The World Next Week podcast is up. Bob McMahon and I discussed the escalating conflict in Ukraine, the United States and South Korea’s joint military exercises, and the end of the Sochi Winter Olympics. Read more »
Today is Presidents’ Day. It is a TWE tradition to recognize the forty-three men—and they have all been men—who have been president on Presidents’ Day with the following essay. If you are lucky enough to have today off, enjoy:
American kids often say they want to be president when they grow up. You have to wonder why. A few presidents have loved the job. Teddy Roosevelt said “No president has ever enjoyed himself as much as I have enjoyed myself.” Most presidents, though, have found the job demanding, perhaps too demanding. James K. Polk pretty much worked himself to exhaustion. Zachary Taylor, the hero of the Mexican-American War, found being president harder than leading men into battle. Dwight Eisenhower had a heart attack from the stress of leading the Free World. Many presidents express relief once they can be called “former president.” This trend started early. John Adams told his wife Abigail that George Washington looked too happy watching him take the oath of office. “Me–thought I heard him say, ‘Ay, I am fairly out and you fairly in! See which of us will be happiest!” Read more »
Monday is Presidents’ Day. To get you in the proper celebratory mood, TWE presents its third annual Presidents’ Day quiz. You can find a link to the answers at the bottom of the post. By all means, if you have your own presidential trivia questions, please post them in the comments section so everyone can take a crack at answering them. And if you are feeling up to it, you can try the quizzes from 2012 and 2013 as well. Read more »
The World Next Week podcast is up. CFR distinguished visiting fellow and former New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly joined Bob McMahon and I on the podcast this week to discuss security challenges at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Bob and I also discussed upcoming parliamentary elections in Thailand and ongoing protests in Ukraine. Read more »
Barack Obama is set to give his State of the Union address on January 28. If it is like most such speeches, it will be hotly debated for a moment and then forgotten. (Quick, name the major theme of last year’s State of the Union address. I didn’t think so.) But a few State of the Union addresses do make a lasting impression. One such speech was President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s State of the Union address on January 6, 1941, better known today as the Four Freedoms speech. Read more »
The Water’s Edge examines the political forces shaping American foreign policy, the sustainability of American power, and the ability of the United States to navigate a rapidly changing world.