I am one of President George W. Bush's gardeners. Mr. George likes to talk to me.

Friday, June 04, 2004

10 Greatest Presidents of the United States

While Mr. George is off in Normandy celebrating the 60th anniversary of D-Day, I thought it would be appropriate to suggest a list of the Ten Greatest Presidents in United States History:

1a. RONALD REAGAN — Think walks along the beach under a golden sunset.

1b. Richard Nixon — I may be somewhat biased in that Richard Nixon was the first President to hire me as a gardener at the White House. He improved relations with China, he got us out of the Vietnam War, and he handled alleged corruption with dignity.

2. George W. Bush — He has the courage and moral fortitude to stay the course, wherever that course may lead.

3. Warren G. Harding — First and foremost, he kept us out of the nefarious League of Nations. Trust no one, I say. Plus he reminds me of Mr. George in how he responded to allegations that some of his friends were using their official positions for their own enrichment. Harding circled the wagons, suppressed evidence, and rose above the scandal. Tragically, he died of a heart attack before he could finish the job.

4. Herbert Hoover — Another president who had the courage to stay the course in changing times.

5. James Buchanan — Like me, a confirmed bachelor. He held his ground firmly as the nation split into two warring factions.

6. Calvin Coolidge — Wonderfully aloof. His favorite motto: "Four out of five problems solve themselves."

7. William McKinley — He wasn't afraid to start a war based on unconfirmed allegations. A man of action, and a fine imperialist.

8. George H. W. Bush — Like his son, he excelled in business, achieved honors at Yale, fought bravely for his country, and created an international coalition to go to war against Iraq. Sadly, unlike his son, he raised taxes to pay for increased government spending. Why?

9. Ulysses S. Grant — Like Mr. George, he served his country with honor in the military. One visitor to the White House noted in Grant "a puzzled pathos, as of a man with a problem before him of which he does not understand the terms." Despite his confusion, Grant finished out his term with a show of strength.

10. William Henry Harrison — His was a case of missed potential. Not wanting to look foolish, he refused to wear a hat or coat during his inauguration, despite the cold rain. He died 30 days later of pneumonia. Nevertheless, his 2-hour inauguration speech was superb enough to get him on this list.


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