January 21, 8:04 am
First Cabinet meeting of President Bo Williams
White House gymnasium
Thank you for being here with me today.
Yes, the gymnasium is a bit of an odd location. I wanted to have this initial meeting on blankets on the White House lawn, but the weather has precluded that plan. Nevertheless, I believe we’ll be fine. With the folding chairs and the bagels and doughnuts arriving behind us, it’s a bit like a church social, isn’t it?
We are a larger group than can fit in any of the customary Cabinet meeting locations, because as you know, I’ve also invited the heads of all agencies under the control of the executive branch. I know this is an unusual request for an initial presidential staff meeting, and I appreciate you all accommodating it.
Know that I intend this to be an unusual presidency.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are all here, in one way or another, because many people have believed in us. Whether we have succeeded in political races, or on corporate boards, or in charitable organizations, or some combination, we have risen to this level because we have been trusted to act with integrity.
I want to trust each one of you to act with integrity in service of this greatest country in the world. Acting with integrity in the service of the United States is a profound responsibility, and one of the greatest earthly tasks any of us will ever undertake.
It is not, however, difficult to express what that means.
This is not my gymnasium. This is not my house. The White House belongs to all Americans. We are all blessed to sit in it today because enough of those Americans believe in us to lead. And despite numerous recent manifest abuses of the U.S. Constitution, most of us in this room can readily demonstrate constitutional sanction of the positions we hold.
You heard it in my campaign, and you’ll hear it from me again right now: we are privileged to serve. The American people are our masters, not vice versa. Too many people, in too many of the positions we hold, have forgotten that recently.
This town has been too big for its britches for some time now. And I’m bringing humility and service back to it.
This is not a threat, but a promise: You will help me in this pursuit, or you will go do something else outside my administration.
Everyone in this room is in charge of something. Everyone in this room has direct reports. Everyone in this room leads an organization.
By Friday noon, I want a mission statement from each of you, describing what your organization does. The mission statement is not to exceed 100 words. You may submit it in whatever format you like, but know that I must be able to read it on demand by Friday at 12:01 pm.
It would behoove you to consider what I’ve said about why we’re here when you compose these mission statements.
Failing to submit a 100-word mission statement by noon Friday is tendering your resignation, which this office accepts in advance.
I look forward to reading what you come up with. I look forward to standing with you, and you standing with me, as we regain the genuine trust of the American people.