This Is a Blog: In July we talk about presidential relatives

Monday, December 1, 2008

In July we talk about presidential relatives

In 200+ years of American history, only two men whose fathers had been president were elected president. They were both born in the month of July, and they were both elected in scandalous elections.

In 1824, the field was narrowed down to Adams, Henry Clay, Andrew Jackson, and John C. Calhoun. The results were too close to call, and in a back room deal, Adams and Clay supposedly conspired to stack the electoral college. Adams became president, Clay became Secretary of State. The scandal cast a shadow over Adams' entire administration, and basically handed the presidency to Jackson in 1828. Adams is the first president to win neither the popular nor electoral vote.

A mere 176 years later, George Walker Bush destroyed what was left of our trust in democracy. Is anyone else bucking for Chelsea Clinton to run in about 20 years? But here are some fun facts for July.

John Calvin Coolidge: Okay, this guy rocked. He averaged nine hours of sleep, and took frequent naps. While governor of Massachusetts, the mayor of Boston punched him in the face. He's the only president sworn in by his own father, and he's somehow related to Bennie Arthur (or so Bennie tells me).

George Walker Bush: He holds many presidential records and firsts. Record fewest press conferences since the invention of television. First 3-time convicted felon (DWI, petty larceny, drunken disorderly) elected president. Largest annual deficit. Most polls ever taken by a sitting president. Etc. etc. Bush bashing isn't even fun anymore.

John Quincy Adams: He swam naked in the Potomac on a daily basis.

Gerald Rudolph Ford: On two separate occasions, a woman tried to assassinate him. This means he holds the record for the most women who tried to assassinate a sitting president. His name is actually Leslie King, but he took his mother's maiden name after his father left them. (I learned that one while watching 24 hour coverage of his funeral on C-SPAN)

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