Happy Birthday, Presidents of Yore

lincoln memorialWho’s your favorite American head of state? (Really, there aren’t so many quality choices, are there? Either they get killed or some disgrace topples them, like Fatty Taft getting stuck in a bathtub.)

The baby boomers I know always say Kennedy, possibly for the nostalgia they feel for experiencing the tragedy of his assassination. Or maybe because the conspiracy theories are just too fascinating.

I’ve always been a Lincoln fan, myself. Even as a kid, I judged Washington to be a little too military for my tastes, though the whole-bandaged-feet-in-winter while fighting for independence tugged at my third grade heartstrings. And given the recent research of Honest Abe’s likely Jewish ancestry coupled with his wisdom, kindness and refusal to play in the pigpen with the other politicians of his time, he simple rises to the top of the 43 men who have lead this country. (Again, the pool of choices is seriously lacking.)

Even the rabbis hold up Abraham Lincoln, who made it a law that all people could live free, as their favorite: Rabbi Aryeh Clapper even says that if he could have the whole world learn one quote, it wouldn’t be from the Torah— it would be from Lincoln’s Second Inaugural address.

It’s a mystery who No. 44 will be come 2008, but let’s hope and pray that man or woman has half the integrity.

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