Today will see the inauguration of George Bush. Today he'll start trying to shake off the jibe that he will represent only the very rich. Tickets for the event start at £2,500.
Thousands of demonstrators are expected to converge on Washington, though George will be lucky to get all of them to pay that much. The protesters are angry that Al Gore has been cheated out of the presidency but instead of joining them Al will have to stand there applauding the man who got less votes than him. He's spent all week in front of the bathroom mirror practising his "dignified statesman" look.
If I were Bill Clinton I would have resigned yesterday, just to give his deputy a whole 24 hours as president. This would have been just enough time for Bill to take him round the Oval Office and show him the ropes. "Al, here's your desk. Look, I had them make up a little nameplate saying 'Al Gore, President'. Take a seat Al, how does it feel?" Then "President Gore" could have sat down and opened up his diary to see what his duties were for the day. "Let's see, Saturday, Saturday. Ah yes, here we are; 4pm - hand over the presidency to George Bush."
Throughout his campaign George W Bush told us that the "W" stood for "win", although when you hear him speak it is not the first "W" that springs to mind. It is typical of "Dubya" that he won the election by losing it, since his entire career has been built upon a succession of failures from which he emerged better placed on each occasion.
He likes to make out that he had a typical American background, no different to any other wholesome American family in which Dad was head of the CIA. No doubt when they were kids George and his brother could be heard playing in the backyard. "Come on Jeb, let's play destabilising third world governments."
After an expensive education which resulted only in mediocre grades, George Jr took the traditional route for future American politicians and jumped the queue for the National Guard to avoid going to Vietnam. It's a shame for the US that he never took part in the war, because after the North Vietnamese had overrun Saigon and occupied the entire country, Bush could have declared America the winner.
In 1981 Dad became vice-president, which seemed to coincide with the time that George Jr found it easier to get backers for his oil company. Despite his connections his various oil businesses all foundered, and though his investors lost millions, George somehow always managed to emerge with his personal wealth increased. Who needs oil when Dad can oil the wheels for you?
Even more murky are his financial dealings with the Texas Rangers baseball team. Bush put together a consortium of millionaires to buy the club, and got himself made managing director even though he put up less than 1% of the money himself.
A brand new stadium was built with public money. This greatly increased the value of the club but of course none of this cash was returned to the taxpayer when it was sold again. George pocketed a cool $14.9m and became the man who put the "base" into baseball.
The association with the Texas Rangers made him a local celebrity and against expectations he was elected governor. He worked very hard in Texas, signing more death warrants than all the other state governors put together. He broke a few other records as well; Texas now has the worst water pollution and air quality of any of the major states.
Bush consistently took the side of big business against the interests of ordinary Texans and what he did for the Lone Star state, he now hopes to do for all 50. It couldn't be better for the multinationals if Ronald McDonald himself had got the presidency. In fact Ronald probably would have got the Republican nomination if it wasn't so obvious that he wore make-up.
The only hope is that at today's inauguration, George will trip over his words again and fail to be sworn in as president. Because some of his recent statements suggest he might not be quite up to the world's top job.
"I was raised in the west. The west of Texas. It's pretty close to California. In more ways than Washington DC is close to California." He's even stronger on economics: "It's clearly a budget; it's got a lot of numbers in it." And on the environment: "Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighbourhoods."
We knew that American voters had an anti-intellectual streak but they didn't have to go that far. But as George said himself "they misunderestimated me". Today, at the dawn of the 21st century, the global village is finally complete. At last it has a global village idiot.
© Guardian Newspapers Limited 2001