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Martin Van Buren's
Ten Commandments
For the New President
Lessons from Experience


1. Thou shalt not spend federal monies on a new wardrobe.

2. Constituents do not like to be called "peasants," even if they are.

3. When going to France to accent one's fashion holdings, visiting their heads-of-state is crucial to avoid appearing like a male version of Marie Antoinette.

4. Blame Congress for anything that goes wrong, or use the previous president as a scapegoat if politically acceptable.

5. Never let the press take pictures of you in your underwear.

6. If your wife dies, consult Dolly Madison for advice on finding a hostess to replace the deceased.

7. It is crucial to have a catchy campaign song: just look how rockin' "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" is compared to "Rock-a-Bye Baby." Campaign songs should not be lullabies.

8. It is terribly important that you do something besides having interesting hair. A coiffure will not win you reelection. Lincoln knew this.

9. As William Henry Harrison proved, keep your speeches short (especially if outside when raining).

10. Being President does not mean you will "get chicks" unless the economy is healthy.