June 7th, 2004


on presidents

We are the mediocre presidents.
You won't find our faces on dollars or on cents!
There's Taylor, there's Tyler, there's Fillmore and there's Hayes.
There's William Henry Harrison, ``I died in thirty days!''
We... are... the... adequate, forgettable, occasionally regrettable
Caretaker presidents of the U-S-A!
-- President's Day Pageant, ``I Love Lisa'', The Simpsons

The first president I can remember was Jimmy Carter. I remember my parents speaking well of the man, and I remember a sign appearing on Route 80 listing the distance to the Delaware Water Gap in miles and kilometers, and remember that this had something to do with Carter being president.

I remember being nearly universally reviled in school when I said I thought Carter should beat Reagan. I really didn't understand things too well back then- I'm fairly sure I was just aping my parent's opinion.

I remember seeing Reagan's farewell address on television- it was the first presidential speech I recall in any depth. I couldn't understand why they called this person "the great communicator". it made no sense to me. I remember having the impression that this man was being excessively eulogized in a way that made me feel uncomfortable.

Bush/Dukakis was the first presidential election I was allowed to vote in. I voted, as I did with Clinton/Bush, Clinton/Dole, and Bush II/Gore.

And now, a poll.

Poll #304596 Greater president/ greater man?

Greater President?

Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan


Greater Man?

Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan


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