Personal preferences may color view of presidencies

Hallie Thomas

Hallie Thomas

Being asked to choose the greatest president is like being asked to choose the greatest state in the union.

South Dakota has nice summers if you don’t mind being bored. Tennessee is pretty if you can handle stifling humidity. New York contains one of the most influential cities in the world, but it may not be the place for claustrophobics.

What’s my point with all this rambling? Presidents are like states: subjective to personal preference and circumstance.

George Washington (the Delaware of the Oval Office) is considered by many to be great. True, he had no political party and is considered bipartisan because of that, but he also had no real influence over the populace due to his inaccessibility.

Thomas Jefferson was a renaissance man similar to Virginia. He did many great things during a virtually crisis-free term of office that afforded him the opportunity to fully embrace such actions.

Abraham Lincoln’s handling of the Civil War was an amazing feat of leadership that brought the union through its darkest time. But, like Massachusetts, he was crude and not very likable in person.

Theodore Roosevelt was a robust man that lead with his passions. He also tried to split away from his party and form his own (an effort as successful as Alaska’s recent attempts to secede.)

Franklin Roosevelt offered the country social programs that helped pull it out of a Great Depression. But, like California, his ego many times got in the way of his relationships.

Ironically, President Bush is the human incarnation of Texas. Blessed with plentiful financial resources, a down-home folksy sense of humor, and an independent spirit, he may at times seem a good idea on paper. But he’s also constricted by right-wing convictions that alienate many groups of people he has sworn to represent.

My point with this? If you’re from any of the above states, you’ll view them differently than I. Just like people from different eras may view their greatest presidents in a different light.

Bush may be a Texas now, but with the passing of time he may be considered in a new light. Puerto Rico anyone?

Reach Hallie Thomas at [email protected].