James A. Garfield

Presidents Who Were Most Prolific Authors In Life Or After Their Deaths

The issue of the intellectual prowess of Presidents is a significant one, in a time of a President who does not display much intellectual interest or talents.

Of course, ability to write and communicate in diaries or in books is not the only area of competence for a President, but we are fortunate that so many Presidents contributed to our nation in their writings.

First, however, is which Presidents did NOT contribute any significant writings in print or in diaries, although many left behind a massive amount of manuscripts, which historians have utilized in their published books on Presidents.

The list would include, chronologically, the following 20 Presidents.

George Washington
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe
Andrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
Rutherford B. Hayes
James A. Garfield
Chester Alan Arthur
William McKinley
William Howard Taft
Warren G. Harding
Franklin D. Roosevelt

A long list of Presidents (24) wrote diaries, Memoirs, or autobiographies, or other published works in their lifetime, or after their deaths, including, chronologically:

John Adams
John Quincy Adams
James K. Polk
James Buchanan
Ulysses S. Grant
Grover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison
Theodore Roosevelt
Woodrow Wilson
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Harry Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard Nixon
Gerald Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Donald Trump

Of all of these 24 who contributed published works, only a few, however, were voluminous, substantial, and could be described as prolific.

John Quincy Adams, with his 69 year diary in 48 volumes, would be one such case.

James K. Polk. with his 4 volume diary, would be another.

Theodore Roosevelt was extremely active as an author, and Woodrow Wilson was an active academic, which explains his large amount of publishing.

Herbert Hoover, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter, all with long retirements, were prolific, and Carter has continued to be so.

Barack Obama is expected to join this group of prolific authors, and had two books before his Presidency, similar to John F. Kennedy, who clearly would have contributed more, had he not been assassinated.

So this is a summary of the literary intellectual life of our 44 Presidents!

Potential Of 2017 Being Third Time In American History Of Three Presidents, After 1841 And 1881!

There is continued turmoil surrounding the Trump Presidency, with the latest developments, including the growing number of Republicans denouncing Trump for his reaction to Charlottesville; the resignation of businessmen from his various councils; the decision of many corporations and groups to refuse to use Trump properties for their gatherings; the condemnation of military leaders, intelligence professionals, diplomats and arts committee members; and legions of conservatives alienated from the 45th President.

So the possibility exists that Donald Trump, under fire, might resign from the Presidency, before the Robert Mueller investigation can bring charges of Russian collusion against him.

It used to seem impossible to imagine a resignation, but the idea looks more possible by the day.

Were that to happen, and if it happened before the end of 2017, it would mark the third time in American history, that the nation has had THREE Presidents in the same calendar year.

In 1841, losing Presidential candidate Martin Van Buren served until March 4, and then was succeeded by his successful opponent, William Henry Harrison. A month later, on April 4, Harrison died of pneumonia, having been sick beginning on the evening of the inauguration, and having been the oldest President at inauguration until then, and until later when we had Ronald Reagan in 1981 and Donald Trump in 2017. Vice President John Tyler succeeded to the Presidency on April 4, marking three Presidents in little more than three months of the year.

In 1881, outgoing President Rutherford B. Hayes finished his term on March 4, and was succeeded by Presidential winner James A. Garfield, who four months later, on July 2, was shot and seriously wounded by assassin Charles J. Guiteau. With medical malpractice, Garfield suffered greatly over the next two and a half months, and died on September 19, having been in a coma much of the time. Vice President Chester Alan Arthur succeeded Garfield, so in eight and a half months, we had seen three Presidents.

Now in 2017, we had Barack Obama as President until January 20, when Donald Trump succeeded him, and the odds are growing that he could resign before the year’s end, making Vice President Mike Pence the 46th President of the United States before the beginning of 2018.

July 2 An Historic Day In So Many Ways!

July 2 is an extremely historic day in American history in so many ways, more than typical.

July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, with the document being printed, and beginning to be signed on July 4.

July 2, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed Morrill Act, granting land for state agricultural colleges.

