Missing Cal?


What is wrong with this picture? Photo credit: Zack Wittman/Washington Post.

     Perhaps without meaning to do so photojournalist Zack Wittman of the Washington Post (in an October 31 article by Griff Witte) has captured this snapshot from the Lee County Republican Headquarters in Florida. It looks like the good folks over there are a bit confused as to who this Calvin Coolidge person is. Seems they might have bigger problems than Mr. Rooney. They might benefit immensely from knowing a little more than they appear to about Cal.

     First off, McKinley did not succeed on the death of President Harding in 1923. McKinley was not the 30th POTUS, he was #25, between Democrat Grover Cleveland and Republican Theodore Roosevelt. McKinley was not from Vermont, nor was Coolidge from Ohio. McKinley was not President in the wake of World War I, between 1923-1929. McKinley was not the one who reduced the national debt by one-third in less than six years. McKinley did not preside over six years of unparalleled peacetime. McKinley was not the last President to achieve six consecutive budget surpluses, it was Cal, who was President the last time the United States experienced that many surpluses in a row. McKinley did not sign the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924 or endorse the first serious study to be done in more than 100 years (the Meriam Report, 1928) openly questioning the government’s paternalistic policy toward natives on the reservations. McKinley was not known as the first avid communicator by radio nor did he participate in over 520 bi-weekly press conferences. McKinley did not issue more than 1,250 executive orders, grant more than 1,690 acts of clemency, and deliver 50 vetoes in a short 67 months in office. And McKinley did not say “I do not choose to run for President in 1928,” leaving the powers of office behind when he could have won again with ease.

While the case could be made that both Presidents shared some resemblance in their younger days, a basic image search would have removed all doubt. I am sure the good folks in Lee County’s Republican Party have their hearts in the right place. Now if they could just be clear on who Calvin Coolidge is, they might find fewer distractions and a greater appreciation for the importance of the obvious.


Thanks go to Mr. David Harville for catching this one!

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