The United States had a series of really bad presidents in its history but there seems to be no consensus on which one is the worst. While most votes go today to Bush II and Nixon, some history enthusiasts argues Buchanan, Harding, Tyler and Johnson should not be forgotten and left out of the list. (I wonder why nobody mentions Grover Cleveland’s name.) Nicholas von Hoffman from The Nation freshens our memories by reminding some of the “really bad” presidents and finally says his favorite “Worst President” candidate is, without doubt, Dubya:
A question that seems to be on everybody’s mind these days turns out to be: Is George Bush the worst President in American history?
But how do you judge? Is he the most morally disgusting? The worst mangler of the English language? Ever since the atom bomb was dropped, we’ve had a whole string of bozos who cannot pronounce the word “nuclear.” How much should that count against them?
Is John Tyler, our tenth President, a candidate for worst President? Some people who have never heard of this guy have heard of the campaign slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.” Well, Tippecanoe (William Henry Harrison) lasted about a month in office before he died of a cold contracted while making his inaugural address, and the rest is non-history. Tyler is best remembered, if he is remembered at all, as the President whose entire Cabinet, save one, quit on him. Please do not confuse him with Zachary Taylor, the twelfth President, easily Tyler’s equal in forgettability.
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