Ha ha! I kid because I hate. What America is really asking is, who will be Powell’s replacement in the increasingly inevitable second term? Here are the leading candidates.
1. CONDOLEEZZA RICE. The most overtly Stalinist member of the Bush team is also the obvious choice to replace Powell. She’s telegenic, she’s ideologically pure, and best of all, she makes the testicles of foreign leaders recede all the way up to their lungs out of sheer terror. She’ll have to get rid of the Enemies List she carries in her breast pocket, and her handlers will have to work on the “I see your head on a pike” look she normally sports, but the job is hers to lose. Also, she would have the funniest name for a US Secretary of State since the golden days of Abel P. Upshur, Elihu Root and Philander C. Knox.
2. PAUL WOLFOWITZ. With Wolfie heading up the diplomatic corps and von Rumsfeld in charge of the War Department, we’d get a one-two tandem the likes of which have not been seen since Goering and von Ribbentrop. Also, there is a slight chance that, given his popularity with young neoconservatives, he might inspire a group of blonde teenage girls to form a club called “Wolfman’s Wenches” and produce a mildly pornographic calendar. This might seem unlikely at first, but keep in mind, I am a very lonely man.
3. RICHARD PERLE. Why not just come right out and admit it?
4. OL’ DIRTY BASTARD. Now, I know what you’re saying. Dirt McGuirt is a Democrat! Well, I have news for you: he actually voted a straight Libertarian ticket in 1996 and a pick-and-mix combo of Reform, Temperance and American Raving-Derelict in 2000. Like Colin Powell before him, Big Baby Jesus is a strong, popular black man who has reached fame and maturity without ever having bothered to develop a political ideology. He can offer the G.O.P. street credibility and the spokesman for young urban voters they sorely lack; they can offer him parole and three cans of Strongheart dog food a day. But is he qualified as a diplomat? Come on. Who doesn’t love the ODB? I have it on good authority that even contentious French foreign minister Lionel Jospin likes it raw, baby.
5. HENRY KISSINGER. The most notable gap in Bush’s plan to recycle all the worst cabinet officials of the 1970s. An attempt was made to bring H-Bomb Hank into the fold as the head of a committee investigating the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, but his name was withdrawn when the American public reacted badly to a fact-finding mission being headed by a murderous, egomaniacal demon in human shape who would have to undergo intensive psychotherapy just to work his way up to being a pathological liar. However, these same traits are absolute boons to a Secretary of State. As cowardly as the French, as arrogant as the British, as aggressive as the Germans, as duplicitous as the Russians, and yet still uniquely American in his disregard for the basic human dignity of other people, Henry is tailor-made for the job.