Dead Presidents

Historical facts, thoughts, ramblings and collections on the Presidency and about the Presidents of the United States.

By Anthony Bergen
E-Mail: bergen.anthony@gmail.com
Asker Anonymous Asks:
Should they make a law requiring a copy of the constitution to be printed on each Congressman and Senator's desk, just to remind them what their jobs are?
deadpresidents deadpresidents Said:

Then you’d have to make a law requiring them to actually read it.

So…no. If they are ignorant about the Constitution that they are literally swearing to support and defend upon taking office, they’ll likely ignore it whether it’s printed on their desks or their foreheads.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
To my great times idek how many times grandpa, President John Adams, I have one question. How's Grandma?
deadpresidents deadpresidents Said:

These are the types of questions I frequently receive.

No American has ever had more success as a Presidential candidate than Franklin D. Roosevelt and, barring a change in the Constitution, no one ever will.  After unseating incumbent President Herbert Hoover in 1932, FDR won one of the largest landslides in American history in 1936 against Kansas Governor Alf Landon.  In 1940, Roosevelt broke the unwritten two-term tradition set forth by George Washington and followed by all of Roosevelt’s predecessors to win an unprecedented third term.  In 1944, with the nation in the middle of World War II, FDR shot down questions about his clearly deteriorating health to win his fourth Presidential election.  Roosevelt died 82 days into his fourth and final term.  In each of Roosevelt’s Presidential election victories, FDR won a significant majority of the popular vote and four clear-cut landslides in the Electoral College.

Ironically, FDR — the most successful Presidential candidate in American history — also happens to be the only President to have lost a campaign for the VICE Presidency.  Throughout President Woodrow Wilson’s Administration, which included World War I, Roosevelt served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, a position that Roosevelt’s famous distant cousin, Theodore Roosevelt, had used as one of the springboards for his career.

Loyalty to President Wilson and Roosevelt’s own unique charisma and appeal made FDR a rising star in the Democratic Party.  At the 1920 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, Ohio Governor James M. Cox emerged as a compromise Presidential nominee to the deadlocked Convention and the Democrats nominated the 38-year-old Roosevelt as Vice President.

FDR was a workhorse and campaigned tirelessly throughout the nation as an advocate for Cox as well as for the previous eight years of Democratic rule under the Wilson Administration.  The country, however, was ready for a change and drifted towards Cox’s opponent and fellow Ohioan, Senator Warren G. Harding.  Harding and his Vice President, Calvin Coolidge, defeated Cox and Roosevelt in November, but FDR had made an impact on the Americans who heard him speak during the hours and hours of speeches that he had given during his tens of thousands of miles of travel throughout the 1920 campaign.  The next time FDR was on a national ticket, the results were different.  With his name on top of the ballot, Franklin Delano Roosevelt would never lose another campaign again.

To this day, not only has a losing Vice Presidential candidate never been elected President, but only one losing Vice Presidential candidate besides FDR — 1976 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Bob Dole — has come back to even won his or her party’s nomination as President.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Watching The Roosevelts and I'm confused about why TR stepped aside after one term. If he was so popular and effective why leave the Oval Office at the age of 50?
deadpresidents deadpresidents Said:

When he won the 1904 election, TR said that he wouldn’t run again, and he instantly regretted it. Why did he do it? He probably got caught up in his victory and believed that the honorable thing to do was to say he’d stick to George Washington’s two-term tradition. Technically, Roosevelt was elected to only one term of his own (1905-1909), but since President McKinley was assassinated so soon into his own second term, Roosevelt’s succession felt like a full term. That’s the only reason that we can think of for why he refused to run in 1908; everyone has been scratching their head since he made the statement. As the second episode of The Roosevelts noted, when he made the statement, Alice Roosevelt cringed because she knew it was a mistake. It haunted him for the rest of his life because he loved being President and could probably stayed in office for at least two more terms. It especially haunted him once World War I rolled around and he grew disgusted by a lack of American preparation and the foreign policy of the Administration of President Wilson and Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Would you elect Pope Francis supreme leader of earth?
deadpresidents deadpresidents Said:

To quote the great philosopher Kanye West, “No one man should have all that power.”

Great article by Richard Whittle in Politico Magazine.

redhotandrosey:

Had a fun evening event at the Fort tonight (at Sutter’s Fort State Historic Park)

Fun fact about me: I’ve slept four nights inside of Sutter’s Fort. And probably one or two nights outside of Sutter’s Fort after a night of drinking.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
Just wanted to say that your answer about religious references in speeches and atheism was one of the best things that you've ever written. Thank you for that.
deadpresidents deadpresidents Said:

Thank you! I really appreciate your comments, and I’m happy that it made an impact on you.

Asker Anonymous Asks:
What are we supposed to think of Vladmir Lenin? Is he as bad as his successors?
deadpresidents deadpresidents Said:

Lenin is an incredibly important figure in world history and enormously significant to the 20th Century, in particular. No, he wasn’t as bad as Stalin — few people in human history have been as monstrous as Stalin (who is also a massively influential person to the 20th Century, particularly World War II.

You don’t have to be good to be important.