Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The Prezzies™ II - Best President (pre 1900)

Continuing our prestigious Prezzie™ awards in honour of Presidents’ Day, this time we’re requesting nominations for best president pre-1900. Your entries and reasons in the comments, please – results tomorrow.

I know this relentless focus on the positive is wearing, but keep the faith. If we can just get this one out of the way then we can move on to the juicy “worst president” award…


Few people realise that, in addition to winning the Civil War and abolishing slavery, Abraham Lincoln was also an accomplished ventriloquist…

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hereby nominate thr Atlas of Independence, His Rotundity John Adams. I know that the multitudes expect either Saint Lincoln or the boy who couldn't tell a lie, but I go with Adams Sr.

The main reasom is that he had the least illusions about the future of democracy in America--together with that symbol of avuncular bonhommie, Franklin, who was in fact a dark skeptic about the benefits of majority rule.

He waxed philosophical in the face of death--much like Socrates. In 1846, John Adams suffered a stroke and, although he returned to Congress the next year, was obviously ailing. Daniel Webster described his last meeting with Adams: "Someone, a friend of his, came in and made particular inquiry of his health. Adams answered, 'I inhabit a weak, frail, decayed tenement battered by the winds and broken in upon by the storms, and, from all I can learn, the landlord does not intend to repair!'"

--Desargues

Ivan the Terrible said...

I have a soft spot myself for both Adamses, Sr and Jr. If you have the date right, the latter story would pertain to Jr, John Quincy Adams, who I feel deserved better than he got from the electorate. But his father was a one-termer too, in the most honourable of circumstances, so no need for him to feel bad on that score...

So that's one for John Adams Sr. Any more bids?

Dr. E. Scientist, phD. said...

Well, Licoln was certainly the right man for the job at an extraordinarily different time. I'm not saying that other presidents would not have been up to the challenge; but they were never tested like Lincoln.

And yes, my opinion is skewed by the lens of sentimentality, but let's face it; a president's legacy never suffers from assasination.

Ventriloquism, though? Surely that must have been a bit rough on Tad, but looking at the engraving, the lad seems quite serene.

And to think, Abe had damn big too...

Dr. E. Scientist, phD. said...

erm, damn big hands

Ivan the Terrible said...

Well, I think we can safely count that as a vote for Abe...

HA HA HA said...

im gona go with coolidge again! hes on a roll!

Ivan the Terrible said...

Sometimes I suspect that you're not taking this exercise entirely seriously, 3H.

R. Sherman said...

I could vote for Millard Fillmore, because no one remembers him. Lincoln is the obvious choice, but I'll go with George Washington, if for no other reason, he recognized the precedential aspect of everything he did and set the stage for those that followed.

Cheers.

R. Sherman said...

On second thought, how about this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Rice_Atchison

Cheers.

HA HA HA said...

bah. youl probaly get al snooty abuot al haig too. so how abuot mamie van doren? ok one last try! william henry harrison. he dalivard the longest inaugurel adress evar an than died a monmth later having spent his entiare term too sick to do any dammage.

Ivan the Terrible said...

And so the first George leaves the starting blocks - thanks, Randall! Good story re Atchison. At least he had a sense of humour about his situation.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Hi again, 3H. Harrison, eh? Had a feeling he'd surface. Very astute choice, if I might say so - could be another Coolidge in the making...

xpanxpunkx said...

James Garfield. Seems to have spent his entire term fighting with the Senate (who, then as now, thought they deserved extra perks), and won. Got himself shot over an appointment later, and managed to hold out for two months with a bullet in him and Alexander Graham Bell and various other crazy people rooting around in his innards with their bare hands. The man had GUTS -- and particularly after he was shot, anyone could see them.

Ivan the Terrible said...

Poor James. But taking potshots at their leaders has always been an American vice. In the words of English Bill in Unforgiven - "why not shoot a President?"

HA HA HA said...

shotign at rpesidents is no vice an mising em is no virtue.

Ivan the Terrible said...

No point shooting to miss...

Aunty Marianne said...

Benjamin Franklin. For infecting the French with revolution before ever becoming President. And the lightning rod.

PI said...

I am a woman so I'm changing my mind to Lincoln. I'm going with my people - the Lancastrians who built a statue to him. And the ventriloquism clinched it.

Gorilla Bananas said...

The ape vote goes to Jefferson: a long-haired musician.

Aunty Marianne said...

I've just been informed that Franklin was never President.

What a shame.