This morning, on MORNING JOE on MSNBC, there was a fascinating three hour discussion on the American Presidency, to commemorate the Fourth of July national holiday.
Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski had many distinguished guests, journalists and historians, to analyze the office and the 43 men who have held that position.
Three distinguished historians–Doris Kearns Goodwin, Jon Meacham, and Evan Thomas–gave their view of which Presidents would be appropriate for a second Mount Rushmore, if such a momument were ever to be built in South Dakota or elsewhere.
Their selections were certainly fascinating, controversial, and highly debatable.
Goodwin’s list was Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Ronald Reagan.
Meacham’s list was Andrew Jackson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy,and Ronald Reagan.
Thomas’s list included Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and George H. W. Bush.
So FDR and Reagan are on all three lists, and would certainly please progressives and Democrats on the one hand, and conservatives and Republicans on the other hand.
But there the disagreements begin, and lead to a total of six other Presidents being listed–Jackson, Truman, Ike, JFK, LBJ, and Bush No. 41.
One wonders if there has been disrespect shown toward Woodrow Wilson, who had such a long range impact on the office of the Presidency, although there has been a lot of criticism directed toward him over the years.
One also wonders about the famous “obscure” President, James K. Polk, who gained more territory in his one term than anyone other than Thomas Jefferson.
Also, the question arises whether Bill Clinton will see his historical stock rise as the years go by, to the point of possibly being a candidate for a second Mount Rushmore.
If this author and blogger were queried about his choices, the Presidents he would select would be to agree totally with Doris Kearns Goodwin: FDR, Truman, LBJ, and Reagan!
But now the reader can chime in with his or her views about a second Mount Rushmore, and the more the merrier!