May 3, 2005

humourless martinets

David Gillies writes:

Further to Bill's post on the comedy stylings of Laura Bush's at the White House Correspondents' dinner, here's a thought experiment. Make two lists of US Presidents of the last fifty years or so. On one side put those that have been able to take a joke at their own expense. On the other side put the humourless martinets:

List A:
Dwight Eisenhower
Gerald Ford
Ronald Reagan
Bill Clinton

List B:
Richard Nixon
Jimmy Carter
Any coincidence those three are the worst post-war Presidents?

I agree on the listings, and I think it's interesting that none of the three were elected in an equal contest, where voters had two pretty good candidates to chose from. LBJ came in because of the assassination, Nixon perhaps mostly because the "silent Majority" was disgusted with the Democrats, and Carter of course only because voters were disgusted with Nixon (and Ford's pardon of him)...when things are fairly equal the prissy humorless pedants lose. Am I thinking Gore/Kerry/Mondale/Dukakis? Funny you should ask. McCain? I'm not sure. Anyone have an opinion? I find him loathsome, so I probably can't judge him fairly....

Posted by John Weidner at May 3, 2005 10:53 AM
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