July 2, 1863, Second day of Battle of Gettysburg, turning point battle of Civil War.

July 2, 1881, President James A. Garfield was shot and mortally wounded by Charles Guiteau, died 79 days later on September 19, 1881, a tragedy I devote a chapter to in my Assassinations book, now out in paperback from Rowman Littlefield.

July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, most path breaking and historic civil rights law in American history.

July 2, 1986, the Supreme Court upheld Affirmative Action in two cases.

Donald Trump Has Divided America More Than Any Other President Since The Civil War, Including Richard Nixon!

America has had 44 men who have served as President.

We have had a person who had no issue with slaughter of Native Americans—Andrew Jackson.

We have had a person who chose to give his loyalty to the Confederate States of America in the Civil War—John Tyler.

We have had a person who warred with our southern neighbor, Mexico, on the basis of promoting slavery expansion and American imperialism—James K. Polk.

We have had a person who was openly racist after the Civil War, and was impeached, more because of his disagreeable personality and stubbornness—Andrew Johnson

We have had a person who presided over the worst, most scandalous Presidency of the 19th century—Ulysses S. Grant.

We have had a person who presided over the worst scandals since Grant, and was seen as very lacking in any intellect—Warren G. Harding.

We have had a person who was the most crooked President in American UNTIL NOW, and caused the greatest division since the Civil War a century earlier, and resigned from office under certainty of impeachment and conviction—Richard Nixon.

All of these seven Presidents had major issues and characteristics that undermine their historical reputation, but NONE, I repeat NONE, have divided America so much as Donald Trump. not even Richard Nixon, who actually had major domestic and foreign accomplishments, despite his many shortcomings.

But Donald Trump will go down as the absolute worst President in all of American history, and my prediction in February on History News Network, which went viral, still stands as of today—that Donald Trump will leave the Presidency by one method or another no later than the range of time between August 7, 2017–199 days of James A. Garfield and May 27, 2018–one year from today–or 492 days of Zachary Taylor!

From Richard Nixon And The “Saturday Night Massacre” To Donald Trump And The “Tuesday Night Massacre”: Same Result Will Occur!

It is hard to believe that we are reliving Richard Nixon and the Watergate Scandal, and specifically the “Saturday Night Massacre” on October 20, 1973, when Nixon fired Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, followed by Elliott Richardson (Attorney General) and William Ruckelshaus (Deputy Attorney General), with Robert Bork, later rejected for the Supreme Court in 1987, finally dismissing Cox. But this shocking event created a constitutional crisis, which led to Richard Nixon facing impeachment, and ultimately resigning ten months later in August 1974.

Now, on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, appropriately termed the “Tuesday Night Massacre”, Donald Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey, claiming the reason being Comey’s decision to announce a further investigation of Hillary Clinton, Trump’s opponent, including 11 days before the election in 2016, helping to cause the victory of Trump over Clinton. This is totally preposterous as an explanation. It also is a clear cut attempt to stop the FBI investigation into Trump’s connection to the Russian government of Vladimir Putin through various aides who had close ties with Russia. If it was to be found that Trump was engaging in what could be seen as treason, he would face impeachment and removal from office, even beyond other charges of corruption and malfeasance by Donald Trump.

One can now foresee that Donald Trump will NOT finish his term in office, and will be forced out by resignation or impeachment at some point.

It will NOT be soon, but this blogger did write on History News Network, and it went viral, that Trump might be forced out between the 199 days of President James A. Garfield (which would be reached on August 7, 2017), and the 492 days of President Zachary Taylor (which would be reached on May 27, 2018).

The manner of dismissing Comey, while he was in Los Angeles, learning from cable news bulletins that he had been fired, is very similar to Nixon ordering seizure of the offices of Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox, and expect that there will be moves now to demand a Special Prosecutor, or else resolutions of impeachment will commence.

Donald Trump is more corrupt than Richard Nixon, imagine that, and will elevate Nixon by comparison, and Trump will go down as the absolutely worst President ever, raising the stock of James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, and Warren G. Harding!

