As I got ready for my first “proper” day as US Correspondent I found myself wondering if just down the road at the White House, President Biden was struggling with a similar bout of first day nerves.
Granted he had a rather bigger task ahead of him, but each to their own when it comes to individual challenges. The President no doubt wants to do the best he can and so do I.
I thought of how familiar Washington must be to him after half a century here and how glad I was that it’s fairly familiar to me after 15 years of visits.
Yet the reality is we both need to learn about this city and this country. He needs to learn about the country he’s always lived in and I need to learn about the country I am about to live in, because the United States is a very changed place.
I am quite sure he viewed the streets with as much disbelief as I did when he saw them awash with the National Guard, when he watched the images of the Capitol being stormed and when he contemplated the level of security for his inauguration.
Sadly this is the state of the country which is now the focus of his work and, in a very different way, mine. He will only succeed if he seeks to truly understand what has driven the change and I must too.
I feel hugely privileged to have this job and I’m sure the President does too but really, apart from a shared love of Bon Jovi and Seamus Heaney, that’s where my daydream similarities end.
I’m quite sure the other “newbie” didn’t spend the first weekend in his new house trying to get the heating working, battling with the WiFi and wondering if there was anywhere to get a proper cup of tea and a bacon sandwich.
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