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Dear Sandye: Thanks for finding this. It was a pleasurable little exercise for George, written at the behest of the late JFK Jr., who was a big fan and attended several of my readings. He'd wanted me to write essays for the magazine, but that doesn't interest me, so we compromised with the little "President" feature. TCB.  (3 October 2000)


This best-selling novelist's new tome, "Riven Rock," is a politically charged turn-of-the-century love story.  As chief executive, Boyle would run the  country by the book.

Q:  Name your party.

TCB:  The Literarians.  I will establish a literacy.  I will follow the dictum of the greatest book-marketing genius who has ever lived, Mao Tse-tung.  If you don't own two copies of my little red book, you die.

Q: Your running mate?

TCB:  I will not be running for office.  I intend to seize power.

Q:  Your campaign song?

TCB:  "Purple Haze."

Q:  How would you raise money for your campaign?

TCB:  Raid the coffers of the Treasury Department.

Q:  Fill in the blank: Newt Gingrich is to Bill Clinton as __________ is to T.C. Boyle.

TCB:  Pearl S. Buck.

Q:  Reasons to go to war?

TCB:  To loot and pillage.

Q:  Whom would you pardon?

TCB:  Everyone.

Q:  Your first official acts?

TCB:  Locking up everyone I pardoned.  Then I would legalizze, regulate, dispense, and tax drugs the same way we do alcohol.  I would reinstate the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration for anyone who wants a decent job erasing graffiti or building playgrounds.  To appeal to the masses, I would exile all lawyers to Turkey. 

Q:  What would you fight hardest to change?

TCB:  Illiteracy.  And I would transform the old Star Wars defense system into an interceptor and scrambler of all TV signals.  Books would replace currency, so if you wanted, say bananas, Évian, sushi or celery at the market, you would pay for them in books.

Q:  Your role models?

TCB:  John Coltrane, Mickey Mantle, Lenny Bruce, and Charles Dickens.

Q:  What would you veto the minute it hits your desk?

TCB:  Pepperoni and Swiss on rye (too much cholesterol).

Q:  Your favorite Presidential perk?

TCB:  Rolling off the coast--any coast--with my navy and shelling all cities of a million or more people whose names begin with C.  And you know who you are.

Q:  What would be your administration's scandal?

TCB:  Loving my wife.  And only my wife.

Q:  Which part of the job would you dread the most?

TCB:  Answering all that fan mail.

Q:  Name three objects you must have in the Oval Office.

TCB:  The head of Alfredo Garcia, a Julia Child cookbook, and a fresh pair of socks.

Q:  Write the first sentence of your State of the Union address.

TCB:  "Now that I have delivered on all my seize-of-power promises (Amtrak only two hours late, two chickens in every pot, and a new Chevy truck in every driveway), let us turn to page 312 of 'Dombey and Son' by Charles Dickens and begin reading.  And for those of you as yet incapable of doing so, read my lips."

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