With apologies to Rudyard Kipling and "If."
IF YOU CAN keep your briefs when all around you
Are losing theirs and Tweeting photos, too.
If you conduct yourself
so none will doubt you
And Andrew Breitbart can't make you the news.
If you can hire a nanny for the children and not increase their number by a son.
And turn your back on "Annies" who are eager to come and get a close-up of your gun.
If you can sic the law on pimps and hookers and rid New York of filth, oh bright white knight.
But never dip your sword into the cesspool where damsels in undress are Gotham's blight.
If you can run a country with bravado while telling everyone, "I feel your pain,"
And never play with interns in the shadows or tell your wife, "Now dear, I can explain . . ."
If you can let your boyfriend be a tenant, not charge him rent as long as he behaves
And guarantee there won't be any remnants of business dealings in the man-love cave.
If you can lead a state in deepest Dixie and show the critics that your plans won't fail.
And spend your free time with that lovely family and never stroll the Appalachian Trail.
If you can cross a bridge and keep from swerving, especially if someone else is there
And just say no to all the drinks they're serving because another life is in your care.
If you can keep your shirt on in the bathroom, or, at the least, refrain from taking shots
And sending them to cougars who are prowling for men who, unlike you, are really hot.
If you can just remember, Mr. Frenchie, that while we love Chanel, Dior and crepes
We've precious little tolerance for sadists
And what you call seduction, we call rape.
If you can keep your golf clubs well-protected and gather up the tiny balls you've hit
So that they won't end up where unexpected and you won't sink your birdie in a pit.
If you can go into an airport rest room and do your business with efficient haste
Resisting any urge to play some footsie, since Mormon guys are chaste, Old Boy, not chased.
If you can tell that loopy blonde to beat it not just because she's sinking your campaign
But more so you can say, "I never cheated" and save your dying wife that wretched shame.
If you can keep your promise to be faithful and put your own desires in second place
The world will have good reason to be grateful about a man who won the greatest race.
Christine M. Flowers is a lawyer.