Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Contest for comments (If you bribe them, will they come?)

This thought has been on my mind a lot recently and I want involvement from others. Several of my readers are apolitical - it's not that they don't have political ideas, they just don't want to share them. So I'm going to entice them a little bit, I'm going to have a contest. The winner will get their choice of a $10 iTunes certificate (assuming I can figure out how to get one) or a $10 Amazon certificate.

All interested parties should comment on this post with an answer to the following question - "Who do you think is the smartest president we've had in recent history?" By recent history let's say as any president including JFK and beyond, I get hazy on who was who before that. The comment should include a brief description of why you think your choice is the best choice. I'm not going to restrict the answers by defining the word "smartest", I'll let you do that, but be sure to explain your choice.

I'd like to ask respect for all presidents, so as my daughter would say "don't be dissin' nobody." I'd also ask for respect for my readers, if you don't agree with what they have to say, please refrain from commenting on their comments, just offer your own opinion of who is best.

Rather than try to pick a winner based on content and risk showing bias, I'm going to put all of my commenters names into a hat (or bowl) and choose a winner at random. I've asked the lovely Vanna White to do the picking, but she's not available, so I'll ask my lovelier wife to do the honors. I'll post the name of the winner. Be sure to include your name in your comments.

I'm traveling a bit this week and next, so I'll close the comments on next Friday, August 21. That gives everyone a little over a week. Enjoy!


Nickie Goomba said...

I know it sounds like a Conservative cliche, but I'd say Reagan.

He stepped back in '76 to make way for the ill-fated Gerald Ford, and then put together a controlled, yet passionate, four year campaign for the 1980 race.

Intellectual? Genius? Nope, probably not. But oh so politically smart, both domestically and internationally.
He was also pretty darn smart when it came to economics.

If I win the contest, please send the Prius to my house.

Best of luck with the blog.

Buggaboosmommy said...

I vote Reagan as well he thought more like a real person than the other clowns

Thomas said...

Carter. He was cognizant enough to know that we needed to get off foreign oil decades before the rest of the country caught up.

Randy said...

Nickie, I figured I get some votes for Reagan, especially related to his political "smartness". On the international front, he can probably be credited with ending the Cold War. On the domestic front, well, it was always hard to disagree with him. You sorta felt like he was your grandfather.

Bugaboosmommy, another vote for Reagan, I'm not surprised that my readers like him better than the others.

Thomas, I'm glad I got a different vote. Was Carter the first to suggest we get off foreign oil? Seems like every president has said that since George Washington. Well, maybe not that far back. But Carter was also a nuclear physicist, I wonder if we knew the IQ of the presidents if he would come out on top?

I now have three names in the hat..

tipper said...

Well you can put my name in the hat too : )

My choice Reagan again. Even though I was only a kid when he was President I still pick him. As an adult-I see how savvy he was. I guess to simplify it-he had common sense. I believe that is the main ingredient missing from Washington-just plain ole common sense. I believe Reagan had personal convictions and wasn't afraid to stand on them-but like you said-he had a wonderful way of making others want to tag along behind him too.

Randy said...

Tipper, your name's in the hat. Reagan's common-sense approach to problems made him very popular. And I agree that he tended to stand by his convictions and not waffle like so many others.

Cameron said...

Obama. He's got the highest IQ of any president ever (but don't ask me what it is) and frankly I get tingles every time he speaks. :-)

In all seriousness, I think he very well may be the smartest. I think he combines what everyone has said about Reagan and Carter. Of course, time will tell if he really can connect to Joe Citizen the way Reagan did, but at least in the early stages he's been able to express himself well and fend off attacks.

Now, this is on smartest, not "best", right?

Randy said...

Cameron, thanks for your comments. I wondered if anyone would votes for Pres. Obama. I agree that he seems able to deflect a lot of the "slings and arrows" that are sent his way.

Thanks again.

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Reagan, definitely. Carter was probably one of our worst - ruined our national defense, pandered to all the foreigners, gave us the Department of Education as a payoff to the NEA and - oh, I better stop. Then again, Obama comes pretty close with his socialist, pro-abortion, anti-marriage, pro-homosexual agendas.

Intelligence isn't any good if you don't use it appropriately! And commons sense often trumps intelligence!

David said...

Hmm, a lot of votes for Reagan. I can understand that, he's the conservative icon. Despite his popularity, I'd toss him out. His stance for shrinking government may be popular, the deregulation that came with it is a major cause of the current economy troubles. Let's also not forget that Reagan funded the Mujihadeen in his efforts to end the Cold War. While it worked, we created a whole new set of enemies.

Carter seems good, a peanut farmer who got all the way to the White House. There's that whole energy thing mentioned above. He also refused to let people push him aside once he was out of office. If only he hadn't grabbed the spotlight for such controversial things. He's out.

It might surprise you, but Nixon deserves some consideration. At least he would have if he didn't get caught. Next.

Obama. I like Obama. I supported him in the election and voted for him. But with less that a year in office, it's way to early to judge.

That brings me to my pick, Bill Clinton. Sure he wasn't smart enough to keep his pants on, but he was smart enough to bounce back. He even created a surplus!

But where Bill Clinton really shines is his ability to play the crowd, and I'm not just talking his stage presence. When conservatives were gearing up for a big push to get a constitutional amendment (which would have been completely out of his control) banning gay marriage, Bill got the focus on the Defense of Marriage Act. He took the wind right out of their sails and put the ball back in his court. It may not have been what he wanted, but it's a heck of a lot easier to repeal. More impressively, in the last few months he's shown that he knows when to be in the spotlight and when not to be.

Randy said...

I REALLY wanted to avoid the negatives for your least favorite president. I originally intended to say something in the rules that it would violate the chances of winning, but I didn't and I'll let it slide this time.

Glenn gives another vote for Reagan, thanks for voting and visiting my blog.

David, as for Clinton, I'll have to go back and read what he did for DOMA. If you're going to include that, you can probably also include don't ask/don't tell. Originally, he wanted to allow gas in the military by executive order. Then he backed off and don't ask/don't tell was a compromise. As with DOMA, easier to repeal and bought some time.

David said...

Sorry if any of my comments came across as negative, but that's how I made my decision. I feel that if I need to throw my support behind one of a group, it's just as important to consider why you don't support the rest. In fact, when I started my comment I was still undecided.

Yes, DADT was a very similar case.

Kayte said...

OK...guess I really can't pass up a chance to win a $10 iTunes card!

My vote is for Reagan. I was a LITTLE kid when he was president, but I don't think I ever heard anything negative about him. He did a lot of good things in foreign and domestic policy. And Mrs. Reagan did afterall give us "Just Say No."

Adam Beam said...

Lincoln. He preserved the Union. How do you top that?

Adam Beam said...

Another reason for Lincoln: A debate style is named after him. Also, Lincoln Logs.

Randy said...

Kayte, Reagan was certainly a man liked by many and the ones that didn't like him had trouble making anything stick.

Adam Beam... ummm let me think Lincoln (inventor of logs) served in 1860's, JFK served in 1960's. So that would make Lincoln NOT a president of recent history.

But I guess they didn't teach that in your college? I'll enter you in the contest anyway...

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