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Transition time.

The following memorandum was leaked to us by a highly unreliable source in the White House. January 21 TO: All White House Staff Members FROM: The First Lady SUBJECT: Your Duties

First, I want to extend a warm "Welcome aboard" to all of you new people. And to all the old hands who have been here as long as a year, I want to say, "Welcome back!"

As you know, we're going to be a bit short-handed until the President fills the remaining vacancies both here and in the rest of the government. But if everyone will just "pitch in," I know we can get the job done. Don Regan will give you your part-time job assignments, but I just want to say generally that your overtime work at Human Resources, Environmental Protection, Education, Energy and the other understaffed agencies need not be considered a big deal. Actually, the President will be abolishing or merging some of them, so the vacant positions won't be filled anyway. Also, his budget cuts will eliminate most of the so-called social programs, so you can put them on "hold."

Apropos social programs, we have some very important ones here at the White House, and they're your number-one priority. Until the servants assigned to the Post Office during the Christmas rush return, I will expect junior staff to help out with drinks and canapes during cocktail parties. (Mike Deaver's successor--as soon as we know who who he is--will be in charge of making sure the President stops at two.) As chief of staff, Don Regan will introduce (select) guests to the President, making sure they don't talk to him to him too long.

Don, of course, will be the key person in our whole operation, so I want to describe his duties in more detail. He will delegate routine chores to the rest of the staff, so all of you will report to him. DON REGAN'S DUTIES

1. Morning Briefing: Review all decisions the President made yesterday and run down all decisions he will make today. If he objects to any of the latter, let me know and I'll talk him out of it. Important! Do not mention the following subjects before noon: Lebanon, Muammar el-Qaddafi, the international monetary system, Unesco, Star Wars, CBS News, poor people, the deficit. Incidentally, Jim Baker had the cutest nicknames for some of those topics. For example, he always called the deficit "Tip O'Neill's tummy," and Lebanon was "Israel North."

2. After breakfast: Brief the President on his appointments for the day. Remember, no appointments longer than five minutes, except those with visiting heads of state, who will be given an additional ten minutes to allow for photo opportunities. Nap time is always from 2 to 3. Make sure the covers are turned down and his pj's are laid out. When he's in bed, draw the shades to one inch above the sill and turn on the night light. Speaking of naps, if the President should nod off during a Cabinet meeting, give him a gentle nudge and whisper "Mr. President" two or three times, very softly. Once Ed Meese shook him and he started talking about outlawing the Russians again.

3. After dinner: Remember this is relaxation time, and the President is only to do light signing or read one-page briefing papers. If he's finished by 9, he may watch his TV programs. Lights out at 10 sharp!

That's about it. Oh yes, the President likes a marshmallow in his cocoa for "elevenses." And until Lucky is housebroken, he should be walked three times a day. Don can work it out with Bob McFarlane about who handles that chore. If any of you new people can't find something, ask the servants. I'll be available for major crises--but not until Dave Stockman and I have finished cutting that dratted budget!
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Title Annotation:a satirical "memo" from Nancy Reagan
Publication:The Nation
Article Type:editorial
Date:Jan 26, 1985
Words:641
Previous Article:Wrong answer.
Next Article:Beat the devil.
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