Donald Trump Competes With Warren G. Harding And George W. Bush As Least Intelligent President Of The United States!

The more one observes President Donald Trump, the more one realizes that he is one of the most ignorant, ill informed, and least intelligent Presidents of the United States.

Many of our Presidents have been intellectual heavyweights (16), including:

John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
John Quincy Adams
Abraham Lincoln
James A. Garfield
Theodore Roosevelt
William Howard Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
John F. Kennedy
Richard Nixon
Jimmy Carter
Bill Clinton
Barack Obama

Others, while not intellectually outstanding, were capable of good leadership (13) including:

George Washington
James Monroe
Andrew Jackson
James K. Polk
Ulysses S. Grant
Grover Cleveland
William McKinley
Harry Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Lyndon B. Johnson
Gerald Ford
Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush

Then, there are others who are mediocre by comparison, but had at least some redeeming qualities (12), including:

Martin Van Buren
William Henry Harrison
John Tyler
Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Andrew Johnson
Rutherford B. Hayes
Chester Alan Arthur
Benjamin Harrison
Calvin Coolidge

And then there are the three Presidents at the absolute bottom intellectually, and all three disasters in office, including

Warren G. Harding
George W. Bush
Donald Trump

At least Harding and Bush were decent human beings, who bumbled their way through the Presidency, but Donald Trump is, in many ways, more ignorant and dense than either Harding or the second Bush.

Harding was a lightweight intellectually, but at least he published a newspaper in Marion, Ohio, before his political career, and he had some outstanding cabinet officers including Charles Evans Hughes and Herbert Hoover.

George W. Bush, we know, read a great deal in the White House, while Trump is not a reader, and hardly gets past a page or two, even of important documents, as we learn that he counts on his top staff people to keep him up to date, and prefers Twitter and watching cable news as his main sources of information. His lack of intellectual curiosity, and willingness to believe conspiracy theories as fact is extremely alarming.

Trump has shown total ignorance of history and science, and is proving to be a true total disaster after only a little more than 100 days in office. He is much more destructive of the image of the Presidency than Harding or Bush could ever be!

The Democratic Presidential Rumor Mill Grows From 18 To 25! But Probably 10 “Serious” Possibilities!

Nine days ago, this blogger published an article, discussing 18 potential Democratic Presidential candidates for 2020.

My article was a bit ahead of the media in bringing up the issue, but now the rumor mill has come up with 7 more potential Democratic candidates, making for a total, in theory, of 25!

This is the silly season, right after the First Hundred Days of Donald Trump, and having a list this lengthy does seem a bit ridiculous.

However, for the record, the other 7 names being bandied about are:

Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley from 2007 to 2015 and Baltimore Mayor before that from 1999-2007, age 57 in 2020, who this blogger should NOT have left off the original list. O’Malley was once thought of as the “new generation” of leadership, but could not compete against Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and the rumors that Joe Biden would run. Certainly, he belonged on the original list of 18, making it 19, and has a likely better chance in theory than some on that list.

Entrepreneur, businessman, and owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, Mark Cuban, age 62 in 2020, who is very personable and appealing, and could be the “outsider”, equivalent of the Democrats’ Donald Trump, but personally, this blogger is not keen about outside businessmen with no government experience, and Donald Trump just adds to that feeling, that it is not a great idea.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, age 63 in 2020, who leaves office at the end of this year, but was formerly Democratic National Chairman from 2001-2005; Bill Clinton co chair in the 1996 Presidential campaign; and Hillary Clinton chair in the 2008 Presidential campaign, has the disadvantage of being connected to the Clintons, and has an image of being a bit sleazy and crooked throughout his political career, so would not seem a likely choice to get very far in the 2020 Presidential race. If anything, Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner seem more likely candidates from Virginia.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, age 60 in 2020, whose sister Mary was a long time US Senator from Louisiana fromJimmy 1997 to 2015, and whose father, Moon Landrieu, was Mayor of the city from 1970-1978, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary under Jimmy Carter from 1979 to 1981, has become recently controversial with his decision to remove Confederate monuments in the city, including those of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. Being a moderate Southern Democrat might make some think of Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, but it would seem highly unlikely that he would have much of a shot at the nomination for President.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who would be 49 in 2020, and who is Jewish and also of Mexican heritage as well, and mayor of the second largest city in America in the largest state in America, might possibly be a more serious nominee on paper. Garcetti has long experience in city government, being a member of the LA City Council, and then its President, for nearly a total of 12 years on the Council, and Mayor since 2013. Being a person of urban and multiple ethnic and religious Los Angeles, the most diverse city possible in America, might just be a positive in the long run, and this is a person to watch, in the view of this blogger.

