US Presidents

After a few years, Presidents fade into history, and it all runs together. We get so confused we forget who was President and who was not.

Just The Facts

  1. Presidents are often less popular in their own time than they are years down the road. Richard Nixon was thought to be corrupt and dishonest during his administration, but is now generally regarded as one of history's top Evil Geniuses.
  2. Had Ronald Reagan succumbed to his would-be assassin's bullet in 1981, he would have continued the "elected in year ending in 0" curse, which would have fulfilled all existing apocalyptic prophecies, and the world would have ended on schedule in the year 2000 [citation needed].
  3. No, Alexander Hamilton was not President, he was the first Secretary of the Treasury, you dumbass. That's why he's on the $10 bill. What do you do for a living, drive a truck? Gimme a break.

Term Limits

Although a President is now Constitutionally limited to ten years in office, or, as more commonly occurs, two full terms, that has only been the case since 1951. Before that, it was more or less a gentleman's agreement, and it was merely considered "bad form" to run more than twice. This changed after Franklin Delano Roosevelt pulled the douchebag move of running and winning four times from 1932-1944. For modern comparison, this is sort of like when Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France seven consecutive times, if Armstrong commanded the armed forces and could have you imprisoned.

Vice Presidents

Since 1836, only one sitting Vice President (George H.W. Bush) has won election to the presidency. Many more, including Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, and Al Gore in recent times, have been defeated in their attempts (Nixon, defeated in 1960, was out of office when elected in 1968). So, Al Gore had the weight of 164 years of history working against him in 2000. That, and the weight of his leaden personality. Oh, and the weight of Floridians too dense to figure out a ballot. That too. And the Electoral College, which scores the election like a goddamn tennis match and acts like an antiquated anchor around our collective neck. And the Supreme Court. Don't forget that fucking albatross. God knows I haven't.

Myths & Legends

American presidents are often central figures in powerful myths and legends, sometimes verging on the supernatural. For instance, some people believed Ronald Wilson Reagan was the antichrist; each of his three names had six letters, hence the mark of 666. The Biblical prophecy "one of its heads had a mortal wound, but the mortal wound was healed" was said to refer to his being elected President despite severe brain damage. In another example, some believe, based on a series of coincidences, that John F. Kennedy was the reincarnation of Abraham Lincoln. Those coincidences include:

1. Lincoln elected in 1860, Kennedy in 1960

2. Lincoln's secretary, Kennedy, warned him not to go to Ford's theatre; Kennedy's secretary, Lincoln, warned him not to go to Dallas

3. Both were shot in the head on a Friday; Lincoln was shot in a theatre by a man who hid in a warehouse while Kennedy was shot by a man firing from a warehouse who hid in a theatre

4. Both were succeeded in office by men named Johnson; and

5. Both entered office with well-known "johnsons." Kennedy, in fact, had the most famous Presidential Johnson ("Peepee 109") in history, right up until Bill Clinton didn't have sex with that woman. And Lincoln, when once asked how long a man's dick should be, is said to have replied, "long enough to reach the ground." Or something like that; I forget. Anyway, recent research suggests he may have "suffered" from a form of gigantism, which I won't go into, as it has probably already made numerous lists here on Cracked.

A Quick Guide To Their Legacies

Presidents of the last 80 Years, and what they are known for:

Herbert Hoover-Like the namesake vacuum cleaner, known for sucking. "Hoovervilles," shanty-towns of the desperate and destitute, sprang up across America during his presidency, which spanned the first three years of the Great Depression, which he caused by being assboy for the banking industry.

Franklin Roosevelt-Pretty much fixed everything, won the war, and tragically died in office. Or, if you prefer, betrayed the nation's economic principles, let Japan freely attack us to serve his own ends, hopelessly botched the post-war settlements, and thankfully died before he could fuck anything else up.

Harry Truman-Courageously used world's only atomic weapons against a defeated, defenseless island nation. Entered Korean War as "police action," only with soldiers instead of, you know, actual police. Fortunately, he had reknowned military strategist Douglas McArthur working for him. Oops.

Dwight D. Eisenhower-Ended Korean War so he could get on with playing golf. Hey, it was the '50s. Life was good.

John F. Kennedy-Boned Marilyn Monroe, got head blown off in obvious CIA/Mafia/Castro/LBJ/Illuminati/PTA conspiracy

Lyndon Johnson-Blundered into costly, divisive war in Vietnam; picked up beagle by the ears; typical Texas jerkwad

Richard Nixon-Recorded all his conversations for history; tried to record everyone else's too, which for some reason really pissed everybody off

Gerald Ford-Pardoned Nixon for, you know, all that stuff he did

Jimmy Carter-Terrible President, said it was our fault; famously attacked by rabbit which was probably our fault too, wasn't it, you pissy little man

Ronald Reagan-Accidentally bombed USSR in 1984, accidentally winning Cold War; mostly slept and left governing to others including an astrologer and some guys who secretly sold advanced weapons systems to Iran; fixed troubled U.S. economy by taking out really big payday loan

George H.W. Bush-Presided over end of the Cold War, prosecuted successful & popular Gulf War, then somehow lost re-election bid shortly thereafter; see below for the terrible vengeance he exacted on nation & world eight years later

Bill Clinton-Inhaled, had sex with that woman, got impeached, but hey, it was the '90s. Life was good.

George W. Bush-Blundered into costly, divisive war in Iraq; ruined U.S. economy; condoned torture; typical Texas jerkwad

(In order to avoid controversy, of which I'm sure there will be none, I have avoided discussing the current U.S. President, Barack Obama. All I will say here is that "Putting Barack In The White House" and "Speaking With Barack In The Oval Office" are the two best euphemisms for throwing up since "Parking Ralph's Buick." This is not commentary on current politics, merely my juvenile desire to make fun of people's names and to talk about throwing up, which is inherently hilarious.-feralboy12)