people in a new way, but it's really not? After I hit that "submit" button, was my information really going anywhere?

But within seconds – yes, seconds – I received an email from them. This is what it said:

Hello Lloyd,

Thank you for your interest in joining the Obama-Biden Administration.

Within a few days, you will receive an email with a link to the more complete

on-line application. Please be patient, as we are trying to respond promptly

to the large number of people who are interested in working in the Administration.


So, it's legit! I thought the "Hello Lloyd" (with no comma in between) was a bit informal for a response to a job application. However, I realize this is the "new politics," and we're all going to have to get used to things not being done "in the same old way."

When I started to reflect on the hiring process, I began to realize that they hadn't asked me what kind of a job I wanted. What if they ask me to do something really dull? I don't want to have to have to figure out how many bushels of Brussels sprouts American farmers should produce or count bathtubs for the Bureau of Statistics. Or worse, what if I'm humiliated and they don't offer me a job at all?

But then I calmed down. The Obama-Biden group is considered by some to have run one of the smartest campaigns in history. They know what they're doing. They'll know how right I am for this. After all, isn't my more than thirty years of working in sitcoms the perfect experience for someone wanting to get into politics?

I'll keep you posted.