February 16, 2006
Ashburn--- We celebrate President's Day on Monday, a holiday often overlooked-- until we go to the bank or post office and find them closed.
The holiday honors George Washington and Abe Lincoln, in particular, but was expanded to include all US Presidents.
Instead of looking at presidential history, let's look at the holiday differently. A future President of the United States could come from a daycare center near you.
In 32 years, a young person today could walk the narrow political trail to the White House. Keep your political eyes open for three-and-a-half-old Chase Beckham, who already enjoys learning all he can about past presidents, and who could take steps to become our president.
Former President Bill Clinton sent him a birthday letter that Chase is so proud of that hangs proudly in his bedroom. He remembers vividly a phrase President Clinton made famous. "I feel your pain," says Chase.
George Bush, the country's 41st President sent him a birthday letter that hangs on the wall a few inches from Clinton's picture. Chase feels rather close to both of the former presidents. "Actually, I just hang out with them," says Chase.
He knows about Richard Nixon, even though his parents weren't born when he made his famous statement. "I'm not a crook," mimics Chase, with fingers raised on both hands.
He studies presidential history often before going to sleep, flipping through a book about presidents. "Let's look for the first President. Here it is. George Washington. He's number one. He just got wooden teeth," says Chase.
Chase bites into Dwight Eisenhower's historical campaign slogan. "I like Ike," remembers Chase when pointing to President Eisenhower's picture on a place mat that played a significant role in developing his interest in presidential history.
Chase's mother bought it two years ago and sure enough, Chase got interested in the faces he would often see at meal time. His favorite is our eighth President who led the country 169 years ago. "I like Martin van Buren, because he looks like a rooster, and I love roosters, too," says Chase.
His mother suspects he likes Martin Van Buren because of his longer name than other presidents on the place mat.
What political party does Chase support? He gave the politically correct answer that he was an Independent.
The three-and-a-half-year-old likes the idea of living in Washington some day. "As president," says Chase. And, what would he say to lawmakers. "Giddy-up," says Chase.
Rather intuitive for such a young man, who may ask for your vote-- someday.