Our Sporting Presidents

Most of our Presidents have been avid athletes, even Taft. Could a party safely nominate an overweight and unabashed couch potato who scorned exercise?

Right now, of course, it is the coming election that provides most of the material on which this column casts its regular history-conscious eye. But not this time. September is the month of pennant races, and I’ve got baseball as well as Presidents on my mind. I phrase the question of the hour not as “Will George Bush be re-elected?” but rather as “Will George Bush or his opponent toss out the first ball of the 1993 season?” Read more »

The Election That Got Away

A loophole in the Constitution made it possible for the winner of the popular majority in 1876, Tilden, to lose to Hayes in the electoral college amid bitterness, fraud, and chicanery. It could happen again

If the manner of it be not perfect, it is at least excellent,” Alexander Hamilton once said of the machinery of the Constitution for electing the President and Vice President of the United States. In making this statement, Hamilton, for all his brilliance, was either committing an egregious error or engaging in eighteenth-century Madison Avenue encomium.