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Who Deserved to Be President?


Who Deserves to Be President?  

16 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of the following deserved to have been president?

    • Henry Clay
    • William Jennings Bryan
    • George Clinton
    • James G Blaine
    • William Seward
    • Aaron Burr
    • Robert Taft
    • John Sherman
    • Stephen A Douglas
    • John Jay
    • Arthur Vandenberg
    • Alexander Hamilton
    • Charles Evans Hughes
    • Robert La Follette
    • Hubert Humphrey
    • Robert F. Kennedy
    • Thomas Hart Benton
    • Daniel Webster
    • John C. Calhoun
    • Salmon P. Chase
    • None of these

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18 minutes ago, MishFox said:

I agree no one deserves, but i selected people who i thought would've been good or interesting presidents

Yeah, same.

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Just now, ThePotatoWalrus said:

Interesting to see all the RFK fans. Do you guys actually think he would have become President had he not been assassinated?

I think it was 50/50. The 1968 election prompted the McGovern-Fraser reforms. As you may know, Hubert Humphrey was the Dem nominee but he didn't really attempt to win any primary states, knowing that the convention would elect him. In 1972, McGovern won with the system he created. Humphrey lost renomination because he played under the old style, which McGovern had changed (From some primaries to every state having a primary). 

I think RFK would have won the primaries after CA. The question is whether he would have convinced the party bosses to switch their votes to him vs. Humphrey. 

Here's what I think would have happened. 

A) First Ballot - Humphrey secures victory on the first ballot, he wins. 

B. ) Humphrey leads on first ballot, Kennedy in strong second. RFK gives big speech prior to 2nd ballot. If the speech shows that he has the charisma to secure victory despite LBJ's plummeting approval over Vietnam, then party bosses swing to RFK. However, I'd still say in this situation it is like 60% RFK and 40% Humphrey. Humphrey knew how to work insiders and RFK was so anti-corruption as to upset insiders. RFK attacking the mafia actually was an attack on Democratic Party Machines too, at least indirectly. 

C) JFK demolishes Eugene McCarthy and McGovern in the primaries. He goes into the convention with significantly more delegates than Humphrey can get, even if Humphrey gets every delegate from a non-primary state. DNC just goes with RFK because imagine more protests going along with anti-war protests. In this scenario, Democrats commit suicide by going with Humphrey.

Would RFK have been a great president? He would have been Jimmy Carter on speed. RFK was probably more overtly moral than Carter, and he was probably twice as hard to work with. He was sort of an attack dog for the good, which doesn't work unless most Congress persons and governors are equally moral. I think rhetorically he would have been great. He would have had excellent vision. However, I don't think he had the political skill to make his goals practical. Even Gore Vidal couldn't stand him. Vidal called him "a cop" and basically called him a "party pooper." He would work 18 hours or more a day and expect the same of everyone else. I think he would be ideal on paper, but most people aren't him (or me). He would be the John Quincy Adams of the 20th century (JQ Adams is a top 5 pres of mine but he doesn't deserve to be top 25 in an unbiased list). He would rank well because of vision and rhetoric, but his accomplishments would not really warrant the placement. Humphrey would probably have been more successful. 

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11 hours ago, vcczar said:

RFK was probably more overtly moral than Carter

That's not what MLK had to say on the matter but interesting take.

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