Wednesday, January 21, 2009

For a writer, he seems to have an odd concept of what "authorship" is

Via the Ace of Spades, an interesting theory forwarded by Garrison Keillor... Barack Obama is our "first genuine author-president."

The rest of the article is pretty funny, but that incredible howler - "first GENUINE author-president" - ends the first paragraph. Apparently the following were not genuine authors at all:

    John Adams - the Massachusetts Constitution, "Defense of the Constitutions of Governments of the United States of America" (3 volumes!)
    Thomas Jefferson - Declaration of Independence
    James Madison - some of the Federalist Papers, large hunks of the US Constitution
And really, that would be quite enough, wouldn't it? But heck, we'll throw in Theodore Roosevelt, who wrote an astounding variety of historical and naturalist books and essay collections... twelve of them before he was even president. Other presidents have writtetn scholarly articles and books and other works.

So, yeah, first genuine author-president? Hardly

Incidentally, while I was doing a little quick research for the above, I googled Woodrow Wilson. Hm, I thought, I can look up his page. I had looked up James Polk last week - he had been a favorite of Truman's and when Joe Posnanski had a "Hall of Fame Presidents" poll, I wanted to know more about him. (Wound up voting for him too.)

Well, this is what I found at the old URL:

Of course, the page isn't gone, just moved. (Polk's too.) In its place is an invitation to "read about [the Obama Administration] plan to bring about the change America needs." (Maybe some other time?) The redesign isn't bad; I like the addition of links to all the presidents on the same page, but really don't like the links not being underlined so they stand out from the regular text. I hesitate to click Reagan's or W's.

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