It had finally started to sink in. He was going to be a one-term President, and he was already a lame duck.
Sure, he’d done some good in his lone term. He set aside some additional wetlands for preservation. He passed budgets–in spite of a highly antagonistic Congress–that were compromises, to be sure, but weren’t terrible, either. He managed to keep Iran from going completely off the rails, and that had satisfied Israel and the other allies in the region; things were stabilized there, at least for now.
But he also knew that when it came to his legacy (yes, he was already thinking about his legacy; you don’t become President by not thinking of yourself, after all), each of those things were probably going to be forgotten, at least in the short term.
All because of that damned video.
He partly blamed himself. He should have learned to swim at some point. There was really no excuse for him not knowing how.
He also blamed the Secret Service guys. It had been a private family vacation. You’d think men charged with protecting his life would’ve at least been able to keep the paparazzi away from the resort, right?
But it had happened, it was done, and that was it. It was out of his hands. Maybe someday, historians would look at the big picture and see that incident as the footnote it surely was.
But for now and for at least the next generation or two, Robert Cressman’s legacy would likely be The Needs To Wear Water Wings In Anything Deeper Than Four Feet President.