Monday, February 18, 2008

President's Day Meme

Songbird posted this meme for Presidents' Day -- a good thing as I have no better ideas for today's posting.

1. Can you name the American Presidents we are honoring? Bonus: Any idea when their real birthdays are? (Don't look it up.)

George Washington, born February 22, 1731/2 (O.S.) in Virginia.

Abraham Lincoln, born February 12, 1809 in Kentucky.

2. Why do you suppose car sales are an important aspect of our President's Day observations in the U.S.? (Feel free to be whimsical.)

I can't think of anything whimsical. I would guess that since the new models have been out for a while by now, dealers are looking to get rid of some of them, and also, it's a day off for some people so that the family can shop for a car together.

3. Have you ever been President of a club or organization? How did that feel?

No, but I have been Moderator of my church. It was not an extremely powerful position, as the church was really run by the five committees, and the Council met infrequently. But I got to help plan the church's 90th anniversary celebration. It was a good experience for me. Also, I was Co-Editor-in-Chief of my college newspaper for a semester. That was fun too, in spite of some friction with the other co-editor.

4. If you could have dinner with any President of the United States no longer living, who would it be? Any particular questions you would like to ask? (Please feel free to substitute a nationally appropriate elected leader, such as a Prime Minister.)

I think, based on reading Merle Miller's Plain Speaking, that I would like to dine with Harry S Truman. He was President when I was born. I'd mostly like to dine with him because he was well-read and seemed to be an interesting conversationalist, and maybe a little less of an egotist than many of the others. However, a question did come up in my mind recently, the answer to which may be written somewhere, but I don't know: When he agreed to join FDR on the ticket in 1944, could he tell that he would probably end up becoming President when FDR died? I would think FDR's declining health might have been evident, and Truman was very much a realist. So I suspect he did. But I wonder.

5. On a more serious note, what are the qualities you hope for in our next President? (As above for those who live in other countries.)

The intelligence of Jefferson, the humility of Lincoln, the genius for dealing with Congress of Lyndon Johnson at his best, the integrity of Washington, the confidence (and the ability to inspire it in others) of FDR, the sense of history of Truman, the inspirational qualities of JFK, the environmental awareness of Teddy Roosevelt and Al Gore, and the plain good-heartedness of Jimmy Carter. A tall order.

1 comment:

Songbird said...

I'm interested in your thoughts about Truman, thanks!