Saturday, July 23, 2016

Ulysses Grant and what we need in presidents

Historian Michael Beschloss posted this on Twitter.

That set me to thinking...and tweeting:
[Grant] was, in many ways, a remarkable man, but ill-suited for the presidency.
Of course, that begs question, what suits someone for president?
I feel previous elective office is less a predictor than are temperament, character, leadership record, [and] a willingness to compromise.
Washington, with little elective political experience; Lincoln, with much; FDR, with much; and Eisenhower, with none, stand out among our presidents to me.

Only FDR had been a "successful" pol before taking office. All had successful, significant presidencies.

The one trait they all shared is temperament. Washington & Eisenhower overcame/channeled volcanic tempers to be nearly perfect leaders, Lincoln overcame much and chose his way to a leaders' temperament; FDR had, as Oliver Wendell Holmes said, "a second class intellect, but a first class temperament."

I'm not sure having an even temperament or self-control matters to voters in these zero-sum days.

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