Why It Would Suck To Be President

It's got to be the greatest thing ever to be the leader of the free world. As president of the United States, you become one of the most powerful people not only in the world but in all of history. But with great power comes great crappiness. A president has to put up with a lot of aggravating things to do his job, gets no privacy, and sees late night shows making fun of him every night. At the end of the day, being president probably sucks.

A five-minute danish break has to be written in the schedule

As president, you don't get a lot of free time or opportunities to be spontaneous. Obviously, you wouldn't expect a president to be able to run off at 6pm to catch an early screening of the latest Marvel movie, but you might believe he has a little control over his day. In reality: not so much.

According to President Clinton's daily schedule in 1993, nearly every moment of his life is planned in advance. Sure, he does get a few hours free for "OVAL OFFICE" and his morning jog is listed as "TBA," but other than that, his day is packed full. In the physical schedule, they put in a five-minute coffee and danish break. If you can't even eat a donut without it being planned in advance, that's no kind of life.

They aren't allowed to drive

Of course the president is going to be driven around. Nobody wants POTUS to have to search for a parking space while rushing to a meeting with the UN. But they don't just get driven around. They have to be driven. The president is not allowed to drive, at all, while in office.

Sure, you don't want your president going on a cross-country road trip then getting caught up in some Fast & Furious–type street racing scheme, but the president can't even drive around the block in his hometown. The Secret Service is trained in evasive driving and only takes the president around town in "The Beast," the armored Cadillac reserved for every POTUS. Since the JFK assassination, security has been greatly increased, and that includes any and all public travel.

If a president must drive, he can happily gad about in a golf cart, but that's about it, and he'll still usually have the Secret Service by his side. If the idea of a relaxing Sunday drive in the back of a blacked out armored car with security all around sounds fun, then start your campaign now!

You can't use your own phone

Oh man, think of all the sick selfies you could take as president! Sitting in the Oval Office, lying on the Lincoln Bedroom bed, you signing something. Your Instagram would blow up! But sadly, as president, you aren't allowed to keep your phone. A personal phone is too great a security risk, since it could fairly easily be hacked. Plus, most politicians should put their phones away so we don't end up with any more email or penis pic scandals.

Obama wasn't allowed to own an iPhone, whether it was his or one provided by the government. The iPhone itself wasn't considered secure enough for government or military use, so he missed out on eight years of some pretty great apps. Obama did get to keep his own Blackberry, but he could only use it to speak to ten people.

At the moment, president Trump seems to be just ignoring this rule. Since he had a phone call about secure matters in public, he doesn't seem to care much about the threat of information getting into the wrong hands. They're probably just waiting to find a phone that somehow allows him to tweet even more.

They have to have someone taste their food first

You've probably seen some medieval drama where a miserable king makes his servants test out his food first, to make sure it isn't poisoned. Inevitably, one of those servants dies violently of poisoning, and the king finds out the queen was trying to kill him so her lover could reign over the kingdom, and then somehow everyone ends up dead. That seems so archaic, it certainly can't be a modern practice.

And yet the president does have food tasters. When they pick up a meal outside of the White House, the taster will ensure the food is not deadly before the president gets a bite. They also make sure the meal is to his liking and doesn't contain ingredients he doesn't like or is allergic to. If the taster sleeps through his alarm and doesn't make it to the presidential meal, the president goes hungry. In 2013, Obama had to sit out a lunch because his taster wasn't there. So, you never get the first bite of a meal, and if some dude doesn't show up, you have to sit and watch everyone else eat. Lame.

It seems to take years off your life

Everybody walks into the White House with a big smile and maybe a touch of gray, but they come out looking like the Crypt Keeper. Whether it's a four- or eight-year term, and no matter how happy-go-lucky and young the president looks, by the end of his duty, he has physically aged.

Time magazine showed a picture of Obama just a year and a half in, and the lines and grays were already creeping up on him. George W. Bush, who never seemed like much of a worried man, came out with fully gray hair and worry lines for days. It's hard to imagine what kind of aging damage Trump has ahead of him.

You're always on

Think about what it takes to get ready for work each day. It might not be a huge hassle, but you have to wash up, look presentable, and then proceed to be nice to coworkers and bosses you very well may hate. Now, imagine you have to do that all the time. In an interview, Obama said that the worst thing about being president is "the bubble." He can never walk anywhere alone, do anything by himself, or run out and buy a coffee if he feels like it.