We also have two Massachusetts members of the House of Representatives, Seth Moulton, who would be 42 in 2020; and President John F. Kennedy’s grand nephew, Robert F. Kennedy’s grandson, and former Congressman Joe Kennedy II’s son, Joe Kennedy III, who would be only 40. Moulton has served since 2015 in the House, and Kennedy since 2013, and both have made names for themselves with their liberal views, and both are seen as ambitious rivals, but a bit young to be thinking of running, or be considered at all for the Presidency. Also, only James A. Garfield in 1880 went directly from the House to the Presidency, and then he was tragically killed within months. To believe a House member would be elected is highly unlikely.

In the view of this blogger, one could add O’Malley and Garcetti to the shorter list with Chris Murphy, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, Mark Warner, Sherrod Brown, and Elizabeth Warren as the most legitimate candidates.

So I am saying a total of 10 serious candidates is likely, which is certainly long enough—6 US Senators, 3 Governors (assuming Newsom is elected California Governor), and 1 Mayor, LA Mayor Garcetti. The list also includes 2 women, 1 African American, and 1 Jewish and Mexican combination (Garcetti). This is a pretty representative list.

Any commentary by my readers on this and the April 25 article is welcome!

News Media, With All Their Shortcomings, Preserve Freedom And Democracy In Age Of Donald Trump Presidency

The news media had been, justifiably, criticized at helping Donald Trump to become President, through their focus on the faults and shortcomings of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election campaign.

Particularly the electronic media, the cable channels, have been attacked for giving Donald Trump a forum through phone calls and attention to his rallies, which helped him to stage an upset victory.

With the truth of those accusations, it is also reality that it is the news media, called the “enemy of the American people” by Donald Trump, which is preserving freedom and democracy in America, as they expose the corruption, scandals, and truth about Donald Trump and his administration.

Attack the news media all you want, but without it, we would not have learned about Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, or anyone else around Trump, along with his own hypocrisies.

It is the news media that helped to bring down Richard Nixon, particularly the Washington Post, and it is the news media, led by the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and others that will eventually bring down Donald Trump.

This author got some notoriety for his article, available on this blog on the right from February 15 on HNN and reprinted on Newsweek on February 19, and a TV Interview on CTV News Channel in Canada on February 16; and radio interviews on the John Gaunt Show in Great Britain on February 17 and WWGH in Marion, Ohio with Scott Spears on February 22. I made the assertion that Trump would be out of office either before 199 days of James A. Garfield, or possibly as long as 392 days of Zachary Taylor, and that belief still is strongly held by this blogger.

This is not a happy assertion, as Mike Pence, while not mentally unhinged as Donald Trump is, has a greater agenda to promote Christianity and extremist right wing views, so the Trump Presidency, whether Trump remains in office or not, is a dangerous turning point to the extreme right, unseen since the 1920s.

C Span 2017 Presidential Survey Results On George W. Bush And Bill Clinton: Little Hope Of Further Rise, And Never Above Barack Obama

The C Span 2017 Presidential survey gives evidence that the two Presidents before Barack Obama–George W. Bush and Bill Clinton—are unlikely to rise very much from their positions in the recent polling.

George W. Bush was a very low 36 in 2009 and now has risen a few notches to 33, while Bill Clinton, who had been 21 in 2000, and rose to 15 in 2009, remained at 15 in 2017.

