Valin Posted February 13, 2012 Share Posted February 13, 2012 WSJ: Biographer Ron Chernow says America's first president understood a stubborn truth: People 'don't need to like you—much less love you—but they need to respect you.' BRIAN BOLDUC 2/11/12 New York In the 19 Republican presidential debates held so far, the candidates have invoked their beau ideal, Ronald Reagan, 124 times. Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator, has garnered nine mentions; Thomas Jefferson, the pen of the Revolution, five. George Washington—the first president, the father of his country—has received one. Politicians seldom cite Washington because—unlike the jovial Reagan—he seems distant and cold. "Now we admire people for their authenticity, in terms of how quickly they open up and bear their emotions," says Ron Chernow, whose biography of Washington won the Pulitzer Prize last year. Our national patriarch, by contrast, "had an old-fashioned belief that silence was strength and that you only very gradually let people enter your private thoughts and emotions." (Snip) The biographer's advice for the men (and women) who wish to occupy the White House? "Every president should read presidential biographies. Because they will learn every single president in American history thought that he was the most maligned person who had ever held the office, suffered the most vitriolic press attacks, and had to deal with the most ferocious partisanship of any [era]." (Snip) WSJ Video: Opinion: Washington's Guide to the Presidency 1 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now