Let’s return to our March Madness Presidential Pool. I’d begun to work on a series of blog posts for a presidential bracket. I think it is a fun way to look at some of the lesser known attributes of some of our Chief Executives, to think about what makes a good president, and to perhaps rethink some of our own prejudices and notions about America’s political history. 44 presidents (including two Grover Clevelands) rounded out the field (Zack Taylor, Barack Obama and William Harrison have already exited the tournament) and compete in four different regions for the title of best president of all time. The Rose Garden Region wrapped up the play-in games in my last post–today we will move on to the West Wing Region. Things to consider:
- Problems that the president faced internationally or domestically and how he dealt with them.
- Problems that he caused internationally or domestically and how he dealt with them.
- How the president affected the prestige of the office or conducted himself.
- Short term positive or negative effects of the presidency.
- Long term positive or negative effects of the presidency.
- How did the president upheld the oath of office?
- How did he use presidential power?
- How the president changed or shaped the presidency–was he shaped by events or did he control the narrative?
The West Wing Region:
Benjamin Harrison (8) v. Herbert Hoover (9)
This matchup might seem a little lopsided since Herbert Hoover is widely recognized as the cause of the Great Depression, prohibition and polio too. It is unclear from his memoirs if true, but Hoover is also widely suspected of being a vampire. Prototypical Republican. The criticism and suspicion of poor Herbert Hoover knows no end. In addition to being the renowned developer of Hooverville mobile homes, for years (according to presidential historian Robert Ferrell) it was even widely (and erroneously) believed that Hoover had once tried to flee the country with a suitcase full of gold bullion stolen from Fort Knox! Read the rest of this entry »