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Okay, just some harmless, non-partisan stuff for the remainder of this gloriously socialistic holiday weekend. As a politics junkie with a particular interest in American presidential politics, these photos have always been interesting to me: the "Five Presidents" shots from (I think) 1991 and 2008. The first one I saw constantly, over the course of my professional career, and the second one was just fun in that post-election haze of December '08, before Obama became human again. Anyway, I've always had fun doing the whole Sesame Street "one of these things is not like the others" with the dubious members of that most exclusive club.

So, the first photo (Ford, Nixon, Bush, Reagan, Carter): each one of these men had a unique aspect of their presidency that none of the others shared. Only one resigned in a violent frenzy of shame (Nixon). Only one was never actually elected—appointed to the vice-presidency, assumed the presidency upon his predecessor's resignation, and defeated in a re-election bid (Ford). Only one was a Democrat (Carter). Only one was elected to, and served, two full terms in office (Reagan). Only one was an elected vice-president who succeeded his predecessor in his own right (Bush).

There are lots of things in common too, though—three of these men were vice-presidents (Nixon, Ford, and Bush). Four were Republicans (Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush). Two were governors (Carter and Reagan). Two are still living (Carter and Bush).

Okay, second photo (Bush I, Obama, Bush II, Clinton, Carter), from when Bush II was still in office, but after Obama was elected.

Only one is a father of the other (and conversely, only one is a son): the Bushes. Only one was impeached by the House of Representatives (Clinton, who was of course acquitted by the Senate and served two full terms). Only one had to fend off a primary challenge from his own party during a re-election bid (Carter, who had to beat Ted Kennedy in 1980 before losing to Reagan). Only one was a senator before becoming president (Obama). And sadly, only one is black (Obama).

These guys have things in common too: three were governors (Carter, Clinton, Bush II). Two were re-elected and served two full terms (Clinton and Bush II). Two were defeated in re-election bids (Carter and Bush I).

I'm sure there are other similarities and/or unique aspects of these eight jokers, but I can't remember them right now, so these little trivia tidbits will have to do. Happy Labor Day weekend, comrades.

Originally posted to keirdubois on Sun Sep 06, 2009 at 10:31 PM PDT.

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