Then, any time he's in public, he has to be "on." That doesn't just include speeches or events, but if he's out for a walk but maintains a grimace on his face, somebody will take a picture, and the headline will read "Obama Filled With Worry." Or, if it's in the New York Post, "Obama's an O-Bummer on Daily Walk." When you never get to relax or be alone, it's no wonder they go gray from stress.

You have to look excited to pardon a turkey or do Easter egg rolls

Being president isn't all signing declarations and delivering powerful speeches. There's also a lot of dumb crap you have to do. Each year around Thanksgiving, you have to get all dressed and wake up early to go hold a turkey and pardon its soul. This tradition of the presidential Turkey pardon dates back at least to president Truman and possibly as far as Abraham Lincoln. It became more official with president Bush in 1989, when he saved the turkey's life as animal rights protesters picketed nearby.

The turkey day reprieve isn't the only holiday the president has to actively participate in. Every Easter Monday, the White House hosts an Easter Egg roll. Why? Because we've been doing it a long time. Some think Dolley Madison suggested the event, while other believe it started with Lincoln, probably because it's just easier to say that Lincoln did everything.

As president, you have so many important tasks going on each day and you can't even go for a walk or eat an impromptu donut, but you must pretend to be excited to watch kids fling eggs all over your yard and touch a gross, weird turkey. Not fun.

You have to watch every word you say

When Bill Clinton left office, he said in a speech, "The great thing about not being president anymore is you can say whatever you want." On the whole, it's a good thing that presidents don't feel the need to just run their mouths and say whatever they like all the time. It should be part of their professionalism to speak carefully and intelligently. But when you have to watch every little word you say, that would get real old.

This includes any conversation that could be overheard by the public. If you say something off-color in the office, some intern could report it to TMZ. Mispronounce a Spanish word to the Mexican ambassador, it's all over the news. Maybe you're at Disneyland riding Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and you say "I don't want a gun," referring to the gun on the ride, but someone picks that up and makes you sound like an anti-NRA super liberal. Wherever you are, someone is listening, and as president, you have to be ready to stand by your words or apologize for every little thing you say.

You're responsible for millions of lives

When LBJ decided to invade Vietnam, it's not likely he imagined how drawn out and awful the conflict would become. Because of that one decision, he effectively killed nearly 60,000 people. Every president has to deal with literal life and death situations all the time. Even during a reasonably peaceful era, Clinton still had to deal with around 1,000 military deaths that came from his choices.

Now, we're not saying this makes a president bad or that a life should never be lost. Wars sometimes have to be fought and lives sacrificed for doing what's right. Sometimes, avoiding conflict leads to worse conflicts. But imagine you are the person who has to make that choice. The choice whether people live or die, if countries are bombed, and governments overthrown. Not to mention your choices about health care, finance, and social security affect the day-to-day lives of your citizens, and your decisions could cause irreparable damage or a change for the better.

The president doesn't make these decisions alone, but at the end of the day the final choice falls on his shoulders. And that's a lot of crap to have on your shoulders.

After they're elected, they spend at least 5% of their time getting reelected

So, you work hard and you finally get elected! Hooray! Think of all the great things you're going to do. Except, make sure you leave a good chunk of your time for your reelection campaign. It's estimated that a president spends 5-10 percent of his time trying to get reelected the moment they're elected. Five per cent may not sound like a lot, but for Obama, that meant 73 fundraising events all over the country in 2011.

Now, this percentage will fluctuate depending on how close the candidate is to an election day, but the fundraising never stops. Whether they're gathering money for their party or campaigning for a potentially key congressperson, a fair amount of time is taken away from the actual duties of running the country and put into hosting expensive dinners and giving speeches at steel mills and other locations the president wouldn't normally be caught dead in.

You have to pose in so many pictures and shake so many hands

How much do you like posing for pictures? Like, if you're in a wedding party and the photographer keeps saying "just one more" as your cheeks start to hurt from smiling and your back's cramping up from whatever weird position you were trying to hold. Is that fun? No. But the president has to do that ALL THE TIME. So many pictures with strangers. So many visitors to the White House. It's hard to imagine all the fake smiles that have donned the faces of our world leader.

Then there's the handshaking. It's estimated that the president shakes 65,000 hands a year! That's more than half a million hands if you go two terms. And it's not like you're always shaking the hand of Elvis. It's regular folks, politicians you hate, journalists, children that have food all over them. You have to constantly touch strangers and smile. That's a circle of hell.