Among presidents and other high-ranking politicians, narcissism isn't so much a hazard as a job requirement. Still, there's being self-centered and then there's… rewriting the history of the United States to include one's own accomplishments within the biographies of past American leaders.
The conservative Heritage Foundation and Commentary Magazine catches the White House doing the latter — enumerating Barack Obama's achievements within the biographical sketches of presidents past. Unfortunately, the President's communication team neglected a few key moments in history…
* When Jefferson assumed the Presidency on March 4, 1801, the crisis in France had passed. Today, President Obama communicates with the President of France entirely through apologies.
* On March 4, 1841 William Henry Harrison became the first president to have his photograph taken. Today, the most dangerous place in America is between President Obama and a live camera.
* Inaugurated on July 10, 1850, Millard Fillmore had a weird name. Today, Barack Obama has a weird name.
Tags: 14th Amendment, Barack Obama, Franklin Roosevelt, George Bush, Grover Cleveland, History, James Buchanan, Millard Fillmore, Theodore Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson
The year is 1884. The issue of personal integrity lies at the very heart of the presidential election. Some years earlier saw the release of letters showing that Republican candidate and former Speaker of the House James G. Blaine had sold his congressional influence for monetary gain in the past (a practice unthinkable in modern politics), leading Democrats to chant "Burn, burn, burn this letter!" in a mockery of Blaine's (non-respected) closing request.
However, Republicans are soon to find a chant of their own, when it is revealed that Democratic candidate and governor of New York "Grover the Good" Cleveland had fathered an illegitimate child whom, it was said, had been sent off to an orphanage after its mother had been admitted to an asylum. This revelation led to the GOP's joyously snarky chant "Ma, Ma, Where's my Pa?"
Unfortunately, that chant wasn't enough to secure the election, and Cleveland's followers in time were able to answer it with their own snark, "Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha."
Tags: Grover Cleveland, House of Representatives, Snark Week
A new poll from 60 Minutes and Vanity Fair asked if American voters would support an openly gay candidate for president, and exactly 50% of respondents said yes, sure, no problem.
So half the country is sensible enough to realize that sexual orientation has no bearing on a candidate's fitness for office, which is great, but the odds of an openly gay person winning the White House are still pretty low.
Let's face it: we haven't elected an unmarried president since Grover Cleveland's first term.
Tags: Grover Cleveland, LGBT, Marriage Equality, Polls
Here's a riddle. What's conceived in sin; takes nine months to complete; and makes for some sticky situations upon its unwelcomed arrival? That's right, a completely convoluted Indecision article that lists famous illegitimate political offspring while simultaneously promoting the season premiere of The Sarah Silverman Program, entitled "The Proof Is in the Penis." Oh, except Indecision didn't give me nine months to write this. More like five days. And I guess I didn't really conceive it in sin, although between you and me, my silk boxers do feel pretty sweet beneath my blogging pants.
Now before you go complaining about who I left off, keep in mind that I was looking not only for political progeny born to unmarried parents, but also people who — when organized in list form — would make you, the reader, want to tune in for Sarah Silverman's premiere episode, "The Proof Is in the Penis" this Thursday at 10:30pm / 9:30c. Did I accomplish this? Hey, who's wearing the blogging pants around here. Spoiler alert: Not me as of twenty seconds ago.
27. John Edwards' daughter Frances Quinn Hunter
When John Edwards burst on the National political scene in 2000, he was like nothing we'd ever seen. The guy just didn't lie like a politician. Unfortunately, he lied a lot like a trial lawyer. And in 2008, we learned that John Edwards could lie like other things too.
For example, like that guy your mom called your "uncle" when your dad was away on business trips. In any event, Edwards' affair with Rielle Hunter came to light in 2008, and while he admitted his wrongdoing, he was also adamant that Ms. Hunter's baby girl was not his. Turns out that was also a lie.
Tags: Bristol Palin, Christianity, France, Grover Cleveland, John Edwards, Levi Johnston, Paraguay, Racism, Religion, Rielle Hunter, Sarah Palin, Scandalgate, Senate, Sex, South Africa, South Carolina, Strom Thurmond, Tripp Johnston-Palin
How many times have you told yourself, "I'd gladly learn about all 43 of our nation's presidents — even duds like Millard Fillmore and George H.W. Bush — if only someone would write indie rock songs about them?"
Well get cracking, hipster, because a trio of songwriters have done just that– in the form of their new triple CD "Of Great and Mortal Men"…
While some of the first 43 [presidents] have become larger-than-life figures, others are all but forgotten. But songwriters Christian Kiefer, Jefferson Pitcher and Matthew Gerken, with the help of many stalwarts of indie rock, look to shed light on the lives and quirks of these men. They've composed original songs and music in a new collection called Of Great and Mortal Men, which features 43 songs spanning three CDs and more than 220 years of American history.
Kiefer, Pitcher and Gerken — largely unknown even in indie rock circles– have enlisted the help of slightly more famous musicians to bring their songs to life.
So if you've always wanted to hear Smog's Bill Callahan sing about John Quincy Adams, the band Califone rock out for Andrew Jackson and Jimmy Carter, or Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek croon over Harry Truman… Well now you can. (You'll have to buy the album if you want to know who plays on the Rutherford B. Hayes song.)
That's 43 songs to honor 42 presidents. (Grover Cleveland gets two, one for each useless term he served.) And then don't forget there's one more song to come after Election Day…
As for the 44th, the songwriters say they'll write one more song and post an MP3 sometime after Nov. 4.
Depending on who wins, that might not be necessary. If it's Ron Paul via write-in, his passionate supporters will no doubt be happy to contribute 2 to 400 dozen rousing paeans of their own.
And if John McCain wins, he could make history as the first president on the compilation to personally perform his own theme song.
Tags: Andrew Jackson, Barack Obama, George H.W. Bush, Grover Cleveland, Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, John McCain, John Quincy Adams, Millard Fillmore, Rutherford B. Hayes