"I'm toying with the idea of running for president of the United States. How would you like to be first lady?" I asked my wife.

"Not while Kitty Kelley's alive," she replied."Why do you say that?"

"No president's wife wants to show up on Kitty Kelley's computer screen."

"But you'd make a wonderful first lady. What bad thing could she possibly write about you?

"Nothing until she talks to my `good' friends."

"We've never smoked pot."

"You know that and I know that, but what's to prevent someone with a grudge against us from saying otherwise?"

"Who would do such a thing?"

"How about high administration sources who mow the lawn at Camp David?

"Look, just because Kitty Kelley wrote a tough book about Nancy Reagan doesn't mean she would write the same kind of stuff about you."

"Why not?"

"A change of pace. Once you had Kitty over for tea, she'd treat you like an East Coast Madonna. "

"I am so afraid that if you run for president, Kitty would discover that I make all the decisions in this family. You don't even know whether to stand up or sit down when they play `Hail to the Chief.' "

I laughed, "That's ridiculous. Everyone knows we're a team. Besides, who would tell them otherwise?"

"An embittered hairdresser, a jealous salesgirl at Bloomingdale's. It just doesn't seem worth it to be the most powerful woman in America if people are going to throw mud at you to feed the public's insatiable appetite for gossip."

"I think that you are overreacting. But before I make my decision to run, I would like to ask you one question so that it doesn't haunt us later on. Has Frank Sina-tra ever been on the second floor of our house?"

For some reason, this angered my wife and she yelled, "He's never even been in the basement."

"So," I said, "we have nothing to worry about.

She was adamant. "If you run for president and are elected, I will refuse to be the first lady of the land."

"But where will you live?"

"Right here in our house. I'll fax my instructions to you about how to run the government. It's the only way to foil Kitty Kelley."

"I don't want to sit in the Oval Office without you faithfully at my side," I told her.

"Now you're making sense."

"What if Kitty Kelley decides to write a book about you even though you aren't first lady?"

"Why would she want to do that?" my wife asked.

"To follow up on the Frank Sinatra angle," I said.