Thursday, April 07, 2005

President for life.

I'm currently reading "Gotham" by Mike Wallace and Edwin G. Burrows. It's a huge book yet surprisingly readable. Anyway, I was getting through some of the nuts and bolts of post revolutionary America and was surprised to discover the large ammount of disagreement that took place over the shape of this brave, new republic. One of the more intruiging aspects that cropped up was the swiftly dropped idea of electing a President for life. This got me thinking, What if this had happened? Based on the (rather vague) assumption that when one President dies the man who actually held the office at that time would be elected I have worked out the following list. It makes for some thought provoking stuff. I also realise tht this is up there to be torn down and dissected and argued with. No worries, it's just a harmless bit of "what if?" history geekdom.

George Washington 1789- 1799
then, assuming that John Adams would have been elected upon the death of Washington (and so on until the present day) we have the following
John Adams 1799- 1826
John Quincy Adams 1826- 1848
James Polk 1848-1849
Zachary Taylor 1849-1850
Millard Fillmore 1850-1874
Ulysees Grant 1874-1885
Chester Arthur 1885-1886
Grover Cleveland 1886-1908
Theodore Roosevelt 1908-1919
Woodrow Wilson 1919-1924
Calvin Coolidge 1924-1933
Franklin Roosevelt 1933-1945
Harry Truman 1945-1972
Richard Nixon 1972-1994
Bill Clinton 1994 to the present.

See? No Jefferson? No James Madison??? No Jackson? No Lincoln?(would that mean no log cabin republicans?) No Rutherford B. Hayes? No Kennedy? No LBJ? (weep) No chipper nuclear physicist peanut farmers? No Bushes?

Just some idle thoughts from an idle fellow. (The British election is, at this point turning out to be as dull as the last one)


Listmaker said...

this is the kind of thought provoking material we demand more of from mondale!

weasel said...

Agreed. How about a counter-factual timetable, using losing candidates? Fascinating stuff old boy.

jamie said...

24 years of Millard Fillmore? i suppose he could have been "the Railsplitter" given the chance? Jefferson Davis would have had a field day with him. i bet he never shared a bed with a male companion for years on end either.

weasel said...

4 panels of "Mallard Filmore" is tough enough in the Sunday comics, never mind 24 years.

Debbie said...

It's all fun and thought provoking. Yes. But when you are in a classroom when Mr. B. comes up with things like's not so fun. He is like an obssessed man. Feverishly writing list of presidents for life on the chalkboard.
And who by the way was it that rewrote that list for you at the end of the day before she washed the chalkboard so you would have that info when you blogged?
I believe that was me.
I shouldn't encourage your mania, Mr. Bowles.
I love working with the boys!!!