Washington – President-elect Barack Obama announced today that President Bush will continue to work in the White House after Mr. Obama’s inauguration on January 20th – Mr. Bush will take over as White House Handyman. “He’ll fix various things that are in a state of disrepair in and around the White House,” Mr. Obama said at a joint press conference with Mr. Bush. “I thank him for his continued service to this country, and I think he’ll do a great job.” White House Handyman is not normally a position that requires an official announcement, but, Mr. Obama said, given Mr. Bush’s extraordinary resume, this case is obviously different.
Mr. Obama said Mr. Bush approached him about the position during a November meeting the two men had, when Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, were invited to the White House by Mr. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. Mr. Obama said that following the meeting, as they walked to the door, Mr. Bush stopped him. “He said, ‘Hey, by the way, I don’t know if you have anybody in mind for Handyman yet, but it’s an important job. One that often gets overlooked. And I know someone who is a slam-bang fixit man if I do say so myself.’ And he pointed at himself with both thumbs. And he said, ‘This guy.'”
Mr. Bush said he realizes the move may be seen by many as a large-scale demotion, but that any perceptions of that kind don’t bother him. “I know what people may say,” Mr. Bush said. “‘Oh, it’s a step down, President to handyman. How can you do that? You must be crazy.’ You know, ‘You’re crazy, you’re crazy. Why are you so crazy? I wish you weren’t so crazy. You’re also not smart. You’re not a smart man. And you’re crazy.’ Things like that. Well, let me tell you, I don’t see anything crazy in putting your talents to use, whether it’s negotiating peace treaties or fixing a squeaky hinge. And I am one man who can fix a squeaky hinge with my eyes closed. Not that I would do it with my eyes closed, but you know what I’m saying. That hinge is no match for George W. Bush. That’s what I’m saying.”
Mr. Bush said he would start work immediately upon his return from a vacation, following the inauguration of Mr. Obama. He said he will waste no time fixing what needs to be fixed around the White House. “I already know there’s a loose doorknob on the toilet in the Master Bedroom,” he said. “So that’ll be number one. It’s loose because I took the screw out to use for a shelf in the bedroom. So I’ll just take the screw back out of the shelf again, and it’ll be fine.”
Mr. Obama turned to Mr. Bush and said, “But then the shelf won’t have a screw again.”
Mr. Bush looked at Mr. Obama for a moment and said, “What’s that now?”