Saturday, July 21, 2007

wanting in a president

Nixon Goes to Convention
by Jack E. Kightlinger, 1972 (NARA)
Originally uploaded by

a found poem

What the average
person wants
in his President

Johnson was thought
a man of many faults

Harry Truman had courage
a devil-may-care-attitude

Kennedy was an utter disaster
his "charm"
saved the day

Eisenhower was thought
a warm
fair man

This is mythology
he was distant
and all business

Found in an eleven page memo (PDF) from President Richard Nixon to his Chief of Staff H.R. Hadelman in 1970 regarding the dismal state of his public image. As mentioned in Slate last Monday.

There's much to cringe over in the memo -- this little snippet is just a taste:

There are in numerable examples of warm items -- the way we have gone far beyond any previous President in this century in breaking our backs to be nicey-nice to the Cabinet, staff, the Congress, etc., around Christmastime in terms of activities that show personal concern, not only for them, but for their families.

For example, the Church Service, every other person who comes through that line practically gets tears in his eyes when he thanks us for allowing them to bring their children to church. I have yet to see any columnist write this, and I of course doubt that anybody will because none of us really have the capacity to get it across, (due to the fact that we are slightly embarrassed to say such things).


I, Rodius said...

too bad we weren't slightly more embarrassed to say such things...

anniemcq said...

Horrible I know. But at least he could spell. Can you imagine Bush writing this? Too many words....

Related Posts with Thumbnails