Monday, February 16th, 2009

Presidential Courage

Last night, Susan and I attended a lecture at Elmhurst College by Michael Beschloss. The speaker is an author and presidential historian. He is a regular on NBC's Meet the Press and Today. The lecture was called, Presidential Courage.

For roughly one hour, Beschloss discussed issues that challenged American president's throughout the history of our country. Some were serious, and many had a humorous twist. Throughout the evening he mentioned: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lincoln, Harding, Buchanan, Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Clinton, Bush Sr., and Obama. A recurring theme was whether or not a president would make a decision based upon what was best for the country, or best for his popularity.

My favorite story of the evening was about Adlai Stevenson. He was talking about how Stevenson realized he was failing to connect with voters. He turned to his staff and asked him there was anything he could do to change that fact. Someone on his staff told him that he needed to reconsider things he said. He went on to provide an example.

"You remember when we were in Florida this morning and the little girl gave you her stuffed alligator?"

"Yes," Stevenson said.

"You should have said something like 'that would look great in my office,'" the staffer said.

Stevenson asked, "What did I say?"

The staffer said, "For Christ's sake, what is this?"

Tags:  Elmhurst
LMAO, funny story.

he was telling the truth, and people wonder why their favourite politcians lie all the time!
talkswithstrangers   Monday, February 16, 2009
Great story!!!
dannie   Monday, February 16, 2009
Ha. It sounds like it was an interesting evening.
Sarah S.   Monday, February 16, 2009
Very good! Sounds like a fascinating lecture!!
LGrant   Monday, February 16, 2009
Now there's my kind of candidate. An honest man who says what he thinks without really thinking about it first! I feel privileged to live a street off Stevenson Drive.
LimeyGeorge   Monday, February 16, 2009
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