Memo for the President: Hire Bill O'Reilly

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Mr. President, I have a suggestion for you, although I recognize you will reject it from a consistently unfriendly source.

Virtually everyone seems to agree that Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld will either leave or be shoved out after the ballots are counted in November. It seems everyone close to you, except the vice president, thinks he should leave.

Why not send Bill O'Reilly, that self-confessed and brilliant titan of the right, to the Pentagon? To hear him tell it, O'Reilly is an expert on every issue, so solving the problems in Iraq and Afghanistan should be a slam-dunk. Sorry, George Tenet.

If you listen to or read O'Reilly (I'm a masochist at times), you are confident that this great man can control the generals and admirals with ease.

O'Reilly has a new book out in which he divides the country into traditionalists (read conservatives) and social progressives (read liberals). He comes to the remarkable conclusion that about two thirds of the nation is with his traditionalists.

That figure would seem to clash with about every poll today, with most Americans thinking the country is moving in the wrong direction. I'm sure O'Reilly blames the media since he does so for all the nation's ills.

On a recent radio show, O'Reilly said he isn't bothered that the New York Times and other publications don't review his highly successful books. Then he moans about it for a few minutes.

O'Reilly fails to realize that he is a propagandist of the right and not a legitimate author. Some of his fans claim he nicks the right at times, but his claim to fame and fortune is attacking Democrats and the left.

In O'Reilly's world, the media are against him, the GOP, and especially the president. He conveniently forgets that the same media rode the Clinton scandals into an impeachment and trial in Congress.

O'Reilly will have to take a huge pay cut to join the lame-duck administration for the last two years. But I'm confident he can talk his way around that barrier.