Good morning and greetings, electoral college fans. Now that the presidential campaign that would never end is behind us, we can go back to focusing on the important things, like the recovery from Hurricane Sandy, kick starting the economy and who’s going to coach the Lakers.
But before we leave the lovely grounds of the electoral college, let’s reflect a moment on the six billion dollars spent on this electorial debacle. Could there have been a better way for these quadrillions to have been better spent? Health care? Food for the hungry? A three day, two night romantic getaway vacation at The Venetian Hotel and Casino on the Vegas strip?
As brought up by historian David McCullough, for all this dinero, nothing memorable was said during the campaign. Never have so few spent so much for so little. Of course, no one will forget the incredibly ignorant and insensitive comments about rape uttered by Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, which still has Republican party leaders cringing.
So President Obama will remain in the West Wing for another four years, with the country remaining as divided as my sixth grade notebook binder. As a seasoned political observer chimed in from the blue grass state last week, “John Boehner is still orange and Mitch McConnell must go. And take Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi with them. We need new blood in Washington.”
And let’s not forget Super Pac boy Karl Rove, who David Letterman referred to on post election night as “that tubby little weasel.” This top Republican strategist, who had predicted a landslide for his party, blew $300 million on Republican losers. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Well, maybe that hate mongering Rush Limbaugh.
So for now, Michelle’s hubby remains as our 44th president. We know that President Obama is lefty, loves to play basketball and was either born in Hawaii or Kenya. So that got me to thinking, what things might we not know about our previous commanders-in-chiefs? Well, thanks to the folks at www.randomhistory.com, we’re going to take a stroll down memory lane and look at some fun facts about our previous presidents.
Abraham Lincoln was the only U.S. president who was also a licensed bartender and was co-owner of a saloon in Springfield, Illinois. This drinking establishment is where he came up the inspiration for the famous opening line of the Gettysburg Address, “Four score and seven drinks ago…”
George Washington refused to accept his presidential salary, which was $25,000 a year after taxes. Washington never lived in the White House, as the capital was in Philadelphia. While in Washington, he stayed at a Motel 6. He was the first person they left the light on for.
Lincoln Logs were named after Abraham Lincoln and the log cabin where he was born. Rumor has it that John F. Kennedy was the inspiration behind the naming of the Erector Sets, a toy that consisted of nuts, bolts and a lot of screwing.
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams once traveled to Stratford-upon-Avon to visit Shakespeare’s birthplace. While there, they took a knife to one of Shakespeare’s chairs so they could take home some wood chips as souvenirs. Fortunately, Shakespeare was not sitting in the chair at the time.
James Madison and Thomas Jefferson were once arrested together for taking a carriage ride in the countryside of Vermont on a Sunday, which violated the laws of that state. However, they denied anything improper occurred on this outing, after which they returned home to watch the first season of “Glee” on NetFlix.
James Buchanan was the only bachelor president and was virtually inseparable from William R. King, a senator from Alabama, earning the pair the nickname “Miss Nancy and Aunt Fancy.” Andrew Johnson is the only tailor ever to be president. As president, he would only wear suits that he made himself, which might have inspired the quote, “Politicians, like underwear, should be changed often, and for the same reasons. Whoa.
James Garfield was the first president to ever talk on the phone and hear the phrase, “Due to unusually high call volume, our wait time is greater than expected.” When he spoke to Alexander Graham Bell, who was at the other end 13 miles away, he channeled the Doors’ Jim Morrison with the words, ‘Hello, I love you, won’t you tell me your name.”
Twenty-ninth president Warren Harding repeatedly made love to a young girl, Nan Britton, in a White House closet. On one occasion, Secret Service agents had to stop his wife from beating down the closet door, which spawned the famous line from Fats Domino, “I hear you knocking, but you can’t come in.”
After President Bush Sr. vomited on the Japanese Prime Minister, a new word, ‘bushusuru’ entered the Japanese language, meaning “to do the Bush thing,” or to publicly vomit. Bush blamed it on some bad mu shu pork.
Lyndon Baines Johnson affectionately called the many women he slept with his “harem.” He had a 24 second clock and buzzer system installed that rang inside the Oval Office so that Secret Service could warn him when Lady Bird or Larry Bird were coming.
Ulysses S. Grant smoked at least 20 cigars a day and, after his victory over the south, was sent more than 10,000 cigars by a grateful nation. He later died of throat cancer. Which brings to mind the line uttered by Groucho Marx when told by a contestant on his game show that she had nineteen children, “Hey, lady, I love my cigar but I take it out of my mouth once in a while.”
JFK was the the first Boy Scout to become president but behaved more like an eager beaver while in the Oval Office. He most likely had the most active extramarital sex life of any president as he allegedly slept with Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, Audrey Hepburn, Angie Dickinson, stripper Blaze Starr, Marlene Dietrich, White House staffers, interns, life guards, secretaries, tour guides, stewardess, coal miners, dental hygenists, census takers and the Andrew Sisters.
And finally, William Harrison holds the record for the longest inauguration speech in history at 8,578 words long and one hour and 40 minutes. Unfortunately, he gave the speech during bad weather and a month later, he was dead from pneumonia, making his the shortest presidency on record. And who said sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me?
For today’s photo array we are heading up to UC Santa Cruz to check out some presidential timber. There is a variety of different trees on campus, but the star of the show are the redwoods, with incredible groves located all throughout the cluster colleges. There are beautiful trails surrounding the university, which ranks as one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. The views of Monterey Bay from the east fieldhouse, where I received much of my college education, are breathtaking.
To check out these photos, click on http://www.SunriseSantaCruz.com/blog