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This is the blog of Ian Rosales Casocot. Filipino writer. Sometime academic. Former backpacker. Twink bait. Hamster lover.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

entry arrow10:27 AM | The Harding Connection

I was reading Christopher Connolly's very catchy article "Seven [U.S.] Presidents Nobody Remembers" in CNN.com, when his entry on Warren G. Harding struck me as sounding too familiar for comfort, considering the fact that despite his dullard ways, Harding was also extremely popular among the masses. Like Joseph Estrada. Harding was President #29, from 1921-1923:

Warren G. Harding is generally regarded as the worst president ever. He was disappointing from the get-go, as the very basis of his campaign was boring. Harding ran on the promise of a "return to normalcy," which he (somehow) felt people craved following Woodrow Wilson's bold and visionary term.

To make things worse, Harding ran the White House like a kind of boys' club, where he and some friends known as the "Ohio Gang" enjoyed drinking, playing golf, and cheating on their wives. (Harding is widely rumored to have paid a gambling debt with antique White House china.)

After admitting to friends that he felt overmatched by the job of president, Harding gave his Cabinet free reign and treated the presidency as more of a ceremonial post.

Just as the friends he'd appointed were being nailed for corruption one after another, Harding contracted what doctors assumed was ptomaine poisoning and died of a related heart attack. No autopsy was performed, but rumors abounded that his wife poisoned him to protect what legacy he had left.

I'm thinking: maybe Loi should have done the same. Ha!

More hopelessly ineffective U.S. Presidents here. (Considering its timing, is this CNN's roundabout way of condemning George W. Bush as another presidential buffoon? Maybe not. Because the guy will certainly be remembered for being the worst president ever.)


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