Bush’s slight rise is due to recognition that he did have some virtues, as with his promotion of immigration reform although it failed to be achieved, his education reforms (No Child Left Behind), his promotion of tolerance toward Muslims after September 11, his prescription drug program for seniors, and his aid to Africa on AIDS.

But there is little room to move up, as to believe that Bush’s failures will ever be overlooked enough that he will rise above Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter or Gerald Ford, seems delusional.

So at the most, Bush might move above Rutherford B. Hayes, who has had a dramatic drop from 26 in 2000 to 33 in 2009 and slightly up to 32 in 2017; Zachary Taylor (who died after the third shortest term); Benjamin Harrison (who was sandwiched in between Grover Cleveland’s two terms); and James A. Garfield (who died after the second shortest term due to assassination). It is not really an accomplishment to pass two short term Presidents, and two one term Presidents of the Gilded Age. No one higher from Number 28 Richard Nixon upward is a likely candidate to fall below Bush ever in the future. So Bush will not be like Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, or Lyndon B. Johnson, who started off low and then rose to the top ten over time.

As far as Bill Clinton is concerned, his original low standing was due to the fact that he had the most corrupt Democratic Party administration, although it was on a lesser level than Republicans Richard Nixon, Warren G. Harding, Ulysses S. Grant, and Ronald Reagan. His personal sex scandals brought him down as he was leaving office, but his rise in 2009 seemed reasonable, but really what will allow him to rise further, as he did not do in 2017?

The more one looks at Clinton, the more one realizes that his time in office is best remembered for a good economy which just happened to be lucky to coincide, but which included the moat conservative Democratic administration of the 20th century, with him cooperating with the Republicans on ending the Interstate Commerce Commission; ending the federal guarantee of welfare; passing very strict crime bills that backfired over time; and allowing corporate mergers that no other Democratic President would have allowed. And his shortcomings became more evident as his wife, Hillary Clinton, pursued the Presidency, and ultimately lost, even though she won the popular vote by three million.

The only practical way for Bill Clinton to rise is to overcome James K. Polk, who was extremely successful in his one term; or James Monroe, who in his two terms, accomplished enough that his significance has been recognized. So do not expect any rise from number 15 for Bill Clinton, despite his great charisma and personality.

When Bush and Clinton pass away in the future, it might cause some rise in their ratings, but unlikely long term, and it is a reality that Barack Obama, already ahead of both and likely to rise, will always be ahead of the two Presidents before him, as well as certainly so above the President who has succeeded him, Donald Trump, who has in one month set his legacy, that he will be at the bottom or close to the bottom of ratings in future surveys after he leaves office, hopefully sooner than one term.

Donald Trump keeps on saying he inherited a “mess”, a total lie, which will not stand now or in the long run of historical analysis!

Most Disastrous Press Conference Of Any President In American History Occurred Today!

Donald Trump demonstrated total mental disorder at his first press conference as President this afternoon. There has never been a press conference like this one, not even under Richard Nixon.

His behavior was bizarre, unhinged, scary to watch, and totally delusional.

Trump showed that he has the symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and just mentioning nuclear weapons in the press conference was terrifying.

He lied, deceived, exaggerated. showed ignorance, and that he was living in a virtual reality outside of the real world.

He showed no concern about antisemitic attacks on Jewish Community Centers all over America in recent weeks, and instead talked about how he was the least antisemitic person there was.

Trump also said he was the least racist of anyone, and also asserted that he had the greatest electoral vote victory since Ronald Reagan, which is not true, but he said he had been told that, which showed how ignorant and lacking in curiosity he is to investigate issues on his own.

We have never had a President like this, not even Richard Nixon, and we are in a constitutional crisis, with him attacking the intelligence agencies, the news media, the foreign policy establishment, and anyone else who dares to challenge him on any issue.

My article on HNN yesterday that said Trump would not last more time in office than, at the most, between James A Garfield and Zachary Taylor in duration (6 and a half to 16 months), has taken off on HNN, and I was interviewed on CTV News Channel in Toronto for five minutes at 905 pm tonight, and will share that link when and if I am able to obtain it.